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Today marks the 7th anniversary of the day I turned over the keys to my house and began a life of full time travel. There are other dates close to this I could have chosen as my anniversary, but I picked turning over the keys to my house as the start of my travels because that was the point of no return.
When I began in 2007 I told everyone I would be gone for a year, but secretly I thought I might be gone for two. Never in my wildest dreams, however, did I think I be doing this seven years later.
Never did I think I’d be celebrating this day on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean having visited over 150 countries and territories around the world. I never could have imagined that I’d have won so many major travel photography awards, because when I started I never thought of myself as a photographer.
I am often asked how long I will keep traveling. The simple answer is: forever. There may come a day where I get an apartment somewhere, so I have a place to retire to between trips, but I foresee myself traveling for 6-9 months out of every year for as long as I am physically able.
I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to create a career out of doing something that I love. The difficulties I have (and this has been a problem almost since day one) has been balancing the travel and the work. If I do end up getting an apartment, it will be so I can have more time to share stories, edit photos and work on projects that I just don’t have the ability to do on the road.
Despite the fact that I’m almost always traveling alone, there are many people to whom I owe thanks, who help me to do what I do:
My assistant Amy. She keeps things going when I’m out of contact. She will pick daily photos and post images to Facebook when I don’t have the internet bandwidth to do it myself. She also is my liaison when dealing with the many destinations I work with and also manages my schedule. Life would be much more difficult without her. She has also become a travel blogger in her own right.
G Adventures. I’ve been associated with G Adventures for almost 4 years now. During that time I’ve traveled with them to 6 continents and have gotten to know many of the amazing people who work for the company. Being an ambassador for a company is easy when you believe in their mission and can stand behind their product. A special thanks go out to Bruce Poon Tip, the founder of G Adventures, who came up with the idea of the Wanderers in Residence program. He’s done a lot of innovative things, and I think this one is often overlooked. A big shoutout also goes to Sacha Mlynek who is my liaison at G and helps everything go smoothly when I’m out on the road and everyone else is in Toronto. I also have to thank Andrew Hickey who was a big advocate for myself and the Wanderers during his tenure at G.
All Of You. What I do wouldn’t be possible without all of you who take the time to read what I have to say and enjoy my travel photography on a daily basis. I’ve met dozens and dozens of you around the world, and it really is one of my greatest pleasures when traveling. The feedback and responses I get from everyone is really what keeps me going. That so many of you have actually started traveling or made plans to visit a place because of my images is the highest compliment you can give.
After seven years, I still love what I do. Visiting new places, meeting new people and exploring the world never gets old. I’m still amazed at how much of the world there is for me to see.
Here is to seven more years of traveling!