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Vincent looking into my eyes, at Yosemite National Park.

Ever wonder where and when you started to find something you truly love doing?  People always say that when you travel you tend to discover more about yourself, if you go with other people, you learn more about them.  They go on to say that traveling is a sort of “spiritual journey.”  Seriously?

Those two photographs that I posted above, is a story of getting starting the enjoyment of photography.  My nephew, vincent, is really lucky.  He is starting out really early and that his parents are letting him spread his wings early.  He doesn’t get stuck in a position to please his parents, well at least not yet, with a position of status.  He is embracing his creative side and just is.

I think I have been shooting myself in the feet since I left Rutgers.  I was sincerely pursuing graduate school in Cultural Psychology, trying my damnest to get accepted.  I was negligent towards the other part of the life I should have been pursuing.  I come from a former middle class family, I say former as my father is now on disability and the sole income lie on my mother and myself, whose belief was that we should get high paying jobs after graduating.  My father’s ideal.  My mother’s was to find a steady job that was reliable and what we could survive off of.  Not bad.

But it amounted to the traditional occupational roles.  Before, when I told them I wanted to be a Cultural Psychologist.  They were shaky at best, as I wasn’t accepted into a graduate program.  Now if I told them I am going to pursue freelance travel photography, well… all hell’s would break lose.  I can understand, I am trying to get my photographs sold, so I can understand the despair!  Where would my income come from, those sorts of questions.

My first travel outing was to Thailand in November 2006.  It was for a spiritual retreat and that was when I started to really shoot a lot of photographs.  Granted I just got my 30D and the kit lens, I was shooting away getting a better grasp of the camera.  I had my first taste of international travel and it whet my lips.  Sure I didn’t get to travel a lot outside of the area where we stayed, I did enjoy the location, to a degree, where we stayed.  There were so many things that went wrong there, however, that left a foul taste in my mouth.  But I still appreciated the fact that I was able to go.

My trip to Ireland, back in August 2007, is where I should say it really started.  Oh god, I loved flying, hanging around Dublin, hiking thru Howth, taking a bus around the Ring of Kerry, getting stuck behind a bunch of sheep, going to different hostels, and absorbing the life in Ireland.  I didn’t think about school, I didn’t think about family, and I didn’t even think about girls…no wait I did think about girls on the trip!  I did what I loved the most, travel and photograph my journey.

I felt nothing but absolute bliss being in a foreign land with foreign people without an absolute care of where I was going to be next.  I didn’t worry as much about food, although living off of bread, cheese, pizza, and potatoes sure does put a crimp in the culinary and stomach, I survived.  And still loved it.  It was just great to be that free. Sure there was the money issue, flying and traveling in Ireland was pretty pricey, although I was able to budget my stay there.

After returning home, after work, I would go home and work on the library of photographs that I have taken from the trip.  Well I did eat dinner, clean, and shower, but those are regular day things that one has to do daily.  Well I guess if I said I just edited and overviewed my photograph and that’s it, than that might be hardcore and a very wow factor.  But I am still human.

Then came my brief trip to San Diego.  I originally went there to help out with something which wasn’t the real reason to go there, so I left heart broken to San Diego from Las Angeles.  I stayed at my parents’ place, who let me stay there and fed me understanding what I was going through, well I think so.  And from there I was able to go to La Jolla Cove, check out University of California San Diego, Wind and Sea Beach, and visit Linda for a few.  The entirely heart broken moments tamed by the photographic moments that I had.  So in a way I was glad I came out there.

Just like with Ireland and Thailand, preceding this trip, I would spend a lot of my time working on my photographs from the trip.  It just gave me a great sense of purpose.

Then the final push to my final career motivation was my most recent trip to California, where I traveled with my brother, sister in law, and nephew.  I had nothing but fun and enlightenment during this trip.  Enlightenment?  Maybe not, but I did learn much more about what I wanted to pursue.

Travel Photography.

Traveling a spiritual journey?  Seriously?  Yes it is.  You really can find out more about yourself.  Discovering that maybe things that you held onto so dearly really isn’t or wasn’t for you.   I still hold a love of Cultural Psychology, and that is how I will view my surroundings as I travel further around the world.  But my life will be dedicated towards preserving it’s vintage culture in a photograph so that we will never forget the beauty of seeing culture.