OAK & BONE

A creative journal by Gabi E. Mulder

TAKING A GLIMPSE AT VIETNAM

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling on under the stars.”
J.K

There’s no doubt that it’s a collective love of the human race that we like to dream of packing our bags, forgetting our worries and jetting off to a tropical island filled to the brim with coconut trees, a whole lot of sunshine & a whole lot of freedom. With this in mind –  my travel companion Sophie (New Zealand native, creative, total babe) decided on a whim to do just that.
Sophie flew from Auckland into the Gold Coast where we would meet for the first time ever in person as we were boarding our flight to Kuala Lumpur and then on to Vietnam. Safe to say we hit it off from the get-go when we found out our extreme mutual love for food (which we were about to indulge heavily in once we hopped off the plane).

The following two weeks were filled with tuk-tuk rides through coconut forests, bike riding through rice paddies, enough food at our table to feed a small village, boats along the Mekong, the quaintest streets we’d ever seen, flower markets, heat-stroke (hello 40 degree heat) and most importantly and wonderfully of all: $1 coconuts with every single meal.
Vietnam, thanks for being a total delight!

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ACCOMMODATION RUNDOWN:

STOP N.1 – Ho Chi Minh City

We stayed in two great places in Ho Chi Minh. Our first stop was the amazing Air Bnb that’s pictured with the net and tree that hang in the middle of the house. For those who messaged me asking where the quaint little building with the net was on my Instagram, this is the one for you! The area around this accommodation is great for seeing the ‘real’ Ho Chi Minh. We didn’t come across many Westerners at all and the streets are lined with incredible street food vendors. Such a sweet, authentic place to stay & see!
Find it here: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/10528770?ref_device_id=472807cb00427629f2d05faa596425a68a07edbf&s=41&user_id=962875

Villa Song was the second place we stayed in Ho Chi Minh. It is the epitome of luxury! Practically everything in the hotel is complimentary (even the mini bar…since when is that a thing?!), and best of all the hotel has a private boat for guests that will take you straight into the city via the river. The entire hotel is gorgeous and an absolute treat! Would 100% recommend staying here if you’re looking for something a little more luxe in Ho Chi Minh.
Find it here: http://villasong.com

STOP N.2 – Hoi An

Imagine the sweetest French village possible, add a little Asian twist, and you’ve got Hoi An. Filled to the brim with cobblestone streets, lanterns and flowers that hang over the sidewalks and the little town being surrounded by coastline and rice paddies. I would recommend staying 3 nights to have time to wander the streets and make use of the incredible tailors that line the streets and can make literally anything your heart desires.
We stayed at Anantara Resort. A beautiful boutique hotel right on the water and a 2 minute walk from the heart of Hoi An. The best thing about staying here was the complimentary bikes you could hire whenever you please. We would spend our days riding through the rice paddies and down along the coast. Bike riding is a must in Hoi An as traffic is pretty minimal and it’s 100% the best way to get around.
Find it here: http://hoi-an.anantara.com/

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Thanks for the wild ride Vietnam!
Until next time!

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10am WITH AMBER

With 100% honesty, I think Amber is one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. At just 18 years old she holds such a splendid curiosity and such a positive and inspiring outlook on our world that I know she is going to be a big game changer of our generation, even if she doesn’t know it yet.

Amber and i were total strangers until a few weeks ago when I was down in Melbourne. We decided to meet up one morning and grab coffee together and to take a few snaps. With my camera tucked under my coat, I sped-walked through the rain and eventually spotted Amber from across the street. We waved to one another, she ran across the road, we met, and our friendship was made!

We spent the following five hours together discussing practically everything under the sun. From our personal lives, to our travels, our families, our plans for the future, our beliefs on world events, how we spend our daily lives and everything big and little in between.

I can’t stress enough how much I adore meeting people younger than myself. I think too often people dismiss younger people as not knowing as much as them, but I find that so untrue and such a shame that they’re missing out on learning from people experiencing our world in an entirely different way. Although I’m only 20, and I’m sure many people would think between an 18 and 20 year old there can’t be many differences, but i find that untrue. I feel like our world right now is moving at such a rapid rate that every single child, born every day apart, experiences our world differently and has a new perspective on a new topic. There’s so much to learn from everything and everyone. How cool is that?

Amber, thanks for being such a beacon of light in our generation. You’re a gem in the truest sense of the word.
And everyone, just warning you that you’re likely to fall a little in love with her…

Enjoy! X
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Where’s home? 
Hmm home??? After I finish work I have the exciting thought of where do I want to go tonight? To my sisters house who lives in St Kilda (my favourite place), or to my home town with my friends and family? Home is where I choose it to be, but in saying that – living like this does cause me an awful lot of keys that I often lose and a huge bag to carry around with all my clothes.

What is one thing someone can do to win your heart? 
Be a genuine, kind person and see the world the way I do. Oh and have an obsession with Amy Winehouse and falafels (asking for a lot, I know).

