#TAKEUSWITHYOU: Thailand by Tessa Barton



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Hey there! My name is Tessa Barton (@tezzamb), I'm a fashion blogger, traveler, musician and lover of living every moment! I currently live in New York with my husband Cole. We're originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. And for those of you who don't know, Utah is jam packed with some of the most talented people on the planet. I feel really lucky to know many of these fine young individuals, specifically Liz and Dave, the creators and owners of the swim and fitness company Albion Fit. At the beginning of the year Liz and Dave ended up asking me and my husband to go on a trip of a lifetime for their 2017 swimsuit collection in the most magical place on earth - Thailand. We got to adventure and shoot this amazing collection in hopes to bringing it to life! Written here are my unforgettable experiences, where I share the little moments behind the images and the swimsuits you've grown to love. This truly is dear to my heart and hope you enjoy reading it!

1. Koh Poda Nok (The Sunrise Collection)

I remember the first day we got there. We woke up at 5 AM, loaded into a little truck, and headed to the water. It was still pitch dark outside as we got aboard a little wooden boat to catch the sun coming up. You know when you have seen pictures of a place and think well, it's probably not as pretty in person? Thailand exceeds all expectations. It is without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The water is as pretty as the Crayola crayon you used to think only existed in your crayon box. The sunrise is actually picture perfect, each island is so lush and full of hidden secrets and caves, the magic is just endless. No one else was on the water that morning, so we pulled up to an island surrounded by other islands, it was peaceful and felt untouched, as if we were the first to discover it.

2. The Pink Boat (The Smudge Collection)

The next day I remember we were so excited because well hello, PINK BOAT! How does that even happen? The day we were shooting the pink collection the boat that pulled up just happened to match?! I told you this place is magic. Jessica Janae (best photographer in all the land) had just purchased some insane under water camera gear so we were able to capture us swimming with hundreds of stunning fish. It was just breathtaking beyond anything I've ever seen! 

Featured: Smudge Switchback Swim Crop + Smudge Hipster Bottoms, The Catch One-Piece Swimsuit

Featured: The Catch One-Piece Swimsuit

Featured: The Catch One-Piece Swimsuit

Featured: Smudge Switchback Swim Crop + Smudge Hipster Bottoms, The Catch One-Piece Swimsuit, The Wanderlust One-Piece SwimsuitThe Getaway One-Piece Swimsuit

3. Field of Palms (The Citrus Collection)

When we would cruise around the island we would all load up into this big white van. It was hard not to want to pull over every two seconds to take a photo, but as soon as we saw the amazing rows of palms it was an absolute must. I remember thinking 'ohhh this will be sick, I am going to kind of climb up the tree, snag a coconut or something lol' So there I go inching my way up while Jess is shooting, next thing you know, MASSIVE BLACK SCARY HORRIFYING WORST MOMENT OF MY LIFE GIANT SPIDER. I ran screaming and that was the end of that. 

Featured: Clementine Game Changer Swim Top + Clementine High-Waisted Bottoms, Clementine One-Piece SwimsuitSeas the Day One-Piece Swimsuit

Featured: Peachy Keen One-Piece Swimsuit, Clementine One-Piece Swimsuit

Featured: Peachy Keen One-Piece Swimsuit

Featured: Grove Switchback Swim Crop + Grove Hipster BottomsPeachy Keen One-Piece Swimsuit, Jade Scuba Crop + Grove High-Waisted Bottoms

4. Railway Beach (La Fleur Collection)

We took a boat and sailed out towards the most breathtaking island! There were so many little inlets we wish we had more time to explore! But there was this one epic mountain that you just can't miss! We spent most of the day shooting a handful of swimsuit styles, not to mention one of my favorite off the shoulder styles, which eventually was named after me - The Tessa! SO honored! 

Featured: The Tessa Off Shoulder One-Piece Swimsuit

Featured: The Globe Trotter One-Piece Cut Out Suit

Featured: The Black Sands One-Piece Swimsuit

5. Koh Phak Via (Treasure Island Collection)

We visited a string of islands and stopped off on an island with no one around. It was another one of those moments of having an entire beach to ourselves. How lucky is that! Just imagine traveling with your friends to another country and just having a tropical island all to yourselves. That's a pretty rad feeling! We took our boat around the main island away from the beach and sailed underneath this overhanging cliff, basically a rock climbers dream for some deep water free soloing! Shooting this collection was bittersweet because it was one of our last and I will never forget it!

