I officially began my project in Europe. If you are unaware of my project click here.
I had an idea of the places I wanted to visit but no set plans, like most of my travels have been and continue to be.
I had 3 months to travel around Europe, I had a flight booked into London and out of Italy.
It takes me a few days to find my travel feet as a solo traveller. Finding a place to stay at the last minute, learning new public transport and just the gist of being out of my comfort zone.
By about the third day I found myself alone in a pub down the road from my backpackers. I was waiting for a meal I had ordered to arrive as I was writing away in my travel journal. There was a friendly Londoner and local of the pub throwing a few friendly comments at me, I politely smiled and answered his questions but quickly got back to my journal. At this point I was wondering how the hell I was going to get the ball rolling with this project. After I’d finished my meal and the small talk with the friendly chap had finished, I left the pub and the man said to me “Don’t be a stranger, we’re always sitting in the same place same time.”
After a night of kicking myself that I didn’t just get the ball rolling and introducing myself properly and the project I’m working on to the locals at the bar, I convinced myself to go back the next day, same place, same time. Of course there they were! Friendly, welcoming and I finally introduced myself properly, got onto the topic of my photography and I had two gentlemen onboard for a photo and interview.
A path started to form for me, one of the men asked where I was off to next, I mentioned Edinburgh and he put me onto a contact there. So through London, Scotland and Ireland my journey of finding people came from a referrals basis and a hunt to track them down. In about 3 weeks I had photographed and interviewed 7 people, however not all were referrals. My luck finished in Ireland (ironically) where my lady in Dublin gave me a contact for someone near Galway, but I was unable to reach them. This lead me to start finding people on my own again. I photographed a couple of backpackers from my hostel who were keen and a really lovely local old man down by the wharf.
My Europe trip took me from Ireland to Paris where I met up and stayed with a friend from travels in Thailand, she found out about my project and was happy to join in also.
From Paris I went down to Biarritz to get some sunshine and a surf in, but the sun wasn’t shining, the waters were cold and I got the flu. This put me out of action for a few weeks. I went to Barcelona to find some sun and warmth, but had no luck on the interview front. This lead me to take up an offer on a 2 for 1 sailing trip around Croatia with a traveller I had met in Edinburgh. We sailed the Croatian sea with a great bunch of people and I was able to find a local Croatian willing to participate on my project once more. This brought back my confidence again, I was feeling better and recovered from the flu.
Next I explored the Greek island with Marlon, the boy I had met in Edinburgh and who came on the sailing trip with me. We met a lovely couple who were more than happy to be interviewed and photographed. After a few weeks in the Greek islands we arrived in Vienna to meet and stay with a very important friend of mine Angelika. Angelika was there when I was gored by a water buffalo in Cambodia and stayed with me in hospital for 10 days, looking after me and just being my angel. I was also there to photograph her friend’s wedding. So in Austria, Angelika’s friends who I can now say are my friends were happy to be involved in the project too.
My Europe trip shortly came to and end after Austria. Marlon and I became very close and we continued travelling together to Venice for a few days before I needed to make my way to Milan to fly home.
Europe proved to me I could do this project, I found confidence and I had an amazing time meeting new people, staying with great friends and meeting my man!
So the project and travels continue…
Keep an eye out for portraits and answers from my European subjects.
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