Tag Archives: nomad

Reflections of a Nomad Photographer Part I

nomad-edge-flemming-blog In November 2009 having sold my flat and most of my belongings I left Copenhagen and embarked on my present great journey as a Nomad Photographer. No home, no base, no strings, complete freedom. After six months, three continents, five countries, thousands of images and having been around the world I returned to Copenhagen for a Summer break. “I need sleep” was one of my first sentences.

I felt jetlagged for 4 weeks as I attempted to re-charge and archive thousands of experiences, images, people and emotions inside my messy head. I am now able to reflect on the first chapter of my life as a nomad photographer. If you are not familiar with the beginning of this tale I suggest reading my Dreams become reality post and perhaps my profile. To make sense, my reflections are intimate but of course I have chosen to leave many things out for my public blog.

So…what was it like?

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Recess

My life as a travelling ‘nomadic’ photographer is having a recess after 6 months of adventures through Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Australia and USA with great images, people, experiences and ups and downs. ‘Nomad’ traveling is a large magnifying glass. Perhaps I will write a more detailed report later. Now; rest and non-travelling.

I am now back in Copenhagen for a Summer siesta and work. I do not know what happens after that. Making this up as I go along. Once I catch up on sleep and seeing dear friends there are two big tasks ahead – completely new website and developing all the new images. Stay tuned, I shall continue blogging of course, new images will be posted.

Todays image is recess from one of the hmong village schools I visited in Laos, one of the highlights. These children were so raw, un-spoiled, curious and very charming, felt like adopting a few of them.

laos - recess - blog

Kuala Lumpur – city and the jungle

I am writing this from Perth, Western Australia. I am sitting on the balcony at a friend’s house in the suburb of Scarborough. I am overlooking the Indian ocean, flexing it’s muscles with heavy wind and large waves crashing the shore. A few days ago my view of the world was the Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur, sitting on a balcony in the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Ampang. One week ago, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Life can be like that, a quick jumps around the world where the soul is still stuck in transit waiting to catch up. My soul is learning fast to catch up though. When I boarded the plane for Perth it was flight number 13 in the past two months. No wonder I do get slightly tired of airports.

The suburb of Ampang in Kuala Lumpur feels perhaps on first sight a little constructed, a little like a Legoland. Like a reverse Truman Show where only Truman knows everything is fake. But settle in and it is a rather spectacular place, from my friend’s flat we have a view of the twin towers from the balcony and behind us on the other side of the building we can literally reach out and touch the jungle. Ampang is one of the greenest suburbs you will ever see. Most of the time it is so quiet you only hear the birds and the jungle. A 5 minute walk from my friend’s flat and we are in ancient pristine jungle. Not many suburbs where one can do that! I snapped this snapshot on my new compact Canon powershot S90 camera from a walk in the jungle just behind our building. KL actually has a nice skyline at night and someday I will find a great spot for a cityscape. I think they overdid the light on the Twin Towers at night though, they shine like Christmas ornaments and the light pollution is so great it lights up the whole sky over KL!

Randomness

  • Space Monkeys on the balconies! Since my last visit to the Menara Indah apartment building in KL, they have cut down a few branches so the cheeky monkeys cannot just wander straight from the jungle onto the roof. Still. There are always the drain pipes, great fun for monkeys to climb! They then proceed to wreck havoc on the balconies, even going into peoples living room and stealing shiny things – which are then promptly flung out the window so the monkeys can climb down and recover the loot on the ground! It is entertainment all morning watching the space monkeys.
  • Photography wise I have been a bit short on inspiration and creativity since the magnificent mountains and children of Laos. What I am discovering is that on a normal photography trip everything is so condensed, I shoot like crazy, and then I go back to everyday life. But this is now everyday life for me. So there will be longer periods between shoots, longer time between magic moments as I adjust to my new life on the road as everyday life somehow also came along for the ride and demands time as well. I am sure inspiration will bounce back soon, just did not quite count on having everyday life following me!

Nomad. Photographer. Traveler. Wanderer. Dreams become reality.

Nomad. Basically means either a pastoral nomad, moving his herd every day in search of food, or a hunter gatherer nomad moving with the wildlife. Bruce Chatwin was forever fascinated by nomadic life and once spent years and years writing a book about his own thesis on ‘the nomadic alternative’. This brick of a book was according to his publisher almost unreadable and Chatwin ended up instead traveling Patagonia and writing ‘In Patagonia’. The rest is history.

I have spent the past 4 months attempting to realise my own Nomadic Alternative. On Monday the 23rd of November dreams become reality as I board my plane to freely travel the world, photograph, experience, write and live! New life. The road is the home. Nomadic Alternative.

I now own basically what I can carry. Well, carry with some help as there is an awful lot of camera gear, laptop, books and clothes. Still, my life and possessions is reduced to a mobile state and I have no home but the world, the road. Nomadic alternative. These are truly exciting times! Complete freedom and total liberation! I do know how lucky people consider me to be and I will live up to it.  But I have basically created this situation myself and I believe everyone can do this or parts of this. Most of what tie us down are in our minds!

While I do call it my Nomadic Alternative, like Bruce Chatwin would say, that is a truth and a half. Chatwin liked to say he was travelling with just a notebook and a backpack. In reality he carried a whole home with him, including a ton of books. In reality I will be jumping from base to base as a place to sleep is always quite nice! My first base will be with friends in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. A dear friend from Copenhagen will also join me in Chiang Mai and together we will explore Asia for the next 4 months. Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, perhaps Burma, Laos and a little gday to Australia as well could be on the menu. No plans, except to live! photograph, experience, travel and be free, free!

Not all those who wander are lost.” – Tolkien

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun." -Chris McCandless

The road is home

Let us conclude with the road, in this case a lovely red dirt road from Karijini, Australia. Red and blue dawn at it’s finest. Into the Wild.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Karijini Red and Blue Dawn
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

If you know some great photography locations in Thailand – and Asia – I would love to hear about them! See you on the road.