Explorations: Ecuador

Last month, the adventurous dreamer behind Nomadic Habit, Marianna Jamadi, took us on a voyage through the colorful streets of Colombia. This time, she brings us on a visual journey through Ecuador. Whether it's swimming with sharks in the Galápagos or exploring the wild life in the Mashpi cloud forest, Marianna will have you dreaming up your own big adventure. Read on to hear how this journey expanded her vision and get lost in her awe-inspiring photographs.

What was most unique aspect about Ecuador?
Galápagos! It feels like you are living in Jurassic Park. Though off of mainland Ecuador, it is a pristine area with the most amazing wildlife.

Any favorite foods along your journey?
I actually loved a drink in the Andean highlands of Ecuador called canelazo. It’s a hot beverage with lemon, sugar, and often a spirit to keep you warm on those cold nights.

Tell us about your favorite adventure while there.
Heading to Cotopaxi National Park was incredible. It was there that we saw 15 condors at once which is a rare sight. Wild horses were trotting about and the vastness of the landscape with Cotopaxi volcano in the distance was such a sight to see. 

What is one thing about Ecuador you can't stop thinking of?
Penguins in Galápagos! 

Name one moment that cannot be described through a picture, but rather must be seen through your own lens?
Swimming with sharks in the Galápagos. To be sharing waters with sharks is a humbling experience that reminds you of the power of the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it.

Where did your daily inspiration come from?
Anything and everything that surrounded me. Ecuador is so diverse that I was always seeing a new landscape. 

What did you do to relax and stay peaceful throughout this journey?
Enjoy the landscape. Whether in Galápagos or the Mashpi cloud forest, or the Andes, I always tried to take a few minutes to take in the view.

On an Instagram post, you asked “What do you do when you realize you are everything when you are everywhere? Can you answer this question for us?
The answer? Keep traveling.

How has this Ecuadorian journey expanded your vision?
I realized the impressive nature of evolution in the Galápagos, the amazing wildlife that calls the cloud forest their home, and also how the Ecuadorian highlands has strong Incan history.

Best piece of wisdom given on this trip?
Take time to discover the diversity of a country. Water, land, and city life.

We noticed you explored both Ecuador's islands and city life. Which do you prefer?
I am always a bit more keen to island life. 

Best piece of advice for traveling to Ecuador for the first time?
Pack for all climates! 

Let's talk about stuff.
Glad you packed: My underwater iPhone 6S Plus case for Galápagos.
Wish you'd packed: A warm pair of PJs for the highlands.
Didn't need: I needed it all!
Brought back: An equator-worthy sun tan.

Was there anything that surprised you?
I had no idea how beautiful the highlands were.

Favorite Dharma Co. frames along the journey?
Ethereal in Sacred Crystal and Karma in Sacred Crystal.