Like everybody, we were deeply saddened to hear that Chester Bennington had taken his own life.

Too often, people are too scared to admit when they are struggling emotionally and with their mental health. They worry about prejudice and judgment which stops people from seeking the help they need.

If you have a headache you wouldn’t worry about what people may think if you told them about it. Mental illness is exactly that, an illness and you should think about it the same way you would think about a physical illness.

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that the theory of germs was unknown and physical health wasn’t taken too seriously. Our understanding and approach to mental health is improving massively and is something we should take as seriously as physical health and we are getting there.

Remember, it’s ok to not to feel ok.

There are a lot of things you can do to help yourself feel better, such as regular exercise, getting a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet. You could also try things such as meditation, breathing exercises or reading self-help books.

However, the most important thing of all is to talk to somebody about it. Especially, if you can’t seem to get yourself to feel better.

Whatever you are going through, you don’t have to go through it alone. There is hope, there is help, and there is happiness ahead.

In addition to family, friends if things seem heavy talk to your doctor or a counselor.  Here are some additional resources of places you can turn to talk:



Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The Samaritans

Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Hotline (212) 673-3000

Crisis Text Line

24/7 Nationwide crisis-intervention text message hotline.

Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. 


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Confidential suicide prevention help.  24-hour online chat service





Suicide Prevention Hotline – Samaritans

 Call - 116 123


0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)


Heads together #oktosay




For support in your country, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html


Civil Youth: Artist Ambassadors

We are super excited to welcome Civil Youth to the akin family as brand artist ambassadors. 


Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, Civil Youth have had a meteoric rise since their first show in 2015.  They set the nation’s tour trail on fire and have been featured on more than 100 radio stations, gained sync licensing with major networks such as MTV, VH1, and E!, and received national press—including a write-up in Alternative Press Magazine



Civil Youth have opened for Twenty One Pilots and Awolnation. And, if the show hadn’t been cancelled due to a hurricane that never was (Tropical Storm Hermine, we’re looking at you!), they would have opened for Blink-182, A Day to Remember, and All Time Low in Atlantic City in September! 

The boys put on an incredible live show, and they are on tour again for one last time in 2016. Show and ticket info available below:

Tickets available at http://civilyouth.com/tour.html!

Listen to Civil Youth, including songs from their second full-length album ‘Who Rescued Who’ by clicking the links below:

Good around the world: Street Hairdresser


We love coming across simple stories like this. Everyday heroes, regular people who use the skills they have to make the world a better place for someone else. 

Joshua Coombes and some friends work on the concept of Doing Something For Nothing. A talented hairdresser, Joshua, sets up his salon on the streets of London, providing free haircuts to the homeless.


As Joshua says in the video; “This isn’t going to completely change her life right now, but it’s just providing that empathy that we all should, you know?” 

But what if everybody did the same thing? What if we all used a skill that we have to help another person, then how many lives could be changed completely?

Simple ways you can help refugees, right now.

There are approximately 60 million refuges in the world today. Half of these are children. 

As these stories begin to fade from headline news, it is important we remember that millions of refugees around the world are still in a desperate situation and in need of help. 

Here are some simple ways you can get involved and help today. 


First of all, take the time to really learn about the situation; ignorance is often the basis of misunderstanding and fear. As you make an effort to learn about the challenges and stories of these people, you will want to help.


  • Understanding different cultural customs and practices
  • Becoming their friends
  • Educating yourself and others
  • Taking a stand against intolerance
  • Promoting compassion and understanding
  • Getting to know firsthand what is needed
  • Highlighting strengths in other cultures


PC: @vladaa93@fatigrafias@teressa_palomo

If you are in a position to give financially to the cause, here are some places that you can make a small donation:

● Save the Children: distributing essential items such as diapers, hygiene kits, and food

● Red Cross Europe: providing emergency health services at central train stations

● Migrant Offshore Aid Station: preventing migrant deaths at sea

● International Rescue Committee:  improving living conditions by setting up camps

● The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): providing water, mosquito nets, tents, and healthcare

● Refugee Action: providing advice about claiming asylum, the asylum process, and asylum support


Volunteer doctor from Argentina hugs 5 month pregnant Syrian Refugee(Greece) PC: @fatigrafias

Volunteer doctor from Argentina hugs 5 month pregnant Syrian Refugee(Greece) PC: @fatigrafias

If you have the ability to donate your time and skills, start by seeking opportunities within your community. 

