Barcelona Travel Photo Diary

Barcelona La Sagrada Familia incredible interiors | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Barcelona La Sagrada Familia incredible interiors | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Barcelona La Sagrada Familia incredible interiors | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Barcelona La Sagrada Familia | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Dali Museum Spain | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Dali Museum Spain | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Barcelona beach | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Port of Barcelona | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Barcelona Casa Batllo | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Barcelona Casa Mila | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Barcelona Casa Mila incredible details | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

Barcelona Park Guell | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

After the madness that was fashion month, I decided to make the most of being in Europe and decided to go to Barcelona on my own for a few days, that decision, turned out to be a great one!

I’ve always wanted to visit Barcelona, actually, I’ve always wanted to see Spain, in an ideal world I would liked to have spent a good 2 weeks traveling around the country and then hopping over to Morocco, but you know what, 4 days in Barcelona was just as enriching and amazing. In fact, seeing Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia alone was worth the entire trip. Everyone (myself included) has seen a thousand photos of this incredible (and still being built) creation, but nothing could have prepared me for the spine tingling feeling I got when I saw this with my own eyes. This place is beyond pictures, beyond words, it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced.

Next time you are in Europe, add Barcelona to your list, no better yet, just bump it up to the top.

From New York with Love

New York City | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

New York City | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

New York City | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

New York City | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

New York City | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat Street Fashion

They say home is where the heart is, my heart, I left that in New York years ago when I first visited, you’ll have noticed I’ve been in and out of New York (and Sydney and everywhere else) in the last 6 months, but I can now officially call New York home, at last. It’s been a long and not entirely easy road, but my dream of being able to live and work in New York has finally come true.

To be perfectly honest, when I visited New York for the very first time, I hated it. I came with my parents and we did ALL the tourist sites in 5 days, squeezed in a Broadway show, took photos at Top of the Rock, all the usual. We had just come from the Bavarian Alps, full of crisp pines and mountain lakes, then bam, New York hit me in the face like a stinking hot subway train in the middle of the summer. I hated the sidewalks lined with garbage bags, I hated the grimy subway, I hated how intimidating everyone looked on the street, I hated everything. Then I went to Mexico and Cuba and came back to spend 3 weeks in New York on my own. I stayed at my friend’s apartment in Fort Greene, I met up with friends for lunch and dinner and drinks and I walked, I walked and I walked some more. Those 3 weeks were over Christmas, I woke up one morning, looked out the window to see the street, its houses, its garbage bags and its cars all under a blanket of white. I squealed. So just like that, without me even knowing it, I left my heart in New York.

I had visited New York in between then and now and as much as I loved the city, moving here seemed like a pipe dream. But life worked its unexpected twists and turns and mysterious ways and last year it turned my life upside down through a string of personal events. When I hit rock bottom, I thought f*ck it, I’m just going to move to New York. Turns out, it’s not as easy as saying those 8 little words, funny that! From having the thought to getting my O1 work (aka artist) visa, took me a whole year and I was lucky to have been published so much and done some great work for international clients over the years to qualify for the visa in the first place.

Now I have a Brooklyn apartment I share with 2 gorgeous girls, I’ve a handful of old friends in the city, another handful of new friends I’ve made and it feels absolutely amazing to be able to call this city home. To borrow Drake’s words “Started from the bottom, now we’re here”. YUP!

2014 – A Year in Review

I dread doing these posts, but then once I start I actually love taking the time and distance to look back and really appreciate everything that happened, everywhere I’ve been and everything I did. It’s been hectic, dramatic, challenging, but most importantly, tres exciting!

Here’s my 2014 in review via some of my favourite blog posts and moments from the year. Hop along on this time travel ride!

Chanel shoes | Xssat Street Fashion

The year started off with Chanel! Good call Ashka, pat on the back for me.

Xiaohan Shen in Shop Til You Drop | Xssat Street Fashion

Then I scored a double page interview in Shop Til You Drop about me, my blog and my photography.

5 Minutes with Alexandra Richards in Bondi Sydney Australia | Xssat Street Fashion

I got to interview Keith Richard’s daughter Alexandra, we had an amazing chat, it was such a surreal moment.

Sydney Style File - Lucinda Burtt | Xssat Street Fashion

Brought on some serious apartment envy for myself and just about everyone else who saw these photos of Lucinda’s light drenched pad.

Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper | XSSAT for Refinery29 | All the best street style at MBFWA Australian Fashion Week | Xssat Street Fashion

Shooting street style at Australian Fashion Week for Refinery29 once again.

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