Sandy feet, salty hair, dancing on the beach at sunrise. That’s happiness to me.
These images were shot in a place that is like a second home to me; the Golden Sands Resort in Penang, Malaysia. My family has been visiting the resort since before I was even born, and for the past 3 years it’s been our home for Christmas and New Year’s. You know those places that just make you happy? That when you’re feeling a bit down, or lost, that’s where you wish you were? That’s what the Golden Sands, and Penang in general, is to me.
I’m not sure what it is that calls to me: the beautiful location, the relaxed lifestyle, the friendly atmosphere, the welcoming staff, the amazing food (Malaysian food is the best – Andrew’s Kampung, Long Beach Café, and Leanne’s; which I’m sure has a name, but everyone just calls it Leanne’s – it’s in the alley between the Golden Sands and the Lone Pine and is run by Andrew’s sister; are my favourites); but something about Penang just feels like home. I already can’t wait to be back again for Christmas.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about happiness, and what makes me happy. My friends, my family, exploring, feeling like I’m home, clothes that make me feel beautiful, good food, creating, being active, the beach; these are some of the things that make me happy. I suppose it’s because I love all of these things. Love is a strange concept to me: I love a lot of different things, and I have a lot of love for a select group of people, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever been in love. Perhaps once, but it was all so fast, and such terrible timing. I think about it often though; what could have been. It’s strange that people can come into your life for such a short amount of time, but completely turn your world upside down. I wonder what would have happened if it had been another time, another place, if we had been ready for it; what my life would be like now. Maybe one day we’ll meet again, and I’ll know. We’ll see.
I’ve been listening to Vance Joy’s Riptide on repeat the last few days – it’s one of my all time favourite songs, and just seems to perfectly sum up my current mood, and the way I was feeling dancing on the beach, wearing one of my favourite dresses in one of my favourite places. Mum bought me this dress on a trip to Bali, and it’s the best. I’ve worn it to the beach, visiting castles, out to dinner and whilst travelling: it’s so easy to slip on and is ridiculously comfortable, so it’s a win-win all round. Those are my favourite pieces – the ones that you can slip on and instantly feel like you could conquer anything. Because you can, you know. With a little help from those things and people that make you happy, you can do anything. Just don’t forget to tell your loved ones that you love them, because you never know what might happen. I know I’m not the best with talking about feelings and emotions, in fact, I really struggle with it, but I hope all of my friends and family know how much I love them. And because I don’t say it enough, this is me telling you: I love you guys!