Travel Dreaming with PhotoNotes by Shelsie

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Shelsie Gutierrez is a 23 year old adventurer and adrenaline junkie.  She spends most days wanderlust-ing and exploring. She loves art and photography and has found a way to combine words into her images. Read about her adventures and her lovely imagery:

In 2011, I climbed and conquered my first mountain and I had my first ever out of the country trip to Beijing, China. After those experiences, I realized I wanted to do more of it. No, I needed to do more traveling and exploring. So after all these realizations, on the last month of year 2011, I laid out a plan. I set goals for myself that I will travel or go to at least one new place in the upcoming year. This was my 2012- I traveled to 2 new foreign countries- Vietnam & Cambodia. My experiences there were both extremely pleasurable and absolutely unforgettable. I spent my 23rd birthday “temple running” in the Angkor temples at Siem Reap, the best birthday I’ve ever had. 

But when we got back to Vietnam we had a mishap while walking in the streets of Ho Chi Minh, my friend’s sling bag got snatched by 2 men on a motorcycle.  She had lost her passport, camera and some money. Because of what had happened we didn’t get the chance to visit the tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh. We had to go to the police station, immigration and consulate offices to process her travel documents instead. My friend was given the travel documents she needed 5 hours before our flight back to the Philippines. 

It was a traumatic experience. 

For months, we couldn’t talk about it. And when we did,  we laughed at how crazy that trip was and how lucky we were to get out of that terrible situation. 

PhotoNotes by Shelsie7

Conquering New Heights

I climbed and conquered 4 mountains; Mt. Batulao, Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Palay-Palay, Pico de Loro and Mt. Pulag (2nd highest in the Philippines, highest in Luzon). These hiking and climbing experiences were all memorable although some of them, life-threatening. When we climbed Mt. Pinatubo we almost got trapped and there was a landslide warning.

It was raining too, when we climbed Mt. Pulag. The weather was kind and almost perfect when we climbed Mt. Batulao and Mt. Palay-Palay, Pico De Loro but it was physically exhausting. I learn a lot of things when climbing, I meet a lot of people along the trails and for each mountain I conquer I gain new friends, guides, locals and new hiking buddies. I traveled to local places. I swam in the clear waters of Batangas, Bataan, Camiguin, and Guimaras. I had my adrenaline rush experience in Dahilayan Adventure park in Bukidnon and white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro. 

Cultural Travel

I tried to learn more about Philippine history and culture by visiting a number of museums and old houses in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan and 2 of the ancestral houses of the Lopez family in Iloilo. I feel blessed and I am truly grateful I was able to visit all those places and was able to gain a plentiful experience that will last a lifetime. 

PhotoNotes by Shelsie10

PhotoNotes by Shelsie 

I stumbled upon this site which featured photos layered with inspirational and motivational quotes, I was inspired, really inspired. Then I said to myself, “Hey! Maybe I should do this with my photos too, and then maybe I could inspire my friends to start going out there and see the world!” I started with one PhotoNote, picked a nice photo I took and layered it with an inspirational quote. These images quickly became popular through ,my social media networks. I got excited then found myself making one or two a day. Most of my PhotoNotes are about travel but some of them are also about our everyday life. 

About each one of us trying to chase our own dreams. 

I want my PhotoNotes to serve as inspiration to all those who want to start traveling and encourage those who have started to travel. I want people to realize that there is a big beautiful world out there waiting for them. I want people to have the courage to sail away from their safe shores and discover new worlds. 

I want people to realize that they shouldn’t stop dreaming but they also have to start doing. 

As for myself, these serve as mantras in life and I make sure that they do not just remain as words or paragraphs but try my best to live by them.

PhotoNotes by Shelsie1

Parrot’s Beak, Pico De Loro. It was my first time to climb a rock, and before doing so I read so many blogs about Pico de Loro, scouted for tips on how to reach the top of the monolith and come down safely. I used that quote because I think before we do something new/scary we must know what our capabilities are and then we must psyche ourselves to be able do more.

PhotoNotes by Shelsie2

Sunrise at the summit of Mt. Pulag. Collect Moments, Not Things. Precious moments don’t come by easily, and when these moments happen we must make sure that we keep these memories in our hearts. With my snapshots turned into PhotoNotes I am able to preserve these moments and even share them to other people.

PhotoNotes by Shelsie3

Mt. Batulao. This was a difficult mountain to climb and I was about to give up during our descent, my knees were already shaking but I decided to continue. I was able to keep up with my group until the end of the climb. “Never Give Up….” Why this quote? Like climbing, life is difficult. We must never give up and put love and inspiration in everything we do.

PhotoNotes by Shelsie4

Sunset at Miag-ao, Iloilo. Jump shot. This trip had loads of happy memories; this jump shot of my friends is proof of how much we enjoyed that trip. Friends, family, experiences, we always have something to be thankful for, we should celebrate life.

PhotoNotes by Shelsie5

Mt. Pulag- Descent. “And when all is said and done, rest as a new journey will soon present itself, full of adventure & experience which we will embark on over and over again. This photo was taken during our descent at Mt. Pulag, like any adventure it came to its end. Oftentimes, we wanderlusters plan our next trip even before a trip is over. We are always excited to embark and start a new adventure but we must also remember that we need to rest and reflect upon the new learnings that we have just acquired.

PhotoNotes by Shelsie11
I receive a lot of messages from random people that they love my PhotoNotes. The kind words people say about my work keeps me going, it inspires me to make and do more. Earlier this year, I started working on my Project 365, 1 PhotoNote a day. I will keep making PhotoNotes because I want to inspire more people. Like I said I dream to live and live to inspire and I hope these bits and pieces of inspiration will be seen by many in the future. As for my crafts, I am hoping I can partner with a printing press and be able to scale the business in the future. I also wish to publish my own photobook soon. (I keep my fingers crossed)

Check out more PhotoNotes by Shelsie on her facebook page.

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