There are simple things you can do that will help a lot:

  • Sign petitions calling for more support of refugees
  • Teach the local language to newcomers in your area
  • Help refugees practice for job interviews
  • Give rides to refugees

Many great organizations are looking for volunteers. Check out their websites to see how you can lend a helping hand.










There are many ways to escape. Some people sleep; some people turn on music; others play a sport. I—if I’m not physically on a plane heading to my next destination—read.
— Emma Cunningham

I’m a firm believer in the power of novels, especially novels about travel. As a child, I would spend endless hours at my neighborhood library completely lost in the Magic Tree House series, dreaming about a life of endless adventures. 

I love authors who can exaggerate not only the destination of the story, but also the journey to that destination. They are able to make me feel like I’ve gone on an adventure, and for a little while before bed, or while taking a work break, or on a long bus ride, my mind is in some far-off location.

If you love to travel, I promise these novels will blow you away. And don’t forget to share your book recommendations with us in the comments below!


5. The Kindness Diaries 

The story about a man who leaves his unfulfilling desk job in search for a meaningful life. His goal on his trip around the world is to survive only on the kindness of strangers, asking them for shelter, food, money, etc. The Kindness Diaries will completely restore your faith in humanity, teach you not to ignore that begging homeless person on the street, and inspire you to pack your bags and GO.


4. Into The Wild

An absolute classic. Oh, how I’d marry Alexander Supertramp if I could! There’s something so alluring about his ability to flip the bird to society and head off to wild Alaska. This is the story of an educated young man from a wealthy family who leaves behind his family, possessions, and money to live alone in the wilderness. This book taught me that nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a person than a secure future. If adventure is what you crave, you’re not going to get it at your nine-to-five desk job!


3. Wild

The empowering story of a woman that loses herself after the death of her mother and finds herself again by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. She battles wild animals, lack of food and water, exhaustion, extreme climates, and her painful memories. But in the end she realizes there is no weight in the world that can keep you down besides the weight of your own surrender. I’ve read this book countless times and still get a rush out of her battle. It truly is an incredible story. 


2. Little Princes

I’m actually currently reading this novel and cannot put it down (well, except to write this post). Conor Grennan volunteers at an orphanage in Nepal only to learn that the children are not orphans but were taken from their families and are victims of child trafficking. When the children from the orphanage go missing, Conor sets out on a quest through the Himalayas to find them. This novel is truly heartbreaking and will make you want to run to Asia to hug and adopt every child you see. 


1. A House In The Sky

If you take away anything from this blog, it should be to get your hands on this book! I’ve read it three times, and it’s the reason I am all for solo female travel. The memoir of a young, Canadian woman who explores the world’s most beautiful and remote locations by herself or with whomever wants to come along for the ride. Along the way she becomes a journalist, and her work leads her to Somalia during 2008 when it was known to be the world’s most dangerous country. On her fourth day in country, she gets abducted and is held for ransom for 15 months. She uses knowledge gained from her travel experiences to escape the terrorists who want to take her life

This blog was a guest post by Emma Cunningham - You can follow more of her travels here


Student feature - Luke

On our most recent set of projects in the South Pacific we provided school uniforms in the island nation of Fiji. In the capital city of Suva we worked with underprivileged children from five schools. These amazing children helped clean and garden for a local nursing home to earn their own uniforms, and they did an incredible job.

There was one student in particular that shone out; he gave a brief speech on behalf of the students and with his broad, warm smile expressed deep gratitude for their new uniforms. He impressed us in many ways, and the more we learnt about him the more we were blown away. We think you will be impressed too. 

