Since my return from the US last month, quite a few people have asked me how I ended up holidaying in Miami, especially by myself.
Originally I’d hoped to go to the Bahamas and float around in azure coloured waters, swim with the pigs and drink my body weight in rum cocktails, but when my planned travel buddy pulled out, I decided I still needed a beach holiday (mostly to justify the new bikinis I’d already purchased).
I also wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been before, and Miami seemed like a good spot because I could tick a few things off my bucket list with a visit to Everglades and Key West and simply soak up the sunshine at South Beach before flying up to New York.
What I hadn’t counted on, was that I wouldn’t love Miami.
South Beach seemed at little like the Gold Coast on steroids, beach umbrellas were crazy expensive to hire (starting at $20 a day) and then there was a brief encounter with an egomanic ex-contestant from the US version of The Bachelor, who actually said, “I’m not sure what’s in Brisbane or at the bar is going to come close to me, I’m not some normal dude. You clearly don’t know that”. Yeah.
Valerie is a Colombian freelance photographer who works with Shoot My Travel, a company which teams travellers up with local photographers.
She loves conversations (lucky), is super creative, is always looking forward to her next adventure and takes amazing photos, so basically she was the best person to hang out with for half a day and to give me the inside goss on where to eat, drink and play like a local for the rest of my visit.
I’ve never used a photographer while travelling but as someone who often travels solo, it makes so much sense.
Gone are the selfies, okay, not gone completely, but it was fantastic to end up with some beautiful photos that I’m in rather than photos of the view, selfies or weird photos random people have taken for me.
After starting off with some photos in the art deco precinct along Ocean Drive, we headed down to South Pointe for some beach shots, including one of the iconic Miami Beach lifeguard huts, before stopping in Little Havana for coffees at the iconic Versailles Restaurant (with Valerie acting as my translator) and to check out the old guys playing dominoes in the park.
Then it was off to Wynwood Walls, which tops my list of places you MUST visit if you’re in Miami.
After hanging out with Valerie, I decided to say see you later to the alligators and my plans to head further south and decided to make a return visit to Wynwood and Little Havana, check out the live music at Ball & Chain, try the cocktails at Broken Shaker, load up on more Cuban coffees from Versailles and generally enjoy some downtime before heading off to New York City.
As I’m sure you can tell, I loved my Shoot My Travel photoshoot. Valerie captured my personality in the portraits and was super accommodating with getting some shots that I could use on What Brooke Wore.
I was gifted a You and the City photoshoot ($185), a package which has been designed for solo travellers (hurrah!) and includes 15 images, with the chance to purchase further images and more time.
And f you’re thinking of popping the question while travelling, they even have a Surprise Proposal package.
All Shoot My Travel packages include a private photo tour at your chosen location or locations and digital delivery of all photos via a private link – my digital album arrived before I’d even left Miami.
Do you have a favourite photo from my collection? Have you used a local photographer while travelling?