September 8, 2015 by Eric Hanson General, Photography, Travel 0

Reflections on a Journey

Reflections on a Journey

In a cafe in northern Patagonia, overlooking a lake on a moody, stormy day, I think about the end of my journey.

I have been traveling South America for seven months. I began in Ecuador and have descended the Andean mountain chain to the bottom of the continent. This was not my first big adventure as I have also traveled around the world for eleven months and backpacked Europe for six months.

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But this time, I was almost entirely solo. This was an opportunity for me to travel alone, to go where I wanted and do what I wanted at my own pace. Traveling solo has a lot of advantages, and a few obvious challenges. I aTowersm a fairly social individual, and I have never spent this amount of time just hanging out with myself. Sometimes this was very difficult, as there were moments of extreme loneliness. But I am really happy that I pushed myself into and through that challenge. This allowed for some real introspection, to recognize things about myself, how I think and operate, what I believe, to inspect my faults and areas I want to grow.

 

Traveling for this season in life was very important for me. I believe I grew as a person. I think I recognized some patterns about how I live, behave, make decisions, and how I treat other people. I know more about the life I want to live moving forward.

When I left the States, I believed this would be a time to work on my professional career. I began with an intentional mindset to grow as a photographer and filmmaker. I wanted to practice my craft in a setting that would inspire me. I believe in many ways that has been a success. I have grown a lot as a photographer. The regular practice and constant shooting was invaluable. Anyone looking to pursue a creative career needs consistent practice.

This was the first time in my life I have seen how powerful practice is.

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I believe this experience will be important moving forward as well. Some opportunities opened up along the way, and perhaps more will reveal themselves in the future. I have several creative endeavors I will be a part of back in the States. I plan on making a short film using video footage I have captured and I am really looking forward to returning home and being able to dive into the editing process of that project.

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I hope others have gleaned something out of my journey. One thing I hope others can see is the importance of taking risks. There were countless times I felt overwhelmed and out of my comfort zone. Yet choosing to head directly into that foggy unknown has reaped me many rewards and experiences that I will cherish the rest of my life.

I hope others can see what it is that they really want, paths they want to pursue, even if it terrifies them, and choose to go headlong into those murky waters anyway. That is where the best rewards lie.

VillaOhiggins

Photographer, filmmaker, journalist, adventurer. I'm somewhere, maybe Flagstaff, AZ.

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