As a kid, I would comb through National Geographic, daydreaming about seeing, in person, the wildlife, sweeping landscapes, and interesting people that graced the pages. Somewhere in my teen angst, I stopped reading Nat Geo. I wouldn’t open the cover again until the ink of that first stamp dried onto the pages of my passport in 2007 after I visited the enchanting Central American country of Costa Rica.
I never really considered myself to have an addictive personality. I am usually content with libations in moderation. But that trip, which took me outside of the comfort zone I had known for the first 27 years of my life, changed who I was, and who I would become.
And so began my journey as a ‘Travel Photographer’ began. I started small, just bringing a Canon point and shoot with me to Costa Rica. But eight years (and a couple camera upgrades) later, my photography has improved considerably. Enough so that I believe I can create compelling stories from my images for others to float away into those same daydreams that I experienced as a child.
Whether it be capturing the Northern Lights in Arctic Norway or documenting the impressive work of Lek Chailert, who has rescued hundreds of Asian elephants from the torture of logging and tourism, my aim is to bring both the beauty and uncomfortable realities of the world to anyone who will pay attention.
Far too often, we live in the bubble that surrounds us. Most of us may not have financial means or the time allotment to travel the world, exploring ancient temples and helping the local communities by telling stories of their plight to our friends and family back home. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn and be inspired by the beautiful world that is out there.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes has always made me more creative, even when working on the most mundane projects at home. Hearing stories about the kindness that locals extend to travelers has always given me faith that humanity is not lost, but, in fact, it is stronger than ever.
Over the years, I have been fortunate to travel to some of the world’s most appealing locations while leading workshops for The Giving Lens, assisting on films with SmugMug, or working to help tourism boards share the experiences to be had in their country. To consider myself lucky is an understatement, and every day I wonder how I can actually love the same thing that I call “work”.
Most of us don’t have the means to travel to all the places on our bucket list, but when we get an opportunity to seize a moment, even if it is right in our backyard, it is important to take advantage. A simple 5-hour drive once a month can open your eyes to a whole new world and experiences that you never knew existed. Buying a plane ticket to a country that you know little about shouldn’t cause fear and anxiety but rather excitement and jubilation. Don’t be scared. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t put it off until next year. The world is out there now. There are unique and unforgettable experiences within hours of any location you may find yourself in. You simply have to commit to the experience, and throw all of the excuses out of the window.
I was one who used to make excuses for not living in the now. That all changed in 2011 when my family was rocked to our core when we lost my sister at the far too young age of 34. Not until that tragedy occurred did I realize that life is too short…and the world is too big. No longer would I sit idle as the world passed me by. No longer would I make excuses for not seizing life and all that the world has to offer, right then and there. Not next year, not next week, not even tomorrow. But now.
Today, at 35, I have lived more years on this planet than my sister, and not a day goes by where I don’t understand how fortunate I am to still wake up every morning and experience the gleeful feeling that is inspiration. I am going to live my life to the fullest to help inspire the many people that may have that opportunity.
There may come a day where you physically aren’t able to board a plane, train, or even an automobile. If that day ever comes, will you reflect on that time you almost traveled to Russia? That time you cut your American Southwest road trip short because the weather wasn’t ideal for photography? Or will you think back and fondly remember the experiences that you lived, the people you met, and the smile that was glued to your face.
I know what my answer is…But I do have one regret. I regret that I didn’t fall in love with my life until I was 27.
Wanting to share the world’s beauty and inspiration with you has been a dream of mine since my addiction was born on an old yellow school bus, traveling across the Costa Rican countryside. Leading the team at Resource Travel has given me that opportunity, and I can’t wait to bring you all along for the ride, as together, we discover the incredible photography, films, and inspiration that resides around every corner of the globe.
Welcome to Resource Travel.