MONTHLY UPDATE…VOW RENEWAL, GORILLAS IN UGANDA + A PRIVATE ISLAND
The past 4 weeks have been WILD! So…buckle up!
This edition of the Monthly Update includes…
- Renewing our vows in the middle of Barcelona
- Getting up close + personal with the gorillas in Uganda
- Connecting with fellow entrepreneurs on a private island in Croatia
- Finalizing our residency + banking in Dubai
WHERE ARE ASHLEY + CAMERON?!
MAY 15TH – 30TH | BARCELONA + UGANDA
My vision for our wedding is finally complete. I couldn’t have asked for a better vow renewal in Barcelona. The day, dress, make-up, flowers, + photos turned out PERFECT. OMG! The photos. Right?! I felt like a Queen + had a fraction of the stress I did last year, since it was just the two of us.
The original plan was to do it on a boat at sunset, but the weather was being quite fickle that week. So, we canceled the boat last-minute + booked a super sexy suite at The Cotton House, which made for an elegant backdrop for our photoshoot. Our photographer, Svetlana, was AMAZING! I love her editorial feel + post production aesthetic. I’m so glad she pushed us to take a taxi to the Gothic Quarter as they ended up being some of my favorite ones.
Rewriting + recording our vows kept it current, fresh, + fun. We plan on renewing our vows every single year on May 20th moving forward. A wedding dress doesn’t need to be procured each year [I know…I’m bummed about it too], but I plan on buying a gorgeous dress to celebrate this annual renewal of love + commitment. It reminded us why we fell in love in the first place + all the amazing memories we’ve accumulated over the past 365 days. I’ve learned that taking the time to make these moments a big deal is crucial to the success of the relationship/marriage. Proactive therapy, intimacy, dealing with past traumas + triggers, constructive communication, + fighting better, etc. also help as well.
What do you do to keep the love + spark alive in your relationship? Please comment with all ideas, suggestions, + recommendations.
Prepping for Uganda was a lil stressful, but after we finally crammed our bags/suitcases shut + arrived, it felt more like a second honeymoon. We weren’t sure how we’d enjoy Uganda. Part of us thought it could never surpass our trip to Bhutan with the same group [Wayfinders]. But boy, were we wrong!
Uganda exceeded every single one of our expectations! The locals made us feel like celebrities. They were so friendly + welcoming. The kids melted my heart…with their giant smiles + waves from the side of the road. The Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge we stayed at was one of the nicest places we’ve ever been to. The level of service + thoughtfulness of the staff was indescribable.
In Entebbe we did a behind the scenes tour of a local zoo [like feeding lions, rhinos, chimps, + giraffes].
Then, we took a plane to the jungle area. There we hiked up a river to three different waterfalls when there was a perfectly fine trail right next to us, got absolutely soaked in a massive rain storm, visited a local home where they showed us the coffee making process, hiked a dangerous AF volcano with three summits where the final summit straddled the middle of three countries – Uganda, Rwanda, + Congo, had an impromptu dance party on the side of the road while one of the trucks broke down, participated in a land transfer ceremony to the Batwa people for them to live + farm, + made super deep connections with everyone that attended.
We came for the Gorillas, but they ended up being the icing on the cake. We got so close it was UNREAL! They split our group in two, and we each tracked different families. Super randomly, the two families we were tracking came together + hung out together. Apparently, that never happens. Luckily, it wasn’t mating season so the Silverbacks played nicely. The Silverbacks were MASSIVE + the lil babies were so stinkin cute. They let us get so close, a female gorilla actually punched one woman in the knee! WOW…JUST WOW!
This day ended up being the best day I’ve ever had to date. Certain days have amazing moments, but this day was filled with amazing moments from the moment I woke up to when I closed my eyes that night. Our morning started with the best wake-up call ever…Rosemary bringing us two lattes + a lil snack [there are lots of stairs on the property]. After a yummy breakfast, we went Gorilla tracking. Afterwards, we had lunch in a tea field + proceeded to race up a steep ass mountain. When we got back to the lodge this poor lil yellow/green bird crashed into the window. I was so scared the lil fella was going to die, but after helping + holding it for 45 minutes, he gifted us a lil poop + flew off. Then, we got together as a group and did some nice exercises. The day ended with a surprise dinner where we walked through the town handing out stickers + balloons to kids. The destination was a hilltop called “The Top of the World.” As we arrived the Batwa tribe greeted us with their dances, the lodge made us an amazing BBQ, the bartender made custom libations, and we listened to music. We were blessed with the most epic sunset, saw flashes of lightning off in the distance while lava was oozing out of a nearby volcano, + made a wish on a shooting star. As if it couldn’t get any better, the lodge staff started dancing, presented us with personalized gifts [engraved gorilla keychain with our names carved in the back], + we celebrated a group bday + wedding anniversary. The night ended with us dancing through the town with headlamps, a JBL speaker, + the party continued back at the lodge. It was truly an amazing day I’ll never forget!
JUNE 1ST – 15TH | CROATIA + DUBAI
After all the excitement of Uganda, we were ready for some TLC + chill time. Queue Croatia. At the Intelligent Change Summit, I met a guy from Croatia, and he recommended we stay on Vis. The power of the Universe is incredible, because I hadn’t figured out where to go yet + the Universe brought me sweet Yuri. His recommendation was spot on. And, it only took 2 flights, 1 taxi, a ferry ride, + another taxi to reach this lil slice of heaven.
The town was so quaint + cute. All the beige stone + brick houses with colorful shutters + doors were picturesque. Zipping around on our lil scooter was so much fun. Plus, I popped my scooter driving cherry. I loved it + was scared shitless all at the same time; especially with Cameron holding on for dear life on the back.
