Over the course of 31 days last October, I was on¬†13 plane rides, 5 tube rides, 4 automobiles, 4 busses, 3 trains, 2 ferries, and 1 taxi. I was inspired to start an art collection called “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.” ūüôā (more to come) I also added a few more snaps to the collection, “Cities, Skies and Skylines.”

The trip was a delicious fusion of work, play, and time with family and friends, and I decided it was about time I take a few minutes to post a bit of the adventure.

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I started the trip with a night in London. It was so much fun “bumping into” my little buddy Avia, and her mummy Maile while in one of my favorite cities in the world… (Not sure why Avia looks so timid in this snap…she is one of the most spirited little ones I know.)

Avia and I in London

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We also grabbed lunch with Robert and Chris at the National Portrait Gallery Cafe, as they happened to be in London for a fashion show! (Best bellini I’ve ever sipped…)IMG_0506

I then caught my train to Edinburgh where I was able to spend an amazing two weeks with my extended family traveling all throughout Scotland. We traced the MacDonald and MacDougall family histories, went on a slew of adventures, and spent our evenings talking for hours over delicious fare and vino.

DUART CASTLE   I    Isle of Mull

IMG_7044 Cousin Kate!IMG_8397

Uncle Tim and little MorganIMG_8027

Uncle Tim & Aunt Kristan

IMG_7278 IMG_7048 Uncle Don and Aunt Grace MacDougallIMG_7293One morning, Emily, Uncle Time and I woke up at 5 am, sipped some baileys and coffee (the real deal, none of that creamer stuff…), threw on as many layers as we could find, and drove to the Isle of Skye to run up the¬†cliffs of Quiraing and watch the sunrise. Alas, there was no sunrise, but it did start pouring buckets of rain, the three of us were frigid, but we had the time of our lives. It literally went on my list of the most exhilarating memories of my life…particularly the fact that Tim was sporting a kilt. Hello, Braveheart.

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Then my beautiful cousin Emily and I spent a few nights in London, where we wandered the streets, and she gave me the gift of seeing Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theater¬†as a birthday gift. If you ever see it live, be sure to grab the kleenex.

Les Mis

I also had a photo shoot in London, where we took snaps on the grounds of the Royal School¬†where the children attend….what fun! Their little boy, Elijah gave me the best nickname a girl could ask for, “Celery.” He also attacked me while in dinosaur mode. Quick footage of the madness¬†here:

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www.mallorymacdonald.com

I then flew to Lusaka, Zambia where I photographed and filmed the work of Special Hope Network, an organization committed to serving children with intellectual and physical disabilities in Zambia. This was my second trip there, and I could not ring the praises of their work and impact more loudly. They are serving some of the most vulnerable children, and are doing so with such excellence and care.

Meet Kondwani….so much light and life in this little boy’s eyes.

Kondwani

And Amake Dorothy (mother of Dorothy) and Dorothy…IMG_1810

My dear friends and heroes who run Special Hope Network…Eric, Holly, Sam, Maggie and Mollie…Nelson Family

…And more dear friends and heroes, Beth and Joab….
Beth and Joab

Tyler¬†and I filming in the Ng’ombe compound….

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We also went on a flight to capture some aerial footage of Lusaka (and it was the morning of my birthday…quite the way to start a new year)…

IMG_4282What a month. What a trip. And taking the time to sit down and reflect and write about it all fills me up with gratitude for the experience. More importantly, I am filled with gratitude for the chance to spend time with people I love all over the globe. So blessed.