Friday Snapshots, Roundups

Farewell, Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Greetings from Peshastin, Washington and a very happy (and sunny) Friday, friends!

Hopefully, you’ve noticed the big change that took place this week–my site moved permanently to this new URL, and the name changed accordingly.  I’m no longer the mochilera in your life, for better or worse.  Not only that, but I’ve got a shiny new philosophy (well, not new, per se, but clearer than before) to go along with it.  If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, click here.

And since I’m already on a roll with the evolution this week, I figured it was time to bid farewell to another blog feature that just didn’t quite fit anymore, this one right here, Friday Snapshots.

I’ve been preparing to phase this series out for awhile now, starting with dropping “Friday Snapshots” from the title. Now, I’m ready to say the final goodbye to make room (read: time) for bigger and better things.

I know some of you have enjoyed these weekly updates (sporadic though they’ve been at times) of my whereabouts and goings-on behind the scenes, and they’ve always been a good excuse for me to get out during the week and find some pretty things to photograph.  So in some ways, I am sad to see it go, but just like with the name change, I know it’ll only make way for improvement and growth.

I’ll have more time to pour into creating kickass content on topics that are relevant to you, and less pressure to whip up and edit a new batch of photos every week (it would have been nothing but cats this week–I’ve hardly seen the light of day).

It has been running for a good while now (since August of 2014, to be exact) so I thought it would be fun to have a little look back at where the series started and how it morphed over time.

At inception, the Friday Snapshot series was composed of old photos from my time living and traveling in Southeast Asia.  It was just one simple photo, overlaid with a cheesy travel quote (before I’d grown tired of all the stale clichés).

The snapshot arrived every Friday along with an even cheesier tagline:

Bringing you travel inspiration just in time for the weekend.  Have you bought your ticket yet?


I had only just discovered PicMonkey for photo editing (I wouldn’t learn how to use Lightroom for another 7 or 8 months) and thought my editing skills were pretty sweet.  HA!  Here are a few of my first attempts at brilliance.

Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

The first ever Friday Snapshot, a photo from Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Later, I added captions beneath the photos in a sorry attempt to make these posts more interesting.

Eventually, I realized the travel quotes had long since been overdone in the travel blogging world and quickly ditched them for unadulterated photographs.  I also realized my photography skills sorely needed work and decided to use the photo series as a way to improve various aspects of my craft.Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

My first post under the new concept came from the jungles of Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

Not even two weeks later, my DSLR was stolen from a hostel dorm in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.  Needless to say, I was gutted.  I reverted to iPhone photos for the next several months until I could afford to replace my precious camera and vowed to continue working on what I could–composition, editing techniques, and not punching someone in the face (I may or may not have had anger issues back then). Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Costa Rica provided me with plenty of pretty photo opportunities.

I liked the direction the series took from here.  Each week, I would highlight one cool activity I had done or share a collection of photos all falling under a common theme.  I was able to share tidbits and insights into the culture I was experiencing at the time.  Many of these posts came from Colombia when I set up shop in Medellin for awhile.Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

A day touring an orchid farm on a writing assignment for Medellin Living.

Just a few months after the stolen camera incident, I was able to replace my baby with a newer, lightweight version of the same camera thanks to a great Cyber Monday deal.  I also fell into the groove of using the weekly posts as mini-updates of what I was up to, where I was traveling, or what kind of blogging progress was being made (these days, my monthly roundups pretty much cover all of that). Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

A weekend trip to the town of Guatapé in the hills outside of Medellin.

By the time I’d left Colombia, I was getting really into photography and photo editing.  I’d finally learned the basics of Lightroom (for which I will be forever grateful to my buddy Jeremy) and wanted to practice as much as possible, and I even invested in a new lens.Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Practicing wildlife photography with my new zoom lens.

Things then got really interesting when I started traveling again and was in a new country almost every week.  There were intriguing subjects at every turn, and my camera was glued to me at all times.  Here are a few of my favorites from last summer’s tour of Europe.Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Santorini, GreeceFriday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Kotor, MontenegroFriday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Krakow, PolandFriday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Stockholm, Sweden

My updates grew longer and longer and the number of photos included in each post grew ever higher.  Shooting prolifically (and feeling quite proud of my progress) meant I had more and more I wanted to share.Friday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Chiang Mai, ThailandFriday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Maui, HawaiiFriday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Winter in StockholmFriday Snapshots: The Evolution of a Series

Spring in Washington
Tulum Mayan ruins, Tulum, Mexico

Tulum, Mexico

Which brings us to right about now.  The conclusion I’ve reached is that I’d rather put out content that is useful to you than simply publishing new content for the sake of it.  My best photography is typically featured on my Instagram account and often my Facebook page as well, so hopefully, if you’re following along on one or both of those, you’ll be able to keep up with my real-time wanderings anyway.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, whether you’ve been around since the beginning or you’ve just recently found my blog.  It has been a lot of fun for me, but I’m excited to focus my energy on bigger projects.

The most important of such projects is my upcoming ebook release, planned for this July!

I know it’ll be a powerful resource for people who, like me, had no idea how to go about achieving their ideal lifestyle.

If you’ve ever felt frustrated with your current work situation–whether it doesn’t allow you to travel enough, it leaves you feeling unfulfilled creatively, or the rigidity of a 9-5 workday makes you want to tear your hair out, I highly recommend grabbing a copy.

Update: Take Your Life Back: Finding Freedom Through Location Independence is now available!


Farewell, Friday Snapshots!  Onward and upward!

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  • Reply Carina May 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    You´re such an inspiring person. And I think it´s important to change things from time to time, in order to stay content with what you´re doing. Love your photos by the way!

    • Reply Leah Davis May 21, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      You’re too kind Carina! Thanks so much, I’m glad you’re on board with this evolutionary process! 😀

  • Reply Justine May 21, 2016 at 4:21 am

    I love the recap because I feel like I remember every moment. It’s awesome how far you’ve come since Colombia!

    • Reply Leah Davis May 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Ha, it was pretty fun for me to relive it all too. Thanks for following along this whole time, you rock Justine! 🙂

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