Chapter one:


Noha-Sahnoune-Coffee
Noha-Sahnoune-1

This will be a prelude to all future posts; an open letter, dare I say, for what I hope this journal will soon hold.

Paving a path of my own is a theme that’s been on my mind for the better part of two years; an idea that perhaps the building blocks to what we would call a “successful life” are constantly molded and changed by experiences only we can perceive over time. I am a writer and a photographer from southeast Texas, a soon-to-be transplant to northern California, and for many years, describing myself and what I do and who I am never came out quite right. And that was okay.

This journal, I suppose, will be set up a bit differently than most blogs you may encounter.

A mantra I’ve held closely throughout life is to “do what matters” - to focus on the minutes in life that spirit a moment, alter the course of a day, and change our lives for the better. There’s a lot of different facets to this - doing what matters is ingrained in the people we meet, the places we go, where we work, and how we carry ourselves. In ways that I can portray through writing, though, the ideas I want to share are more focused on how to make life a little simpler.

  • I write quite a bit about minimalism, and having all that I own be sources of comfort and simplicity for me. I don’t believe in capsule wardrobes, nor do I subscribe to mass clothing hauls, nor do I believe in pressuring others to change the way they live to complete some checklist. Owning what I need, investing in what I have, and taking note of ethics and sustainability along the way is what you can expect to find here. I love living and traveling lightly, and figuring out the most stylish, efficient, simplest things I can is part of the journey.

  • Travel is at the forefront of my mind at all times. Quietly entering the lands of another with no intent but to learn about the people, the culture, the purpose, the way of life - it doesn’t get any better than that, and I can’t wait to share the stories I gather as we go along. Adventure isn’t always requiring a passport, either - I’ve found that some of my favorite experiences are right at home, listening to stories in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, or exploring a vintage store I had before never heard of.

  • It is an art, but more specifically (and as I type, excitedly) a science. I’m dive deeper into the technical side of what capturing moments in photography truly holds, and defining the indelible mark of what makes a photo the best representation of what I actually see.

  • Everything is constantly changing - for better, for worse, and for good reasons, for bad reasons, and for no reasons at all. I reflect quite a bit on who I am as I enter different stages of life - moving, marriage, traveling, work, freelancing, writing, and confidence, courage, failure, resilience, grit. You can find quite a bit of these themes on my Instagram, but I’ll be leaving quite a bit here in this journal.

  • Much of my background and education is in the financial world. Outside of work, though, a focus I try my best to maintain is to minimize expenses while maximizing experiences. Alongside many of my friends in Houston, I bootstrapped my way through college, and it became increasingly important that we all understood how fairly unforgiving the world could be when it came to money. Investing, budgeting strategies, and personal finance are topics I’m constantly reading up on, and will come through in my writing.

  • I am passionate about authentic marketing in this digital world of ours, and offline, I’m constantly on the move with brands to take a step back, recalibrate, and move along forward with purpose in mind, whether it be in strategy, launches and campaigns, or social media. As consumers, what we think matters most. We drive demand, and thus we drive change.

The thing about the road less traveled is that it most often is never linear, and tend to leads one to a place that otherwise may have never been discovered. This journal will change, and be fluid, and (hopefully) make sense by the end of it all.

And as I find my way to focusing on what matters most to me, I certainly hope our paths cross.

Noha