Luke Naivakadula is one of three children born to his mother and father. Luke’s father left his mother right after he was born, and he was raised, for the most part, by his grandparents. His mother remarried and had a new family but after that didn’t bother with him and siblings anymore. However, his grandparents taught him morals and values. 

Luke grew up determined to create something different for himself and to make life better for other people too. He completed primary school in his village and in 2010 moved to Suva to study at secondary school. He tried to move back in with his mother and her new husband, but his stepfather had violent outbursts and would attack anyone who tried to protect Luke—including his mother.

Luke was frightened and unable to run away, but one day during a particularly brutal attack, he got away and ran all the way to the police station. He reported the incident but was too scared to return home. After that, he moved from place to place, always trying to stay in the same school. Sometimes he had to travel up to two hours per day on a bus to get there. Even amidst all of this difficulty and instability, Luke excelled in school. As a result of his exceptional performance, Luke qualified for scholarships to help him through school and for more permanent housing in a hostel. 

He became the prefect in form 5, deputy head boy in form 6, and head boy in form 7. He went on to win six awards during his senior year in school: Progressive Prize, Class Prize, Agriculture Subject Award, Head Boy’s Leadership Award, Principal’s Award, and the Dux Award. Luke has just been accepted to the University of the South Pacific, where he will double major in land management and geography. After graduating he wants to work in land management and help his clan deal with land disputes. 

Thank you, Luke, for reminding us that education can change lives. It is an honor to work with kind, determined students like you!

16 places to visit in 2016

1. Maun, Botswana 

Photo by: @_ahsim_

In 2016, Botswana celebrates its 50th year of independence. It is home to some of greatest wildlife in the world and some of the best safaris. 

Surrounded by Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia, there is a lot of room for exploring.


2. America’s National Parks, Glacier, Montana

Photo by: @alexstrohl

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of America’s National Parks, a system that safeguards hundreds of landmarks and 59 national parks. How many of these have you visited? If the answer is “none,” shame on you! Just kidding, you have probably visited more than we have—so shame on us! 


This is the perfect year to visit more. We recommend Glacier National Park in Montana as a perfect place to start. 


Photo by: @davispiter84

3. Wrocław, Poland 


The largest city in western Poland has been named European Capital of Culture for 2016.  Hosting an historic city center, islands, and beautiful bridges, Wrocław is becoming a European tourist hotspot.


Photo by: @itchy.feat

4.  Havana, Cuba

This. Is. The. Year. To. Visit. Cuba.

Even though it’s number four on our list, maybe it should be number one on your travel bucket list for the year.

This is your chance to go and see Cuba while you can still enjoy the authenticity and culture of what (basically) amounts to a Pennsylvania-sized time capsule.


5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Photo by @costa.rj


Rio de Janeiro will play host to the 2016 Summer Olympics Games—and all the excitement and development that comes along with that.

Even if you can’t make the actual games, Azul Airlines has loads of cheap flights headed for Cidade Maravilhosa.



6. Nuuk, Greenland

Photo by @ireimer73 

The capital and most populous town of Greenland, Nuuk, is host to the 2016 Arctic Winter Games. With Arctic sports including competitions in head pull and knuckle hop, as well as more traditional winter sports like snowboarding and ice hockey, what’s not to love? 

Throw in the beautifully colored buildings of Nuuk (pressed against a breathtaking mountainous backdrop), add a dash of icebergs and fjords, and sprinkle in some whale sightings, and you have the makings of a truly fascinating visit.

Photo by: @breezyedesigns

7. Dublin, Ireland

This year is the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a major catalyst leading to Ireland becoming an independent republic.

There are going to be a lot of celebrations. And, well, it’s Ireland—prepare yourself for some serious fun.


Photo by: @fixedits

8. Rotterdam, Netherlands

In 2016 the Eurostar between London and Amsterdam will start stopping in Rotterdam, making a visit all the easier. 

Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, and is known sometimes as the “gateway to Europe.” The city center was nearly leveled during World War II, but it was rebuilt and is now home to some of the most intriguing architecture in the world.



