Guest Creatives

When conceptualizing the Connected Creative, I wanted to bring together women who have inspired my own creativity and writing. These voices have been paramount to my growth and creative expression over the years. By bringing women from all walks of life into the fold to facilitate and lead various breakout sessions, I trust you will find the one (or ones) you connect with the deepest.

Ashley Halligan
Lead Creative Coordinator

It’s impossible to explain what this woman means to me, but she has been paramount to my emergence as a writer. We met through a hashtag in 2016 in a travel group of about 500k women. I was just beginning my rediscovery by writing on Medium 

Early 2018, Ashley put out a call for an assistant for her digital publication, Pilgrim Magazine. Instead of sending her a proper CV, I wrote my entire email from the heart. Though I didn’t hear from her for weeks, when she finally did get in touch she gave me news to change the entire course of my existence. Bestowed the honor of  

We connected on all things Tarot, sharing in common trajectories not even a fiction manuscript could detail.m

Ashley is a master in freelance with an emphasis in copywriting. Her work has been seen in publications such as _____, _______, ______. She continues to elevate voices from artists and creatives around the world; sharing the freelance space with beautiful women hoping to make a difference in this life and the world. It is an honor to have her apart of the Connected Creative team and I know she will inspire your own passion for vulnerable travel narrative.

Carrie Barris
Lead Creative Coordinator

This is one of my favorite introductions to make because this woman believed in my voice as a writer from the very beginning. Though we lost touch in 2007 after my graduation, I carried her insight and support with me through all of life’s transition.

Our reconnection story is one of my favorites. I randomly found a blog she maintained with her late husband about National Parks and followed his account through Instagram. After much social media stalking, I finally confirmed it was the woman who believed in me before anyone else did. We’ve exchanged postcards over the last year, sharing our insights and travel experiences.

Carrie taught me creative expression through mindfulness before mindfulness was ever a thing. She helped me explore writing through sensory awareness and my poetry flourished with her guidance. I can’t imagine a more perfect person to help us hone in on our voices than the woman who helped me discover mine. She’s also the first vegan I ever met when veganism wasn’t a thing… so for all you health enthusiasts, this woman will lead the way. 

Jayne Kuhn
Assistant Creative Coordinator | Retreat Photographer

I had the honor of meeting Jayne during Sorelle Amore’s Iceland photography tour in March 2018. Our bond was rather immediate and flourished further when she joined me in Bali and Myanmar later in the year. We spent three glorious weeks interacting with the most beautiful humans and supporting each other through the rapid emotional and physical changes we endured. We were able to witness the magic of Myanmar together and we are excited to extend that magic to each of you. 

Jayne is one of the most patient people I have ever met and an attentive listener. She spent several late nights hashing through details and helping bring this creative dream and vision of mine to life. She is the reason Connected Creative exists and has been my sounding board through its entire conceptualization. She cares deeply about these communities we will be immersing in and has invested her time and energy into understanding their intricacies. She has become a sister to me and I know she will open her heart to you as selected tribe so often does. 

Her background in photojournalism and keen eye for special interactions makes her the perfect fit to capture our moments throughout the week. Jayne will help manage the logistics of planning a trip for 12 humans and be present during the retreat to support the community in any capacity we may need. 


  • Domino99

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  • JayaTogel

    Amazing blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m
    completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • haylinicole

      Hello Jaya! I’m sorry for the delayed response. Life took me to some pretty incredible corners that kept me offline in preparation for the first writing retreat.

      As far as getting started, adopting a regular writing schedule is going to be the biggest thing to jumpstart your creativity. Honing in on your voice and your niche takes time as well as a bit of experimentation. Take a look at where you’re currently writing and how often you’re utilizing them. Instagram and Facebook were my most utilized platforms until I started getting into web development and wanting to build a bigger audience.

      You have a few options to expand and it really depends on the direction you’d like to head creatively. If you’re looking for a free platform to get started, I loved using Medium as a playground for ideas. It has a loyal readership built into the publication and allows for some really great collaboration with up and coming writers.

      If you’ve already started your writing journey and have built your own following, I would suggest launching your first blog. Alot of writers will start with wordpress.com to begin because it’s free, but there are some limitations to it like not being able to use your own domain name. Upgrading to WordPress.org takes money and time commitment, but if you feel ready, I would be more than happy to point you in the right direction! Other platforms like Wix and Squarespace have wonderful features built in, but the cost is too steep for someone just getting started on their writing journey.

      If you have any more questions, PLEASE reach out to me personally at any time. You can shoot me an email at hayli@pilgrimmag.com for quicker response. My last bit of advice: Don’t stop writing, even on days you feel the most discouraged.

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