What Happens When You Take a Company Offsite to Mexico

Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
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Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen | Photographer + Writer

Tulum, Mexico

Where was the greatest place you’ve ever awoken at? Was is your grandmother’s cozy muffin-ridden guest room, a tropical cruise stateroom, or an expansive space tapping between dreaming and the day? Perhaps it’s a hazy space that puts the guest in the wonder of wherever life will take you; space where reality has yet to creep into sudden change. Villa H20, a boutique hotel nestled between palm trees and grass cabanas that the Moment family stayed at in Tulum, feels like you’ve never left that first moment between sleep and awake. It felt unreal — the melting of land and sea, the ethereal mixing of the senses.

Remote culture means hustling in even the most exotic of locations; toying with some perpetual vacation syndrome — even the easiest of days means waking up at the crack of dawn to go heads down on support, write product copy, or photoshop graphic renders. Then, as soon as the warm afternoon sun blankets the jungle, we set out for an adventure. Perhaps it’s a catamaran ride splashing against the cozy Caribbean seas or an expedition to the famous turquoise cenotes just across the horizon. Whichever we choose — Moment plays hard.

Many times, us humans want our tender moments to be temporarily unbothered. We wish to escape the violent snarl of a 9-5, the dreariness of routine, and the fidgety nature of everyday life. Much like the moon, we want to rip through ever-changing tides to feel full again, like escaping amongst the panthers in the jungles of Mexico. These natural blessings create a heightened sense of awareness, leaving our souls replenished and full. With a large group of nearly 40 individuals searching for that same purpose, there comes an inevitable bond between work and play.

If you talk about doing something for long enough, you’ll come to a point whether you either have to see it through or let it go. The fantasy of taking a company-wide offsite to an exotic international destination was one of those things. Intending to drive our revenue 2x over a year ago, we mustered the drive to ramshackle that very opportunity.

Mexico is a fascinating place where leisure exists, which is why we quickly jumped on the invitation as soon as we had the idea. It reminds us that we’re happier, stronger, and more focused when we bond together as a team in a thoughtfully curated and gently placed landscape that exists in harmony with nature.

New Journal Post on Norway

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The Lofoten Islands | Discovering Norway's Unbeatable Beauty

Norway is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful countries on planet Earth. The vast mountainous backdrops, snow-capped vistas across the horizon, vibrant hues from the aurora borealis, and a stunning cap to the remarkable simplicity that is Oslo city. Travelers from around the globe come and witness and photograph Norway's absolute beauty, but some of the most gorgeous spots you'll see lite deep within the Lofoten Islands, located just North of the Arctic Circle. You'll never forget your first approach to the islands' gaping epicness; their tall, craggy profiles stand against the sky like some spiky sea dragon. The beauty of this place is just staggering.

Read my new journal post on Norway, link here.

Open Roads

Natalie Allen - Travel Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen - Travel + Lifestyle Photographer
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Natalie Allen - Travel Photographer + Writer
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The Unlikely in the Desert

I’ll be a desert rat until my last breath; we ripped through Joshua Tree’s open road for hours against burnt skies, shared beers at a local saloon, and told stories of childhood in the unlikely corners of our home states. It was perfect.

Caleb, Niles, Taylor, and myself did a kickass video / photo shoot for Moment’s latest Tele 58mm campaign, you should check it out. No offense or anything, but I’ve got the best job in the world.

Verde Hot Springs

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Trippy & Hippy

I’ve been wanting to visit Arizona’s infamous hippy, trippy Verde Hot Springs for forever. Reyce has visited only once before (and still tells the story of how he had the worst “high” in his entire life on the banks of the Verde River), but carved some time to take me earlier this month.

I mean… look at this place. It’s grungy and a bit dirty, but worth every naked fleeting moment. The walls are covered in unique hand-painted drawings that range from wierd to weirder. Near our campsite, we fleshed conversations with older folks living out the #vanlife with their trusty steeds (dogs).

Snapped little snippets of our time on 120 film… medium format is gorgeous, isn’t it? I don’t even bother with my digital anymore.

Soaring the Caribbean

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Natalie Allen - Travel Photographer + Writer
Natalie Allen - Travel Photographer and Writer
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Natalie Allen - Travel Photographer + Writer
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Turks & Caicos, The Bahamas, and The Dominican Republic

“Cruises are for total normies”, I’d whisper to my red-headed firecracker gal pal, KJ, as we boarded the Carnival Breeze in Orlando’s stuffy Port Carneval. The carpeted staircase leading to Deck 8 towards our stateroom number smelled of fresh Lemon Pinal with a running line of children anxious to hit the lido deck. We meandered through the crowded halls, bumping shoulders with passengers in search for the nearest cocktail on board.

A nice, strong Moscow mule with speckled fresh lime tipped the perfect treat after our red-eye flight. My mouth felt in need of something cold and wet and riveting; especially since I misplaced my favorite Yeti water bottle on the flight from Phoenix to Miami (can’t think too much about that one, otherwise I’ll grow emotional). We sat atop Deck 10 under the warm Floridian sunshine that later imprinted an infinite number of suns spots across our pasty skin. We talked about life and love and loss till our tongues grew numb and our drinks shined empty. The Atlantic’s oceanic sway moved our bodies in a sweet, gentle manner. 

We didn’t have a care in the world. It was absolutely perfect.

Daytime meant timeless soaks in the Caribbean gold, while nighttime meant bottles of Malbec, fancy oysters, and hours upon hours of careless dancing under bright purple nightclub lights. We’d laugh until our bellies hurt and flirted with 80 year old men at dinner because it’s a cruise, so why the hell not? I’d write for an hour, without hesitation, in my leather bound journal on my stateroom’s balcony staring into the open abyss. Kj and I would joke about pirates invading the ship, talking in our best Johnny Depp impersonation voice.

There’s a sort of inexplicable happiness I feel when sousing open waters under bright, blue skies. It reminds me of the Lake Powell days back in ‘04 when my cousins and I would fight over who got the open-bow seat as our uncles ripped through the lake’s tide. We crash and bump against the waters with force, love, and vigilance. We’d hit the water so damn hard my spine would nearly break in half.

Words cannot express the amount of gratitude for this trip. I loved every minute.