We’re still reeling from the absolute joyride our very first Dame Traveler Trips social media and photography workshop was! Today we wanted to spotlight some of our very favorite moments of our time celebrating sisterhood and exploring the beauty of Sri Lanka. Are you ready? Let’s go!
About The Workshop
For our first Dame Traveler Adventure workshop, we joined forces with the genius photographer Laura Grier. Together, we were able to create a ten day trip of a lifetime (organized by the ever gracious and Sri Lankan local, Sherene Hululgalle of Jasmine Vine (Marry Me in Sri Lanka) also allowed us to teach other Dame Travelers the ins and outs of creating keepsake travel photos and using social media platforms to elevate their storytelling online. Dream team? I think yes! The unforgettable adventures that followed are still rolling in my mind’s eye. Each day was stocked with explorations on any traveler’s bucket list – from visiting ruins, soaking in warm waters on pristine beaches, hiking through Tea Country and at sunrise – there were so many incredible experiences, images and moments captured together.
From our very first day in Colombo, relaxing and enjoying the city (in between getting to know each other), I knew we were in for a wonderful adventure together. Our days were balanced with time to experience beautiful Sri Lanka and learn the tricks of the trade of social media and photography. The ancient kingdoms and ruins of Anuradhapura and learning about the mysterious history of the island filled our first few days with wonder and a sense of excitement.
The girls and I threw on our jungle khakis and went on a life-changing drive to see elephants! Seeing these magical, enormous creatures in the flesh was so incredible. Their majestic beauty and the other amazing wildlife we encountered had us beside ourselves.
Journeying to the green hillsides of Camellia Hills, filled with Cyprus and Eucalyptus trees and enjoying scenic train rides to other parts of the island’s tea farms allowed us to see the country with new eyes and provided us with many a photo shoot location! A favorite memory by far is hiking the Adam’s Peak Pilgrimage for two days. The early morning sunrises, scenic vistas and memories made on the trail were timeless.
Heading on to Galle on the south coast of Sri Lanka, we were greeted with some of the most stunning beaches and picturesque fishing villages. Some highlights of our time in the south coast include exploring the rich history of Galle Fort, exploring the charming cobblestoned streets, witnessing the stilted fisherman (an image that will stick with me forever!) and lots of down time on the beaches of Kumu. Of course, with our focus being on creating gorgeous imagery, these experiences opened up a world of opportunities to learn and grow from the never ending charm and detail of Sri Lankan architecture, historic sights and colorful facades.
While exploring beautiful Sri Lanka, it was so nice to be able to retire to a calm, peaceful resting place. We loved all of our unique lodgings, including our stay in traditional tea planter’s bungalows high on the hills and historic townhouses in Galle Forte. Each hotel boasted a special quality and featured homegrown meals, warm and inviting staff members and attention to detail.
Our gorgeous Camellia Hills Hotel was the perfect resting place to relax and enjoy some quality time getting to know each other. We loved their beautiful baths and canopy beds, as well as their gorgeous view overlooking the hills and rivers of Sri Lanka.
The generously photogenic Fort Bazaar Hotel boasted some great bohemian-industrial vibes, as well as refreshing authentic Sri Lankan specialties and minimal, chic bedrooms.
Tucked away in the hilly jungles of the island, the Ulagalla Hotel was the perfect place to recoup and relax. Their property truly felt like a piece of the jungle landscape. Walking through their dense trees and lawns was a total treat!
Being able to share my insight in using social media platforms as a resource to engage, connect and curate meaningful content was a dream come true (and let me tell you, having it being set in such a gorgeous locale didn’t hurt either)! Discussing the ins and outs of social media challenges, successes and shedding some light on how we create beautiful imagery online was encouraging and so special. I can’t wait to continue to grow this educational side of our community here at Dame Traveler.
Our time in Sri Lanka ended up being more than just a social media and photography workshop. Each one of us came from diverse backgrounds and beautifully arrayed personalities and backgrounds. But regardless of our differences, our mutual love and passion for travel and celebrating women let us all be open up and learn from one another. It’s amazing what happens when women support each other. I feel like I have personally grown so much from knowing these beautiful souls. What’s amazing about these sorts of Dame Traveler Adventures is that it is a gathering of the minds, hearts and spirits. I cannot wait to continue to host more workshops like this, especially because of all the amazing women I hope to meet through the process.
Dame Traveler is all about celebrating the sisterhood of traveling women… and having the opportunity to connect with these wonderful women brings our mission to the forefront. So many friendships made, words and secrets shared and memories captured together!
I promise you that the generosity of the Sri Lankan people, the delicious flavors of their traditional meals and epic landscapes and historical sights are, without a doubt, life changing.