A yearning to feel truly lost and free, then rightly found, anew. I’m often quoted saying, “Travel is about cutting all ties and ditching all preconceived judgements, and getting truly lost - because only then can you find yourself.”
Traveling alone, in a foreign place, where nothing feels like the safety of your home and you are unable to communicate, then you are left with a raw, real version of yourself. You will be able to see your flaws and you will learn acceptance. A renewed ‘you’ then grows from the ashes of the flame. Once you’ve hit this point and have lost all judgmental negativities, you then learn to feel happiness in where you are and what you’re accomplishing each day and of what you’re seeing and experiencing. True travel is a journey, it’s not about the destination.
I find additional inspiration through my drive of furthering my growth from the influence of discovering new and different cultures, people, traditions and beliefs.
I traveled to Europe for the first time in 2010 with my girlfriend at the time. I found out that I had accumulated enough reward miles to cover the airfare and the hotel cost, so we left two weeks later and winged the entire trip. We made a ton of mistakes along the way, but through our unintentional mayhem I had discovered what I’m passionate for - traveling the world! I contemplated for a while as to what would be the best way to land a career that would allow me to travel the world and do what I love. I realized that blogging is a must to share my experiences and to showcase my photography and literary work. After the first few months of blogging, another of my passions revealed its true colors, in the form of helping others. A large part of my content is focused on traveling safe and cheap, as I believe in solving both issues makes it more possible to unlock the fears that many tend to develop when faced with the prospect of escaping their typical boxed-in lifestyles.
How would you describe your blogging style?
Eye & Pen is my baby, so as all-over-the-place and as passionate as I am, so my blog is as well. I like to offer a variety of eye candy through photography and video, the world is beautiful and I love showcasing its beauty as best I can. I tend to include poetic first-hand accounts, interesting destination articles and honest reviews, while mixing in helpful tips on traveling safe and cheap. My background leans more towards photography than writing, so the focus of my blog is always to maintain a strong visual presence, even if it’s by including my own images with my narrative stories or publishing beautiful galleries of photos by other travelers.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I have always felt strongly about living abroad and being constantly on the move, like a nomad, always experiencing new places. Human beings have an inherent drive to find their own feeling of freedom and discovery - it’s an instinctual force within us. There has been a growing urge that’s been welling up inside of me to escape the corporate, greed-governed, materialistic-driven lifestyle that is spoon-fed to everyone here in the States. I’ve noticed this mindset has unfortunately began to influence other cities and nations alike. So in the end, I would choose to escape from it all. My goal after years of traveling would be to settle down and live a simple uninfluenced life. A life more alike that of which I believe was meant for humans in our time here. We were not meant to be strangled by debt, torn between materialism versus the health of our relationships, or forced to work a soul-sucking cubicle-imprisoned career for our entire lives.
If I were asked ‘what is the most important thing I’ve learned from traveling the world?’ I would have to answer that it’s in my realization of what the most important things in life truly are. It’s about family and relationships and enjoying every second of every moment with them. Additionally it’s about positive influence and the passing of prosperity down through the generations. Living life to the fullest isn’t about how much money you can trade your time on earth for, and it’s not about what toys you’ve snagged along the way. Personally, I grew up in a strife-ridden family and watched first-hand what it’s like for others to lose track of the important things, and just how easy it was for many to be distracted and neglect their children’s needs.
But to answer your question correctly, I suppose I would choose the most remote part of the world. A remote island or a far away, hard to reach location somewhere in the wilderness. I believe that the value of living life how it was meant to be lived will be priceless.
What's your best tip for taking better travel photos?
Don’t be a photographer, be a storyteller. Take your first shot, criticize it, then rework it. Don’t be lazy - move around, take a shot, change your vantage point, and then improve it. You can’t expect the perfect shot to just present itself right away, you need to work with it and play around a little bit. So many people simply snap and move on, but it’s important to practice and practice some more, that’s the only way you can learn to be a better photographer. And it doesn’t hurt to know your camera’s settings and to know how to use them well.
Interviewed by Jessica, originally posted on Ways of Wanderers.