9. Reykjavík, Iceland 

As soon as you leave the airport in Reykjavík you are instantly transported to a new and incredible world. And it only gets better and better. Just a couple of hours’ drive outside the city you are met with waterfalls, lava fields, glaciers, and all the best Mother Nature and her Viking husband could produce!  

In 2016, a machine-made ice cave in the Langjökull glacier opens to the public; it’s called Into the Glacier, and we can’t wait to experience it ourselves.


Photo by: @kuuleiakina

10. Honolulu, Hawaii

Of course, Hawaii had to make the list for us. This beautiful piece of the world is where akin was founded. 

It’s a big year for the Aloha State, as it gets ready for the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the 100th birthday of both Haleakalā National Park and Volcanoes National Park! 


Photo by: @garadziesma

11. Siberia, Russia 

If you want an adventure in the great, great outdoors, then consider exploring Siberia this year. 2016 marks the centennial for the Trans-Siberian Express rRailway’s centennial., 

How better to spend your vacation than by exploring thecomplex and surprisingly diverse landscapes you’ll see along one of the longest railroads in the world?. 

This is untouched nature at its finest. 



12.  Stratford-upon-Avon, England

2016 is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and there will be plenty of commemoration in his home county of Warwickshire.

With its medieval Saxon cultural roots, it makes for a nice day trip out of London. 

There will be plenty of programs and events to mark the occasion, and you can pretend you understand the Shakespearean lingo! Come on, it’s culture! 


Photo by: @mariambadidu

13. Siem Reap, Cambodia 


The first akin school uniform project of 2016 will be in Cambodia. We can’t wait to be working with communities in Asia for the first time.

Close to the Angkor Temples, Siem Reap is an ideal location to explore over a thousand years of Khmer culture. 




14. St Helena, British Territory 

St Helena, is one of the most remote islands in the world and one of the last truly off-the-grid travel spots in the world. Napoléon Bonaparte was exiled to and died on this small island, and his gravesite is one of many intriguing things to see there. 

In 2016, the island is set to become a lot more accessible, as its first airport is being built (whereas now the only way to get there is by ship).

Photo by: @greenws

15. Kajiado, Kenya 

Kenya is everything you imagine to be magical about Africa. Kajiado County contains incredible wildlife and national parks with stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro. 

In 2016 it will play host to the Maasai Olympic Games, created for the Maasai people as an alternative to the centuries old practice of hunting lions as a passage to manhood.  


Photo by: @stingya

16. Yangshuo, China 

Chinese President Xi Jinping declared 2016 “Chinese – U.S. Tourism Year”. There has never been a better time to visit the ‘Middle Kingdom’.

We suggest that you include Yangshuo in your visit. Surrounded by karst peaks and intertwining rivers, it is easily one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it will change your life.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

am i actually making a difference?

Anybody involved in a social cause, to whatever degree, has most likely asked the question, am I really making a difference?


Trust us, we have asked ourselves that question countless times. Issues of poverty and empowerment are complex ones; there is no one trick fix. There are many people working hard to address the issue, but does any of it make a difference.

One thing we know is that changing lives is rarely a group experience; rather, lives are changed one at a time.

A little less than half the people on Earth live in poverty. Which means, if everybody in the world could help just ONE person out of poverty, we could end the issue altogether. This may seem to be an oversimplification, but our belief is that each of us has the capacity to make an important difference.

By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

Inspired by Soweto.

South Africa, Soweto BEN (45 of 54).jpg

Our latest project found us in the historical township of Soweto. It is nothing but an honor to be

able to work in these significant places around the world.


An abbreviation for South Western Townships, Soweto was formed as a result of the eviction of

black South Africans by city and state authorities. The birthplace of an uprising that would help

bring about the end of apartheid, Soweto is also home to many significant people in South African

and world history. Nelson Mandela called Soweto home for many years, as did fellow Nobel Peace

Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.



The children and teachers we were lucky to work with in Soweto were easily amongst the most

polite, kind, and impressive we have worked with anywhere in the world. Soweto is not without its

challenges today, but with the hometown role models these children have to look up to, can we

expect anything but greatness from them?

back to haiti.


