Seriously, I mean it. Finding this page means you either purchased a copy of my newest magazine Lost, But Looking or at least came across it somewhere, in a store or possibly a friend had one. Either way, you’re here. You looked closely enough, you paid attention to the little details and participated, and for that you deserve something special.
I put together this section to give just a little extra something to those that went the extra mile, something to help you immerse yourself even deeper behind the scenes into the making of this project of mine.
The beauty of Bali.
Trying to capture the full experience of any part of the world is an unimaginably difficult task. Particularly as someone passionate in the realm of still imagery, it’s a true challenge I face regularly to tell a broad story with a few frames. This is why I’ve started diving a bit into videos, as sometimes moving imagery communicates an experience more thoroughly. I hope to be using video to tell more artful stories in the future, but here was one moment from Bali, Indonesia that struck a chord with me.
Much of the Balinese people practice a distinctly unique form of Hinduism known as Agama Hindu Dharma which, having spent much time in India, I can confirm is significantly different looking and feeling than Indian Hinduism. Pura Ulun Danu Batur is one of the oldest and most well known temples in Bali, and as my sister and I were spending a week exploring the island by motorbike, we happened across Pura Ulun on this cool, foggy, misty day (a welcome break from the tropical heat). It was one of the Balinese day of prayers, so all the locals were headed to and from the temple to say their prayers and make their offerings.
Of all the various religious and spiritual cultures I’ve encountered so far in my life of exploration, the Balinese people and their way of life are amongst the most beautiful and directly appreciative of nature. It’s particularly the connection with nature that I find most fascinating. Perhaps its rooted in the Balinese people because they’ve been surrounded by lush tropical jungles their whole lives.
Some of the other unique and obvious features of Balinese Hinduism include the majority of all people wear white on holy occasions, they make these intricate offerings of natural sorts be it food or their canang sari, and the temples are largely built of simple stone construction, occasionally colored but often not, that seem to blend delicately into the natural jungle environment.
Bali, despite being overrun with tourists now and a little challenging to get away from that side of the island, is undoubtedly one of the most magical places in the world worth exploring. I’ve spent 2 months there on separate occasions, and I’d go back in a heartbeat. I’m proud to say there are numerous reasons why, but getting to know the local Balinese culture better and visit my Balinese friends I’ve made there is at the top of the list.
Why travel? You can taste it.
I don’t think there is a single traveler out there that wouldn’t admit to sharing this one common joy of exploration–food. On my latest 5 month excursion across SE Asia, I decided to document all of our unique food experiences across the 5 countries. I shared much of these in my IG stories as we went along, but I didn’t know what to do with them after. Any photographer would agree one of the most annoying struggles of our lifestyle, especially in this digital era, is having too many photos to know what to do with them all.
It’s one of my favorite reasons for shooting film. Film helps me cull out a lot of unnecessary photos I might make with a digital camera. When you only have 24 or 36 images to a roll of film, you’re more mindful of every image you make. I rarely take more than 2-3 photos of a single scene on film, whereas with a digital camera I might get carried away taking 10-20. But I digress.
Food is one of the greatest and simplest means to exploring other cultures. As humans, despite our immense diversity and numerous differences, we all like to sit down a few times a day to enjoy the delectably tasteful joy of culinary adventures.
I hope you can appreciate these dishes from afar, even though the best photos of food will never do the experience of tasting it justice! I’ve named some of the dishes, but sadly did not diligently record them all. Sometimes my taste buds simply can’t be bothered to find any excuse not to immediately dive in. ?
Once again, thank you for being here. I hope you enjoyed this little bonus section I created for you. I hope you find more reasons in your own life to go explore this vast world we live in, to get to know a culture significantly different from your own, to connect with a person who’s life has been lived in an environment distinctly different from your own. I promise you won’t regret it.
Because at the end of the day, you’ll find we’re all the same. We’re all here to live and laugh and love. We all want someone to share our life with. We all have immense desires and wants we’re chasing to fulfill. We all go through various moments of pain and heartbreak. We’re all brothers and sisters in this game of life.
It’s our duty to find the path to realize, again and again and again because we forget, that we’re all in this together. And travel is one way we can remember.