Here I present a collection of photos from my travels around the UK and Europe. My itinerary went like this-London, Birmingham, a picturesque Isle of Skye via Glasgow, lively Edinburgh via Inverness, back to London, Eurostar to Paris, Brussels, camping and dancing at Pukkelpop (Belgium music festival), up to Amsterdam, fly down to Barcelona to check out Gaudi and hit the beach, a boat to Menorcha to relax 24/7 on the scenic Spanish island, over to Italy’s romantic and grand architecure-Rome, Florence, Venice and a flight out of Milan to Athens, some down time in Santorini, partying in Ios, back to Athens for a few days, then up to a history filled and renewed Berlin, further north to the cold of Copenhagen and Stockholm then back to the excitement of London where we flew home from. Towards the end of the trip it became quite a task to reel off the places we’d been but one I became well practiced at as it’s generally one of the first questions asked in small talk with travellers when arriving at a hostel “Where have you been?” The last 3 months of travel is a blur but I’m assisted at bringing in to focus each place absorbed and the adventures that happened with the following photos. Although photography wasn’t a high priority for me while I was away. I did capture many images but admittedly I’d lost passion for my photography before leaving Australia and it took a back seat in my agenda. I felt lighter (both physically and mentally) making a decision to leave my Canon SLR behind and take a smaller yet highly capable Fuji compact camera equipped with a stylish leather case to simply use at my leisure. It was refreshing to allow myself to take in the world around me without a camera in my face or at least feeling obliged to have it there. However in saying that I also found Europe was a prime place to inject some excitement and value for photography back in to me and I am feeling fresh with ideas and energy to document the world and people around me once more. Now I genuinely look forward to sharing the images I did capture of my travels below. Enjoy these insights I have from exploring the warm, flirtatious and carefree Southern Europe contrasted by the organised and innovative Northern Europe and Scandinavia, along with the UK where I felt more at home with the language and traditions which have been bought to Australia and then twisted to suit our thankfully much warmer climate!
Scotland, UKParis, FranceAmsterdam, NetherlandsBarcelona, SpainMenorcha, SpainRome, ItalyFlorence, ItalyVenice, ItalySantorini and Ios, GreeceAthens, GreeceBerlin, GermanyCopenhagen, DenmarkStockholm, SwedenEast London, UK
Photography and Words by Jamile, November 2013
Travel is not an outlandish dream. It isn’t impossible. In fact there are Australians everywhere. This surprised a naive traveller who commented “yeah it’s good Australians get to travel” assuming our geographic location being so far away and on it’s own made it harder for us to get out and off the very large island we inhabit. We may be further away from the different cultures and languages which are clustered so tightly together in other parts of the world but that extra distance isn’t hard to overcome. Money is a factor. Money is needed to get here. It is probably the main hurdle. But with a bit of self control guided by the thought of where that self control can take you will allow you to save some dollars. And it’s probably not as much money as you may assume is needed. There are plenty of ways to do it without over spending. Alternatives to hotels, tours and cruises generally turn out to be some of the most culturally rich ways to travel; sites like AirBnb and Couch Surfing where you get to stay with locals, hostels where you meet people from all different backgrounds and places, working on local farms for accommodation generated by sites like WWOOFING or even teaching English and Nannying abroad are all different ways you can experience life away from what you know without spending as much. With those dollars saved it’s as simple as setting a date, choosing a place and booking a flight. All the smaller details will sort themselves out with necessity (visas, passport, accommodation, rent, University course work, phone bills and what to pack). For anyone who has considered travelling-just do it. Don’t put it in the too hard basket as being too difficult to organise or too grand of an idea. It’s simple. Just make a plan and stick to it. You will thank yourself later when you are sitting on a terrace in the Greek Islands enchanted by the reflection of the full moon painting dazzling light on the ocean. If the Mediterranean isn’t on your bucket list I’m sure whichever destination you choose to go will have it’s own unique experiences well worth setting out to adventure. If you dream of immersing yourself in other parts of the world or even other parts of the country, don’t believe it can be only a dream – just make it happen. There is so much information at your finger tips to guide you on the Internet. A quick google search will result in many backpacking and travel blogs giving an abundance of detailed advice on everything you possibly need to know. You learn so much about yourself, the places you go, and the places you haven’t been by fellow travellers speaking of their home. Personally it is one of the most beneficial things I could be doing with my time at this stage of my life and I don’t doubt that others would believe the same if they just went ahead and did it.
I wasn’t sure how often or not I’d possibly write and create posts while away. I’ve enjoyed not thinking too much: not thinking about what or if I want to post something or about much else for that matter. My thoughts lately have been simple. Simple and effective. My often complicated delirium has been quitened by travel. I’m focusing less on reflection and more on doing. Focusing on right now. I’m thinking about practicalities and specific possibilities. Not thinking too deeply about the past, too far ahead or too much in to the meaning of things. This makes me feel light. I’m at ease making memories and clearing my mind of clutter by learning to focus on what’s most important. Travelling has been so beneficial to my well being and I know when the time comes for reflection it will be looked back on as being a very worthwhile expedition. I look forward to sharing more thoughts, adventures and images with you when I have them gathered but for now I’ll leave you with these few words as a quick instalment of insight to my headspace.
There is a lot of pressure put on people about to leave high school and on those who have recently left to figure out what they want to do. Actually not only is it those who just leave high school but children their whole life are made to consider what’s ahead for them. There is heavy emphasis on what job you want, what type of car you want, what degree you want to acquire and how your going to get these things. So much weight on your future coming from teachers, parents, and even peers in the same situation. It can be daunting when you complete school or are about to enter adulthood and still don’t know the answers to these nagging questions.
Direction is good. It’s healthy to have goals but we shouldn’t have to make decisions about those directions when we are unsure. I understand that some never completely figure out what they want to do and it’d still be a worthy idea to throw a ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ party well in to your 40′s. My issue is that aspiration is so highly valued that you can feel overlooked as a contributing member of society if you don’t know what you want to do. And that ideal creates a lot of unnecessary pressure to make choices about what you want to do when it should be perfectly acceptable to not know the answers people have about your future. It’s not unreasonable to ask but we shouldn’t over do it or respond in disapproval or disbelief when someone is lost in regards to their future life. Daria summed it up when she commented “My goal is not to wake up at forty with the bitter realization that I’ve wasted my life in a job I hate, because I was forced to decide on a career in my teens.”
Personally I consider myself a motivated and aspirational person yet I don’t know what I want. I’ve always been drawn to the quote by John Lennon: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
I may not know what job I want, where I want to live, what I want to do but I know I want to be happy and to be happy by doing things I enjoy and living a lifestyle I enjoy. This is why I’ve chosen to embark on some travel this year. To expand my experiences and challenge myself with the changing situations that come with foreign territory and people.
My priority right now is to get inspired, develop a wider perspective and understanding of people (in return learning about myself as I recognise aspects of myself in others) and enjoy the time I am given. I have no commitments to relationships, degrees, jobs, or living arrangements and thankfully have a healthy body to carry me. I could not think of a more suitable time to travel. I’m confident more people should be supported in travelling when they are young and I am very grateful for having such encouraging parents to pursue wanderlust.
I am content rejecting the pressure to ‘figure out what I want to do with my life’ and simply doing what feels right at this stage while broadening my knowledge of who I am and seeking to create a variety of memories to look back on when this stage has past. It’s possible when I get home I may have more direction with my career ideas. It’s possible I might not. And that is completely fine with me. I might just come back, save up and venture out to do more travel again. What ever is meant to be will be but I don’t intend to often worry and focus on my life ahead of me. I recognise my life is now and I’ll do what I know I want to do now-whether or not that complies with the standards society sets to be my focus who are forever building for what’s ahead and never satisfied with the present.
Everything I’ve posted lately has been business related. I’ve photographed for some wonderful people and I thank them for their interest in choosing me and being able to work with them, but I am very much looking forward to the next chapter of posts where I can focus on personal aspects without any obligations to please anyone but me. It’s not long until I leave to the the other side of the world with two very dear friends so you can look forward to posts that follow my adventures and thoughts in the UK and Europe. The following photos are of the girls I’m travelling with (Tiana and Katelyn) and I from a night we spent out in Bendigo to see Flume last year. I’m looking forward to many more moments to be shared with these two.
Photography by Jamile, August(ish) 2012