+27° 34’ 54.45”, +89° 51’ 58.92”
On the world’s second-longest pedestrian suspension bridge, a Bhutanese boy noticed me filming the fluttering prayer flags and began walking in front of me, hoping I would photograph his afternoon journey with “tomato punch-flavored” chips. He whipped his head back, and I snapped him mid-chew.
-17° 57' 16.31", +27° 1' 7.04"
When I graduated from university, I decided to travel around the world on a tight budget. I knew the experience would teach me to not fear the world I didn’t know. This was one of the moments that defined the seven-month trip. Amazement replaced fear in my life on this canoe safari, when we met face to face with a wild elephant on the river border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
+28° 37' 59.92", +77° 13' 15.05"
I first visited India on a study abroad program in 2007. Upon leaving, I thought I’d never get another chance in my lifetime to be entranced by that country. This photo was taken on my third trip in three years while sitting in a cycle rickshaw. India has a way of drawing you back and shocking you every single time.
+13° 24' 27.39", +99° 59' 53.16"
I developed an instinct to photograph in middle school, when I started finding moments of natural beauty. I’ve since had to adapt that instinct to include self-preservation, as my subjects now are often fleeting and mildly dangerous. Squatting to capture the action of a rapidly closing street market, I almost forgot I was on the tracks of an oncoming train.
+37° 3' 20.16", +25° 12' 32.41"
I didn’t start thinking about how the rest of the world lives until I left my country for the first time. After those first glimpses, I’ve since found a constantly expanding interest in finding home settings in other countries and imagining the lives lived within them. I came across this home in a gorgeous blue and white fishing town on the island of Paros.
+59° 20' 9.27", +17° 57' 52.45"
In the last six years, I’ve lived everywhere and nowhere. Though I stay connected with people in Indiana, my community has expanded to incorporate many transient people from myriad cultures. Friend and colleague Andy turned 30 on the opposite side of the world from his home country of New Zealand, surrounded by his community abroad.
+20° 26' 40.39", +99° 52' 49.62"
My job is to follow the world’s first traveling high school and wrangle the power of media to tell their stories to the world. Sometimes I forget to tell my own travel stories, but this photograph is an exception. I found two boys swimming under the bridge between the Thailand and Burma border, the same waterway that was used as a communal wastebasket.
+18° 14' 11.36", -72° 32' 7.53"
I decided to visit the Ukraine by flipping a coin and subsequently boarding a train. Going to Haiti was a very different process. I self-taught conversational Haitian Creole, read a book on their 200+ year history, and raked the news on their humanitarian issues. That preparation enabled me to understand what the Haitians were celebrating at their first Carnival celebration after the earthquake of 2010.
+11° 26' 5.69", +77° 41' 0.15"
It’s difficult to visit a country like India and not constantly attempt to confirm your preconceived assumptions. Hindi worshippers entranced me and fit the stereotype I came expecting. I asked for his permission, snapped a photo, and moved on. I couldn’t tell if he smiled behind his beard. I wondered what he thought of me and how I fit his assumptions. I wondered how dangerous assumptions could be.
-34° 1' 32.56", -58° 10' 34.07"
While sometimes the chaos of a place can be intoxicating for a photographer, I’ve also found great beauty in moments of simplicity in space. While filming some Jesuit ruins at an archaeological site, I noticed a little bird centered in my viewfinder, framed by crumbling church walls with a fading blue backdrop. My memories of two days in this little country are all represented by this vintage simplicity.
+18° 46' 0.22", +99° 0' 25.77"
My students are wildly lucky to engage in experiential learning. I find myself constantly drawn into their studies and asking questions alongside them. Wandering a mosque in a Buddhist country, I expanded my understanding of Islam in the global context and built knowledge within strong memories. We can be lifelong learners anywhere, but travel makes this pursuit more visual and passionate.
-34° 35' 14.72", -58° 23' 25.34"
While visiting a friend’s apartment after work, I noticed a beautiful sunset that was making the clouds appear chalk-like and mysterious. With the lights of the Recoleta cemetery church beginning to turn on, I snapped one of my favorite minutes in our 24 hours–when day turns to night.
+34° 5' 31.49", +74° 50' 38.93"
Regardless of convincing arguments against going, I felt compelled to listen to my gut instinct and travel to Kashmir soon after arriving in Delhi. Srinagar’s lakes are wrapped with houseboats, speckled with hand-powered boats, and home to commerce beginning at dawn. An old man paddled me at 4am to the floating vegetable market on Dal Lake where I purchased saffron and tea from silhouettes on the water.
-34° 38' 21.85", -58° 21' 44.07"
I’m imprinted to associate the city of Buenos Aires with tango dancers on brightly painted backdrops. La Boca is the neighborhood responsible for this imagery. It’s the most touristy barrio in the city; however, La Boca residents don’t benefit financially from living there, many living a block away in homes made from construction scraps. La Boca and this image remind me of passion and grit, two adjectives that describe all of Argentina.
+26° 52' 56.74", +100° 14' 11.47"
Black Dragon Pool is a park I’ve visited twice on different trips to China. At this peaceful Chinese garden, I witnessed my first snow-topped mountain in the distance. On my second trip, I followed international students as they experienced this visually stunning and natural landscape for the first time. I don’t often visit the same place twice, but when I do, I feel like I’m time traveling.
