Preethi Chandrasekhar

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✈️ Chennai born, SF based wanderer 📸 I like to write & take photos 🌎 Living the life I imagined @acanelaexpeditions Ambassador

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I’m back at Yosemite National Park today! Can you recognize this view? I bet you won’t :) That’s because there is an extremely underrated area called the Hetch Hetchy valley in the National park that is just as stunning as the rest of the park. I went on this hike with Echo Adventure Cooperative who even has guided back country camping trips! And here is what I learnt: . ✅The Hetch Hetchy dam provides water to the SF Bay Area! ✅This was the home of the Miwok natives. Did you know native Americans used to actively burn forests to save them!? Before it was outlawed. And now we are recognizing managed fires IS the way to save our forests. For example the Sequoia seed will stay closed until the fire dries out the cone and then the seed pops out of the cone to become a Sequoia. ✅Unfortunately due to climate change, forests are burning at a faster rate than it’s healthy. ✅It’s been humbling to go out in nature realize Yosemite’s meadows are shrinking due to the lack of water. Lack of meadows will affect wildlife. . 📍We all have our role to play ...and ours is definitely not one of domination. It should be one of protection and preservation. Hiking this summer through National parks, forests and State parks I have seen how our land is changing. And it’s scary, sad and alarming. So make your voice be heard based on the issues - don’t be silent!!! . #visitcalifornia #ad #respectcalifornia #wanderfreely #visittuolumnecounty @visittuolumnecounty @visitcalifornia #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #yosemitevalley #yosemitenation #yosemitenps #nationalpark #nationalparkweek #nationalparkservice #nationalparkphotography #nationalparkgeek #yosemitenationalpark #hikingculture #hikingtheglobe #allaboutadventures #trekkingtoes #womenwhohike #sheswanderful #outside_project #outsidephotography @outsidemagazine @outside_project @outsidevoicespodcast @sheisnotlost @damestravel @womenwhohike @hikingbangers @wanderwomeninc @wearetravelgirls #womenhikers @yosemiteconservancy @yosemitenation #womenwhohike @nationalparkgeek @sheswanderful @trekkingtoes

California Gold Country: A Road Trip Guide

It also serves as the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding Sierra Foothill wine regions including Shenandoah Valley, El Dorado County’s Fairplay region and Calaveras County’s wine region. Just about 50 minutes away from Sutter Creek, between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, lies a little town called Murphys, also in California Gold Country. I met with Newsome Harlow Wines’ owner and winemaker, Scott Klann’s to understand how the historic gold rush town of Murphys turned into wine country. Don’t miss the Brown’s Coffee House and Sweets Saloon, the historic Park Hotel, Columbia Kate’s Teahouse, and the Fallon House Theater.

Ok as an Indian kid growing up in America, Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated by me and my parents simply for one reason: we grew up vegetarian so we didn’t eat Turkey :) And every year I’ve watched ads on tv where I see families sitting together at the table carving the big bird amongst lots of laughter and fun and that’s all I ever wanted for Thanksgiving! . One time I remember going to my cousins’ place for Thanksgiving and they made a vegetarian dinner followed by an actual trip to the mall for Black Friday sales :) Now that sort of felt like the Thanksgiving I used to see on tv. But usually, my partner and I make it a point to get away for Thanksgiving since it’s just the two of us. To us it’s now simply a holiday to be taken advantage of, where we can spend some time together. . If we aren’t able to get away then there’s always a friend’s place to go to for some type of a gathering. I still avoid the Turkey. Not a fan. But it’s the togetherness that I enjoy the most. There is no gathering this time but I can still find plenty to be grateful for. How are you celebrating today?

Fall Colors in Mammoth Lakes, California

Having lived in California for most of my life, I visited Mammoth Lakes for the first time this October, specifically to find fall colors. However, I explained at the kiosk that I had an airbnb reservation at Mammoth Lakes for fall colors and they made a one-time courtesy exception to let me through. Rock Creek Lake and Upper Rock Creek: About 28 minutes away from Convict Lake lies the road to Rock Creek. It’s very close to Hilton Lakes and is supposed to also have fall colors in Mammoth.

