Choosing the Destination

Beginning to travel was hard. You have to be in a specific, almost spontaneous, mindset to actually book a flight and go! Even now, I make sure to do all my research prior to even booking a flight. Why? Because although a flight may be cheap, the accommodation may not be. 

For example, I was looking at visiting Venice last month because Ryanair had 20 euro return flights from Berlin. However the cheaper options for accommodation (even the hostels) were located away from the centre and were not what I would consider to be a cheap option (all were above 25 euros/night). The cheapest option was 16 euros but it was to share a tent outdoors (yeah, you don't even get the tent to yourself). That had to be one of the more interesting hostel offers I have seen.

So, before you book that cheap flight, do your research. Most of us only do the research once a flight is booked because we are choosing destination over price point. Of course I have my ultimate travel list. However, I often find myself exploring new and exciting places that I hadn't even thought of before. Don't be afraid to add new places to your bucket list! Do the unexpected and visit a place you never thought you would find yourself in. 

I find most of my inspiration on Instagram's explore page. It's how I found the Faroe Islands and I owe a lot of my travel starting points to that explore page. If you are ever looking for some sort of travel inspiration, head over there. Follow a few travel accounts and you explore page will soon be filled with beautiful awe-inspiring inspiration. 

Going to my saved links on Instagram- here are my most recent followed accounts and the photos I fell in love with. You can click on each image to see each account's feed.

As Instagram's algorithm knows I like travel and adventure- most of my suggested photos are in that category. New places to visit and new experiences to have. For instance, since I am living in Berlin for a few months right now and looking for German travel- I am seeing many photos of small Bavarian towns to visit. 

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One of my favourite German accounts currently for inspiration is @srs_germany

The funniest part is sometimes I have entire trips planned within 2 hours while lying in bed within the dark. I'll find a place on Instagram and go to the geotag, do a bit of photo research and start looking at the possibility of getting there. Flight prices, dates, accommodation, things to do. All while in my bed trying to fall asleep. Maybe I won't book it but for me, I won't forget that place and the travel facts for later on. 

Work with what you have. I am trying to live on a budget at the moment and so for my travel, I can't stop but I also have to look within reach. What countries are surrounding me? Where is cheap? What airlines have flight sales on? The part I love about endless travel is I have no idea where I will be in 3 months. Honestly. I have no idea. I have some ideas in mind, some of which I have already starting planning for- Nepal, Egypt, Brussels, Qatar or Germany. However, with research and a bit of planning where I can- everything always works out, somehow. 

So, if you are like me, you will have a generous list of places you want to go. However, if you are also like me and only have a specific budget to work with, you need to prioritize what is possible at the moment. Sure, it won't be your 1st place on the list but look at the possibilities. Any travel is a blessing and there is so much of the world that you have to discover, #1 can be later on your list while you discover another, more affordable and just as exciting part of the world.

One of my best friends, Sheena, is always my travel inspiration because she has been an incredible number of places. When we first met and were living together, she left for a few days to Macedonia for the sole reason that it was 2 euros. Yeah, 2 euros. In my mind, that is undoubtedly an incredible trip already planned in my head. Okay, Macedonia, I have no idea what's there, what the weather is like, how I get around but its 2 euros- let's read every single article about Macedonia to find out what exactly is incredible about the place. 

And this is exactly how we learn to travel and learn to be excited, absorbing every possible piece of information about cultures and countries we never thought we would find ourselves in. 

So, let's look for your next travel destination.

Where do we start?

A few websites I find myself for inspiration: 

Ryanair

Looking at my options for destinations by price point. Select Fare Finder to search for cheapest seats by destionation.

Sign up for an account and subscribe to their email notifications when they do flight sales for even better discounts! Book in advance for the cheapest seats and check during the first week of every month for new seats added. Signing up for an account with them also allows you to keep booked trips organized.

Instagram

Of course we know Instagram. I solely use it for my saved links page and adding to my bucket list. I will look at Geotags for the places and see if they are close. If not, they are added to my bucket list.

