People sometimes ask me how I can afford to travel so much. Traveling has always been very important for me because these are the experiences I grow from. The decision to travel comes in trade with my career. Meanwhile my travels other people build their careers - but that is OK - to travel was what I wished for myself at this stage of my life. So at my twenties I do it regardless of the career. I felt like I was not going anywhere in my past job so I needed to slow down and get away from that. It is always a trade for something. We cannot have everything all at once, that´s not how it works, even though on instagram it might seem like that. Remember, most of the people on the planet are average and not multimillionaires so it is completely fine not to have everything figured out in your life at the age of 25. Or 30 (-trust me, I am almost there). And it is completely normal that you go for one holiday per year. That´s what most people do anyway. And a huge amount of people cannot afford even that, remember.
I am repeating myself, but I should state it again - I always seek for money-friendly options and I don´t pay for almost any activities in the destination. I am purely comfortable with just being at the destination and explore it on my own. There is so much you can do for free or for very little. I travel kind of on the edge. I never had a well paid job, and I never had parents who could fund me, so I was always paying everything from my own money. So - no, I am not rich; yes, you can save surprising amounts of money if you wish; and yes, long term traveling has sacrifices.
But traveling all the time time is no longer something I wish to present myself with - and trust me - for years it has been the center of my universe. I always thought that when I will travel a lot something miraculous will happen and I will be living happily ever after. No. That is not how it works and I learned it the hard way. Traveling will teach you many things but it will not make you overall happy. Happiness is something we must seek within ourselves. I experienced a lot, grown from many situations, and especially on this journey. I have thrown away my naivety and I see the world without pink glasses. I no longer have the urge to share where I have been all the time on social media. I travel more for just myself - for my own pleasure and experience. And from that experience, something better can come.
It is more important than ever for me now to be truly present when traveling. I am not sure if at all those trips we took before, where I hit couple of hundreds of photos on my camera, if I even felt them or if I was just behind my camera. I no longer snap everything with my phone (I am trying hard, it is such a bad habit to take tons of pictures of everything). I enjoy taking my camera for random photoshoots rather than reporting all the day on the road, every move. When I was documenting everything, I always got lost in my photo files for hours trying to get through all that, which was killing me. And the creativity. The pictures were not good. They were the average travel related pics I could see all around the internet. They were not personal to me, it was not saying anything about me or my point of view on that moment. I was exhausted from photography. When I think about it I was creating full time, taking pictures everywhere, but the results were miserable, because I was so overwhelmed and I was comparing myself to all those images online which only resulted in me taking a very bad copy of these images. Not having internet on the Cook islands was the best for my creativity. It made me think about the images solely and truly create memories without comparison. I love them. That´s how I wish to do it for the future. I don´t understand why it took me so long to get there.
Taking camera for a specific photoshoot boosts the energy inside of me. It sparks the joy for photography again. And it doesn´t matter where I am, I don´t have to travel to take amazing photos. What is even better, another tip if you feel overwhelmed with images like I did, is to buy yourself a film camera. I recently bought Instax mini and I used to shot on Olympus film camera when I have been back home. I always create the image in my head and play with it before I push the button. Then I do the same with my digital images. In the nights I think about my perfect compositions and I play with them in my head. Film is kind of back to basics, oldschool vibes, simplifying the digitized world of photography. That´s what is needed in the western world, to simplify our lives.
I am thinking a lot lately about what a job really means. I believe we all have a spectrum of activities we pour our energy into, to some voluntarily, to some not so much - these are our jobs, our hobbies and our passion. Job is something that pays your bills, if you find a way to enjoy it at the same time - it is a win win situation. Hobbies are those things you do in the afternoon, they usually change from time to time. But passion, that is something you do regardless of the possible income it might create, it is something that is calling you, something you will always be doing and you know it. Photography is my passion. I have always done it for myself and for the pleasure of creation.
I am excited what my less naive self will do about life next. Life is constant evolution, it truly is. Me before 10 years makes me smile. The end of high school and I felt like the most mature human being. Oh man, I was not even close. We are maturing for all of our life.
I wrote this in July 2019 while living in a van in the middle of a cold New Zealandish winter. I found it in my drafts today. I kinda love these past thoughts of mine.