As I pack my clothes and camera gear into my bags for my trip home, I take a moment to admire the many holes have formed in my clothes, morn the loss of my most beloved flip flops and thank my old yet loyal laptop with it's now temperamental charger. I think back to last year in July 2013 when I realised there had to be more out there for me than working behind a desk. I decided to quit my job and throw my complacency out the window.
Asking myself what I wanted was easy, but giving myself an opportunity to do it; this was the hard part. I needed a radical change and a shift in energy, and by making a decision to jump on a plane and travel with my photography- well, it was probably the best thing I ever did...
By 'giving' myself what I truly wanted out of life I have not only learnt more about the world around me, seen places that I wouldn't have known existed, but the doors to 'receive' have also opened- with new experiences, exciting projects and most importantly energy; from some incredibly inspiring people and places.
I've been on the road continuously for 5 months exploring, climbing and taking pictures in Oman, Hungary, Czech Republic, Canada, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey, and as this leg of my trip comes to an end I thought it would be a great time to share some of my photos, stories and a few life lessons to go with it.
(To read more about the story behind the image click on them to see captions).
During the beginning of September I traveled to Romania to join the Petzl RocTrip Caravan. By joining a world class climbing event it gave me an opportunity to move base camp every week and see some amazing places. Stopping through Băile Herculane in Romania, Prilep in Macedonia, Meteora in Greece, we then took a ferry to Turkey and drove from one side of the coast to the other exploring Bafa Lake, Geyikbayiri to the finishing point in Olympos.
I have a huge smile on my face every day that I get to do stuff like this; but whoever said 'living on the road is easy' lied. Traveling and experiencing new things every day has both challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zones, and although dealing with myself and changing situations is hard at times, no other experience has lent itself so greatly in helping me find out who I am and what I'm made of. I've come to realise that life is not just a single road trip but a continuous journey, and around every corner there is always a lesson waiting.
A few lessons worth sharing
Lesson 1 : When you get inspired- take advantage!
There have been so many moments during my trip and in general that have inspired me, caught my eye or made me daydream. Most of the time I brush it off, convince myself that it will always be there. One thing that I have learnt is that you need to start taking advantage of things you really connect with and act! Moments don't last forever and no excuse is good enough! Either spend the time taking it in, clicking the shutter or sharing it with someone you love. (More often than not it will also make an awesome photo).
Lesson 2: Say yes, take the wrong road and get lost!
Most of the photos I have taken over this year that I fall in love with over and over again have happened during times I've been lost or said yes to a spontaneous plan. The Petzl roctrip has taken me to some amazing places, but it was up to me to follow my nose and get off the beaten track. In doing so I've been lost, made new friends, interacted with locals, explored further than my immediate environment and have occasionally gotten up at 5.30am to capture an amazing sunrise or two. It's these stories that make life exciting, and if you have a great photo to go with it then that's perfect.
Lesson 3: Accept that with every good day there maybe a bad!
More often than not you will have awesome days, and you will also have sh*t ones too. Things might not go the way you plan them, but a great piece of advice that was given to me is; when one door closes another one opens. By hanging on to the previous plan you might miss out on a new kind of energy or something more inspired. Letting go of the bad takes practice, but trust me it's totally worth it.
I now look at my well used possessions and holes in my clothes with a smile; it reminds me of how far I've come since last year and in staying true to myself. Of course it's also a reminder that nothing lasts forever; and so we should always try to make every day count!
I can't wait to share more of my stories and photos in person with everyone in Dubai and Oman, not to mention start working on the next set of adventures.
To find out more stay tuned on my blog here at www.tara-photography.com and also log onto : www.facebook.com/thethingaboutlife or www.thethingaboutlife.com to see more of my featured photography and to get inspired daily.