Google Trip Planner

For more of the exotic, far away inspiration to add to the list. It will also give you low and high shoulder prices and map out the cheapest flights for each destination. I mostly use it as a guide rather than my legitimate planner.

The Man in Seat 61

A fantastic look at train travel around the world. How do we get from here to there? Sometimes the journey is the destination. I have planned entire trips (but not booked yet!) through the ideas on this website including the Trans-Siberian railway. A 7 day journey from Russia to China. Read about it here and just look at how incredible this will be! This is also an incredible website to read, read and read- it never seems to end! It's the best!

So, instead of Netflix, put your scrolling time dedicated to the beauty of finding Travel Photography that continues to inspire you to expand your mind and look forward to a new adventure. Look at your price point and book a destination off that- not the other way around and you may surprise yourself!

Inde x


 

 

Learning from Travel

Travel is an addiction. Once you start and fall in love with it, you never want to stop. For me that meant finding a way to incorporate it into my life in any way possible. While it can be difficult, I always find a way to make it work.

It's a lifestyle that can, at times, limit my ability to settle into a routine and put down roots; but that is part of the intrigue. Instead, I am forced to completely open my mind; I am forced to learn about history, explore diverse cultures, immerse myself in unique experiences and experience new relationships. But I never travel alone, I meet people wherever I go, and I form new bonds. I find it thrilling to to think about the many friends not yet made and waiting along with my next adventure.

Beyond that, every place you travel to makes you that much more unique, enriching your life-story. Sometimes you can identify how your travels have changed you immediately; you can see it and feel it. Other experiences require a bit more self-reflection. I like to think that every country thus far has allowed me to take away a special piece of the puzzle.


The Faroe Islands taught me to love nature andtake the road (or in this case, the mountains and islands) less traveled. It was my first true solo-trip where I knew absolutely no one in the entire country. This country taught me about the preservation of history, rituals and nature itself.

Among my favorite experiences on this trip was meeting Simun Petersen in a completely deserted town (Look up: Mílu) on the coast of one of the larger islands. Abandoned by its residents in 1994, this tiny tiny village has no paved road, only a 6km single lane rocky path taking you straight there. Over a 30 minute conversation, Simun taught me about the history of the town, the purpose of the annual sheep slaughter and the process in which they use viking tradition and technique to dry, store and process the meat and wool. 

However, what became apparent to me is the way in which the Faroes have an incredible relationship with nature. It isn't the town or the people that challenge nature by destroying it- nature hugs every town before a tunnel leads out of it.

Iceland taught me to appreciate the beauty of cold weather and dark, black nights.Visiting in January meant 5 hours of sunlight. That meant using those hours to see something incredible and to see as much as we could. At night I learned that, although long, these hours are great for reflection. Beyond that, these dark nights granted us the beauty of brilliant green and pink light shows overhead. 

I also experienced a feeling of freedom. In Iceland, you can pull over and park nearly anywhere for a night. That means waking up next to a waterfall and listening to it over breakfast or swimming next to a hot spring before retiring to your RV for dinner and boardgames. The freedom to travel wherever and whenever we wanted within one place was an incredible opportunity.

Spain taught me to enjoy the little things in life- like long conversation over small portions of food, or wandering in the hopes of getting lost. Now, it’s a beautiful thing to look at meal times as opportunities to socialize and explore relationships. It's also an incredible feeling to know that getting lost after hours of walking only takes you closer to a more memorable experience. 

Colombia changed my perspective on what family means to me. Growing up- I had a very small family, that although close, was just that, small. Arriving at the airport was my first experience ofbig families- exiting the airport with a crowd howling and laughing, holding signs and playing music, waiting for their families and friends to return home for Christmas. Everything that came after, was built upon that airport experience. From Day 1 with Juan Pablo and his family, I felt included, respected and a part of a larger extended family that I seemed to have suddenly known for years.

Just as important, I learned that not everyone will have the opportunity to venture outside their country which is why family does become such an integral part of our lives.

