The spontaneous offer of a trip to Brazil in August was the opportunity of a lifetime and I jumped on it. I travel often, but I hadn’t taken a vacation in years. August is a slower month for models, so the timing was just right. On top of that, this summer had been the wildest ride of my entire life. I had lost my agency, my apartment, and a dear friend. I needed the time away from my rituals and routines and for once I could take it.
After a redeye to Rio, I was enjoying a piping hot sandwich and a smoothie from the best local açaí stand on the Ipanema beach. From there, I traveled to a music festival in Pipa. Jazz poured through the windows of my private bungalow at night. Then I went to Fernando de Noronha, a remote Brazilian island in the Atlantic Ocean. Inhabitants of the island are limited to a mere 420, leaving a pristine paradise of untouched beaches that I could enjoy in complete seclusion. This, I thought, is where people go to put some distance between themselves and their lives.
My day to day life is a constant adrenaline rush, even if I were to have no castings and not exercise. It was only after getting away from it all that I could actually reflect on myself. In the middle of nowhere without cell or wifi service, I found myself thinking of friends I’d lost touch with. It was only there that I realized how much I missed them. I wanted to hear from them or, at least, tell them how important they are to me. Given some time where nothing needed to get done, I realized how much I had lost touch with my goals in life. I had been too wound up with my immediate needs to notice. In a place where I couldn’t really fall into my normal exercise routine, I saw how dependent I was on it as a form of release. I wasn’t giving myself enough opportunity to recover to actually benefit physically from much of the work I was doing.
In general, without proper rest, there is no recovery. I’ve been trying to write about my modeling career and modeling in general. It’s been like grasping at feathers floating midair. Lately, I’ve been completely involved in the issues and incidents I want to capture. As I furiously swiped at them, they’d slip from my grip by inches. As I meandered through overgrown dirt roads of Brazil, however, those issues came to rest. In my new home in Brooklyn, they’re now here before me, ready to be swept onto my tablet.