Featured: The Plunge Plum One-Piece SwimsuitThe Treasure Island One-Piece Swimsuit

Featured: Shell Shock, Poppy V Neck Swimsuit

Featured: Trove Rash Guard Swim Crop + Black Hipster BottomsTrove Rash Guard Body SuitMaria Crop Top, Trove + Black Hipster Bottoms

6. Boxing Ring

One evening Cole and I went on a walk down the street and stumbled into what might have been the most magical moment of the trip. Underneath a tin roof in the middle of nowhere as the sun was going down and turning everything to gold we looked to our left and saw these young boys at Muay Thai practice. It felt like walking into a movie scene. The weights were old and rusty, the punching bags were so beautifully aged they looked like pieces of art and there was even an old tv, dead serious, like you picture in the movies sitting on a tin table. As we approached the boys got excited and decided to give us a little show. I took probably 4000 pictures because I just couldn't get enough. 

7. Monkey Island

In Thailand there is apparently a little place called monkey island. Our boat driver told us about it and of course being typical tourists we all jumped for joy and said go there now! We pull up and yes monkeys all about. Long ago I went to India and remember seeing monkeys but these were mean monkeys, the kind you want to stay away from. So of course I was a bit hesitant when we pulled up. But Salome, one of the models on the trip, casually walks up and starts giving this monkey water from a water bottle. She was calm and so was the monkey so naturally we all think ok fun I wanna try. So we all start approaching, but you have to understand these monkeys get greedy, if one is getting something they all want it. We had another water bottle which was just in someone's hand and as the monkey reached for it Jessica panicked tossed it to Madeline who then panicked and tossed it to Lexi who tried to move but the money saw it flying to her hand and leaped onto her with his teeth out which led to Lexi getting bit by a monkey. This is not as casual as it may seem. Monkeys' carry rabies which is seriously scary business. We had to go find a hospital right away. It ended up being funny and a good story but I would recommend just looking at theses monkeys from afar. 

Featured: Channel Stripe High-Waisted Swim Bottoms

8. Dragon's Tongue Hike

Dragons Tounge, what was said to be a casual hike was not so casual. All uphill like real hiking lol.   I think you can tell it was worth it once getting to the top. We made it there right as the sun started to set which was insanely beautiful. It may seem like I am not standing close enough to the edge but I can't begin to tell you how terrifying it was up there. On the way up to the hike we saw this amazing little scene in the forest. A log had fallen across a mossy stream and we thought ugh picture moment and so 4 of us girls went to the log and began to walk across. About half way through Madeline goes 'wait I think I heard it cracking?' Before I can even think I take one more step and WHAM the tree breaks in half as I fall back first into a muddy, slushy, spidery swamp and am covered in all that fun stuff. You know when you are with people and you are laughing at yourself but at the same time you kind of want to cry but you aren't hurt or anything and it's awkward and you wish you could just run away. Well that was me haha. All ended up being fine and we continued on the hike. Now If you happen to do this hike. You want to come down before the sun does. I don't think I have ever run downhill faster in my life. I am talking we are in a straight up jungle. Weird noises and creatures started coming out. As I would run to the side of me an animal was following it felt like a jaguar was going to jump out at me at any moment. Luckily we all made it down safe, but it was a thrill. 

Featured: Antigua Cobalt Exhale Bra 

Featured: Antigua Cobalt Exhale Bra, Sweet Stripe Exhale Bra + Black High-Waisted Capris, White Exhale Bra + Antigua Cobalt Extend Leggings, Black Exhale Bra + Antigua Cobalt Sprinter Shorts

9. Scooters & Skateboards

On this day we decided to grab our skateboards and rent some scooters to get more familiar with the city we were staying in. So much laughter was heard as we tried to gracefully attempt tricks on our skateboards and dodge flying bugs driving through the streets. Nothing beats discovering new places with your Albion girls by your side!

Featured: Orchid Switchback Swim Crop

Featured: Orchid Switchback Swim Crop

Featured: Orchid Crop Top

10. Home Away from Home

This section is just some of my favorite swims shot around where we were staying. This place was like a Thai palace and basically every day since I have been trying to figure out a way to go back and move in. Albion makes so many cool swimsuits I really don't think I could pick a favorite. 

Featured: Maria Crop Top, Pana Stripe

Featured: Shell Shock, Poppy V Neck Swimsuit

Featured: The Bombshell, Pana Stripe One-Piece Suit

Featured: Orchid Switchback Swim Crop + Plum High-Waisted Bottoms

Featured: Bright White Scuba Crop

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