The only way to truly feel empathy and understand someone’s perspective is to put yourself in their shoes, if not empathy turns into sympathy. Travelling has allowed me to wander long and far exploring different cultures and visit places some can only dream of. I don’t take this for granted, not for a second and after seeing parts of the world it has made me sensitive for the harsh reality of some. As a photographer I live to capture these moments to share with the world in the hopes of sparking emotion within, not only to just raise awareness, but so people can make positive changes in their own life. I know I’m not alone out there and together collectively we can help change the world.
I want to lead by example and continue to inspire this generation especially the youth with the lessons that I have learned abroad. I grew into adulthood in a society that had structured the rest of my life which I didn’t seem to fit. But I soon learned that I was not meant to fit in and be like everybody else but to embrace the misfit, I was born original and I will not die a copy. For the first time in my life I have found a true purpose, a purpose greater than just myself. I’m not afraid anymore, to use my voice and speak my mind with the problems I feel are plaguing this planet. I’m going to change the world and continue telling stories through my photography. Below is a collection of very personal photos and stories that have shaped me to the person I am today. If I have in anyway inspired you or you want to support me and what I’m about it would mean the world if you would buy some of my prints to keep the dream alive.
Since travelling I have been really drawn to the rawness of black and white photography. Images become stripped back and helps emphasise the emotion of the picture allowing people to see things in a different way. When removing the dominance of colour, photos are turned timeless allowing me to capture a fading moment that will last forever. Black & White demonstrate that people are just people regardless of the colour of their skin, we are all equal and just a shade with some lighter and some darker but humans are all humans.
When I travel now it is with a minimalist approach, the less the better and selling everything I owned definitely taught me that. The same reflects the gear I carry, that’s why I only ever bring one camera and my favourite lens the 35mm f1.4. I only use the natural light available, no tripod, no fancy equipment so I can be as discreet as possible. I don’t want to be the photographer, I just want to be a friend there who happens to be capturing these magical moments called life.
All photos are printed on high quality Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag paper with Ultrachrome HD ink. I absolutely love this combo as it really deepens the blacks making them rich, really complimenting my collection.
A4 Print: $60
A3 Print: $90
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FLYING THROUGH THE SAHARA
Many people think that this picture is Photoshoped and I don’t blame them. It does look a bit too fake, you know a guy levitating in the middle of the desert. But let me assure you that when your friend has hops as high as Michael Jordan it was just a matter of time til we got this shot. We were deep in the Sahara desert completely isolated from society and any nearby town. There was no power, no reception, no vehicles moving or even noises, just four mates and an endless amount of sandy dunes. We had scored some Moroccan hash because I guess that’s what you do on holidays and unlike the batch we had the day before, this one was some A grade product. So here we were in the middle of the Sahara Desert getting lit and doing stupid shit. I remember hitting the laughter level we call “Platinum” It’s when you laugh that hard you pass that point of no return and burst out in uncontrollable hysterics. Laughter is one of the best forms of medicine, and at that point it made me realise, you really don’t need much in life just good company is enough. The location is really irrelevant and having nothing but sand showed me that.
WALK OF GRATITUDE
You might think you have it tough but the thing is, you haven’t seen tough until you have seen people work overseas. Day in, day out there are people working twice as hard and getting paid 10 times less, all without a single word of complaint. This lady sells bananas every single day mainly to tourists. She has been doing it for so long that it has really compromised her posture but she has to do it in order to survive. I’ve caught myself whinging at jobs in my earlier days but since travelling it has really made me aware of how lucky I am. You see many people travel and when they travel they don’t leave their 5 star resort, I encourage you to go outside your comfort zone and spend a day in the village you will come back home with a new appreciation of life.
AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH
After seeing this photo I made a promise to myself that in a year I would take a picture and walk on the same edge of the cliff called Trolltunga. The thing is when I promise something like this I do it, you never break a promise especially to yourself or else you will doubt yourself and any promises in the future. The climb was a lot more challenging than I anticipated. Firstly I was backpacking and was wearing some slippery Nikes, not good if you are climbing a cliff full of stones and mud. Half way through the climb fog started to creep in totally engulfing me and the path ahead. I felt devastated thinking that I might of come all this way up there and could potentially be taking a picture of just fog. I think Mother Nature heard my call and before you know it 5 hours later I had reached the pinnacle and the fog had totally cleared up in perfect timing. Til this day I haven’t seen a more beautiful terrain, the scenery was simply breathtaking something that looked out of a movie. Oh and the water, you haven’t tasted water until your severely dehydrated and it’s melted from the glaciers above. This would be my proudest item to be ticked off my bucket list. Holding yourself accountable for things you say and then do is important because without it your words mean nothing.
Who would have known that swiping right on Tinder and catching up with Eva would send me down the craziest rollercoaster of love imaginable. At times I thought my life was a romance movie, I fell and I fell hard. She was my Gypsea lust to my Jack Morris. I hadn’t be in a relationship for about 5 years I was actually scared to love, nobody wants to go through heartbreak again and single life is less complicated and easier, but not better. She has taught me how to love again in ways that I never knew existed. A girl that has helped me overcome some of my deepest and darkest insecurities and someone that is just as crazy as I am. Love is the ultimate emotion you can feel as a human and if you are in a relationship and aren’t crazy about that person and willing to love 100% you shouldn’t be in it. Love is too good of a feeling to just half ass. Take risks, love fully and create your own future, you never what kind of mystery love can take you down.
