As I began to settle in to autumn and look towards winter.. I started to reflect on my past autumns and winters when I realized that this will be the first full autumn/winter that I’ll be home in New York in over a decade. I first moved to Miami in 2011 and when I moved back to New York in 2015 – I had began my career in travel and spent most of the autumn months in Europe and most of the winter months in Australia, South East Asia or anywhere else that was warm.
I know, deep down in my heart and soul, that I’m meant to stay home for the next six or so months and to really experience the cold, dark months as nature intended – without escaping to tropical locales. Instead of being a victim of the cold (I’m not the biggest fan of cold weather!) I started creating a list of the things that I *love* about the autumn and winter months. One thing led to another and I began reflecting on autumns past. I’ve had so many beautiful autumnal memories, in so many beautiful places around the world! Here are 44 autumnal photos – some of my favorite fall memories from the last few years.
In 2014 the work that I was doing to build my photography and marketing portfolio in the luxury travel sector began to pay off when I was invited by Grey Goose, as a guest, to Le Logis Villa – a stunning 17th century mansion in the commune of Juillac-le-Coq (in the Cognac region of France). My invite to Le Logis is one of my proudest moments and a trip that I cherish so deeply. It doesn’t hurt that the villa itself, the cuisine and the decor are all stunning.
While on the topic of France, some of my favorite fall memories have been in the City of Light and Love. I have a few good friends who call Paris home and also worked a few contracts with various hotels and European river cruise lines departing out of Paris – so between 2014-2019 I spent some time every autumn in Paris!
France does, “food” so well and who doesn’t love brunch? Some of my favorite brunch bites have been in the city of light!
Working with Uniworld Cruises in 2017 was one of my favorite trips to date. We departed on a European River Cruise from Paris – but not after exploring the city first. Two of my favorite things we did was an exclusive, private tour of Versailles and touring the rooftops of Paris – which was extra special thanks to the moody, autumn skies.
My cousin and her husband moved to London in 2018 and my mom, aunt and uncle and I decided to surprise them for her birthday at the end of November in 2019. While the city was already decked out for the holidays – there were still a few autumnal scenes that made my heart skip a beat.
One of my first big solo trips was spending autumn of 2015 hopping and skipping around Europe. By the time I arrived in Prague, Czechia, at the end of October – autumn was in full force and it was stunning.
One of the cutest things I saw in Prague was big artwork created out of the autumn’s harvest! These “pictures” were about 5 feet tall!
On that same trip in 2015 I also visited Belgium and Slovenia, two underrated European countries for travel but also two beautiful places to visit during autumn!
One of the coolest industry invites I’ve had was an event co-hosted by A Secret Supper and Patron, Tequila. All that they disclosed before the event was that myself and a guest were invited to midtown Manhattan where we would be flying, via helicopter, to an undisclosed location for a special dinner. The dinner was beyond special and is not only one of my favorite autumn memories but one of my favorite memories, period.
If you know me, you know I love Italy. I’m actively working on creating a life for myself in Italy – learning the language, spending months at a time living like a local in Italy and channeling the slow Italian lifestyle philosophy, il dolce far neinte, (meaning: it’s sweet to do nothing) into my everyday life. My time in Italy has changed me (for the better) and I have such a connection to the land, the culture and the people of Italy. I’ve spent heaps of autumns in Italy (including five weeks in 2017 traveling the country with my mom) and naturally, some of my favorite fall memories are in Italy!
In 2019 I hosted my first ever “big” holiday – inviting some of my family (if I invited them all… they wouldn’t have all fit into my apartment at the time, which was a studio, hehe) to celebrate with me. As it was my first holiday the pressure was on but it turned out to be such a great day! One of my favorite autumn memories to date, for sure.
If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of the plant…. a best friend of Mary-Jane’s, if you will. While my consumption habits have definitely changed over the years – I’ve always loved me some weed. By the time autumn of 2020 rolled around my creative juices needed to be replenished. I was so used to finding inspiration abroad that I was working on finding it, at home, in different ways. Painting became a huge outlet for me that year but I also started to play around with photographing weed and even starred in one of my favorite photoshoots to date, as “Jackie the Good Witch” and my favorite form of magic – plant magic!
On the topic of “being at home in autumn of 2020” there’s nothing I love more than when the sky puts on a show during sunset and creates a perfect #PinkHour. One of my favorite sunsets of 2020 was right out my back door, overlooking my patio at garden.
If you haven’t gathered this by now, let me put you on to a little secret about me: I love to eat. Food is definitely one of my great life pleasures. One of my favorite things about traveling is getting to know a place through their cuisines. In Autumn of 2018 I was invited by the City of New Orleans to come try out, rate and photograph all the different spins on the classic Cafe du Monde beignets. It’s safe to say that the trip did not disappoint.
As a child I spent my summers at my grandparents lake house on Oquaga Lake in upstate NY. While I loved everything about summer at the lake (swimming, riding bikes, kickball games, ice cream, long summer nights) there was always something super special about the lake in the fall. The weekend we said goodbye to the lake house was bitter, and not so sweet, but the way the autumn foliage was loud and proud around the house and the lake eased the blow a bit.
Ever since I was a child – I’ve had a beautiful relationship with the earth and nature. I credit this to my family roots – my dads family from Lithuania and Germany were farmers and my dad’s connection to the land inspired him to always take us on different road trips and camping trips when I was a child. My mom who is an organic gardener after learning the importance of growing our own food from her grandmother who emigrated from Italy (after leaving her wealthy family behind to marry the gardener! A great story for another day). Spending my summers at Oquaga also really reinforced my relationship with the earth.
Last but certainly not least, one of my favorite autumn memories as a child was my autumn tree costume! My mom asked me what I wanted to be for Halloween and I chose: a tree, an autumn leaves tree. Stumped (no pun intended) my mom crafted my costume herself.
One of the greatest ways to welcome new beautiful experiences into your life is to reflect on the gratitude for what you already have or have already experienced in your life. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite autumn memories from at home or abroad! Drop a comment below if you care to share. ❤