As we write this we are sat on a plane from Miami bound for Port Au Prince! 


We are grateful for our friends at Red Sky Solutions, who are making this project possible by partnering with us for the third consecutive year. 




Haiti is a really special place for us and we can’t wait to land! 

If you would like to follow the journey with us in real time be sure to be following us on

Instagram (@akinclothing) and Snapchat (akinclothing). 

Ok here we go! 

interview:Akin WitH Dustin Haggett.

We sat down with Dustin Haggett, CEO & Founder of Impact Hub Salt Lake City. Impact Hubs are part innovation labs, part business incubators located all over the world, focusing on social impact.

We chat with Dustin about social entrepreneurship, future business trends and spontaneous surfing trips to Japan!


Can you give us a basic overview of what Impact Hub is?

Impact Hub was founded in London, in 2005, and originally was just a group of like-minded entrepreneurs all working on different projects that positively impacted the community.  They felt together—with a stronger network—they were more powerful.

One thing I found interesting with the Hub is how members become bolder when they are part of a community. 

Folks came to London from all over the world to see what was working, and it spread to where we are at 15,000 members across 80 major cities now. 


How did you get involved with it?

I was attending Presidio Graduate School [located in San Francisco, CA] and working on an MBA in Sustainable Management. I love that program; they did a lot of work at the Impact Hub there.


You joined as a member; most people would come to a city and just join again, what made you decide to turn that into a business for yourself?


I read a book called Natural Capitalism; it had a big impact on me. The author, Hunter Lovins, talks about how our whole economy is supported by the natural resources that we have. I found out that Hunter was teaching at Presidio, and that was a big reason I went there.


 We are hitting up against a lot of constraints in natural resources and our generation will see a lot of issues because of that. I felt like I wanted to do something more meaningful with my career; I think a lot of people of our generation feel that way. Doing something meaningful is important.


You are not native to Salt Lake City, so what made you choose to open an Impact Hub there?

I moved here when I was 18. I did my undergrad in finance and economics at Utah State, and I love Utah. As soon as I moved here I knew it would be my home base. I planned to move back after grad school.

[A lot of people might not know that] Utah is the most charitable state in the US as far as charitable giving. We are very entrepreneurial. We have a big tech scene here, and we have been dubbed the “Silicon Slopes.”

How do you see the future of social entrepreneurship?  Will it grow alongside mainstream business or will it become mainstream business?

I think it will become mainstream business. Look at the history of the corporation. Limited liability was a thing that governments would have to charter you for, and they started doing that when companies were working on public projects like the railroad.

 After a while, it just became the norm. Now your company can do anything, and you are not personally liable. Some great things have come from [limited liability] but there are also negative results, and I think we are starting to realize that as a society.

 Benefit corporations are becoming more mainstream and will become even more so. I think in the next 10 years we will see more tax breaks for socially responsible companies.


As a surfer, you travel a lot around the world. Impact Hub is growing worldwide, how do you see that continuing?

Every community, no matter where you are in the world, faces similar challenges; feeding our people, water, providing jobs—it’s helpful to get to know other comminutes to see what is working for them.

For example, here in Utah we have a big problem with air quality, with inversion, because of our geography. Mexico City has very similar geography. We learned they started a campaign called ProAire in the 80’s, and they have cleaned up their air quality so much. 


About a year ago, I was able to host a roundtable down in Mexico City through the Hub network with Gov. Herbert (governor of Utah), some local business leaders from here, and some people who are influential with ProAire. We had a learning session to understand what they did there and see if we could bring it back to Utah. 

So if people around the world want to get involved with Impact Hub, what should they do? 

Go to impacthub.net and see if the hub is in your city. If your city has one, go on down there and sign up. Get to know the community. There are folks working on all sorts of different issues; for sure, you will find something interesting.

And if there’s not a hub in your city, find out how to create one.


Do you have any travels or projects coming up?

I am going to Montana with my family next week. Then I am going on a surfing trip to Japan. I haven’t planned it all; I have no idea where I am going. I just know I am going to Japan and going surfing. 


Do you think it’s important to balance work with travel?