THE BELGRADE BANDITS
This was my first ever train experience in Europe and it will be a train ride I will never forget. The train pulled up at the station it was a dodgy old looking thing. Little did we know that this was going to be the most uncomfortable train ride I’d ever experience. We found our carriage and it was five of us big guys squashed up in a little carriage. It was stinking hot being in the middle of the European summer, mozzies were swarming and we had about a 10hr ride to make it from Belgrade to Budapest. In the middle of the night we were woken up three times, twice by the border patrol on each side to check our passports and a ticket inspector. We finally reached our destination in the morning, none of us were really speaking to each other due to the lack of sleep. I remember being all sticky from the heat and bitten everywhere. We have a good laugh about it now but we weren’t laughing about it at the time. I always think about this story because the more shitty it is, the better story it is to tell.
Til this day still my proudest photo I’ve ever taken. Above me was one of the most stunning things I’ve ever witnessed, a sky completely full of stars and a very thick milky way. With no prior experience of taking photos of the stars nor a tripod, I played around with a few settings and rested my camera in the sand with a long exposure pointed in the direction of the brightest area of stars. After a few tests and minor adjustments I grabbed my camera to turn it around to see the picture that you see now. I couldn’t believe it, I was so proud of myself and this photo I could call my own. I’ve always loved the stars and always will, it’s where the dreamers look too. Not only that it really puts in perspective how miniscule you feel in the universe. The actual odds, statistically, of us being alive is some ridiculous number you have no idea. I made a deal with myself that day I wasn’t going to waste my life anymore because our time left in this form is precious and you don’t get a second chance at it. Remember you only have one life don’t do shit you don’t want to do or you’re going to regret it. That’s one thing that I never want to have. So use the nice cutlery, take the plastic off the sofa and wear your favourite clothes on a weekday.
I’m extremely fortunate to having friends that inspire you to become a better version of yourself, friends with the same mission of making this world a better place. Never have I met such a brave, intelligent, original and outspoken woman like Raquel. This girl would put herself on the line speaking on taboo topics that many people would shy away from to avoid backlash. I met Raquel at a camping festival that was held over the New Year. After spending multiple days hanging out I got to know her and not her not giving a fuck what you think about me attitude, something that I really admire and have adopted in my own life. We have been given a voice in this world and with the resources like social media you can really make an impact in this world, you’ve got to be the change. I’m so proud of her for really flourishing since then. Much love Raqs love kin kin . Instagram: red_shiraz
Another item to tick off the bucket list the Grand Pyramids of Giza, one of the Wonders of the World. So I wanted to get a sick photo to show everyone that I had finally checked it off and hired myself a camel to make the shot look even better. But while I was riding the camel I felt a ball of sadness within me. The treatment definitely wasn’t the best being chained up all day. It breaks my heart as I think would this camel rather be dead than suffer day in day out. Let’s just say I won’t be associating riding with any animals in which they suffer just for my ego to take a “cool photo”. I see now it’s more selfish than cool and you have got to lead by example. We need to be more conscious of our actions if we want to build a better future and relieve any form of suffering. Remember these choices are a representation of you and the kind of world you want to have.
THE LAND OF TOMORROW
Ever since I watched the Tomorrowland Aftermovie I knew I had to attend the biggest dance festival in the world. The video made it seem like a Utopia, everyone looked happy dancing and partying together. It was everything I thought it would be and more. I took this picture on the main stage whilst I was peaking hard and for anyone that has been it’s one of the most mesmerising views with lasers going in every bloody direction. What stood out to me more than the production was the vibe of the event from the crowd. Seeing people holding their nations flags up high in harmony and peace with others. Everyone there just wanted to have fun and enjoy this event something that many can only dream of. Tommorowland is a place that of Unity and anywhere that demonstrates has the tick of approval in my book.
STAIRWAY TO THE SAHARA
I never had people that I really aspired to be, I’d go as far as saying I envied most people. As I grew older and started being exposed to a variety of different people in different industries I started picking aspects of their lifestyle that I liked so I could implement them into my own, creating a hybrid of them all. Now until this day I draw inspiration from a wide variety of people for instance Joe Rogan, a successful man in many aspects who knows how to enjoy life doing what he loves. When I first listened to his podcast I liked how interested he was about learning in a very unbiased matter. Steve Jobs, an obsessive inventor who created Apple, one of my favourite brands that revolutionised the industry with his vision, he himself took LSD in his teenage years. Elon Musk my modern day hero, looking to change the world through sustainability using solar technology. All these people and more have influenced me to become who I am today. ‘Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.’ There was also a video game character that I idolised who was completely fictional. His name is Nathan Drake from a game called Uncharted. In this game he will travel all over the world to these amazing locations looking for treasure and fighting off bad guys. In one of the levels he went to the Sahara Desert in which this picture was taken. You never know who might leave a massive impact on your life, in my case a character from a video game.
WE GOT A SCHOOL
I had the opportunity to spend time with kids at a recently built school by an NGO in Cambodia. My heart literally sunk, I love kids, so innocent and pure at such a young age. These kids were just so happy for some new affection, something so foreign to them. Our time brought them them so much joy that they were screaming with excitement on the top of their lungs. I guarantee if you see them you would refrain from being emotional and all you have to give them is something so priceless as a bit of your time. Kids will be the future of this planet and with proper education and the right nurturing, I believe that they will be next in line to find the solution to the problems we are facing in life, it all starts from good beginnings.
In some ways Mariam and I couldn’t be more different from each other. We live on the total opposite side of the world, we are of different gender, different age, different religious beliefs but we shared two things in common we really connected over and that’s the love of food and yoga. This girl is always smiling and so full of life, it becomes contagious when you hang around people like this. I really enjoyed her company in the short amount of time spent with her and I learned a lot about her country & culture. When you travel the world you will find that there are people like you, just in different shapes, shades and sizes.