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How would you spend your perfect Saturday morning? 
My perfect Saturday would be waking up with the natural light of the morning, getting brunch with my sister Ebony, seeing my mum and meditating with her, and then spending the rest of the day venturing around! 

Three words to describe your lifestyle? 
Exciting, adventurous, wing-it. 

Your favourite place in the world is?
Right now – with the presence of my sister Jade, in our humble abode. 

Where would we find you on a Sunday?
Monk Bodhi Dharma cafe – this is exactly where you’ll find me every Sunday. I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t start my Sunday with one of their almond chais. Then off to the markets or op-shopping. 

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Dawn or dusk?
Dawn

Hair up or out?
Out. 

Coffee or juice?
Coffee! I live in Melbourne after all. 

Films or books?
Books! Doesn’t mean I’m not a sucker for the classic films though. 

Shoes or barefoot?
If it wasn’t the middle of winter, I would 100% be barefoot.

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Amber Auffray photographed by Gabi Mulder in Melbourne, Australia.

3PM SUN

I remember as a child being so smitten by the books and films that had a dream-like quality. Where the sun was always shining, the people were freckled and happy, the sun cast a golden glow upon everything it touched, and nature was everywhere in sight. As I’ve grown up, I’ve noticed I try and emulate that with every detail in the way I spend my days. As they say ‘how you spend your days, is of course how you spend your life’.

On one Sunday  afternoon a little while ago, Sara and I spent the afternoon drinking chai, lazing around the house and picking avocados from the orchard. It had the feeling of stepping right back into one of my childhood fantasies and the way I hoped the world would be as I grew up.

Welcome to our afternoon of simple pleasures and casual magic. Introducing Sara… a sun-kissed, softly spoken, utter treasure in the world.
Welcome to our afternoon in the sun ✩

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Sara photographed by Gabi Mulder in Byron Bay, Australia.

A WEEK IN JUNE

Two cars, four girls, a whole lot of road trip snacks, good tunes and I think combined about eight blankets to cocoon ourselves in as we slept under the stars up in the mountains. This year has practically felt like an endless summer and of course the best way to spend any summer day is by heading off on a road-trip with your closest friends (so  in the spirit of summer, we did just that). I took a bunch of photos as we travelled up into the mountains that I hope capture the wonderful times that were seen & experienced – Enjoy!

Our road trip playlist:
(WARNING: major throwback songs that will have you tapping your feet like it’s nobodies business…)

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield 
Remix to Ignition – R. Kelly
Valery – Amy Winehouse
Better Together – Jack Johnson
Waiting On The World To Change – John Mayer 
Jordin Sparks – One Step At A Time 
Sunday Morning – Maroon 5
Wild Dog – James Crosby 
Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder 
Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root 
Follow The Sun – Xavier Rudd

Gab x

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INDIAROSE

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Who are you & what do you do?
Hello, my name is Indiarose Thomas.
Indiarose is my first name, no space between India and rose, no hyphen, no capital R for rose, and rose is not my middle name, I actually don’t have one.
I am a human, dancer, introvert and a student in my last year of highschool, currently completing my HSC. I work as a model, love anything where I can express myself creatively and am a serious lover of good music (aka David Bowie ⚡)

Where’s home?
Home to me is anywhere my family resides, which is currently in Byron Bay.

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How would you spend your perfect Saturday morning?
My perfect Saturday morning is usually spent sleeping in until midday, so its pretty much non-existent. Otherwise it’d be spent at the beach with a good book, a jar of water (we always lose our water bottles), and some fresh fruit.

Three words to describe your lifestyle are?
Unpredictable, Ridiculous, Clouds❤

You’re hosting a dinner party, what do you make?
Italian is my go to cuisine, and I’d probably make something extravagant, over-the-top and just downright unnecessary, I love entertaining and cooking for people ^_^

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What destination is next on your travel list?
I don’t have a set travel list, but the top 3 places I want to travel to are Tokyo, Paris and Vietnam.

Where would we find you on a Sunday afternoon?
Probably taking a nap… I really, REALLY like sleeping, to the point where people are concerned I have some form of iron or vitamin deficiency. I myself was convinced I had mild symptoms of narcolepsy at one point.

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Your favourite place in the world is?
The beach, at the moment just before the sun sets, where all the clouds are pink and fluffy and everything oozes a soft, warm, pastel glow.

What is one thing someone can do to win your heart?
Get up early and watch the sunrise with me❤

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Dawn or dusk?
I have a thing for watching the sun rise, so I’d have to say dawn.

Shoes or barefoot?
100% Barefoot

Hair up or out?
Hair out, I like to unleash the mane

Coffee or juice?
Juice, although I don’t mind the occasional coffee when it’s needed

City or country?
Country, Cities are too busy for me to live in for long periods of time.

Film or book?
Books, they allow for your own interpretation of the story.