Yeah that is one thing that’s awesome about owning your own business; you work a lot more than a lot of people think but you have flexibility, which is nice.

Photos courtesy of Impact Hub SLC & Dustin Hagget @dustinhaggett


Wear akin, Send a Child to School

How You Can Travel Europe for under $350.

My college roommate and I had a chance to backpack Europe. The problem was we were on student budgets—basically nonexistent! Most websites told us it would cost into the thousands, but we thought, “What the heck! Let’s give it a try anyway and see how far we get!”

We travelled from London to Brussels to Paris to Bern to Rome and then to Athens, and we spent less than $350 each.

Here are a few simple tips for major savings when travelling through Europe.


It’s usually the same few things that kill any budget, and transportation is a big offender. Luckily, Europe is very suited to public transport, which means there are super cheap bus and plane options nearly everywhere. 

Though easier said than done, plan ahead. Book as early as possible, and you can enjoy major savings on travel. We’re talking flights for as low as $20 and buses between countries even as low as $1—for real! Look for deals on sites like megabus.co.uk, ryanair.com, etc., etc. 

Let’s be clear about something: there is nothing “mega” about the Megabus! But if it can get you from one country to another for a couple of dollars, who cares?


Within a country one-day passes on tubes and undergrounds can be expensive. However, most big cities have bicycles you can rent and drop off all over the city for next to nothing. One of the highlights of our whole trip was biking around Paris.  

It cost us about $2 for the day and was a truly amazing way to see the city! Most of the main attractions in any city are easily accessible by bike. Oh, and there’s always the option to walk—it’s free. And good for you, apparently. 



To be honest most of my money goes to food because I am a horrible cook! You can eat well on the cheap when you’re on the road. Europe has some great options to eat out without being too expensive: fish and chip shops, gyros, etc.
Pro Tip: Take the time to eat just a couple streets away from the main tourist spots. Food will be significantly cheaper and often more legit! 

Supermarkets are you new best friends; food is local, fresh, and cheap! Genuine French baguette, chips, and water easily fed two of us for less than $3. Side note: We opted for the supermarket-brand bottled water. It was cheap—17c, perfectly safe, and lasted all day. 


Don’t Pay to Pee!

In many parts of Europe, it costs money to use the restroom. 30 to 50 cents (75c US) a time starts to add up over a trip, so don’t pay it! Pee on the street in protest! I kid, I kid, don’t do that! Find a McDonald’s, a hotel, or a bar. There are places you can go gratis.  


Get the Local Know-how!

Get as much local insight as you can. Hit up the concierge in a hotel for advice, and you will get a free map and guide. Ask locals for advice on what to see. Get off the beaten path and you are almost guaranteed to find free places that are even better than the regular tourist spots! Amazing views are completely free if you know where to go. Plus, making friends with people from around the world is surely one of the best reasons to travel, right?

written by Ben

If you want to follow more of Ben's travels follow him on instagram.


Guatemala campaign.


We are really, really excited to let you know you know we will are teaming up with Teespring to offer new, limited edition shirts every week.

Each shirt will be used to fund uniforms in a specific country, so you will know exactly which community in the world you are helping! 


This week all our shirts will help to provide uniforms to kids in Guatemala


There are different styles and colors available for both men and women—all created in partnership with Guatemalan photographer Sarah Müller.

These shirts are limited edition and will only be available for 7 days only! 

5 things NOT to take when traveling.

When you travel, you carry your whole word with you. Problems arise, however, when you think you need to literally carry the whole world! It doesn’t take long to realize you don’t need as much as you think, and you will be super grateful to have a light backpack when you are wearing it all day or lugging it from place to place. 


We made a list of five things you can leave behind. Trust us, you will be OK…


 Books can be an essential part of travelling, so this one won’t please travelling purists, but hear me out! Instead, take a Kindle or an iPad. A tablet will save loads of space, give you access to tons and tons of books and PDF versions of travel guides (if that’s your thing), and allow you to read in the dark.  Plus, having a device on hand when you find free Wi-Fi can be a lifesaver!