I know you’ll be reading this Mariam you must do the Yoga Teaching Training my Habibi, you won’t regret it.
I’m crying here, but the tears running down my face were tears of absolute joy. Before this stop I thought it was a good idea to smuggle a couple boxes of mushrooms from Amsterdam to Norway. I was lucky to have got this through customs as I soon learned that the penalties were quite severe if caught. If I knew this prior I would have definitely not risked it at all, lucky for me that had made it through. I had divided them up to into three batches with my newfound Norwegian friend Freddie. The mushrooms had kicked in full flight and the sun started to break through the clouds shining on the city for the first time all day. If anyone has ever taken mushrooms before, it pretty much enhances your senses and for me personally makes me super happy. What I was feeling at the time I simply can’t put in words but I cried. I cried like a little girl it was so beautiful and I did not give two shits if anyone saw me up there. It was one of the happiest moments of my life to be honest. I share a close relationship with taking psychedelics. Many people have given them a bad rap and have a misconception that they make you crazy. But if used correctly and in the right environment can be a powerful tool to enhance your life, but the key is you have to surrender to it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them, trust me on that.
DEAL ME IN
I’ve always loved this picture, no faces just a group of close friends playing cards in a hostel, the Prague effect had us good. We were fortunate enough to be staying at this super chilled hostel that allowed us to re-arrange the furniture so the bed was near the window so that we could catch some rays from the sun. We would play my favourite card game thirteen and smoke joints all day. Being on holidays is the best feeling, I swear not a care in the world, with no work or bullshit to worry about from back home. There’s no right or wrong way to travel we all have our preferred style as long as you’re enjoying yourself, that’s all that really matters.
LATE NIGHT GLOW
The night was creeping in and all the stalls of the street were starting to open up for business, it reminded me of when I use to work late nights. I’ve worked a lot of different jobs in my life from flipping burgers at Hungry Jacks to stacking shelves at Woolworths, I’ve waitered tables at a reception, I used to be a security guard, had the typical office 9-5 job, slaved away at multiple warehouses, I even was an Uber driver for a while, had plenty of funny stories from that one. But what I learned from all of these jobs is that I didn’t want to go back to any of them because I wouldn’t have left if I did. You got to find something you’re passionate about or else you will spend the rest of your days at a job that makes you miserable and life is just not meant to be lived that way. I know many of you out there don’t want to be at the job you are at but if you really want to find something else you can, you just got to quit being a pussy and go do it, everything else is an excuse. Places like this in Hoi An they are not so fortunate but they make use of what they have but I can assure you if they could take your place I’m sure they would put it to better use than you.
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN
These days when meeting new people I find it easier to get along with girls rather than guys. Travelling to third world countries has definitely opened my eyes up and made me more sensitive, a characteristic predominately found in women. Guys have that alpha male gene and tend to compete and show off their dominance amongst each other and that it’s unmanly if you show signs of vulnerability. Brother, I’m the last person you need to impress. I have a good cry when I watch a touching film, I tend to shave my legs from time to time and hell I like wearing a face mask every now and then. See when it’s a guy and a girl there is no competing with one another as we are of opposite sex and as long as you aren’t a creep you can really learn a lot from women and engage in deep and meaningful conversations. These two girls here Elle and Adel whom I have been friends for many years, never judged me regardless what kind of state I’ve been in. I like hanging around them because there’s no bullshit just a whole lot of fun.
The unplanned adventures are the best ones and on this day my adventure buddy Dean and I took a random carriage to the top of a mountain we had seen from quite a distance away. Not too long after arriving at the top the clouds started to turn the sky to grey and a juicy storm was brewing. On any given day you would run for shelter but there was nowhere to go and being so high up we were literally in the eye of the storm. A fresh gust of wind aroused and you could feel the moist air beginning to dampen our skin, the feeling was fresh and I have never felt more connected to nature than this day. It was a totally new experience for me one that I thoroughly enjoyed and I know if it were to happen again I won’t be running. Who needs a tv when you got the outdoors.
THE CHIMNEY SEED
So on our last night of sailing the Adriatic Sea, we had a little party before everyone parted ways. I spent the most part of my time hanging out with these two girls Jess and Brooke. They were the first people I knew to mention anything about yoga and meditation to me. Why I took it into serious consideration is because they were a direct result of their practice, energetic, healthy, full of life and extremely photogenic. When I look back now it’s those seeds that were planted by the two that have now flourished to bring me where I am today and I am forever grateful. Out came to play was the Sheesha and the Nutella. I’m not sure what was more impressive, Jess eating the whole jar of Nutella or the chimneys Brooke was coughing up.
I can totally relate to this Monkey’s facial expression, one of uncertainty of the unknown in India. Prior to taking this photo I had just arrived and got ripped off nicely, lost my phone and copped pink eye. I considered coming home as I hit an all-time low in my travels but I’m so glad that I didn’t as the next few months would transform my life in big ways. The tough times will challenge you but if you make it through the struggle it’s where the magic happens. Fall into the unknown with an open mind and a willingness to come out a changed person and life will take you on an unforgettable journey that I can assure you.
