A Cleanse from Christmas Consumerism – La Gomera

A study by
Paula Goldstein Di Principe

NAME:Paula Goldstein Di Principe
SPECIALISM:Travel, Fashion
LOCATION:La Gomera, Canary Islands
MATERIALS:X 15 Photographs / X 8 Notes / X 1 Postcard

Overview of Voyage D'etudes

A director of Purple.fr and Founder of Voyage D’etudes Paula started her career in publishing at British magazine Dazed and Confused aged 20. This became an all consuming passion for the world of magazines. Having found herself starting at the time when the publishing world was moving online she naturally created a niche in working with digital editorial and creative projects for new media. On leaving Dazed, Paula explored her love for storytelling through POST, the first fashion magazine exclusively for the iPad, which lead her to her current role working with Olivier Zahm for France’s Purple Magazine to set up it’s online platform. As well as fitting in work as a creative director and Dj because there is no such thing as too much.

I’m very lucky to travel a lot with my work and be exposed to some of the more grander spaces, meals and experiences in life through my fashion work, dipping into a world I could never actually hope to afford, it’s really something I feel very blessed by. But I also have regular existential crises brought on by the all consuming nature of the idea of style and luxury and the constant hamster wheel of fashion seasons. When I start to feel the wheel is flinging me wildly around of its own accord because the momentum has gotten too much – my go to fantasy is moving to rural Italy and growing my own food (I know how cliche) as the year drew to a close I was having a daily fix of broken down villa sales googling, when a small beacon text came through offering, freedom, sunshine, cheap flights, friends, lack of drama, my prayers had been answered! But then oh wait wait wait! Hold up it’s in the Canary Island’s was that not the very place that had featured in the “Big Fat Gypsy Christmas Special”. I was assured to not judge an island by its siblings that there would be watercress broth, goats and mountains where we could walk in the clouds – so I put my faith in my friends and went to La Gomera on a post Christmas mind cleanse.

We are on the road to nowhere – thankfully I adore the concept of nowhere having just taking an Easyjet flight from Gatwick to Tenerife at 7am a flight I have now named the “Tube of Hell”.

I don’t know why but for me Villa holidays have to always take place in around 1974 and our retreat overlooking the atlantic delivered on every level in that, the visual feeling I want filtered onto everything the slightly utilitarian vibe mixed with playboy whites poolside. Who needs Instagram when you have your own insanity to give everything that vintage glow? Oh and a photographer husband with swathes of grainy film to take pictures of moments just as they are pictured in your minds eye.

Don’t mess with 3 sugar starved city girls on a mountain top. The village that served as the final pitstop on our first hike was literally perched on the side of the mountain and our lunchtime venue “Maria’s”, was serving thin red mountain wine, boiled bunny rabbits and many many many potatoes. You might think this a bad thing yet to me dealing with a day to day life in which obsessive food choices that are ingrained particularly for those in fashion. The questions of being good or bad? marcobiotic, raw, vegan, high carb, low carb, meat quality, the task of friends who eat nothing, friends who eat everything and create enforced over spending, or the guilt getting something a bit wrong and cheap when drunk. I actually adore the lack of choice when away the and art of eating because we need nourishment.

We also had after lunch digestif which was apparently made from palms but tasted like a wonderful flavour combination of crude oil and and ethanol – thus I did make at least one food choice to never ever drink it again.

Sometimes I want to just be a mythical sea creature there are very few places in the world that we can be naked in nature without sexual connotation. Work for me is totally clothing focused so my ultimate escape is to do away with them entirely.

For those like me who had no idea where it is I acquired this handy Brits on tour friendly postcard map.

Plunging into 2014

Something had made the swimming pool a spiritual centre for us all on our escape imagine what you will of that but the electric ripples and the projections of swimming shadows where the perfect images to remember stay true to the simple things as 2013 drew its final breath.


So did I manage to find the space I needed and get down with my hippy self. The answer is kind of yes but I also realised by travelling with an amazing group of people that this other self doesn’t have to exist exclusively of my work self. I’m entering a  new year with the knowledge that I need to include more of the simplicity I love and make a bit of space for nature but also for thought and that thought doesn’t always need to have a physical point. Saying all these I was very happy to welcome a bath tub and flat whites back into my world.

PS all photographs have been stolen from my husband Simon Di Principe

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