Not only did we find out about Yacht Week, we ended up meeting the owner at the Baby Bathwater [keep reading], had the best pistachio gelato EVER, roamed around the boardwalk, poked our heads into the cute shops, swam in the Green Cave, experienced the most exclusive Blue Grotto tour on accident, checked out the unused submarine tunnel, + shared a delicious meal at a boutique hotel.
It was so cute we briefly discussed moving there. But, we’d need to open a proper gym, mini biohacking facility, + a cute cafe with avo toast. LOL. So, we’ll see…
Baby Bathwater Croatia was my very first conference on a private island. And, it didn’t disappoint. What a unique + cool experience. The execution was flawless. They truly nailed getting rid of all the meh aspects of conferences + doubling down on the awesome parts. Plus, the lodges, beds, showers, + food were amazing. As were the different all the lil areas for talks, networking, swimming, eating, dancing, yoga, breathwork, live music, DJ sets, + cuddle puddles.
We left with a full heart + mind…and completely sleep deprived. I learned lots about leveraging ChatGPT for SEO + copywriting, improving gut health, and hiring offshore resources. But, it’s the amazing human connections we left with that are invaluable.
Next stop, Detoxing in Dubai.
Not gonna lie…the trip from Croatia to Dubai was pretty brutal. We had an early morning after staying up late, two connections on two different airlines, + in true Dubai fashion we got lost three different times driving to our place on The Palm. It was 5:30 AM by the time we finally crawled into bed. Ouch!
This was our first time staying on The Palm. We wanted to check it out as we’re going to start looking for a place to buy in December. It’s a super nice area + having access to the beach is magical, but the area isn’t very walkable, + it feels like we’re in the middle of a row of beach resorts. So, the Marina it is! We love architecture over there, walking + scootering around the harbor, + visiting our fave biohacking gym, Formation, for a midday pick-me-up.
I’m one step closer to finalizing my banking but not all the way so that’s a huge bummer.
Okay…that’s everything I got for the past 4 weeks.
I hope I left you wanting more, because the bucket list experiences just keep popping off all summer long!
Here’s a lil sneak peek of the next 4 weeks. We’re driving a Porsche across five European countries including the Autobahn in Germany. Meandering around the South of France near Bordeaux, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice, + maybe Monaco if we’re feeling frisky. Actually running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. And…exploring San Sebastian in Northern Spain.We can’t wait to take you with us!
You won’t want to miss it!
VIDEOS YOU’LL LOVE
I had the best time celebrating 4th of July in Michigan. We did all the things and then some. We went on the boat, paddle boarded, got our day + glow in the dark yoga on, explored downtown Ann Arbor + Detroit, went to the Van Gogh exhibit, did something very illegal, had a cannabis inspired meal, I e-foiled for the first time, watched the fireworks through heart glasses, had an epic dance party in the basement, watched movies in onesies, watched my friends in awe spinning poi + fire, + released Chinese lanterns with the word “Beautiful” on it, since this isn’t a word I typically use to describe myself.
Check it out for yourself!
Even cooler was our trip to Venice Italy where Cameron PROPOSED! This trip also marked the start of us being fully nomadic.
TRAVEL HACK OF THE MONTH
I absolutely LOVE my packing cubes from Peak Design. I can fit ~3 pairs of Lulu Align Yoga Pants + ~4 pairs of Lulu Align Yoga Joggers in one small packing cube. I use another one for all my shirts, bras, socks, underwear, bathing suit, + hat. The compression part is MONEY! Plus, they have a lifetime guarantee. BONUS TIP: In order to maximize compression even more, put both small cubes [after they’re full] inside the medium size cube + zip em up!
BIO HACK OF THE MONTH
Last month, I shared the importance of eating a savory vs. sweet breakfast. I also gave you a bonus hack of drinking a glass of water with ½ a squeezed lemon + 1 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar first thing in the morning before breakfast or your morning coffee. It’s great for your liver + glucose levels. Did you test this out? If so, I’d love to hear your experience. It’s been a game changer for me personally.
This month, I’ll share the right order to eat your food. This promotes sustained energy throughout the day. So, no more reaching for the sweets, coffee, or vending machine junk food.
Back in Nov 2022, I was in pre-diabetic range. I was eating lots of rice in India + Bhutan, snacking on protein bars [junk food disguised as healthy – NOT], + eating acai bowls every morning in Dubai. Not good. My energy + mood was all over the place. I needed to make a change + fast. This book started me down a healthy rabbit hole: Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspé. I feel so much better + have implemented so many more things I’ll be sharing with you over the coming months.
Glucose Revolution has ~10 hacks, but I’ll summarize the most important one. The order you eat your food in for every single meal.
- First, eat your fiber rich foods like veggies [excluding fruit]
- Second, eat your fats + proteins
- Third, eat your starches + carbs
- Lastly, eat your sugars within 30-40 mins of finishing your meals [fruits fall in this category]
- I encourage you to read the book for the rest of the hacks + learning the science behind each hack. I promise, it’s the least sciencey health book I’ve ever read. Jessie isn’t trying to overhaul your entire diet. She keeps your diet relatively the same but has you make small tweaks throughout the day to optimize your energy. I don’t know about you, but I was ready to off the nasty glucose rollercoaster!
- Jessie’s Instagram is AMAZING as well. She runs tons of experiments + shares the results. It’s pretty wild! Definitely follow her. She’s an amazing human + is positively impacting millions of people’s lives.