ON THE HORIZON
It was about a month into my trip and I was returning back from a trip on one of the islands in Thailand. I was extremely happy knowing that for the next year or so of my life I got to relax and enjoy. All that hard work saving money meant I could reward myself in the best possible way and that was to travel and grow. I looked to my side to see this boat powering through the sea perfectly framed under the sun. It was that moment for me where I felt as if I was the boat powering through my own life. I can tell you how good and rewarding it has been to take the plunge into the wanderlust life of the unknown, but the thing is you will never ever truly know the feeling unless you take the leap yourself. I have never met anyone who has done the same thing and regretted it. A ship is safe in a harbour, but that’s not what ships are made for.
It was super-hot being in the desert all day. By that time we grew tired of eating tagine for the past couple of days for lunch and dinner. We entered the room which had the perfect amount of lighting; windows open with a gentle breeze to cool us down from the heat. By this time we were all starving and on the menu today was something different. A pizza but not your average pizza this one was a special one made by the local Berber people. We waited eagerly to eat and finally the pizza made it’s way out of the oven. We all watched as this man carefully prepared his signature dish for us. By this point we were pretty much drooling as the smell was captivating, I pulled out my camera and captured the moment of anticipation. Finally it was served and it was still to this day one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. This photo is special to me it was selected by National Geographic as part of a competition for their food assignment. It boosted my confidence that people all over the world had liked my photo. I haven’t stopped shooting since that day and I never will. Moments like these that I can capture are absolutely priceless.
ABOVE THE CLOUDS
It was the last destination of my European Adventure, I had taken a last minute flight the day before to make it to Cappadocia in Turkey to ride in a Hot Air Balloon. While we gradually elevated into the clouds I reminisced on all the good times I had in Europe, some so surreal that I was getting emotional that it was slowly coming to an end. There is no amount of money that would be able to replicate the memories I created and good times I had. Memories are what fill the soul and I will continue to make more of these for the rest of my life. Remember collect moments not things.
We were cruising through the rural countryside of Northern Vietnam and came across a random village and decided to stop. We had come across these four indigenous girls all in a bit of shock to see us and that we were stopping. I took this group photo of the girls together, I’m not sure if they had ever taken a photo together, let alone one on a professional camera. I always do this thing when I take a photo of kids to show them how the picture came out. They all started giggling with laughter completely foreign and amazed to what they were seeing, my heart went completely weak. This is why I love photography and documenting memories like this. I wish I had a polaroid that I could have given them at the time for them to keep. As these girls may never get the opportunity for something like this again, some may never leave their village their entire life.
I’ve always had that safety net in my life, mum, dad, friends, brothers to depend on if need be. The first I ever solo travelled is when I can say I became completely independent and matured into a man. You are forced to learn and adapt quickly in every changing environments that you are unfamiliar with. There is no one to depend on accept you. This whole concept totally scared the shit out of me but I soon learned that this is the best way to travel having complete control of your itinerary. There is a strong misconception that you are going to be alone all the time but in actual fact you are never alone you will meet many and soon learn to even enjoy alone time. You will become a lot more confident with yourself and overcome tasks on a daily basis. I was never the best at socialising but since travelling it has really allowed me to communicate with all kinds of people. I believe that taking a gap in life to experience this could possibly be the best thing you may ever do, you will learn a lot about yourself and will give you a greater sense of the direction you want to head in life.
I never heard of an Ashram before and that’s until I went to Rishikesh. It’s pretty much a drop in school for spirituality, perfect for someone eager to grow. What I love most about the Ashram was the unity it brings people together. Anybody from any walks of the Earth can come regardless of who you are and what you believe in. The ceremony we are performing here is called Fire Puja an offering for the Divine. A ritual that is pretty much-performed daily and a time each day to start new beginnings. Almost like a cleansing with all the negativity that doesn’t serve you. I highly recommend if you ever get the chance to, it’s the first time that I experienced a true sense of community, something we lacking in the world today. We really need to help each other in order to make this world a better place.
THE SEXY SHEIKH
I was on route back home after being on the road for a year, ahead of me was 33 hours of transit. I had reached Abu Dahbi with a long layover and hadn’t had much interest in doing anything but I knew I would’ve been super bored if I stayed there all day. After a quick search on Google I came across the Mosque Al Sheikh and from the photos it was quite impressive and I wanted to see it in person. I put my bags in holding, withdrew some UAE dirham and caught myself a bus and headed for the Mosque. I arrived and it was very impressive, it always is in person the architecture was unlike any building I’ve ever seen. I pulled out the camera and took a photo of this one that kind of reminds me something out of Aladdin. I’m so glad I ended up going despite my tiredness. Laziness would have made me miss this beautiful structure.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with people that make you a better person. I had just met Gabriella through a mutual friend of ours and the three of us were to be camping for the next few days. I remember meeting this girl and thinking she is so fregin nice. I wasn’t use to meeting new people that were so nice straight away. Her smile is probably the biggest and best smile of anyone I’ve ever known, I called it the 11/10 smile. I could really relate to Gabz as she was in a similar stage of her life as I was. We could talk about topics that we could both really relate to and I thought to myself I’m not alone, there are people just like me out there you just got to find them. Hang around people who make you feel this way.
She also is one of the most talented artists I know so go and show some love . Instagram: gee.tattoo
SUNSETS ARE OVERRATED
I’ve never been a morning person, I figured some people were meant for it and others not so much. I’m here to tell you that’s all a load of bullshit and I find myself these days waking up at 5am feeling fresh in the morning to start the day. The thing is, if you don’t have a reason to wake up then you won’t and the morning is where your most productive hours and where good habits begin. In this photo Dean and I were the only ones to up in the carriage of our train to watch the sunrise over the peaceful countryside in Budapest. I actually felt sorry for everyone because they really missed out. The thing is everybody is up when the sun sets and becomes less special. The sunrise is for the dedicated, remember the early bird gets the worm, same can be said about life all you have to do is train good habits and truly want it.
