On being grounded

I can’t stress how important it is, to find a place to call home, and to be grounded there every once in a while.

For the past ten years I have been living a nomadic life of sorts. I’m actually only really away for about 1/3rd of the year from my home, but it doesn’t feel like it, because there is always an adaption period - a settling-in time of around two weeks once I return from some extended travelling before I fully feel at home.

I know that for many of you, the idea of travelling around the world all the time must seem like a dream come true. It sure beats doing the usual 9-5 and the routine of living in the same place month in month out, year in, year out. I once too, like you, romanticised about being free from the 9-5 job so I could go travelling.

But what I had not envisaged at the time of those dreams was the dislocation that comes with it.

I feel as though I have two lives: one on the road, and one at home. Like a split personality, each one of these lives takes a week or so to settle into, and when the trips are very elongated the adjustment gets so entrenched that it makes returning home a very hard adjustment. This is why I now prefer to travel for short durations - a week to maybe 9 days at the most is all I can really handle, as it prevents me from going full-adjustment. It’s short enough that I can still hold on to who I am when I’m at home. I will add, that this means I am usually travelling with half of my head and heart still grounded in my home-life. It’s important for me not to lose sight of it.

I can’t stress how important it is to feel grounded. We all have to have a place that we can call home. It’s a tug of war, because all photographers are wanderlust, nomads at heart. We desire to be away when we are at home, and desire to be at home when we are away. It’s a constant sea of adaption and one which I am always trying to find balance in.

The thing is: I LOVE photography. It is something that burns deep inside of me. I can’t let it go and I know that the images I create mean a lot to me in a way that I simply cannot convey to others. That is what drives me forward all the time, despite my reservations about all the travel I do. But I am always seeking an inner balance. A place where I can feel settled within myself, and at the same time, still go adventuring. I think that the truth is: some people like me, just never really get there. It’s part of the parcel of what makes me do what I do.

With that all in mind, I wish you good balance in your creative and working lives. As my great grandmother used to say ‘everything in moderation’. And as a friend of mine added ‘including moderation’ :-) Live your dreams but remember to touch down once in a while. It’s good for you :-)