October 20, 2017

To Fuel Your Wanderlust — Top Five Reasons Why You Should Sign up for a Photography Workshop Hosted Outside Your Hometown

“Never allow waiting to become a habit. LIVE your dreams and take risks. LIFE is happening now.”
– Jelly Wong of Lifehack.com
Passion, dreams and aspiration. This is where it all begins.

I am a hopeless dreamer. A hopeless daydreamer with a wanderlust heart. I can close my eyes and get lost in a beautiful, beautiful world of endless possibilities.

So, to wake up one day and realize that something I imagined, daydreamed about, and envisioned, is now a reality? Oh boy, it's a massive rush of adrenaline!!!

I was enormosuly excited to attend the food photography and styling workshop by the gorgeous Aran Goyoaga. Aran in person was as good as I though she would be, and a shade better. Our time together smelled of rain and laughter and burnt carrots and freshly baked gluten-free pastries. I was blown away by the beauty around me. My creative spirits were awakened and doing the blissfully happy dance.

Aran is such a gracious and lovely soul. I watched her prepare simple food like burnt carrots with labneh, roasted chickpeas, and apricot galette. We talked ISOs and apertures and DOFs. I was fascinated by the beautiful ingredients she used and her flair for food styling. We photographed together, she critiqued my pictures, and then we sat down to enjoy the meal, and talked about life.

I was so insanely inspired.

I always had an appetite to discover and learn. But I must admit that it is pretty challenging to endeavor to learn something new. It takes discipline, patience, resilience, commitment. And the most vital ingredient—passion. Not to mention, time.

Aran’s blog Cannelle et vanilla has been a favourite of mine for some time. It was 7 years ago, in late-December, that I first hit publish on the Blogger platform. I still remember the restless days and sleepless nights. It was a time when I had taken a break from the corporate world and I had the time to focus on my personal interests and passions. But, my self-esteem was a little low. I was insecure and inexperienced. At the same time, terribly excited.

You cannot image how creating this blog has changed my life—both personally and professionally. It is a creative outlet and connection to the world. A platform to share my passion, and pen my thoughts. A medium to meet other great creatives and bloggers from all around the globe. It has given me exposure, got me noticed. My work has been featured in local and international publications. I made it to a few top lists—like this, and got impossibly exciting shutouts—like this. My pictures got exhibited—few time in Doha, and once in NY too. And there were many other beautiful happenings, but I digress.

I have admired Aran’s work for such a long time that I couldn’t believe that I was sitting down to a delicious homemade lunch in her studio, 7000 miles away from where I live. It was a surreal experience. 

We exchanged life stories, thoughts, experiences, discussed and debated our points of view, and shared many moments of laughter and meal. I was so insanely inspired. It is not every day that you get to hang out with your favorite food blogger who lives in another part of the world; cooking, styling, photographing and chitchatting with her.

At the end of the class, Aran signed a copy of her first cookbook, Small Plates & Sweet Treats, with a personal inscription—such a thoughtful takeaway gift.   

Aran lives in the West Cost of the US, in Seattle, one of the coolest American cities that I have visited. It was my first time in the Emerald city and I utterly fell in love. 

A vibrant, urban city in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington, Seattle offers the best of all worlds: picturesque mountains, rich food culture, knock-out good coffee at every nook and corner (my favourite blend was the chai tea latte from Seattle's Best Coffee), and an awesome skyline. Seattle earns its nickname as Emerald City due to the lush evergreen forests of the area. It is the city that nurtured tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft, and is home to internationally famous companies like Starbucks, Cinnabon, Boeing, Expedia, Cray, Getty Images, clammsmate.com, Nordstrom, Costco—to name a few. It is the city that invented grunge music, oh yes! The truth in a nutshell is that Seattle inspires creatives to create. 

As they say, a picture conveys a thousand worlds. So scroll all the way down to see few of my favourite pictures from this vibrant city, and you’ll see why I fell in love.

The workshop with Aran has fueled my passion to travel, learn and grow.

Are you inspired to enroll for a photography workshop? Then read on.

Top Five Reasons Why You Should Sign up for a Photography Workshop Hosted Outside Your Hometown.

1. To Satisfy Your Wanderlust

We all have wanderlust. For those of you with an itchy feet, this is the perfect opportunity for travel. Just enrol for a workshop in a wildly beautiful location and catch a flight to awaiting adventures! Learning starts the minute you cross the border and set foot on an exotic locale. It is quite enriching. And the excitement of going to far-off places, ahh. Just exhilarating.

2. Break from Routine

Travelling gives us breathing space. When you break free from routine, you get more time to focus on "you", focus on learning. When you are away from home, you don't need to dash out the door for your next appointment—right? You have the luxury to slow down to savor every moment, and linger a little longer.

3. For the Social Aspect

More than anything, you will treasure the social interactions. The beauty of meeting people in far away lands. People who share the same passion as you. People who understand the language of props and perfection, vintage silverware and unglazed plates. You will treasure the friendships developed over photographic conversations. That alone will make it very rewarding.  

4. Shoot Dream Holiday Snapshots

Google your location before you travel and get ready to take stunning travel snapshots. Snapshots of breathtaking places and picture-perfect sceneries—be it cliched or hidden-gems. What more? You inspire others, by sharing your story and pictures with the rest of the world!

5. Travel Makes You Happier

When you travel, you lose yourself, and then you find yourself. Somewhere between the lost and found, it hits you that you are genuinely happy. Do more and more of what makes you happy. After all, we have one life.

The point is, why settle for average when you can combine your passion for learning with adventure to far-off places? It's all a question of how you can make it happen. 

There are tons of workshops out there. Go—go for it!! 

And before I bid adieu, let me share two more of my favorite quotes.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in you sails. Explore. DREAM. Discover.”
– Mark Twain.

Original Starbucks store in Pike Place is the first Starbucks store, established in 1971
Delicious turmeric latte from Fresh Flours
UW, University of Washington campus
View from the Space Needle observation deck

Amazing view of the skyline from Kerry Park on the slope of Queen Ann Hill
Who says only birds can get a bird's eye view? Scenic seaplane tour by Kenmore Air 

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of PURPOSE and imaginative VISION against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
– Cecil Beaton.


  1. Wow so many stunning photos and such a great read. Thanks for sharing Nashi. You have done so well and your such an inspiration.

    1. Aw Sally, it's so lovely to hear from you. You are an inspiration yourself. Thanks so much!

  2. Gorgeous pictures capturing Seattle so well.

    1. Thank you, Nadia! I love Seattle. It's such a beautiful city, my camera was doing overtime :)

  3. Loved every bit of the article! The pictures are mindblowing and the food photography looks even more amazing!

    1. Aw thanks so much, Sahar! ♥

  4. Enjoyed reading and for inspiring many to follow their dreams.Superb pictures !!!

    1. Thank you so much for the love, Gopika!

  5. Welcome back to blogging girl!! That was just a wonderful read and your photographs, as always, are beautiful!!

    Can't wait until you visit me in San Francisco, Insha'Allah =)

  6. Am really glad to see you back!! Keep posting Nash!! it was such a wonderful read!! It was a treat to see all those captures..


A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi