Our documentary following @paws4survival_rescue‘s work to help the strays of Puerto Rico is complete! 🇵🇷 (Link in bio) . We started filming a year ago after Hurricane Maria first hit the island; sadly, the plight facing stray dogs and cats has only gotten worse. If you’re interested in helping the small but mighty Paws 4 Survival team, please consider donating funds or supplies. You can learn more about how to help over on their Insta/ website @paws4survival_rescue. (Thanks to @kristenkiralyfilms for bringing me on for this incredible project!)
“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen...” . After reaching Uhuru Peak at sunrise, I changed into the hat my dad wore on his Kilimanjaro climb 40 years ago for a photo. Little did I I know that photo would turn into @frankaf17 getting down on one knee and me, out of breath due to limited oxygen at 19,341 feet, saying yes to forever with my best friend and partner in crime. . I’m so used to telling other people’s love stories, but after a successful summit and high-altitude engagement, I guess it’s time we start writing our own! . (Thinking like a filmmaker, I had myself mic’d up for the summit for some of the projects I’m working on ... so in addition to hours of shallow breathing, I conveniently recorded audio of the the whole thing!) . Special thanks to @amaniafrika for getting us up there in good enough shape to not only get engaged, but sing and dance along the way! 📷 @nateforde87
Back from Africa and I have some v. big news: I’m making Stephanie Vermillion Studio my full-time career, starting tomorrow! . Three years ago I sat on a balcony in small-town Spain wondering how I could gain more freedom to explore and experience the world on a deeper level. (Ten days just never cut it for me...) I dabbled into travel blogging, journalism, filmmaking and photography before realizing a culmination of these passions could actually pay the bills. . Now, leaving a steady paycheck with benefits was definitely a risk, but to me, staying complacent and comfortable is even riskier. Life speeds by too quickly. That’s why I left my full-time job to pursue SVS right before this month’s big trip to Africa. Things have been clicking on multiple fronts (thanks to so many of you!) and it’s now or never to chase these big dreams. . Are you interested in some behind-the-scenes details about taking this side hustle full time? I’m sure I’ll be learning a TON every day, and I’d love to use this experience to help you and your business, too. . In the meantime, if you want to collaborate or work together I can now take on as many projects as I want (with a focus on writing, filmmaking, photography and journalism) because, well, I’m officially my own boss! 😎 . (Pictured here: Me photographing at a hippo pool in the Ngorongoro Crater. Many more Africa photos forthcoming!)
At the end of our days, all we have are our stories. (This is a long one, but super close to my 🖤) . As a little girl, I grew up fascinated by my dad’s adventures. He regaled me with stories of his trip to Egypt ... where he spontaneously watched a light show in the desert (alone). He’d mischievously grin telling me about his visit to Cuba, where he smoked cigars with Fidel Castro (then carried home a machete on the plane). And I made him repeatedly tell me the tale of his flight dodging bullets while taking off from the Congo. . But above all else, one story stuck with me forever — his climb up Kilimanjaro. Forty years ago this year, my dad summited Africa’s highest peak; it’s been “our thing” ever since. Dad knew I was crazy enough to follow in his footsteps, but I made him promise that when I did, he’d meet me at the bottom. . So, Frank and I planned to climb Kili this fall to celebrate the 40th anniversary of dad’s summit. We all knew it’d likely be dad’s last trip to Africa given health issues, but he had to be there for my climb — the climb that bonded us two crazy adventurers early on, and the one that kept us even more bonded until the end. . As many of you know, my dad passed away much sooner than I’d ever anticipated this July. I will not, and cannot, begin to explain the heartbreak. But, if nothing else, I’ve found so much comfort in knowing my dad lived every second of his astonishing life to the fullest. At the end of the day all we have are our stories, but this man I’m so proud to call dad? He wrote a novel. . That’s why I’m continuing this legacy, living out my own stories — starting with next week’s (!!) climb up Kilimanjaro. We planned this trip so he could meet us at the bottom, but I now know he’ll be with me the entire way. . We will be leaving tomorrow and attempting the summit on Oct. 12; cross your fingers for us!