When it all comes down to it... when you're old and reminiscing on the "good ole days" with your equally wrinkled (but still smoking hot) babe by your side, pictures are the only thing you'll have to look back on and share for generations to come. I can think of no better gift than captured moments in time and this is what has really sparked my love for what I do. If you are looking for artistry and adventure, look no further.
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Hi, I’m Alyson: the gal behind the lens! Oh, and I’m also the lucky one who gets to capture your love story! At a young age, I initially fell in love with photography as an art form for self-expression, and over the years my love for photography has morphed into the ultimate storytelling tool.
March 31, 2020
I type this having “self-isolated” (a term that I would very much like to never utter again) for the past 2 weeks straight and find myself in desperate need of a mental escape. If you’re reading this currently you’ll know we’re amidst a global pandemic known as the Coronavirus (also a word I’d be happy never hearing again). Fair warning: this blog very quickly turned into a sort of therapeutic overshare of my trip to Mexico and I’m pretty sure I’m only posting it because I’m going slightly insane from prolonged isolation (and also on my third glass of wine).
S T RA N G E T I M E S am I right?!
Ok. Let’s start at the beginning:
This trip was a spontaneous one. And by spontaneous I mean I booked it seven days before I left. And yes, there was a boy involved.
You see, 2 weeks before I left, I ran into an old… friend. Except “friend” isn’t even an accurate word. He was the brother of a guy I briefly saw last year and I met him once while we were all out at a bar. What word do you use to call that??
For the sake of brevity, I’ll just say the guy I saw last year left quite an impression on me. And he and his brother are very close. Like, live in the same 4-runner traveling the country for two years type of close. So I knew about him.
So when I saw said brother (we’ll call him Dan) at the coffee shop a few weeks back I was thrown off guard. You see, neither said brothers live in St. Pete, let alone on the east coast.
I knew he knew who I was and I was purposefully avoiding any glances in his direction to ensure our eyes would not meet and that awkward conversation would not ensue. But then I saw him again the next day (st Pete’s a small town, ok!). The shock having less of an effect, I was being less aloof.
I walked up to say bye to a friend (who was located next to said brother), exchanged a glance, and he struck up a conversation with me.
I believe it went something like,
Dan: “… You’re that gir-“
Me: “You’re Max’s brotherrr…”
We started talking about van life and traveling and he was funny and cute and yes I gave him my number and yes we planned to hangout the next day.
I didn’t plan this. Or at least not consciously.
It turns out Dan is a very cool guy. And it is not often that I like someone. He was here for a week and we hung out and talked and I had never felt more seen and blah blah blah. I’ll remain brief and just say that I liked this guy. I didn’t want to, nor expect to, but here we were.
Before he left, we joked about me visiting him in Mexico (did I mention he’s a digital nomad?). I warned him not to joke because I would actually come.
As you can guess from the title of this blog, I went.
Now, I wasn’t going just for this man. No no. Was he a perfect excuse for a spontaneous trip to Mexico? Yes. Did I build up a romantic idea of how the trip would go in my head? Also yes.
But I do know better than to put all my eggs in one basket– I did this once when I was 16 in Germany with a boy and had my heart broken into lots of tiny pieces– so I was not about to follow a guy. Instead, I made my own trip out of it and “stopped by” in Mexico City to see him.
No commitment. Alyson keeps her independence. Perfect recipe.
Now, about that romantic idea: The day before I left I had a sort of epiphany during a friend therapy session and realized I have a pattern and that I was about to repeat said pattern. Determined to not go down a rabbit hole, I got on that plane with a new intention; romantic idea tossed out the metaphorical window ( I had an aisle seat).
If I thought Florida Dan was cool, Mexico Dan was fucking suave. ( Can you be suave or does one have suave? …I think it’s the latter but you get the point.)
To preface, he’s one of those people who say they’re not good at something and then proceeds to be amazing at said thing. Example: He told me he dabbled in singing and then proceeded to belt out a full opera. But whatever.
Back to Mexico.
Being in a new city and not knowing the language (and when your blond hair makes any attempt at at least pretending to integrate virtually impossible), a sense of vulnerability ensues. So it’s easy to like the first person who seems to have any hint of direction or confidence. Mexico City was/is Dans second home. He knows that place like the back of his hand and it did not help my new intention of not falling in love. So instead I focused on the city.
I’ll admit, its easy to love Mexico City. Once you get past the smog and the fact that the whole place somehow constantly smells of sewage, you’ll find a very pleasant mix of Barcelona meets Berlin with a Mexican twist.
We rode a vespa around the city– the bright blue ones you can rent that practically scream GRINGO– and I quickly fell in love with that place. The trees were blooming in February as if springtime was a yearlong event and the food was unlike anything I’ve experienced– I had tacos every day for six days and not once did I grow tired of them.
But rather than continuing to use words, I’ll pause this story and let the photos speak for theirselves.
*As a photographer, I apologize for the lack of amazing pictures. I was a bit distracted and only had 19 hours. Hopefully my overshare into my personal life makes up for it.*
Ok see you at the end.
Ok we’re back. Mexico is dreamy. Dan has nice boots and a cool shoulder bag. Hopefully you get the picture.
I believe I left you at falling in love with the city and not the boy. But the son of a bitch also plays guitar and has the voice of an angel and it was becoming increasingly difficult.
As if the universe was wanting to play a cruel karmic joke on me, it turns out, in the two weeks that went by since Dan had left St. Pete and I came to Mexico, he had met someone. He told me on the first night at dinner and I forced a smile and told him how happy I was for him.
And while I had tossed my romantic idea out of the metaphorical window, I realized in that moment that it is not what I wanted at all. Was it just a bruised ego or did I actually really like this guy? I don’t know. Probably both.
But as I mentioned before, I did not just come for the boy. So I bottled up my self pity and got on a plane the next day to spend 5 days on the coast (which will be its own blog post). And honestly, that trip was life-changing (and has way better pictures and features beautiful surfer dudes).
But back to Mexico City.
On the last night of my trip, for a second, I did let myself fall. Perhaps it was the romanticism of being in Mexico and having just come back from this amazing solo trip, or perhaps it was the four margaritas we had that night or his stupidly beautiful voice singing Joni Mitchell songs but I felt it nonetheless.
I guess I’m realizing it can be all of those things. And that it’s ok to fall. And that maybe I should steer clear from brothers.
I write this comedically because you can only be sad and poetic and introspective for so long. But heartbreak, however big or small (in this case a small case), is universal and maybe this made you laugh or maybe you could resonate. Either way, I’m glad you’re here.
Dan (but not dan) if you’re reading this… I think you knew all of this already so maybe you at least got a confidence boost.
Not Dans Brother: I really didn’t mean to fall for your brother. Slim pickings in st Pete. You guys have strong genes.
Ok. I’m out of wine. Tune in next week (or whenever I feel like sharing) for part II: all things Puerto Escondido which honestly is far better than this story;)
Stay safe out there