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Kirsten is a Los Angeles-based photographer and traveler seeking to inspire people to get out and learn through exploration. Audience prefers ethical and responsible travel as well as lifestyle subject-matter. Also at www.kirstenalanaphotography.com

Location Los Angeles, California West Coast
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Highlights

I’m sorry that the way I communicated made anyone feel bad due to the caption of my last post. I meant to be there for those who are struggling and feel they are doing so without adequate support. To, for a moment, consider the high, heartbreaking costs that we’re paying for any benefit of any size that this time might bring [to the planet, to human connectedness et al]. . I also seemed to fail in making it clear that I am in support of beauty, humor, hope, of staying busy - if that’s what works for you. We all handle difficult times differently. So many human beings needs these things to cope. I need these things to cope. . Who are you following online right now that’s providing what you need? And what are they doing that helps you? . I’m signing off from posting to my feed for a bit. This week and my own sickness — which may or may not be COVID-19 because there are *still* not enough tests here in LA for me to qualify to take one — took so much out of me that I feel more broken than ever. I tried to rest yesterday, and it wasn’t enough. I will still be here for anyone who needs me in DM. Especially those stuck in domestic abuse situations or who feel they don’t have support anywhere else. . Much love to all of you ❤️ Please #stayhome and stay safe + healthy.

7 Reasons to Visit San Francisco in 2020

It’s a city that’s been close to my heart for a long time and 2020 The world’s fastest sail racing vessels will decorate the Bay for what is sure to be a wonderful sight, whether you like to sail or just like to look. The same architect as New York City’s High Line (which I used to give tours of when I lived in NYC), is at the helm for the new Presidio Tunnel Tops park. What would be Fall elsewhere, is actually the city’s warmest year-round temperatures.

I find it difficult to post as a travel photographer right now. A strength of travel is that it can be something which helps us grow. But it, and social media, have an ugly side right now that I wasn’t fully aware of till I began to have deep conversations with followers this week. . They pointed out that many creators are focusing heavily on traveling again someday when someday isn’t guaranteed since people are dying. Others are pivoting towards focusing on this as a great opportunity for massive productivity, coming from a place of unacknowledged privilege. It’s triggering, depressing. It’s causing struggles with suicide. Because a few are now trapped with domestic abusers. Or are staying home with multiple kids while having to continue to work demanding jobs on top of now homeschooling. Some send partners who work in healthcare out the door, not knowing if they’ll come home. I’ve cried alongside followers who have already lost loved ones. I’ve heard from those who could be evicted in a few days because of a lack of income directly related to this. They don’t think any of this is an opportunity. . These followers say it’s hurtful to read tips about working from a home they may lose, workouts in a room filled with toys/laptops/school supplies/pets/laundry that’s not yet done. Or recipes to make with only what’s in a pantry when they’ll be lucky to manage boxed mac n cheese. . Yes it helps others to cope, focusing on productivity. But when the primary focus of that message appears to be for more likes or site traffic… when it appears to disregard the desperate hardships people are facing… the thousands dead and millions that might still die… when it seems to be portrayed as a staycation not a fight for lives… the Q has been asked, are we doing something wrong? Is what people need right now, to feel they are valued no matter what? Irregardless of how much they accomplish. Even if they don’t get off the couch or wear pajamas for a week or their kids watch TV instead of finishing math lessons. . I’ve erred too. I can do better. I am starting with this post: to say if you’re struggling, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And it’s ok that you are struggling. You are loved anyway.

Small Business Saturday: What and Where to Buy

even though it doesn’t benefit authors as directly as purchasing from an Independent Bookseller, you can see the rest of my favorite books, mostly authored by friends and colleagues, via my Amazon list. — Jodi of the Legal Nomads travel blog, sells tees and posters and is offering 15% off till Dec 8 with code HOLIDAYSALE19 at her online shop. Small Business Saturday was created for the purpose of encouraging holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. Small Business Saturday occurs annually on the Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving in the USA.

Because of personal and professional events, I’ve managed to schedule almost two months of time in Europe late this Spring and into early Summer starting with a visit to the country featured in this photo, the Czech Republic. It’s a prospect that fills me with such joy that sometimes it, plus an upcoming return to Scotland, are the only things I need to keep going in a day. Knowing these trips are on the horizon. The last time I was able to do more than a month at a time abroad was pre-2013, when I was still nomadic. I still have almost a month of time to finish scheduling and I don’t know what Europe will even be like with virus news and an EU in the throws of Brexit and just, you know, life. It’s actually a ways off and making plans this far in advance for the first time in this long, can be frightening. But I’m taking the leap all the same because the one thing I believe more than anything in 2020 is: nothing is ever guaranteed. Take the leap anyway, work hard to make things happen believing that hard work will be rewarded. Sitting at home and worrying just won’t help or change a single damn thing 💥

Dia de Muertos: what it is and how to experience it in Los Angeles

Day of the Dead is the English translation of El Día de los Muertos or Día de los Muertos. Regardless of the exact title, Day of the Dead is an important Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors deceased loved ones. During Día de Los Muertos, the dead temporarily return to earth and the festival celebrates love and respect for deceased family members, and allows the living to make offerings to their lost loved ones. She is offered as a satirical portrait of those Mexican natives who, Posada felt, were aspiring to adopt European aristocratic traditions in the pre-revolution era After her invention by Posada, Diego Rivera took the image of the Calavera Garbancera and improved her looks.

