It’s easy to take where you live for granted — when the things that make other peoples’ jaws drop become blasé to you. For that reason, in both my personal life and my work, it’s important for me to travel and get out of my comfort zone. That’s when I feel most present and observant of my surroundings.
I love first stepping out of a car or plane, looking at everything with a fresh set of eyes. Of course from that point up until I leave is the juicy bit, but I particularly enjoy the plane ride back home. That’s when I reflect on the experience and write any insights or things I learned in my travel journal. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired, I open up that journal to reignite my curiosity and passion.
“I love first stepping out of a car or plane, looking at everything with a fresh set of eyes.”
Obstacles force us to make choices. The less time you spend trying to figure it all out, the clearer things become. // Contrasts in life are important. You need to sleep under a tree to appreciate a luxury hotel room. // The adventure doesn’t start until something goes wrong. // Happiness is found when you care about things bigger than yourself. // Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.
To me, it doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money flying all over the world, staying in fancy hotels and eating expensive food. My definition of Well Travelled would be someone who has continuously pushed themselves out of their comfort zone — developing an understanding and appreciation for people who live life differently from themselves.
There are times when I feel completely lost and question if I’m going down the right path. But it’s the little clues that let me know I must be doing something right, like emails and comments from people telling me that something I created inspired them in some way — particularly if it’s to travel. I believe that travelling is an incredible vehicle for people to become more open-minded, so the thought of potentially inspiring that keeps me driven.
“Travelling is an incredible vehicle for people to become more open-minded.”
I tend to fly by the seat of my pants when I’m travelling. It’s nice to have a loose idea of things and places you want to see so you at least have something to motivate you to explore. But I also think it’s important to leave room for spontaneity. If you fill up your itinerary too much in advance and try to stick to a strict schedule, you never know what kind of hidden gems and detours you could miss out on.
My first trip to Iceland in 2013 changed my life. I went there on a two-week vacation with my family and drove the entire circumference of the island. The diversity of the country’s landscapes in short distances is mind blowing. One moment you’ll be driving through a field of black lava rock, and within an hour you’re floating though rolling hills of bubbly vibrant green moss beds. I felt so in my element behind the camera, that once I returned home I quit my job a week later to become a full-time photographer. The rest is history.