Images from my time studying and traveling in New Zealand. It was during this time in life that my passion and knowledge of photography really began to take off. I was equipped with my first ever camera, an old Canon Rebel along with a tripod, ND filter and a small kit lens. This gear traveled everywhere with me as I explored both islands. I ended up breaking that camera body from water damage on a boat in Milford Sound but was able to score another one a few weeks later.
This was my first time living overseas and it was eye-opening and life-changing in so many ways. Traveling alone gave me the confidence to journey to remote places and let go of attachments that may have held me back in the past. One of the great lessons I learned here was how to be more spontaneous and just go with the flow. Before living in NZ I was used to leading groups on long trips, almost always traveling with friends or family, and preferred to stick to a detailed plan. I was forced to let that safety net down all the time so I began to appreciate the value of just being alone. I discovered I don't always need to be with anyone to truly enjoy the things I wanted to do. I could just go out and do them at my own pace and didn't have to answer to anyone. I liked this and it gave me a strong sense of independence that I'm grateful to have discovered during this point in life.
Wanting to make the most of my time living in a foreign county, I ventured away from my home base in Wellington any chance I could to go get inspired by all the stunning scenery and try to make some new connections. I went everywhere I could think of on the North Island and took many trips to the South Island traveling by boat, plane, free transfer-car, or just hitchhiking. Camping, trekking and exploring on my own, I got lost, wet, cold, hungry, lonely, angry and exhausted sometimes. Through those experiences, I learned how to find my own way and get-on with what I could carry in my backpack. I practiced having a more relaxed and flexible attitude with myself and others which I’ve carried with me ever since.
Home in Wellington, I was a student taking photography classes at Massey University and I would spend my free time hanging out with new friends, checking out cool art, or just chillin’ by the ocean. I'll always cherish the memories I made in this special place and I hope you enjoy some of my favorite images from my travels here.