Music loud or soft?
Super loud, I’m destroying my ear drums listening to ‘Soul Love’ by David Bowie as I write this interview.

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Indiarose Thomas photographed & interviewed by Gabi Mulder.

155 DAYS

It’s been 155 days since 2016 began.

I don’t what it was exactly that I wanted from this year. I think primarily it was to experience change. Big and small. You know that feeling when you’re ready for a new chapter in your life to begin? When you feel like you’re wrapping up certain pieces of your current self and are ready to meet a new side of who you are?

Changes have been happening, but the monumental ones will be knocking at my door in the next couple of months. It will be the first time in my 20 years on earth that I’ll be packing my life into a suitcase to go live on the other side of the world for a while. It’s been something I’ve dreamt of since I was a little girl. I have a little bit of a plan, but for the most part I’m throwing myself into the experience and uncertainty of the coming months with little more than my passport in one hand and camera in the other. With great uncertainty comes great possibility after all.

Nervousness about embarking on my travels with no real plan does cross my mind occasionally, but for the most part it is filled with pure curiosity and excitement. I figure there’s not much use in worrying. Life will pan out as it does and I think it’s best to simply ride the wave, try not fight it too much. (That’s me at the moment anyway. Ask me again when I’m standing in the New York subway, having forgotten the address to my AirBnb, it’s pouring outside and I just dropped my coffee all down my clothes – I might have a different answer then.) But nevertheless, at times when a sense of worry does surface, I find myself returning to certain sayings and phrases that I adore and really strike a cord with me. It’s amazing how a simple set of words can take a state of panic into one of clarity.

Below are some of my favourite writings by some well know and some unheard authors. Each are wonderfully real and relatable and I have no doubt you’ll find yourself loving them just as deeply as I do. Along with them are some snaps I’ve taken over the last few weeks & during a recent road trip up the East Coast of New South Wales. Ally, myself and our little home on wheels (lovingly named Frankie).

Whole lot of love in my heart for you all! Enjoy x

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“Remember, life is a journey. If you got everything you wanted all at once there’d be no point to living. Enjoy the ride, and in the end you’ll see these “set backs” as giant leaps forward, only you couldn’t see the bigger picture in the moment. Remain calm, all is within reach; all you have to do is show up everyday, stay true to your path and you will surely find the treasure you seek.” – Jackson Kiddard.

“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe in better things.” – Jamie Tworkowski

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“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.” – Emma Donoghue.

“Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.”

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“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life. you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” – David Bowie.

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“So stop waiting for Fridays, and stop waiting for summers, and stop waiting for someone to fall in love with you, because those things will happen. But in the mean time, enjoy right now. “

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.”

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“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”

“Accept the fact that you’re not perfect and see how much easier it is to breathe.”

“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive in the special occasion.”

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“She never worried. No use for it.”

“Be the type of love you deserve, if for no other reason but to show us all how it’s done.”

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“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later on.”

“Some day you’ll look back and know exactly why it had to happen.”

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“Have the courage to be exactly who you are without apology.”

“The woman who doesn’t require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.”

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“Expose yourself to your greatest fear. After that, fear has no power. You are free.”

“So far you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You are doing great.”

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“It’s a beautiful thing to have lungs that allow you to breathe air and legs that allow you to climb mountains, and it’s a shame that sometimes we don’t realise that that’s enough.”

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“Who’s to say tomorrow won’t be the best day of your life?”

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AUTUMN SUN’S KISS

There’s no doubt in my mind that autumn is my favourite time of the year. The last few weeks have comprised of crystal blue skies, an ocean as inviting as it was in the summer, and a vibe that would rival that of a tropical getaway. Life has had serious movie vibes lately.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been planning & booking in my travels for the rest of the year. There’ll be some domestic travel and a whole lot of international travel, so I’m reminding myself to enjoy every waking moment in the sun. Soon enough my bags will be packed and I’ll be off. With this in mind, I’m attempting
to shoot as much around home as I can with a whole lot of local talent.
To begin this journey of capturing as much of home as I can, I thought it would be fitting to start with the first face I ever photographed. You would have seen Paris Astley’s face dotted throughout my work over the years & there’s no doubt she remains one of my favourite faces.
Over the next few weeks before I head off, I’ll be photographing, interviewing and filming a group of inspiring local Aussie girls whom I love. Be prepared to be inspired, awed & overflowing with love for these Australian talents.

Making the most of Byron Bay’s beauty before diving straight into the concrete jungle with my camera in one hand, passport in the other. See you soon NYC!

For now, enjoy Paris & I’s afternoon last Sunday in Byron lazing about on the beach with grapefruit in hand…oh and autumn, thanks for being so spectacular in every way at every waking moment. You never cease to make my heart flutter.
Oh and you too Paris, ya hunka spunk.

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Paris Astley photographed by Gabi Mulder
Byron Bay, May 2016.

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