So this staying at home thing isn’t easy is it. Right about now I’m thinking of all the countries I’ve been to, like India pictured here, and thinking I’d give a limb just to be free to travel again. BUT then the pain in my chest and throat, the difficulty drawing each breath, brings me painfully back to the present and I remember that because so many of us didn’t stay home earlier and aren’t properly staying home now, we’ve overwhelmed our healthcare systems and we can’t even help everyone who might have this 🦠 now... and so so many of us can’t even get tested to know if we have it or just have something else that’s making us miserably 😷🤒🤮.... and I’m ok staying home. • I hope you are too. Because if your life doesn’t depend on it, someone else’s might. And no not just your grandparents or someone you can’t relate to. It might be someone you love dearly. But that your actions could cause anyone else to get sick is what should keep you home. • So I asked you all to share with me what you’re watching while you #stayhome and there were some fantastic responses. Almost 30 suggestions for you are now archived in the 📽 ‘WATCH’ 📽 highlight on my profile. I think I’m going to do books next, because if there was ever a time for us 📚 bibliophiles 📚 to indulge our love of reading and not feel guilty we should be doing other things well baby this is it.... 😉😘❤️ • • • #discovertheworldfromhome right now

A Guide to Visiting Franconia Germany

Germany Tourism invited me to Franconia for the purposes of understanding the area as a wine region. Where to Go in Franconia Bürgstadt, Miltenberg, Sommerach, Volkach, Iphofen and Königsberg are smaller towns, alternative to the larger cities. Weingut zur Schwane – Beautiful, traditional tavern with excellent food and an attached hotel. Gutshof Andres is 300 + years of family tradition in culinary arts with the addition of modern, cozy rooms in a new building across the road from the family home, as well as traditional holiday suites with kitchens.

I had a very German day here at home in LA yesterday, reminding me of moments from past trips to 🇩🇪 like this one in Königsberg. It started with @dante.vincent making delicious Schnitzel [like a pro I might add because his father taught him and his dad was the best cook], followed by an evening with @germanytourism We gathered @rockenwagnerbakery to see how their various ovens and dedicated employees produce millions of delectable pretzels, loafs of bread, pastries and more to be sold all over the city and So Cal. The smell was divine, there are few foods I ❤️ more than 🥖🍞🥐 so to be surrounded by so much, coming straight out of the oven, was almost torturously fun! . Owner Hans Röckenwagner is originally from Swabia in Germany and kindly spent his Saturday evening teaching us how to make Bavarian-style pretzels. They’re one of my favorite treats when I’m in Europe and to know I can now get them here in Los Angeles makes it a little easier to be so far away from my favorite continent. I always love learning and it was so fun to get hands on with the dough and try our hand at knotting, twisting and pulling like the pros do. It’s a lot harder than it looks! . Bread plays a very important role in German culture. The world-famous and popular German bread is sold in over 3,000 different varieties and I’ve never had a meal there that some type of bread wasn’t a part of. So it makes sense that the culture of German bread was awarded the status of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2014. I left our get together with a bag full of the pretzels we made & a recipe for home. But you too can experience what we did wherever you are, when you use the #GermanBrotzeit Amazon Alexa skill. (I share the link in my Story Highlight: 🇩🇪🥨) It allows you to bake 16 regional German bread specialties & the Bavarian pretzel is included. Why 16? For the 16 states that make up the country of Germany. . Thank you @kelleyferro for inviting me. I was required as a member of the Voyagers Club to share either Stories or a post in my feed and I’m doing both because I enjoyed it all so much 😍🥰🤩

right before covid-19 began in earnest to spread through the USA, right before I realized it was truly irresponsible to travel anymore for however long this lasts, I was up in Canada for a few days with @VW and my friend Scotty of @agirlsguide2cars test driving the new Atlas Cross Sport • I’d managed to post about it in Stories in a way I hope wasn’t icky (enthusiastic yes, but that was genuine because I’m already such a lifelong fan of VW and BC is my favorite province) but every time I sat down to pen this post, suddenly I felt ashamed posting about anything even remotely sponsored. And though this isn’t in the sense that I’m required to post (I’m not) or being paid to promote (I’m not), the trip was free for me and the brand is one I want to continue to have a relationship with because they’ve always been a part of my life and my family’s life. Ever since I was brought home from the hospital in an orange Beetle. So I wanted to mention the trip. And the car (which is awesome). But how to do it? • And then I realized, sure people aren’t out buying cars right now in earnest and we sure aren’t traveling. • But we will be again one day. And when we do all those things again, it’s important to remember we’re supporting businesses run by people. People just like us. Big or small, every industry runs on human beings who need other human beings to survive. There’s a fair amount of discourse right now about the ugliness of capitalism, especially as greed informs decisions people make at the top. But it’s the world we have. And while it’s not always pretty, it’s one run by people just like us on the bottom who need jobs to feed their families, to keep roofs over their heads, to just survive. • It’s easy to get ugly about ads and brands and spending at a time like this but it all — if we do it right — ends up supporting people just like us. So let’s give a little more grace. And when, or if, we go back to “normal” let’s try to keep in mind that consumerism doesn’t have to be ugly if we are mindful of how and where we spend our money. We can choose to be mindful consumers.