When I was 18 years old, and first picked up a camera, it was my personal ambition to travel the world. I had romantic notions of traveling the world like Henri Cartier-Bresson, taking beautiful photographs of everywhere I went.
Now nearly a decade+ later (I am 31 years old), I have traveled much. I have lived like a a ‘digital nomad‘, and have followed tenants of Zen, Taoism, and minimalism with great effect. I am certainly MUCH HAPPIER now than I was when I was 21 years old.
Now, the question is:
Will traveling make me happier?
I think so. But let me explain a bit more:
We are happiest when we are ‘uncomfortable’
This is why I believe traveling will make you happier:
I believe there is something in the human genome which delights in stress, uncertainty, and chaos.
Contrary to what modern thinkers tell us, no — we humans don’t desire comfort, stability, and basic hedonic pleasure. This line of thinking has been indoctrinated to us ever since we were kids.
- Our parents encouraging us to get ‘safe’ and ‘stable’ jobs (which make a lot of money)
- To be ‘careful’ when playing on the playground
- To strive to one day own a home, save for retirement, an the such.
Plan a trip today
There are already SO MANY places you can travel to (on the cheap). As an American, I like using Kayak.com, Priceline.com, Google Flights, and Spirit.com to look for cheap flights. For us Europeans, we can use RyanAir, Easyjet, and other budget airlines. In Asia, I like AirAsia.
The myth is that traveling is expensive. It can be done on the cheap (how I prefer it).
Also, you don’t need to travel internationally to have a great time and experience. You can travel locally (you don’t even need to fly, you can take the bus, metro, or drive yourself).
The basic notion is this:
Spend a chunk of time (1-2 weeks) to make yourself intentionally uncomfortable, in order to re-awaken your inner-artist and creative genius.
My favorite places
If you need inspiration, some ideas (no particular order, just the first places which pop into my mind):
- New Orleans
- San Francisco
- New York
- Mexico City
- Hanoi (Vietnam)
- Saigon (Vietnam)
- Dalat (Vietnam)
- Hong Kong
TRAVEL HACKS to inspire, motivate, and encourage you!
Share your best travel photos on ARS!
For honest feedback and critique on your travel photos, upload them to arsbeta.com (and also critique the works of others, to help them improve as well!)
Start uploading your photos to arsbeta.com
Words of encouragement
You’re an artist. As a photographer, you’re primarily a ‘visual artist‘, meaning, you use your camera as your paintbrush and sword.
Pride yourself in being an artist. And treat your photo-making as your artistry.
As an artist, you don’t need to “explain” yourself. You don’t need to explain why you make photos to anyone else (but yourself). You make art because it is fun, enjoyable, and gives you the great stimulus to life!
Keep making photos! Best is to upload them to your own website/blog. Second best is to upload them to arsbeta.com
2020 ERIC KIM Workshops
Experiences never die:
- Jan 16-19: Mexico City Travel Street Photography Adventure Workshop
- March 21-22: Boston Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop
For personal assistance regarding upcoming workshops please email my manager Neil at email@example.com