Here & There - Issue #1

The start of something new

Happy Friday! Welcome to Here and There, where I (Kyle) write and share insights about places, people, photography and sometimes other stuff. A bit of this, a bit of that.

This is the first issue of (hopefully) many. I’m still figuring this whole thing out, so stick with me as I stumble through formats, topics, writing style and all that jazz. Feedback is always welcome.

I just got back from a two week trip to Morocco last week, so I’m still working through photos from that trip, so expect more from North Africa soon.

This week:

  • A quick story about one of the highlights of my Morocco trip

  • A WTF brand collaboration 🤷🏻‍♂️

  • A short film about community, the outdoors, and fly-fishing 🎣

  • Say hello at OR

Unexpected experiences

Towards the end of our trip in Morocco, we rented a car to drive from Fez to Rabat. It’s about a 2.5 hr drive if you go direct, but we decided to split it over two days and visit the Roman ruins in Volubilis (history sucker here). I’ll be honest — I wasn’t sure the additional logistics of driving and staying way out in the country was worth the trouble. Our trip was almost over and after 2 weeks of nonstop travel, I was getting tired.

We didn’t have much info about where we were headed besides an address we managed to plug into Google maps. We passed through the towns of Meknes and Moulay Idriss, and finally reached the small commune of Karmet Ben Salem…and then got totally confused as to where we were supposed to go. We knew our house was nearby, but the roads didn’t quite match.

Luckily, I think word traveled fast about the 4 white people wandering around town, and our host found us and got us to where we need to be.

This is Noureddine, our host. He didn’t speak English, and none of us spoke French or Arabic, but through a combination of broken Spanish, gestures and Google Translate, we were able to communicate.

We learned about his organic farm, his beekeeping, and how he splices all kinds of fruits into different trees so they grow better with less water. His passion for sustainable farming was evident, as was his desire to share it with us. We met his wife and adorable daughter, and enjoyed many cups of mint tea overlooking the verdant valley below. The rooms were simple but cozy, the setting peaceful and beautiful, and our host the epitome of hospitality. It was simply one of the most pleasant experiences I had in Morocco. And surprise, the interior of Morocco looks a lot like Napa. Who knew?

During dinner, which was some of best food I had in Morocco (all from his organic farm), Noureddine also delivered some wisdom that probably belongs on a t-shirt 😂

“When you prepare a tagine and you don’t know where the vegetables come from, instead of saying ‘bon appétit’, it is better to say ‘good luck’”

I’m sure there’s some sort of greater message in here about venturing off the beaten path and embracing new experiences, but at the end of the day I’m just grateful. Grateful to have the opportunity to travel. Grateful for incredible people like Noureddine and his family. And grateful for Google Translate.

If you ever make your way to Morocco, you can find Noureddine on Airbnb here.

This week in “WTF brand collaborations”

I have so many questions about this collaboration between Atlas Snowshoes and artist “Mister Mort”. My general distaste for snowshoes in general aside, who thought this was a good idea? How much did "Mister Mort" get paid to slap some tie dye on these snowshoes? What is the cross section of snowshoe customers that were fans of the Grateful Dead and NYC street fashion/artists?

At the end of the day, I guess they’re just tie dye snowshoes and might sell pretty well. But as someone who thinks a lot about brand stories and marketing, someone please explain this to me.

Finding Community in Fly Fishing

Personally, I struggle with fishing (I don’t have the patience). But I loved this video about Chris Hill, avid fly-fisher and associate director of the Sierra Club’s Lands, Water, Wildlife Campaign. It’s part of The Outbound’s #EveryoneOutside video series.

New gear, lots of walking and talking

I’ll be at Outdoor Retailer for a bit next Wednesday and Thursday. If you think there’s anything in particular I should seek out or gear you’d like to learn more about, let me know. If you’re going to be around, say hello!

Closing thoughts

That’s all I’ve got for this week. I hope you found a bit of enjoyment from this short email in your inbox — plenty more to come. As always feel free to reach out with ideas or feedback…and use the link below to share!

Have a great weekend.

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