Anyone who describes landing in a new destination like a child under a Christmas tree waiting to unwrap presents is a kindred spirit in my eyes. It’s possibly the best way I’ve heard the excitement of visiting somewhere new explained!
This weeks Globetrotter is Dody from travel and photography blog Retrato NZ. I thought I really loved photography and then I met Dody. He loves sounds just obsessed as I am maybe even more so. You 100% need to check out his blog, the images are outstanding.
Not only does Dody have amazing photographs on his site but the blogs about his personal travels are full of wondrous words and wanderlust-inducing images. I’ve always wanted to see the wildlife and landscapes of Africa and whilst I’ve not quite got there this post is pushing me to book a trip. I absolute adore the ‘watercooler Giraffe chat’ photograph. Seeing those animals in their natural habitat going about their business must have been spine tingly awesome.
I’ve loved reading about Dody’s thoughts on travel and photography and I am sure you will too. The passion for travel and photography jumps out of the screen and it’s infectious. I adore that he doesn’t have a favourite place and that there is nowhere that hasn’t lived up to the hype as he’s just immersed himself into every place and experience.
Let me pass you over to Dody from Retrato NZ and as usual, I’ve included links below so once you’ve had a taster you can check out more. Dody likes to spend more time behind the camera than in front so his bio pic seems extremely appropriate
I like my photos to be as uncomplicated as my subjects. Except for very minimal adjustments, I don’t enhance my images in any way. Preferring to make use of available light (no flash) and the basic rules of composition sans any photo-enhancing software, my resulting portraits capture my subjects in unguarded moments, their personalities pixelated for eternity.
My love of photography was influenced by photo essays in books and magazines I read as a child. I daydreamed of far-off lands and exotic cultures, hoping to document them through a camera someday. I want to capture people and places as my eyes see them, without ‘rose-tinted glasses’. Doing this means I have to think fast sometimes – evaluate light, or stoop, crouch, or bend in the most uncomfortable way to get the right composition. I like doing all the work before I click the shutter, not after.
What do you enjoy most about travelling?
When I’m headed to a place I’ve never been before, it’s the moment the plane begins to descend. The wonder and excitement are unreal, almost similar to when I was a child sitting under the Christmas tree and knowing that a whole new experience awaits me.
Why do you think travelling is important?
Travelling is not just about visiting ancient ruins, historic places, or mega-cities. It’s about encountering foreign cultures and people, learning how they live, understanding their language. Although social media and the internet have brought people closer in a virtual sense, to me they’ve degraded travel to an ordinary and routine experience. We leave for far-off places and pose for selfies, yet come back with no significant change. The important thing about travelling is to come back with a deeper knowledge of others and of ourselves.
What is your favourite photograph from your travels?
I took this photo when I was in the Sahara Desert in Morocco last year. It’s one of my favourites not only because of the unusual combination of colours and shadows, but because this was a candid shot of a Bedouin who walked along the sand dunes barefoot, totally unaware I was taking his photo. I didn’t crop or edit this image in any way. One in a collection of photos in my photo book, my Morocco adjectives, I titled this ‘undulating’ because the desert looked to me like undulating sea waves.
Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?
All of the above.
Who do you usually travel with?
My partner enjoys travelling as much as I do. She’s wary of mainstream tourist spots and loves off-the-beaten-track destinations. She’ll pick rainforests over cities, camping over hotels, and when it comes to food, can rival Bourdain’s courage. She’s amazing. [She insisted on answering this specific question too, so it could be exaggerated.]
If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Don’t expect too much but be open to anything that comes your way and live for the moment. I suppose you could say that of life too.
Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?
In Botswana, I joined a 100-metre race. Those who joined were men younger than me, fit and lean. I knew I couldn’t outrun them but thought it would be fun to run alongside them. After a few strides, I fell, then I got up, then ran, then fell again. So it turned out, I didn’t run alongside, I ran behind. I finished the race though, albeit limping a bit.
Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
‘Favourite’ means one preferred over all the others. I don’t have a favourite because every place I’ve been to is special to me.
Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
I always immerse myself in a place, therefore to me, it always lives up to the hype.
Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
Antarctica. It’s the only continent I haven’t been to. I dream of lying in the snow watching the aurora.
What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
My camera. And my lovely partner. [She typed that last bit.]
What can readers find on your blog?
It’s about my travel experiences and a collection of my photos from these travels. I try to narrow the focus of my posts so that each piece is specific to my own experience. For example, I wrote about the Paekakariki trail here in Wellington, a little narrow 10-km path that I took despite my fear of heights. It’s vertigo-inducing, but I made it.
To find more please check out the below links