In October 2018, I embarked on my first international ‘vacation’. I had been feeling the travel bug for many many years, but have never been financially free to pursue my dream of being a globe-trotter. I am by no means rich – in a financial sense, I am rich in many other ways – but this year I made sure to squirrel aside the funds to chase a dream: to run away with the circus.
I heard about this crazy group of ragtag artists online. A group of digitally nomadic circus freaks and geeks that travel the world, popping up shop across the globe to bring together a community of like-minded weirdos with a shared passion for grabbing life by the horns. This group, called Momentom Collective, is run by a duo of fiercely passionate women who unapologetically create the reality they want to witness.
Traveling abroad has always been a goal – but one that, alone, seemed like an unscalable mountain. When I got wind of this collective, I knew that it would the best opportunity to get my travelling toes wet, and expand my new passion for circus arts.
I immediately submitted an application to be a part of their artist residency in Indonesia. When the acceptance email came in, I remember having a mini-crisis about how long my stay should be. It was my first time taking an extended leave from my business, and I harboured a lot of anxiety about that. In the end, I stayed with Momentom for 14 days, and travelled in Bali solo for another week.
That time away changed my life in more ways than I could have ever anticipated.
After touching down in Bali, and travelling via propeller plane to the remote island of Sumbawa, I found myself in a taxi with a stranger who barely spoke the same language. What ensued was simultaneously the most beautiful and terrifying two hour car ride of my life. Sharing only the language of laughter and wild hand gestures, we still managed to connect and tell jokes to one another for the duration of the harrowing journey. Shaken, but spirits high, I arrived to the collective in the late hours of the evening. Greeted instantly by my new family, I found myself being embraced by strangers who felt more like long-lost cousins. I had arrived home.
I came to Momentom with the intention of training and honing in on my Lyra skill-set. I of course had secondary goals of teaching workshops, relaxing, connecting with others, and trying new things. Of course, the biggest take away was not something I had ever imagined or could have foreseen. After two weeks surrounded by some of the most beautiful, grounded, and inspiring souls I have had the pleasure of meeting, my life trajectory had entirely course corrected itself. Arriving at Momentom, I was a shy business owner who feared human touch, looking disparately to connect and grow. Leaving Momentom, I was a self-aware introvert with a new penchant for cuddle puddles, passionately seeking my next journey of fulfilment and enlightenment through travel and collaboration.
The Art of Touch
If you know me, you’ll know I’m not the most touchy feely person outside of a romantic relationship. The art of platonic touch was something lost to me. Enter: Severn. A woman who holds space for others in a way I have never encountered before. During my stay, she hosted a workshop called the art of touch – a workshop that, for the duration of one hour, you simply touch and explore your partner. I was terrified, and knew I had to participate. This hour long journey of touch, feel, curious and non-sexual exploration of another body instilled a deep appreciation for connection through touch. This workshop wasn’t the only gift I received from this woman – during my stay she presented me with gifts of laughter, love, empowerment, and the beautiful gift of artistic collaboration. My first dabble into destination boudoir.
Fulfilment through Collaboration
In my ‘regular’ day life, it is not uncommon to feel isolated. Working from home, alone, spending countless hours with no one for company – with the exception of my dog – can definitely take it’s toll on me and wear me down some days. The importance of artistic connection has become paramount. It was a concept I already knew, but have the unfortunate habit of forgetting much too easily. Collaborating with other artists encourages me to step outside my usual comfort limits - to try something new. To see ideas from a different perspective. My second encounter with collaboration on my trip was much the same. Gabrielle is the founder of this wondrous collective of freaks and geeks – full of divine feminine energy, I had the honour of watching and even facilitating spaces where this incredible woman could step outside her comfort zone and explore a sensual form of energy. In return, among many many other things, she gave me clarity. She gave me a space in which the blind-folds of my regular life were removed, and I could see that my life and my reality could be shaped however I wanted them to be. For that, and for her beautiful kindness and incredible energy, I will always hold her dear to my heart.
The Divine Masculine
My work brings me very close to a lot of beautiful feminine energy – my client base is largely women identifying. I work a lot with holding space and facilitating an exploration of the divine feminine energy. It’s not to say that I don’t work with men, or masculine energy. It is just a smaller sliver of the clients I get to work with. When I do meet men who are in touch with their masculinity in a way that opposes societies toxic patterns… magic happens. These men I look up to adore. The men who integrate both femininity and masculinity into their being in a way that they exist in a state of harmony and openness. Our culture enforces a box on the men in our world in a way that is deeply harmful and damaging. At Momentom, I was surrounded by masculine energy that had broken down those boxes. The men who were a part of this collective are those who will change the world – showcasing and embodying what the world needs to flourish. This amazing human was one of those men.
‘The rise of the feminine within us all will heal our world.’
The Divine Feminine
The juiciest and most rewarding part of this journey was the inspiring women who embodied their feminine sides, as well as the men who incorporated and played with this parallel energy inside themselves. I spent a lot of time diving into sensuality, movement, and reflecting on the word ‘eroticism’ and how it integrates itself in both my life and my art. I was blown away by the openness and willingness of everyone to try new things, absorb different points of view, and share their knowledge with one another. I was beyond honoured with the enthusiasm in which my classes and workshops were received - an honour that I have taken into my core. Teaching and sharing insight was something I profoundly loved doing – and plan on doing more of in the future.
I have so many beautiful memories surrounded by laughing women. My most profound and savoured memory was shared with two of the most beautiful souls I have met, chanting naked in the sea as the moon kissed our skin from above. These moments, both the larger juicy ones, and the smaller intimate and fleeting ones, healed my heart in ways I didn’t know I needed. It revitalized and invigorated my very core. It really reminded me why I do the work I do, and just how much feminine energy fills my cup and inspires me to continue to grow.
The short 21 days I spent abroad ripped me open and introduced new concepts in a way I wasn’t expecting. I know that this will not be my last stay with Momentom, nor will it be my last foray into travelling abroad solo. If anything my take away was how much I loved collaborating, creating art, and holding space for people in a different part of the world. I will be manifesting my dream reality, as inspired by this incredible collective of artists. So, hey. If you want a destination boudoir photographer to document your next vacation, to capture those images during your once-in-a-lifetime experience: hi! Let’s document your journey together.