+11° 26' 5.69", +77° 41' 0.15"
I’ve been enamored by this image for years. The suspended water droplets below this worshipper’s cup are the objects of my focus. This man is walking up the steps from a riverbank where three waterways converge, becoming a holy point. Water is frequently used in Hindu ceremonies, and the practices are photogenic and infinitely symbolic.
-18° 3' 55.48", +178° 4' 7.96"
One of my most memorable and unique travel experiences was a trip to a remote village in Fiji for 2.5 months. In conjunction with aiding English apprehension and sports medicine knowledge, my travel partner Garrett and I aimed to absorb as much of the village goings-on as possible during our stay. We heard squealing one afternoon and came in time to watch a pig being killed and cooked for dinner. Later, I tried freshly-charred kidney.
-18° 3' 59.42", +178° 4' 3.93"
Our humanitarian project in Fiji did not end as we had hoped because of a need to prematurely leave the village. We had made so many dear friends and created meaningful relationships with the students that we invested most of our time with. They were hungry to read books, play games, and show us what they love about their childhood in Fiji. The kids were the best part of our trip.
+20° 54' 10.40", +107° 1' 4.74"
My time traveling sensation was never more powerful than in Vietnam. This country marked my first solo experience in the developing world, and those memories are still vivid. Exactly 4 years later, I retraced my steps, this time leading a friend on her first real “adventure” abroad. On both trips, I floated through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay on a junk boat. Popping my head out in the morning, I could barely see the mountains surrounding me.
+18° 32' 58.83", -72° 19' 57.44"
Haitians have a powerful gaze that seemingly bubbles up from years of skepticism of foreigners or politicians. These faces warm up quickly upon the first utterance of a Haitian Creole greeting. It took me a couple weeks and no money to develop a basic conversational ability with the language, thanks to a free program I found online. I will never again enter a country without the language basics.
+20° 54' 10.40", +107° 1' 4.74"
On those mirror-image trips to Vietnam in 2007 and 2011, I encountered a floating village of fisherman, and oddly enough their secondary product in this dirt-less community is produce. Along with recognizable pineapples are fruits unique to Southeast Asia, alien-like fruits such as lychee, starfruit, and dragon fruit. It was only on the second trip when I traveled with a foodie that I realized the potential of these orbs.
-2° 55' 56.65", -79° 1' 22.61"
In three months while living in Ecuador, I only took 2.5 days off including weekends and holidays. I acquired a teaching role on top of my documentary role, and the learning curve was steep. I had no time to enjoy what my city of Cuenca had to offer until the last day. Some colleagues and I went on a hike through the high hills outside the city. The clouds enveloped us.
+58° 44' 22.4", +17° 51' 57.6"
I believe the definition of the word “stranger” is linked to your comfort in talking to one. If it’s an easy hurdle, you’ll always be surrounded by companions. I’ve grown to easily absorb others into my world, and this openness has led to incredible experiences, including a day trip to the edge of the Stockholm peninsula. We had fish soup, walked the natural island, and investigated an old lighthouse in an ominous mist.
+11° 33' 57.09", +104° 54' 11.69"
I enjoy many rare world experiences, warm shelter, clean water, and so on. I always feel equally appreciative and guilty. Hence, I wrapped up a seven-month world tour with two weeks at a Cambodian orphanage, feeling wildly out of my league. It was here I felt my first “teacher moment” while helping their school transition to using English as their language of instruction. The kids, including Pon, took no meal, game, shirt, or lesson for granted.
34° 28' 22.54", -57° 51' 4.71"
The avenue of the whispers, the ghosts, is well documented by visitors to Colonia. These snapshots of color and decay, moments where the manmade begs to return to its natural state, were my starting point for travel photography. I didn’t realize this impulse for years, and now, after photographing with my gut instinct and prioritizing self-reflection, I can pinpoint what moments in the world I am drawn to. Please, do try the same.
+23° 11' 11.87", -106° 24' 4.67"
I’ve explored the horn-shaped country below us in a variety of ways, and every time I’m amazed at the richness of their culture, which we tend to smash together with the entire Central American region. I want to drive from northwest to southeast, tasting everything fresh and spicy and stopping to listen to every musician that picks a guitar.
-3° 9' 33.77", +35° 32' 40.39"
When an interest in photography led to a desire to travel, I didn’t realize this exposure to National Geographic animal shots would skew my perception of the pursuit. Animals on safari are sleepy, unpredictable, and dangerous. That last adjective should never be implicit. We are all zooming around in jeeps hoping for a sighting or a rare activity. The hunt for the image can make us forget we are knowingly following human predators.
34° 28' 22.54", -57° 51' 4.71"
I haven’t owned a car since 2010; they are not a passion, but in the city of Colonia, the vast number of old cars on the street had me clicking the shutter button. They reminded me of Havana, Cuba, a place I’ve been hungering to visit and witness the modern antiquity.
While on a “visa run” to Uruguay from Argentina, I went on a walk while my students flew around the town on a scavenger hunt. It was a quick hour before we needed to catch the ferry back, but for a moment I had freedom to travel at my own speed.
+52° 31' 32.06", +13° 24' 24.87"
My favorite book is “The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton. I am a very slow reader with abysmal comprehension. This book took dedication, but I remember it daily. In one of its chapters, de Botton explains that we can explore any place as though we are traveling to a foreign land. Whether in Berlin or Wabash, I’ve given myself the task of a photo scavenger hunt, in order to find what I wasn’t looking for. This is my photo hunt from “Mitte.”