To satiate my thirst for learning and adventure and excitement I visited close to 15 countries last year. In contrast this year I visited 0 countries :) . ✅I instead satisfied my thirst for all those things right here in my own backyard. And that’s how I discovered Gold Country. Where you can STILL pan for gold! And frolick in nature like Boards Crossing. I have a new understanding of the area around me, a deeper appreciation for the variety California offers its residents, and I’ve rediscovered and embraced the concept of road trips. ✅Boards Crossing reminds me of classic California scenery. Everywhere I turned it felt like a painting. Swim, hike, chill - there’s so much space it’s easy to find your own and social distance. I bought this hammock by @wiseowloutfitters and simply looped it around two trees and spent the afternoon chilling here. Bliss. ✅Skip the crowds and discover this place for yourself - it’s a gem just few hours away from San Francisco! Stay at the nearby historical town of Murphys: this town may be small but it has a lot of hidden delights waiting to be found! I’ve saved my stories from this place in my Highlights including info on where to eat, stay, shop and play :) Sooo..who’s ready to pan for gold!? . #visitcalifornia #respectcalifornia #californialove #californialiving #californiaadventure #californiaroadtrip #sheisnotlost #damestravel #hikingadventures #allaboutadventures #hikingtheglobe #alpinebabes #girlwhotravels #wearetravelgirls #sheswanderful #browngirlblogger #womenwhoexplore #visitthestates #visittuolumnecounty #aaa_via #viaadventure #roamingwomen #yourshotphotographer #vistanow #discoverpage #welltravelledlife #hikingbangers #ngtindia #sfchronicle #wildbayarea

Backpacking in the Wilderness at Yosemite National Park

Backpacking in the wilderness means you carry all of your gear (sleeping bag, tent, bear canister to store food, clothes, stove, food, water) on your back to stay outside for a night or longer. If you’re backpacking in the wilderness at Yosemite National Park, please read up on the rules and regulations at that national park and familiarize yourself with the Leave No Trace ethics. While our wilderness campsite was North Dome, we stopped just before the trail that leads to North Dome and camped there. We could now see our campsite, Half Dome, North Dome and the Yosemite Valley below us.

“How can I get into nature photography and do what you do with a job?” - This is a question I get a lot in my dms. Here’s how I did it: 👇 . ✅Remote job: Pre covid, 10 years ago, I left the ambitious side of corporate America and joined agency life which is more flexible. I also negotiated a work from home deal. After I had proven myself working remotely for a year, I was able to work from anywhere. (Turn your dream into reality by believing it’s possible). ✅Time off work: I saved my pto for the trips where I won’t have WiFi like my trekking ones :) For the other trips, I worked remotely. I used to sightsee during the day and when it’s US hours I worked in my room . Some days I worked during the day and went out in the evenings. Yes this translated to long days. But it enabled me to travel a LOT. (You need a strong work ethic + passion to make this work). ✅Coaching: The blogging industry was new to me - I come from a traditional world of degrees and a job so I didn’t quite get the social media influencer world! So I took classes, worked with coaches through whom I met fabulous people in this industry who are still giving me their tips and tricks to navigate this world! (You need to invest in yourself). ✅Paid work: This industry is a hustle. Sometimes you pitch proactively to brands and tourism boards and sometimes they find you through social media. Figure out why they should work with you. What can you offer them? Some will pay you for campaigns and some will offer you press trips. (Set your own boundaries and know your value). ✅Nature Photography: I enjoy hiking for spectacular scenery. I also enjoy landscape photography. So it was natural for me to combine both. The more I went outside and took pics the more I learnt. You can take a class or watch YouTube videos or attend a workshop. But there is no substitute for you going out and using your camera consistently! Oh and learn and master an editing software like Lightroom or Photoshop! (This requires passion and commitment to learning). . 📍So tell me - how are YOU balancing both blogging/photography AND a job OR are you full time into this?