Seoul showed me a duality between tradition and modernity. Learning about the respect the people still share with their history and religious beliefs. Because of my severe jet lag, I was never able to sleep for the short time I was there. Instead, I would wander down to the Jogyesa Temple (the centre of Korean Buddhism) just as the morning light was rising over the buildings to watch large groups of women led in prayer.  I admired the devotion these women had to their religion- experiencing prayer while the city wakes up and leaving the temple to be a part of the larger crowds, going on with their lives until the next morning.

The Middle East was an entirely unique experience to any other I have had and it is why I fell in love with the people and their history. 

Dubai, most importantly, taught me how to be okay alone in a city with millions. What did I want to learn? Who did I want to meet? Where did I want to go? Always asking myself these questions, I filled my days with experiences I wanted to be a part of. One of the largest was going on a Desert Safari tour. I was able to see the desert, learn about falconry, henna, try camel milk- experiencing it all to myself as groups of family and friends were experiencing it together. I learned that it's okay to be alone and, actually, how to relish in it.

Qatar showed me diversity in a working city- Marshall McLuhan's Global Village personified. Most of the new buildings are in fact empty as expats are only in the city to do business a limited amount of time per year. It was as if the city is really looking forward to prepare for what they want their economy to be. It is an unfinished city which feels like you are growing alongside it. Although there for work, I would take those few extra hours in the morning before call time to explore my own curiosity- looking around every corner in empty areas of the city. In the evenings, I had friends take me to the older souks to learn about abayas, dama, and taste traditional food


Although there are many more of these experiences, those are the ones that are the most evident addition to my life thus far.

Nothing compares to looking out the oval airplane window, while the sun rises over the clouds. Listening to your favourite song as layers upon layers of clouds are painted by the colours of the sun- this feeling is unparalleled. Looking out you realize that you are passing over millions of people, thousands of towns, and a few continents to explore a new place. There are new memories to be made and new people to meet.

If there is any one thing to start a journey with it's your mind. Don't travel to forget what you are leaving behind; to escape. Rather, travel to remember all the memories you have had and the thousand of new ones you are about to make.

 

Lenses, Filters & Models
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LEARNING PHOTOGRAPHY

Hello hello!

I hope your new year so far is filled with lots of learning and capturing these winter months- wherever you may be! It's always important to keep pushing yourself to learn more about your own style as an artist as well as your camera. I will be uploading some more advanced classes over the next few months to further your in-camera photography skills! If you haven't checked out all of my beginner classes thus far, here is a rundown of some of the ones that may be beneficial!

 

Lens Choice: A Beginner's Guide

This class is perfect for anyone looking at what a lens is, how it functions and what it does to your image. It covers the A- Z of focal lengths, primes and zooms and is a great introduction to the subject which will leave you wanting to do your own tests. We do a portrait comparison test with different focal lengths as well as a technical explanations to help you with a well-rounded approach to lens choice.

 

Advanced Lens Choice

The follow- up class, Changing your Model's Features, is a more advanced approach that deals with choosing a lens and its relationship to the height of the camera to either heighten or subside your model's features. This is great for anyone looking to go the next step further and learn a quick tip that will change your subject's features within the camera. We set up a portrait test to compare and contrast the effects on different focal lengths as well as critically analyze the images to interpret the different moods the photos have.

 

Lenses 101: Shooting with Primes

Shooting with Primes is all about prime lenses. What exactly is a prime lens? How does it differ from a zoom and why would you want to shoot with one? We talk through a portrait shoot with different primes comparing their effects and our relationship to our subject. We also discuss how we would select primes for a shoot and what different primes can do to your image. It's the go-to class for prime lenses!

 

Lenses 101: Creativity with Vintage Lenses & DIY Filters

This final class is the DIY approach to selecting lenses and filters. How do we get creative effects in camera with our lenses? We speak about special effects we can get with unique lenses and how to get creative with at home materials to give our images a different mood or creative effect. This is perfect for anyone looking to add an effect in camera as well as experiment before they get to post production.

In addition to these, I have my original beginner classes focused on the general settings of the camera and developing your portfolio.

Automatic to Manual Mode: The 3 Things You Need to Know

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to post a discussion on the class page! I am happy to critique your photos from these classes if you need help too!

Happy Shooting! x