I’ve always had the travel bug. Itching to get out of my small hometown, wanting to take part in an adventure, to see what it’s like outside of the comfort of home. The farthest I ever got was to Chicago during college and most recently San Diego, CA for a few days with one of my best friends from college, Samantha. I came back with ridiculous stories of mechanical bulls, a tattoo, a couple great photos, and the idea that winging it on a trip across the states is a great idea (We also completely overused it as a hashtag, #wingingit and didn’t care).
I completely believe all of this was just gearing me up for my next adventure, a bigger adventure. Late last summer, while assisting Katie Basbagill (check her out, AH.MAZE.ING. Bohemian Red Images) we concluded the session as we normally did by discussing how it went, life, and whats next on the agenda. It was then she invited me on a trip with her and others to India in March 2014. I’m pretty sure I responded with “say what?” as I stood in the middle of a dirt drive way on a farm practically in the middle of nowhere. The thing is, Katie is a world traveler and photojournalist. I got used to hearing her stories each time she came back from Swaziland or Bangladesh or somewhere far and completely opposite of my small town in Indiana. I’ve always dreamed of visiting those places and doing photo work just like her. That day , in the middle of the dirt driveway, she made this dream possible and I can’t thank her enough.
So I got the invite of a lifetime. I was terrified, anxious, and annoyed that I had to call my mom a few times to reassure her it was real life and I was going and it would all be fantastic. She responded with reality, which is what parents are really good at (I loved her for this because I literally had no idea what I had gotten myself into). How much is it going to cost, you need a passport, a travel visa, shots, the list was endless. But like any young adult in their 20’s I was clueless and needed to look in the mirror at my reflection and say this is it. It was time to do adult things like be responsible and make an appointment with the doctor’s office to get shots instead of having my mom call for me, which by the way is totally scary even at the age of 24 for some reason. As cheesy as it sounded though, to look in the mirror and give myself a pep talk, it totally paid off. I knew the trip would shape me and who I was, but I never realized the process of gearing up for such a BIG trip, my first far far away trip, could and was also teaching me so much about life and myself already. I began to look at the things that matter, what I want in life, most of all the idea of sacrifice. Doing the things you have to do for the dreams you make. Accepting luggage for Christmas, and being stoked about it. Working a second part-time job aside from just my full-time job and picking up every photo project, session, event, you name it possible. It was the little things and the steps I took and am taking towards making the trip a reality that has helped me grow just a little already.
So with all this said, I will be in India in March for two weeks. Trekking through some impoverish places, stretching my mental limit, documenting each step with my camera. We are hoping to experience the colors of Holi Fest and I can’t wait to try the food even though it terrifies me (my back up plan is Domino’s pizza, which I know they have there from watching the film Blood Brother). We plan on meditating which will be a first for me and I can only imagine myself trying to meditate, let alone stay quiet for a long period of time. Aside from those plans and hopeful experiences, however, I plan on winging it. Going with the flow of what Katie has planned for the group. I want to take in the entire experience. The culture, the people, the weather. I want to be affected mentally and test my limits. Try new things and be fearless, but most importantly I want to learn.
So there, there’s the plans and expectations, my thoughts and feelings. India will impact me incredibly and I’m going to take it on with little fear. I’m going to let it pave the way for more adventures, future adventures, bigger adventures. Getting to India. That’s my dream at the moment and this is me making it happen.