TAKING ON TWO WHEELS
There is an old Spanish film called the Motorcyle Diaries. I was so inspired after watching this film I wanted to have my own adventure and feel like I was in my own movie. With no prior experience I bought this motorbike in Vietnam that I called “Alexis”. I never owned a motorbike before nor knew how to drive manual. But throwing yourself into a challenging experience, forces you to learn fast. The whole experience was the craziest shit I’ve ever done. It wasn’t all smooth sailing on the very first day I nearly drove the bike off the cliff. I got run off a narrow road by a truck and crashed the bike. I hit this huge rock at night-time and got proper air born and luckily saved it, and finally in the rain I was driving and from the corner of my eye a dog went Kamakazi and jumped in front of me fortunately just nipped his tail. This adventure will go down in history as the wildest shit I’ve ever done, looking back I’m so proud of myself for challenging myself to do it. Cheers to the crazy adventures that make our life whole.
ROLLING IN THE DEEP
This girl was a boss, she would have been no older then 5 years old and as I watched her in the kitchen, man could she roll a fucking chapatti. That stuff isn’t as easy as it looks to do, it takes years of practice. One thing that I noticed in India is every single girl knows how to cook. We have gotten lazy in this western world I tell you what. With the option to drive through and pick up McDonalds or even McDonalds can drive to you. I love cooking, it’s a means of meditation for me. A close bond that when you put love into it, you get it all back. Eating the right foods means my body is able to run optimally with constant energy, no mood swings and a functional healthy body. This is important if you want to get the most out of your day. The best way to adapt to this lifestyle is to trial it, give yourself two weeks of eating as healthy of a diet possible. Once you see how your body functions you won’t want to go back. This is how you achieve a competitive advantage over everyone else.
A BEDOUIN LESSON
Experience is the best teacher if you are willing to listen to your elders you can learn many things. Rheem pictured here taking a lesson by the campfire from a Bedouin who are a nomadic group of people found in the Middle Eastern Deserts. It is extremely important to keep growing and striving for personal of development if you wish to evolve. After all if you constantly grow on multiple areas on your life such as skillsets, health, relationship, spiritually and so on, you will grow into the best version of yourself which will continue for the rest of your life. You need to adopt this attitude if you want to be different than anyone else in this world. Rheem had shaved her head two years prior to this. Much Respect. I knew this girl was different from anyone else.
The hospitality of strangers from around the world is priceless. Yet with nothing they still give everything. One reason I absolutely love to travel is to have endless amount of time to do whatever the hell you want. We were wandering the valleys in Rishikesh and came across this lady’s property. She offered us some fresh chai and chapattis and since we had nowhere to be, we gladly accepted. We chilled there and with a bit of translating learned about her life. I always love this as I imagine what it would be like to live here and be her. I snapped this picture of her, which represented who she was, one badass woman.
I had just written 101 things on my bucket list that I wanted to achieve before I see this world off. The very first one I decided to tick off was to donate blood. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do but and after finally writing my list it was time. A blood donation can save up to three lives, really making the cause worthwhile for people who need it the most. I instantly felt good after donating mine and especially knowing I would be making a positive impact to potentially save people’s lives. I wanted to more things like this because I love the feeling it gave me, helping and contributing to build a more positive society.
RISK IT FOR THE BISCUIT
As a photographer I’m always in that dilemma of should I pull out the camera or should I just live this one in the moment. It was wet, Alesso had just jumped on, the lighting was sick and the task was risky. My love for taking pictures all begun when I picked up my first DSLR camera took a snap, looked at the back and was mind blown of how good the quality was. When I look back at all my photos I get nostalgia and remember the exact feelings of when I was there, I remember good times. Despite the pouring rain and the risk of water damage it had to be done, to get the shots you want you got to do what nobody else is willing to do. When you become passionate about something is becomes the driving force behind success and happiness that allows us all to live better lives.
They say that laughter is the best medicine and that theory is too true. I’m always laughing especially with stupid jokes, I’ve learned not to take life too seriously. Pictured here is Patto whilst we were in Serbia killing some time climbing shit and getting a tan. So Patto does this impersonation of a completely made up person called Stevo. Now when Stevo comes out to play I swear it could be the funniest shit I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t come out often but when he does, oh man I never laugh so hard in my life. We all need friends like Patto to remind us how to loosen up, that laughing is so much better then frowning.
ABSORBING ON DECK
I was very impressed by this young girl. At the age of 16 this girl could do everything on the boat from deck hand, to waitress, to cleaning and cooking. I thought to myself what the hell was I doing when I was 16 probably watching a porno or something unconstructive. I wouldn’t have been able to do half the tasks that she was and I was many years older. I thought that I better step my game up and start acquiring a larger skillset if I were to be unique. It’s now a quality that I find highly attractive to seek self-improvement especially in multiple areas and in my opinion the recipe to be successful in life, also this girl cooked the sickest grilled fish.
JACK & THE BEANSTALK
This section was supposed to be off limits for everyone but somehow kids manage to bend the rules. I laughed inside as his mum was yelling at him to come back, but still he continued to walk around in the area with not a care in the world. I feel like when people start growing up they stop playing and start worrying. Never have expectations and never assume anything in life. It’s at that young age when you don’t know of the world out there and as you get older the more expectations are to be expected. You have to grow up fast, get good grades, go to university, get a job, buy a house, get married and have kids. Where’s the fun and where is the break? Once you start signing yourself away and locking yourself in these contracts it is more difficult to do what you really want to do as we are constantly changing. No wonder why you see people have a midlife crisis because they forgot what it’s like to play.
