Welcome to Sunshine and Stilettos
A collection of stories and images from a traveler, serial expat, lover of culture and lawyer turned travel photographer and writer.
Born in Ethiopia and raised in Côte d’Ivoire, I’ve lived on three continents, survived three school systems (French, British, American) and had my first passport at age six.
In 2008, I decided that life was too short not to do work I love every single day. I took a leap of faith and left my legal career behind to travel long term — six weeks was the initial plan — to find inspiration. Six weeks turned into five months. Five months led me to a new path.
During the last four years traveling long term in the Caribbean and parts of Central America – living in Jamaica, Grenada and Belize — I discovered my long-time love for writing and photography and for documenting life, culture and people in different parts of the world. I had finally figured out my purpose: telling stories, through words and images.
Becoming a Travel Photographer, Writer and Guidebook Author
Sunshine and Stilettos launched in 2009. My initial aim was to share photographs and stories with friends on my life as a solo female traveler on the road.
In time, my blog and Flickr collections grew from being a past time to attracting tourism boards, photo editors as well as a wide audience of avid travelers.
A year after being on the road and landing assignments as a self-taught photographer, my images were published online in the UK Guardian, and in print on Lonely Planet Travel Magazine. A few months later, I was commissioned for a major photo shoot for the Grenada Tourism Board, for their website and print ads.
In 2010, I took the MatadorU Travel Photography Course to enhance my knowledge on the business of photography – from social networking to publication.
In the summer of 2011, I traveled across Belize for three months as a full-time writer, blogger and photographer for the Belize Tourism Board. I realized that I wanted to write as well as photograph.
All of these experiences and hard work led to a bigger road and a dream come true: becoming a travel guidebook author for MOON Travel Guidebooks. My first edition of MOON BELIZE (Avalon Travel/Perseus Books) published in November 2013, in full color for the first time. I also had the pleasure of landing the book cover photo, in addition to providing all the interior photography.
In 2013, on the heels of my first guidebook, I began authoring a second title for Moon Guides, MOON BELIZE CAYES, focusing on Belize’s offshore islands. This first edition is due out November 2014.
Sunshine and Stilettos (and my photography) will continue to be a place to inspire travel. I write about what moves and don’t necessarily stick to “top 10″ lists. I believe in variety, and every week won’t be the same. My purpose is to pull you into my screen and make you feel as if you’re right there with me. To show that the world is a beautiful place, and much safer than people believe, even for solo female travelers.
When my visits are sponsored, I will clearly state this. Rest assured that I only post positive reviews when I truly back a place or activity.
My mission remains to share and show the beauty that surrounds, reflected in the people and cultures I encounter. And to show that it’s never too late to pursue what you truly love.