Towels take up so much space, and once they are wet you don’t want to put them back in your bag. Most places you stay will have towels— if not, improvise! Use a t-shirt, bed linen, or dance until you drip-dry! 

                                               Photo:Snejana Atanasov

                                               Photo:Snejana Atanasov


 Shampoos and body lotions are heavy and bulky, and if they are the wrong size, airline security just might force you to throw them out anyway. Instead, pick them up on the go! Most places you stay will have some you can take with you, or you can buy them from a local super market for cheap. If the stars align, and you find yourself in need of some perfume or cologne or a little extra makeup for a special night, many cosmetics stores have samples you can try for free.

 Don’t take a large suitcase! Choose the smallest bag possible; you will be glad you did, and it will force you to pack less clothes and shoes. You never need anywhere near as much clothing as you think you do.  Remember; nobody you meet along the way is going to see you again. Choose items that can be mixed and matched. Ditch all the maybes. Find cheap places to wash what you have, if needed. A couple of akin shirts and a hat will do the job nicely ; ) .


In the immortal words of the one and only Queen Elsa, “Let it go!” The road is your chance to grow, to become something new. You unlearn as much as you learn about yourself as you travel. Don’t get held back by the past, either by refusing to let go of the bad or by comparing everything to the good. This is your time to write a brand new chapter of you. 

What are we missing from the list? Add your suggestions of things you don't pack in the comments below.

akin is a clothing brand helping to provide school uniforms to children in the developing world.

Wear akin, Send a Child to School.

Iwant to live, I want to fly.

On the school uniform delivery project in Costa Rica, the children there wrote and performed the following poem for us. It is beautiful:  

Yo quiero vivir

Yo quiero volar

Yo quiero soñar

Yo quiero un mundo lleno de paz

Si maldad, sin lagrimas

Donde podamos volar

En  búsqueda de felicidad


Donde los niños puedan jugar con alegria

Donde los hombres buscan con afan

Su libertad al salir el sol


Construyendo con amor

Un mundo de paz

Donde la tristeza, dolor

Guerras y hambre

No exiten mas. 


    Compartiendo y dando amor,

Fraternidad y cohexistencia

Donde los pensamientos

Pueden volar libremente

Por los cielos


Yo quiero crecer 

Y con mis padres envejecer

Forjando mis sueños hacia un nuevo amanecer


Estoy ansioso de que

todo hombre puede elevar su voz

Expresarlo que estan sintiendo y 

Ser escuchados con ilusion

Yo quiero soñar!

Yo quiero volar!

Esa luz del dia

Se vuelve un nuevo amanecer

Para todos aquellos que estan creciendo

Que no aprendieron a amar

Yo quiero vivir!

Yo quiero soñar!

Yo quiero....

Que los niños sueñen

De un mejor futuro

Que los padres sueñen

En construir un mejor mundo.

Yo quiero una vida

Sin dolor, sin violencia

Y pedir perdon 

A las victimas con dolor y angustias.

I want to live

I want to fly

I want to dream

I want a world full of peace

Without evil, without tears

Where we can fly

In search of happiness


Where children can play with joy

Where men seek with eagerness

Their freedom as the sun comes out.


Building with love

A world of peace

Where sadness, pain

Wars and hunger

Do not exist.


    Sharing and giving love,

Fraternity and coexistence

Where thoughts

Can fly freely

Through the skies


I want to grow

And with my parents age

Forging my dreams towards a new dawn


I am thirsty so

Every man can raise their voice

Express what they are feeling and

Be heard with illusion


I want to dream!

I want to fly!

That the light of the day

Becomes a new dawn

For all those who growing up

Did not learn to love


I want to live!

I want to dream!

I want…

That the children dream

With a better future

That the parents dream

In building a better world


I want a life

Without pain, without violence

And I ask forgiveness

to the victims of pain and anguish.


interview: akin with Sarah Müller.


This week we caught up with Sarah Müller, a half Swiss, half Guatemalan photographer travelling the world. Growing up, Sarah’s Dad worked in the Swiss embassy so she grew up in six different countries.