I made a last minute decision to join a random group on a trip to the North Coast of Egypt. When I opened the van door at 2:45am in the morning it was group of 7 girls, who all knew each other in one way or another. All of them were Egyptian except the one-pictured, Juliana. Since we were foreign the other girls were teaching us Arabic and one of the words we were taught was ‘Mafee Mushkila’ which in translation means “No Problem”. We had finally made it to a place called the Abu Gallum, also known as the Blue Lagoon. A place removed from society, my little slice of heaven. Once we got settled in it was time to relax. After a busy last few days of activities, out came the joint and it was a case of Mafee Mushkila after that. I never would have known what kind of experience I would have missed out if I had said no, it pays to me a yes person. We said these words about 5000 times to each other while up there.
Technically we aren’t related, but Eddie is as close to a brother to me as you can possibly get. He actually detoured to make his way to meet me in Malaysia just to spend just one full day with me. He was the first familiar face I had seen since taking flight on my trip and we talked for hours just catching up on the trip this far. He was telling me his plans for the future and the things to come. Every time I continue catching up with him I get excited for my future and think about the empire that I want to build as I draw a lot of inspiration from him. To be great in this world you’ve got to know what you want and just work harder than anyone else it’s that simple.
THE CRETE CONNECTION
I like a good random experience especially if it involves catching up with long lost relatives. We were on the Greek Island of Crete and Apost was told that he had some relatives that lived on the other side of the island. After gathering the address we hired a car and off we went to catch up with his extended family whom we had never met. With a little help at the police station we had finally made it to their property. It was your typical Greek house with Olive Trees and a big backyard. I couldn’t understand anything from the conversation because they were speaking in Greek but I was just happy to be there enjoying the new found family bonding. A few moments later out came this gun to play, I laughed inside as this kind of stuff only happens overseas. We stayed there til late and many of his other relatives had come to see him it was funny and even a little awkward at times. The best trips are the random trips.
There is no describing how much I adore this girl right here, TJ, who I like to call my spiritual sister. I took this photo at my very first bush doof festival that TJ had taken me too. All I can say is what a hectic bender of a weekend, probably my biggest most drug filled weekend ever, we pretty much went through the entire lolly bag. I remember before we left she gave me a box labelled the “Bushdoof Starter Kit” which contained a whole heap of items to prepare me for next few days. It was the sweetest thing that anyone has ever given me. I see a lot of resemblance in myself with her and it’s no surprise that she also wants to help change the world. It’s really nice to know that there are people who understand you and support what your about. Cherish these friendships they don’t come around often.
She’s also the best tattoo artist ever Instagram: t.radz
MY KINGDOM COME
This photo was taken fresh off my Yoga Teaching Course and honestly Yoga has completely changed my life in so sooo many ways. I have become healthier, happier and made me accept and fall in love with my body after years of neglect and imbalance. At the time doing the course it didn’t seem an option. How could I become a teacher? I am so not flexible and ready for this. But after an inspiring chat to a Yoga teacher he explained to me that this is the best time to do it. This gave me the confidence to commit and it’s been the best investment I’ve ever made. I honestly feel like I have a new lease on life again, my health is reborn and that every time you jump on the mat it just gets better and better. In the course I learned that stress is the soul main reason why people become sick and a regular practice helps eliminate that. If anyone is considering trying yoga or doing the teacher training do it, do it for the soul here’s your push for a greater life.
STREETS OF SAPA
I’d never seen rice fields like this before until I been to Sapa. A place where the air is fresh and the fields are lush. I was on my motorbike music in my ears, wind through my hair cruising the windy roads enjoying the moment until I saw this lookout tower. I stopped and climbed the fairly tall tower to get this shot. So many people would have passed this lookout and not bothered to explore and see the view it produced. But I always say what’s the point of seeing the roses if you don’t get a chance to smell them. It pays not to be rushed you get to appreciate the little things in life more.
NEED BE NICE
I usually don’t go for tours, but since we were in the Sahara Desert I thought it would be a safer option to get one instead of risking getting lost. If we had never hired Rachid as our guide we would have never had the same experience that would leave an impact my life forever. His hospitality was on another level, something that I wasn’t use to. If we needed absolutely anything he provided it just to make our experience unforgettable. He was a very simple kind man that held a lot of charisma. He said some words to me that I will never forget. “It’s nice to be nice” It is so true and has stuck with me ever since. I find myself preaching the same thing and will continue to do so. You can find comfort in being nice when you expect nothing in return. Try it.
MY TROPICAL OASIS
It’s not everyday you get dropped off on an uninhabited island but when you do it’s a good time to embrace the peace and quiet. I think it’s extremely healthy to travel often and it needn’t be far just somewhere away from home. The busy full time life can creep up and if you don’t deal it may be harmful to your health. Use nature as the reset button, I can guarantee you will feel like you can breathe again. After that make it a regular thing and go different places, try hiking, do some camping and you will notice a great deal of stress being released. In todays society we live in a digital world always plugged into each other but it’s only when you disconnect and turn your phone off it’s when you realise how nice silence really is.
