Maybe you’ve seen my vague mentions in other blogs, maybe you’re friends with me on Facebook so you’ve seen my itinerary… But here it is being announced on my blog for the first time!
Just last week I took my last final of my undergraduate college career. Yep, I’m a college graduate now. What’s next? I have long dreamed of traveling the world and providing humanitarian documentary and editorial photography to organizations doing great things. This coming February of 2014 I plan to leave the US with an Around the World ticket that will allow me to travel in one direction around the globe with one-month stops in six different regions.
At this point, my schedule is as follows:
February 16 – March 21– Buenos Aires, Argentina
March 21 – April 2 – Cape Town, South Africa
April 22 – May 16 – Kigali, Rwanda
May 17- June 15 – Palestinian refugee camp near Bethlehem
June 16 – TBD – Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Greater Southeast Asia
???? – New Zealand and/or Australia?? …if I still have energy and money!
As I have looked back on my broad experiences it has dawned on me that nearly everything I have done over the past five years has prepared me for this trip. Being the assistant to the photography professor at Hope College has given me teaching experience in the basics of photography. Working at the YMCA after-school program and summer camp for elementary school kids has given me experience directing and entertaining large groups of children. I was able to use those skills in combination with my knowledge of art this past winter to co-teach an afterschool arts program for underprivileged children in Holland at Heights of Hope. My summer interning with World Relief gave me priceless training in commu- nication across language barriers. Living in the Hope Neighbors Community has taught me about living in community both inside a home and within a neighborhood. Photographing weddings has perhaps been the most valuable in terms of photography. Weddings have taught me how to interact with clients in preparation for events and high-stress situations. The 25+ weddings that I have photographed have also given me ample experience to learn the capabilities of my camera and how to use it in order to never miss a moment.
What I Will Be Doing
Some of the ideas I have for my trip include designing and executing photo-shoots that represent the group’s work and vision, running a short-term photography workshop for community members, providing photography of everyday events for social media, or telling a story of a particularly meaningful success of the group. I am covering my own flights and transportation to the cities that I will be working in. I am asking that the groups help provide me with a host home for a month. I plan to contribute $100-200/month to my hosts to cover living expenses and perhaps one meal each day. I am open to working with multiple organizations as long as I am able to live in one place and get to know the city itself.
I have already been blessed with many connections around the world and already have vague plans for many of the countries I am going to. The country that I am still most in need of connections for is Argentina. Unfortunately, my Spanish skills are very basic so this might be a tough one for me to be helpful in. I am also very interested in visiting and possibly staying in a refugee camp in Thailand. I have not found very many leads in that area so I am open to any connections you might have.
Sponsors and Postcards Coming Soon!
As far as funding goes, I am seeking corporate sponsors that I might be able to blog about/provide photography to/etc in exchange for some funds. I will also be launching a postcard project very soon so that I can keep in touch with everyone at home. Please stay tuned for further details on these!
One Last Thing
I’m trying to come up with a catchy name for my trip. Any and all ideas are appreciated! If you suggest one that I end up using I’ll make sure to send you a couple postcards during my trip.