Last week, I lost a close friend, and the world lost an amazing person. Holly and I have traveled in 3 continents and lived together in another (Australia). Holly was a very gifted writer and truly believed that she could make the world a bit better. She believed in conservation through awareness and education so she used her writing and radio segments to tell stories. The last trip we took we traveled in Borneo, Holly took off to even more remote spots to get stories from locals from what the deforestation was doing to the villages. She put articles together with my photos and her writing. We always talked about what the two of us could do together for conservation. Not only were we close friends and great travel buddies, but together we made a great team.
Holly traveled to Thailand with me last year. When I think of her, I think of this image and this moment. I was photographing a wedding for an Australian Adventurer. The groom is an avid rock climber and his friends are also crazy adventurous people. They asked us if we wanted to go climbing. Holly had never really done outdoor climbing, and this was with an extreme group of people. We scrambled up to start on the side of cliff already pretty high up. I could see just a few nerves in Holly but she threw a harness on and was ready. She jumped on the route so fast and without hesitation, not slipping or falling once, on a rather hard route, climbed strait to the top, impressing everyone there. When she came down, with the beauty of the mountain, the accomplishment of the climb, and a few dropped jaws (including mine), I remember looking over at her face and seeing just pure pride and pure joy. She was overwhelmingly happy, and it was a beautiful moment. I will always remember feeling her happiness at that moment. Holly just full of pure joy.
When I found out she passed away, I looked into flights to Sydney, to be there for her funeral. It didn’t feel right. I felt that it wasn’t what Holly would want. So instead, I decided to continue fighting her causes and give donations in her name. I want to celebrate her life, through her commitment to conservation and change. So if you want to continue her fight just a little bit with me, please consider a donation to the following causes.
Deforest Action (organization Holly worked with in Borneo) – Deforestaction.org
Anyone reading this take a moment and don’t forget to invest in what you believe in, that is why I made this a public post. This world is beautiful and it is worth fighting for.
Holly you will be missed. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person and for your commitment to trying to make this world a better place.