THE SINAI SMILE
It was the last day of the trip after a wonderful time on the coast of Sinai. Passant and I had been hanging out for the past few days and she like myself was a photographer. I love meeting people with the same hobby because you can get all geeky with talk and they understand it all. Passant had recently made the decision to stop wearing her hijab and I was one of the first people to capture her without it in public. As a photographer we don’t usually get to have our photo taken and sometimes when you do you’re picky because it’s not how you want it. I wanted to do a good job so she could have a memory on which she looked like at the time. A girl with a smile all of Sinai could see, her healthy long luscious hair tied up and a glow she was radiating as bright as the sun. After I sent a bunch of photos to her she made this one her new profile picture. I guess my photo got the tick of approval.
I had been hanging out with Mayank for the past week and he offered me to come with him back to his hometown of Punjab to show me around. I was the first friend that he had ever introduced to his parents. He was the most generous person I ever met in my life. On his forearm he had a tattoo of a girls name, whose dying wish was to have her name inked on somebody, he was that person. We spent a lot of time together and he really opened up to me telling me about his life, I felt for him as he had a really emotional upbringing. It’s really easy to judge someone but never ever judge a book by it’s cover you just don’t know what they have gone through. I snapped this photo when we cruised the streets at night to cool off from the heat, it was the first time I had seen him in a photo where he truly looked at peace.
LOVE IS MY RELIGION
I grew up in a household that didn’t follow a religion. I’ve travelled too many places in this world and met a lot of people with many different beliefs. I respect that, as having faith is a positive thing for one to look for guidance in their life especially when it puts you on a good path. They all preach to be a good human, be kind to others spread love and so forth. This is where it gets complicated and the part that gets me is when people think that their religion is better and the only real one. This kind of attitude has caused much conflict and wars over the years and what it’s actually doing is dividing the human race. You, me and everyone else were conceived between your mother’s legs. Now if you entered into this world another way then we can continue this conversation that your religion is better than everyone else’s because the children are the ones that really suffer. #myreligonislove
LINED UP IN PARADISE
I was finally going to head home after a year of flowing and growing all over the globe. I had mixed emotions about it. On one hand sad that that this trip was finally coming to an end, a trip that had changed my whole perspective and attitude on life. On the other hand I was ready to come home as my health was starting to deteriorate and I needed to re ground myself to think clearly once again. The sun was coming down and I snapped this photo of a group of women who were lined in order perfectly with one another. I knew that when I got back, regardless of how I felt, things were going to be different. I was to order my new found perspective around. I feel the longer you set out for the more lessons you learn. It was really good being back, I realised I live in the best country in the world Australia, and all the valuable lessons I had learned abroad were slowly coming back to me in my everyday life.
FEEL THE DRUMS
When you travel to new cultures there are usually two things that I can really appreciate. The first is food and the second is music and I’m happy indulge in both of those the whole night. I watched on in the Sahara Desert as these new performers started warming up with the rhythm with their drums. As you know when people play from the heart you need not know the language as you can feel it deep within your soul. I get really emotional sometimes as it strikes a chord in me and fills me with inspiration. I use to play the piano when I was really young but since getting a Nintendo that went out the door a long time ago. Now that I’m older with a willingness to grow and have time on my hands I have since committed to learning how to play the flute & guitar. Neurologically there is definitely a lot of good benefits for the brain. Things like increased coordination and focus two things that can really benefit other areas of your life. I love how social it is as well it really brings people together something has been around since forever.
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
Eva decided that she wanted to get the same tattoo as me ‘Life is Beautiful’ in the same style and same spot. Usually people’s first reaction would be nah don’t copy it it’s mine but I remember when I got it. I was overseas in London and found a new happiness in life from travel. The same representation of how she was currently feeling at the time and I never wanted her to ever forget what that feeling was like and the tattoo would always be a reminder. She was so scared to get it done, it was one of her biggest fears, a tattoo. When it was done she was like “it wasn’t near as bad as I thought it was going to be.” We usually fill our head sometimes with expectations, which can limit us leaving you disappointed. It may not seem like a big deal to some but I was proud of her because this was the beginning of many fears she has overcome. Eva also told me that she looked up to me, it was the first time I really considered myself to be a role model and I hope to change the lives of many more people in this world. Life is Beautiful and don’t you forget it.
I swear weed is like a language around the world everywhere you go there are people smoking it. I like a good joint every now and then it helps me relax and it’s easy to hang around people who do, as they are the least aggressive. It’s sad that something grown from nature is illegal something that can help many people if used correctly. Many people do hate on it, usually uneducated people that have never tried it, which I just don’t get. How can you pass judgement on something that you’ve never tried? If you do smoke too much, yes you can get lazy but too much of anything is bad for you. I was happy to find this place, a random weed shop in Barcelona. I feel like there is slowly a shift in it becoming more mainstream. With science backing it there is no denial anymore we have to stop our old ways of thinking with what the government has brainwashed with. Pharmaceutical drugs, now there’s the problem.
WISH UPON A STAR
The main reason I came to Chiang Mai was for this lantern festival and tick it off my bucket list. Now before you let your lantern off to the stars, you make a wish. I won’t tell you what I wished for, as it’s bad luck but they have slowly manifested and come true. I think the biggest mistake anyone can do is to remain stale with life. When you start following your heart going with the flow all the dots of life start connecting. In order for this though you need to take chances, if you never try you’ll never ever know. When I quit my job and sold all my belongings to travel I would’ve never known what was ahead of me but it has been the best decision I could have ever made. Trust the universe it works in mysterious ways as it’s trying to help you out and if you ask you shall receive.
SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT
I’ve questioned my own sexuality before, am I gay? Maybe I don’t like girls? It’s these questions that can be quite confusing to explore especially at a young age when you’re trying to figure out life. People keeping this secret within them can be almost suffocating thinking that it is a problem as their family or society may not accept it. I do believe that people are born this way, attracted to the same gender, but it’s okay to be different. Why should it bother you if a guy wants to hook up with another one, directly it doesn’t affect you so who gives a shit. More and more people are following religion less, as same sex marriage is forbidden based on a book written thousands of years ago despite being good people. I have many gay friends, they are so fucking nice and they know how to have fun. Times have changed as a society we have come quite diverse and anyone who has a problem with them are the ones who are the real problem.
As we walked around the market on a chilly morning this lady had seen us and waved us down to sit so we can enjoy one of her lovely bowls of pho. I never grew tired of pho and for anyone who doesn’t know what it is, it’s basically a noodle soup. Everyone has I guess there own little spin on it as we sat tableside as she warmed us up one by one. When I travel to a new country one of the first words that I learn is “delicious” in this case it was ‘Ngon Lam’. Now the reasoning behind this is to obviously compliment the chef that their creation was tasty, secondly it will give them confidence that what they are making is appreciated which will then follow into the next few bowls and so the domino effect happens. Something so simple as saying “delicious” can change someone’s mood for the day. I remember saying it one time to the owner she was so happy she was yelled to her nearby friends “Ngon Lam, Ngon Lam”. So happy that the foreigner gave her dish the tick of approval. We need to help bring people up today in any way or form.
PEACE & LOVE IN THE DESERT
I learned a lot of valuable lessons from Rachid. The three fingers he is holding represent peace & love in the desert. Half way across the world I find people preaching the same message of peace & love, at the end of the day isn’t that what we all want in life. I want to make my dent in the world, imagine the human race living in peace and harmony. That suffering didn’t exist for anyone. Imagine that. Many people will turn a blind eye because it doesn’t directly affect them but after seeing it first hand with your own eyes how can you not. I can’t. My purpose in life is now greater than just myself and I know there are others like me.
JELLY OLD TIME
Now I have travelled long and far around this world but my favourite place in the world comes from a place near home in Victoria called Gellibrand, we like to call “Jelly”. These two pictured here are seriously my favourite humans in the world Chris and Mary. Mary owns this cottage located in the bush and sits on a decent amount of land, which is all private property. From time to time we go there as it’s is our spiritual sanctuary. While we are there we get to do all the things that I absolutely love in life such as practice yoga, eat super fresh and healthy, make a camp fire, pick the fruits, disconnect from any electronics and pretty much blast off into another dimension. Now you ask what is this you’re talking about? So we usually have a good dose of acid the first day and on the second day we smoke some DMT. If you don’t know what that is Google it but in my explanation it’s a roller coaster to heaven and back. Til this day it is still the craziest feeling I have ever had, something that made a huge impact on my life. A feeling of pure euphoria that once experienced will never let you look at life the same way again. Your probably thinking ‘fried’, but I’d say ‘found’. Sharing the experience with people whom are the closest to you makes it truly magical. We have been to some deep dark depths in our minds and we overcome them together, I wouldn’t do it any other way with anybody else. It’s a really sacred experience something that I don’t ever want to lose.
These old timers here know how to enjoy themselves I’d say. Kicking back all day in the Szechenyi Baths in Budapest playing Chess for hours on end. You see the thing is when you mature you get wiser because you come to the realisation that your time is slowly drawing closer to an end thus you got nothing really to lose. I actually nearly drowned to death on my first holiday. While I was gulping for air my life flashed before me and I thought to myself your going to die on your first holiday, thankfully a lifeguard saved me (tip don’t fuck with the rips). Since that experience I’m not scared to die, Now regret, that scares the shit out of me! Knowing I could have done something which could have completely changed my life but because I was too scared to act. What if I told you it’s okay to fail, we live in a world where we it is unacceptable to be nothing short of perfection. ‘Perfect’ I hate that word I am flawed I’m the first to admit it and even the best have flaws, but I am learning and I will keep trying as I don’t want to live a mediocre life knowing there are other choices, that the best years of your life are yet to come.
WAIT A MINUTE
It’s a beautiful thing not to rush, believe me I’ve been in the heart of a chaotic lifestyle. I worked an office job from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. The job paid well though it came at the cost of my precious time. By the time I got home I was too exhausted to do anything, I would eat, go on the computer and go to bed and this is the sad reality for many, merely a slave to the system. The biggest mistake you can make is trading time for money. Thinking that when you finally buy that car or that house you’re going to be happy, depending on materialistic objects for fulfilment can be dangerous, the real happiness comes from within. In the corporate ladder they will encourage you to go for the promotion and yes you will make even more money, but Biggie said it best “more money more problems” and your health will suffer in the process. All that hard earned money you make will have to fix the years of neglect and stress the job has caused. Life is all about balance, find what yours requires for a more stable life.
I snapped this photo behind the scenes at the Golden Temple during my time in Amritsar. The Golden Temple is a very impressive operation and a very Holy place where many people all over the world make the pilgrimage to visit once in their lifetime. A place that never closes, feeding up to 50,000 people a day making it the largest in the world. I wanted to take a closer look behind the scenes where many of the women help volunteer prepare the food. I observed these ladies talk and laugh amongst each other and even though they weren’t getting paid they were giving and happy to be there. I ended up doing some volunteering of my own, peeling the pods of peas as I sat next to an old Indian lady who didn’t speak a word of English but gave me a big smile. Places like this give me hope for the future of our human race, a place really supporting the less fortunate who have been dealt a harder hand in life. I encourage anyone to spend some time to volunteer somewhere to lend a hand, it will strike a cord in your heart that money can’t buy.