How It All Began
Catchy cliché’s, thinly veiled in the guise of inspirational travel quotes now circulate on social media, liked by many, shared by thousands. Viral distribution inoculating the sincerity from which such epiphanies were first born. At some point, these ‘clichés ‘ were conceived in the heart of the lonely traveller, the culmination of mountains climbed, valley’s traversed and chance encounters with random faces. So, when people ask me why I write, blog, invest emotional time and money into this passion project, the answer is simple. Because I am compelled to create something tangible from what is otherwise a transient moment. The process itself is cathartic and the enjoyment of ‘creating’ has always been an outlet for self-expression. But the greatest benefit is the end result, having a permanent record of my life’s foot-print-diary.
This so called ‘passion project’ started in December 2013. Having missed several opportunities to travel earlier in life, a serendipitous opportunity presented, and I found myself in Paris, with my nine year old daughter. Having never experienced or done anything remotely like this, I found myself empowered and inspired. The sudden awareness that within me, lies all the power and answers to more of what I seek. That being; a life that finds less excuses not to do ‘something,’ but rather the opportunity to do ‘something ‘, and within months the vision and name for Lost and Found Traveller was born.
The Inspiration Behind Why Inspiring Strangers Matters
People from my past and present, some debuting as a cameo appearance, others with a starring role have at some point commented that I hold a unique perspective on life. So as the concept of Lost and Found Traveller evolved, the idea crystalized. That being, I want others to also share in all the freedoms and joys that travel and life has instrumented for me. So whilst I live, breath, eat and sleep travel, the motivation to blog and share my world perspective via photography is greater than my love for travel itself. Rather, it originates from my loathing of fear, insecurity and ignorance. Aside from the fact that these character traits are some of the most toxic a person can have, they also inhibit a life of freedom. Travel is the vehicle which transports me to a place of clarity and fresh perspective. The ability to see and hear new epiphanies, in a way that is unique from the majority to begin with, and then in-turn share that perspective with others. The most poignant of these revelations highlighted the toxicity of fear, insecurities, procrastination and ignorance.
A wise person once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, the truth of those words engenders enough motivation within me, to care about whether or not I inspire complete strangers. People whom I’ve never met, and most likely will never meet, actually matter enough for me to blog regularly. To willingly rise at 5 am whilst I travel, all so that I can capture the world in just the right light, to evoke the essence of the message that I’m trying to communicate. Then to share that with whomever chooses to listen, so that perhaps, just perhaps, the tiny seed of fresh perspective that I plant might take root and grow into something unique and amazing for someone out there.
Let’s Talk Money and Blogging
This brings me to address one of the greatest misconceptions around blogging. It’s assumed by many that I’m paid or employed by an organisation to either Instagram or Blog. The short answer, I’m not. Not a single cent, at least not yet (optimistic, with a suitcase of dreams, yes, indeed I am hoping). By now you’re well aware that my intrinsic motivation is to inspire others, to have them consider the world in a different light than they’re ordinarily familiar with, but what you may not be aware of is this. The images that I capture and share (particularly on Instagram ) is a visual representation of what the ‘inside of my head looks like’. This may explain why at times I receive comments from people saying I visited that place and never saw that. It’s because I capture the essence of a message based on the mental picture I have of a place or a moment, but not everyone does this. We all blog and are involved in social media for various motivations, some for positive, others for negative and unhealthy reasons. There are elements of deception by some in the industry, where a moment will be portrayed as more than it is, for others it may be staged, but the world of Lost and Found Traveller is all about disappearing in a realm of dreaming whilst awake. There is nothing intentionally contrived, staged or disingenuous about what I chose to share, but rather about spotlighting what beauty or experience already exists and what is right in front of us, or accessible to us. It is my life’s highlight reel, bearing in mind that not every day of my life is one big, sunrise-imbued adventure.
Instagram Husband Questions Answered
The final moment of generous over sharing leads me to my IG Husband. It’s piqued many people’s curiosity as to who the photographer is when I’m in the photo. How does he feel about it, and how is it possible to be immersed in a moment if we’re too busy trying to capture it? All fair and legitimate questions given the lack of authenticity in aspects of social media. Addressing those questions, my Instagram Husband shares a similar and unique world view the same as mine, so I’m fortunate there. Getting up at 5am to shoot in perfect light, I can hear him now, “Nobody sets himself apart my standing with the crowd”. He’s happy to be the guy that helps with the vision of me being the change I wish to see in the world, and all the joy and success, and elbow grease that comes with that. As for capturing a moment as opposed to being immersed in it, we don’t see it that way. It’s not about living a life, it’s about creating a life to be lived, and it can be as bold and vibrant and limitless as we, [ or you ] give it the opportunity to be. We’re both just so grateful there is coffee for the 6am sunrise shoots.