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Capturing the soul

posted by in Dot Dot Dot

During my recent correspondence with the super sweet Mary Reyes of Louis Vuitton Philippines, I became obsessed with the stunning photos on the covers of the notecards she would send me. I felt that not only were they dramatic and poignant, they managed to capture the spirit of adventure and discovery that I lust for everyday. They tickled my imagination and fueled my daydreams of being a modern day Indiana Jones unearthing rare artifacts or stumbling across hidden civilizations in the rainforest.

It took me a good length of time and countless google searches to find out the name of the campaign and the photographer. Louis Vuitton commissioned French photographer Eric Valli to capture “the Spirit of Travel” and his awe inspiring photographs set in New Zealand do exactly that. My obsession led me to his old blog where he writes about his brainstorming process:

“The assignment was to capture the essence of traveling as authentically as possible. The night after meeting Christian, the art director, I had a flash. I thought of the voyage of this gentleman traveler, this wanderlust, something I had always dreamed of, something timeless and universal. I began to fill up my notebook with sketches and ideas, as I do at the beginning of every assignment…”

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The campaign is simply breathtaking. The drama of nature, the surreal relationship between man and his surroundings, the allure of the unknown, the juxtaposition of humanity and solitude… It’s spectacular.

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 I have become a fan and sincerely urge you to take a look at his website. His other media campaigns for Hermes and L’Occitane are equally captivating however it is his portraits of isolated cultures that have truly entranced me. Travel to me is not just about beautiful places, it’s not about taking that token photo with the famous monument to say “I’ve been here!”  but it’s about immersing yourself as much as possible with local life, opening your heart to other civilizations, to learn from different societies… It is an anthropological experience… To place yourself in someone else’s shoes, walk a moment in their life… Eat their food, share their customs, embrace their beliefs if but for a moment… It is when one can travel in this way, diverge from the formatted itinerary, speak candidly with your local guides, accept that invitation to dine together, go where they go… It is that moment when Sam our guide in Angkor closes his eyes and shares his mother’s recipe for stuffed frog; when I shared a roti breakfast in Singapore with Sunny the driver assigned to me; when Rangana our guide in Sri Lanka opened up about the civil war, about his wife and children and how he is a graphic designer on the side… It is only then you can say that travel makes you richer.

Love and Light, Stephanie

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The Author

Writer. Traveller. Wino. Foodie. Bohemian at heart. "You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself." - Buddha


We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

We are The Gypsetters.

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