We chatted with Sarah about the adventures she documents, her love of travel and music,and her many tattoos.


When did you get into photography?

 I got into it for the first time when I was about 11. I had a certain curiosity from a young age; my parents had analog cameras, and my Mom had this really cool Polaroid camera, and I was fascinated by how it worked. We were in Switzerland at the time, living next to a huge sunflower field. The flowers would bloom in the summer, and I would spend hours out there. I wanted to find a way to immortalize it because autumn and winter would come and the flowers would go away, and I thought that was so sad.

 I used my mom’s analog camera and shot a roll, but the entire roll came out black. I confessed to my Mom, and she told me how to use it.

 I saved my money from delivering papers for music shows and bought my first camera. I got really into the music scene when I moved to Guatemala, and my friends in bands would ask me to take their pictures. That’s what really started it for me.


Your photos have a really timeless feel; looking at them you cannot quite decide if the photo was taken yesterday or 50 years ago. Is that something you are deliberate about?

Wow, I have a huge smile on my face now that you mentioned that! I feel really flattered. When you start out you have to define your style, and that can take decades; I definitely want to go for the timeless feel. My photography is a reflection of how I see life. The way I feel about time is that it can be so ephemeral; it’s fleeting and goes by so quickly and other times it’s completely non-existent. I aim for the non-existent aspect.


Can you give us a little insight into the creative process behind your photography?

99% of my pictures are completely spontaneous. Sometimes I will come across an amazing place and the weather or light or something is completely out of place, so I will occasionally revisit those places to get a shot if I have time. But most of the time it’s just me going out with friends on adventures and just documenting life.


Other than photography what do you do to fuel creativity?

 This might sound strange but I will absorb anything but photography for inspiration. Music is a huge part–I am also really into movies. Recently I have really gotten into dance, contemporary dance. There is just something so, so, so different about dance. It’s like a whole different world that I enjoy.


Who are you listening to right now?

I am obsessed with Patrick Watson, and I am also currently listening to this jazz compilation CD that one of my friends randomly ran over with his car. It’s like jazz and blues music from the 60s and 70s; it’s awesome.


Your Instagram profile says ‘homesick.’ Where is home?

Interesting… lots of people notice that, but nobody has ever asked me that. I actually also have “homesick” tattooed on my feet. There is no such place I have found which fits within the concept of home, at least not yet. So it’s kind of contradictive, which I guess is life. There was a quote from an Egyptian author who said something along the lines of ‘home is where you cease to run away.’

I feel myself constantly trying to escape from my reality or whatever problems I am facing, but there are certain moments where time ceases to exist. You take a breath and say, ‘This is life. This is happening right now, and I’m fine.’ And I think that’s what home feels like.

You are very interactive with your Instagram followers; is that important to you?

 Definitely. Instagram is all about community. It’s a social platform, so it’s important to have some sort of relationship with the people you follow or who follow you.


Your tumblr. is titled the B-Sides; what’s the story behind that?

Like the records back in the day, the b-sides were intended to be for the stuff that’s not quite as good, but you still want to get it out there somewhere. But my tumblr. became much more important than I intended it to be. It’s a whole different outlook for me. I’m more careful with what I load onto Instagram, but tumblr. is where I can express myself however I want to.


Speaking of the ‘homesick’ tattoo on your foot, how many tattoos do you have?

 Not enough! I honestly haven’t counted them but I think I have around 30.

My first one was a key on my forearm and my favorite is a mandala on my right arm by a Swiss tattoo artist that I met over tumblr. He has amazing technique.


Where are you going next?

 I am about to head to Semuc Champey, these little waterfalls in the north of Guatemala. Bolivia is on the top of my bucket list; they have the biggest salt flats in the world and this red lake. I’d also like to go to Iceland, and New Zealand, and Zimbabwe, yes!


Do you have a personal favorite photo you have taken?

I don’t think I have ever really thought about that. I feel like I fall more in love with the photos I take in my own life—the ones I never actually take with the camera.

Follow Sarah on Instagram and tumblr. 

wear akin, send a child to school