Generation X: Why I Love Snapchat

by Rachel Staggs
( November 6th, 2015 )

snapchat snapcode

I keep reading about Millennials and Snapchat. I’m from Generation X, possibly considered “old” by some Millennials, but I love Snapchat too!

If you take a photo of my “snapcode” above you can easily add me without even searching for my user name, which is artistwandering.

In March of this year, my cousin’s teenage daughters showed me Snapchat so we could keep in touch. Until I went to Mexico this summer, I only used it for that reason. In Mexico I started using it to create “my story”. I shared photos from my day and video of the gorgeous beaches, as well as sunrises and sunsets. I enjoyed it until they started to disappear. My first reaction was not entirely positive. I had created this beautiful content and then it just disappeared in 24 hours. Once I figured out that I could save snaps to my camera roll, I began to really enjoy it.

rachel isla mujeres snapchat

I find that it’s much more personal than other social media platforms. You get a peak into moments that won’t be shared on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. For example, in the image above, I had just seen a sea turtle lay 60 eggs a block from my hotel. It was the first time I’d ever seen anything like that and it made me emotional. I took this photo while I was packing to head home the next day. I couldn’t stop crying. I was sad to be leaving, but I was also full of magical energy from that powerful experience. It was moving in a way I can’t describe with words. I wrote about it on Facebook, but I certainly didn’t post this photo. I was sunburned, sleepy, and teary.

I haven’t been a big fan of Facebook for about five years now. It can be a total black hole with an overwhelming amount of story links, seeing what your friends like, and knowing that every one of your contacts can see your activity. It kind of drives me nuts, but I keep it to manage the pages I created for my bands and artistic endeavors.

Now, instead of Facebook, I check Snapchat first thing in the morning along with Instagram. I connect with dear friends I’ve had for over 20 years, my family, and people I’ve never met who share their travels and worlds with me. It’s so much more positive and fun than logging into Facebook and seeing a stream of links. I love watching snaps from all over the world and traveling vicariously in real-time!

I’m headed back to Mexico next week and would love to take you along.

If you’re not on Snapchat, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as well.

May your journey be your muse,


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Camera Strap Review: Abie Straps

by Rachel Staggs
( October 27th, 2015 )

abie straps camera strap

If you like supporting a good cause while outfitting your camera, you need to check out Abie Straps.

All of the profits from the business go to charity. That’s right. ALL. Owner and designer, Ellen LeRoy, has partnered with Helen Keller International and Mercy Ships to help restore sight to those who are struggling in third world countries.

Not only are the fabrics used luxurious, you are bound to find a strap to suit your style. I usually go with black but decided to try something different and chose this woven chenille-metallic tweed.

abie straps camera strap review

It’s very comfortable with slight padding around the neck covered in the softest micro-suede. It was simple to attach my camera and features quick release clips. There’s even a little SD card pocket sewn on the underside! Made in the United States!

I’ve taken mine from Portland, Maine (photo at top) and Québec City, to Isla Mujeres, Mexico and Santa Fe, New Mexico. It traveled with me all summer and still looks brand new!

The website is a breeze to use, they ship worldwide, and there’s a generous return policy if you’re not pleased. They even take custom orders! It’s a great gift for the creative in your life and your support will help those less fortunate. Win-win.

What I Love:

  1. All proceeds donated to help cure treatable blindness.

  2. High quality materials used.

  3. Made in the USA.

  4. So soft around the neck! No need to break it in.

  5. Many styles to choose from, or collaborate on a custom design!

May your journey be your muse,

Abie Straps supplied me with a camera strap for the purpose of this review but all opinions are my own.

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Photo of the Day: Taos, New Mexico

by Rachel Staggs
( October 9th, 2015 )

taos sangre de cristo mountains

My return to Taos created a connection that I will continue to explore for years to come.

I first visited three years ago and was struck by this mountain range. I stayed outside, wrapped in blankets in near freezing temperatures both nights I was there until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I wanted to imprint this view in my mind.

I felt the same way this visit and was lucky enough to stay three nights just last week.

I was on a trip with my Mother, our second mother-daughter trip, both of which have taken us to New Mexico. Catch up on our first trip here!

It was especially magical to share the super blood moon eclipse from this very spot with my Mom.

We’ve already made plans to return in 2016, seeing no reason to wait another three years!

There are a handful of places I’ve visited that give me a deep sense of peace. Tears well up in my eyes when it’s time to leave. Taos is one of those places.

May your journey be your muse,

Travel with me in real-time! Follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (search for artistwandering)!

Related links: New Mexico: Rio Grande Gorge Bridge


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