“Life is not measure by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away”. – unknown

I have this quote next to my computer in my office. It happens to be one of my favorite quotes as it reminds me what life is all about: Beauty, love, gratitude, joy, adventure, and peace. The day I walked down the aisle with my dad on one side and my grandfather on the other to greet the love of my life. The first time my child looked into my eyes. My son’s first steps. My daughter’s first words. Crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles. Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro. Climbing to the top of the Bolivian Andes with my dad. Capturing the sunset beneath my favorite urban lake after another glorious day. Those moments that forever will be instilled within my heart.

With the good of course also comes the bad. Those difficult challenges, the times that are painful, and hurt. The dark times that despite how insurmountable the challenge may be, it somehow ends up making you stronger.

Two years ago, in lieu of a Thanksgiving dinner I was climbing up to the top of the sky in Bolivia with my father. It was a very special journey for us as a year before my father was battling cancer, a dark memory that we try to forget. Yet with the bad came the good. The closeness of our family. The resilience and strength to overcome the hardship and heal. The immense love. The realization that you have one precious life so make the best of it all.

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

My dad and I climbing to the peak in the Bolivian Andes. November 2014

For all these moments that make up the long and winding journey of life, I am grateful. The holiday season reminds me to never stop being grateful for the wonderful things that make me complete and bring me joy. My love for my family, for the earth, for being outside and being alive. Despite all the heartbreak in the world, I must never forget to be grateful.

No photos demonstrate my utter gratitude better than the ones from this magical trip to Bolivia two years ago. The photos remind me that despite the darkness of the world there lies beauty and hope and love.

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude”.- Denis Waitley

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures”. – Thornton Wilder

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

“Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open”. – John Barrymore

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air’s salubrity”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

“Adopt gratitude as the basic tenor of one’s life – gratitude for being alive, for being free, healthy, and intelligent; gratitude for the senses and their pleasures, the mind and its adventures, the soul and its delights”. – Johannes Gaertner

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

As I’m slowing down a bit with blogging for the coming month to embrace the moment and enjoy the holiday season, I’m sending my gratitude to my readers for sticking with me. I don’t think I’d still be here blogging after almost six years without your continual support and friendship. Thank you! 


    1. Wow, great pictures !!! Must have been a unique experience for you.
      Thanks for showing and best regards Ernst

      Thank you Ernst! Happy to have Google Translate. I also added it to my blog so you can easily translate my posts from English to German. Check it out!

  1. I read that even just the search for something to be grateful for activates the areas of the brain that cause happiness. Isn’t that neat! Beautiful photographs Nicole. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  2. I’m pretty sure that first quote came from Moe of the Three Stooges! What lovely words, and what lovely photos. The blue door at first looked like it was in the rock. The yellow ground before the mountains is just killer! THANKS!!

  3. Nicole you are right we have so many moments to be grateful for. Your photos teamed with these powerful quotes take my breath away. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season ahead. xo

  4. Beautiful Retrospect of a very rewarding trip with your father. I will always treasure those equally-cherished times I spent with my own father.

    The post made me think of the book Rebecca and its opening line, “Last night I dreamt I was back at…” but for you it would have had a lovely story attached.

    Happy holidays!

  5. hai perfettamente ragione! queste sono immagini da togliere il respiro, ma ogni respiro ritorna conn più dolcezza nella bocca assaporando la bellezza selvaggia di questi luoghi che assomigliano tanto al paradiso perduto!
    lieta di avere incontrato il tuo blog sulla mia strada

    1. you are definitely right! these are images that take your breath, but every breath back conn more sweetness in the mouth savoring the wild beauty of these places that look much the lost paradise!
      pleased to have come across your blog in my way

      Thanks so much for the comment! I’m happy to have Google Translate now on my blog! I can easily translate comments and you can translate my blog into any language. 🙂

      1. il mondo si fa piccolo con questa grande App di Google, e si hanno conoscenze e comprensioni maggiori rivolti a migliorare la comprensione e la bellezza universai
        grazie mille a te della gradita risposta

  6. It must have been a lovely trip in view of the difficult times to come. What a beautiful thing to do with your father. And Bolivia is quite a place to have you breath taken away! Fantastic images. May you have a wonderful holiday season.

    1. Thanks Otto! I seem to gravitate towards these photos and none of my recent travels have given me the same sort of lovely memories and photographs. Hoping to get somewhere like this again! Happy holidays to you too!

  7. Nicole your photographs are absolutely stunning. Breathtaking! How amazing that you had the experience of being there with your dad. What wonderful memories. I love the combination of the photos with the quotes you selected. It is definitely true that when feeling on the low side of life, thinking about things to be grateful for is a wonderful lifter upper.
    Have a wonderful holiday season.

    1. Thanks Peta! It was a very special trip! So how is life for you? I’ve been busy but trying to read all your posts. I do receive them via email so that is nice. How fortunate to be able to live somewhere so unique and lovely!

  8. Inspiring as always Nicole; what wonderful photos and text. I wish you and your family all the best for the holiday season. With warmest good wishes as always…A 🙂

  9. I know I have seen some of your photos from this amazing trek with your father but some are new to me and just blew me away! Fabulous post Nicole!

    1. Thanks LuAnn! Some are newly created as I’ve recently posted them on Instagram. To this day I think the photos from this trip are some of my favorites.

    1. Thanks! That is a tough question as I love so many places. I would still have to say Nepal or New Zealand for pure beauty. Iceland was pretty amazing too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.