8 Day Itinerary to Annapurna Base Camp

In October 2019, my dream of trekking to Annapurna Base Camp (referred to fondly as ABC) came true, and I led a group of 9, in collaboration with First Light Adventure to ABC. The trek itself is an 8-day trek through varied landscape that culminates at the base of majestic peaks such as Annapurna 1 (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), Machapuchhre (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m). Pro Tip: From this tea house, you can already see the Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare (Nepal’s Matterhorn) peaks clearly. Today was a gorgeous hike that took us into the valley and upward to Machhapuchhare Base Camp, the last stop before our ascent to the Annapurna Base Camp.

*California Gold Country Road Trip Planning Itinerary! (𝙎𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧)! . I recently embarked on a road trip retracing the California Gold Country route through historic and charming old towns that still retain their old world charm + the great outdoors! I had no idea half these places even existed and I can’t recommend this road trip enough! I discovered so many hidden gems from cute inns to unique shopping to charming restaurants to stunning vineyards to the outdoors! The entire itinerary is now up on my blog (link in bio)! ☝️Here is my route: 👇(These can be broken down for a weekend getaway or done in an entire week)! Have you been to any of these spots below? . 1. SF > Placerville > Hike Mt Tallac in South Lake Tahoe 2. Hope Valley > Sutter Creek > Jackson 3. Angels Camp > Murphys > Hike Calaveras Big Trees State Park 4. Columbia State Park > Sonora > Jamestown > Hike Yosemite National Park . #visitcalifornia #respectcalifornia #trees #calaverascounty #calaverasbigtrees #lovingcalaveras #californiaroadtrip #goldcountry #treestreestrees #sequoianationalpark #sequoia #sequoias #afarmag #californialove #californiaadventure #californiaphotographer #californiaroadtrip #californiablogger #americanviews #nomadicnetwork #discoverearth #roadtrippin #roadtripusa #sfchronicle #vistanow #outdooradventures #outdoors #outdooradventures

It’s absolutely liberating and exciting to be able to straddle two different cultures. But on days like today...I struggle. . ✅I’m an American yet very much Indian. Having migrated to this country as a kid, I still remember my childhood in Chennai, India. And I visit often enough that it’s still home to me. And at times like this ..during the festival of Diwali that’s celebrated in India today....I feel the contrast, the confusion, the longing, even more. Not being able to be in India for Diwali, with family makes me feel wistful. Diwali to me means light, hope, family, togetherness. Instead today, I feel isolated. ✅Imagine waking up early morning to the sounds of firecrackers (like 4th of July here at night), a full-body oil bath, new clothes and tons of sweets (India has the most complex variety of sweets in the world:))! And then we visit all our relatives and exchange sweets :) Not the candy kind of sweets but ..other stuff I can’t even describe :) The pandemic has made international travel so complex ...not to mention I’m sure celebrations in India are also subdued. So even if I had gone to India right now, chances are I couldn’t have really mingled with a lot of family :) So...I video called the fam and ..wished everyone :) ✅That’s the thing about a home away from home. Sometimes I feel like I belong here, sometimes I feel like I belong neither here nor there. The outdoors has been a blessing in all this ..just getting outside helps change ones perspective and helps me shift to gratitude - for all the things I DO have and CAN do ;) Who else can relate to being a product of 2 cultures?! . 📍Yosemite National Park this fall . #yosemitenationalpark #yosemite #yosemitevalley #yosemitenp #yosemitenps #yosemitepark #yosemitenation #yosemitephotographer #yosemite_national_park #yourshotphotographer #tlpicks #nationalparkgeek #californialove #californiaadventure #californiaroadtrip #wildcalifornia_ #wildcalifornia #wearetravelgirls #roamingwomen #trekkingtoes #hikingadventures #hikingtheglobe #theoutbound #womenwhohike #alpinebabes #mountaingirls #indianbloggers #indianbloggercommunity #hikingbangers #theoutboundcollective

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