Do what you love
This year I went back to Guatemala - mainly because I fell in love with this country three years ago when I visited it for the first time - and because I wanted to go back to the places I loved most, reconnect with the people that I call friends now and to find the answer to my question: "Will you be able to do what you love...in the places you love".
What I love is shooting photos and designing online and offline media. The places I love are bodies of water, the beach and mountains. To combine those two to me would be the ultimate goal.
MY TRAVEL ROUTE
This year I spent more time in places and didn't travel as much as the years before.
After one night in the capital, I went to Antigua, spent 5 days there and then took a bus to Puerto Barrios where I would take the boat to Livingston after spending the night.
After a couple of nights in the caribbean, I took another boat through Rio Dulce Canyon to Rio Dulce town, where I spent 5 days. From there I went up to the island of Flores where I spent 10 days in total - with a short 3 day visit to Belize and Caye Caulker.
After Flores I went down to Semuc Champey where I spent 4 days and went on to Coban for another 4 days.
After that I drove back to Antigua for almost a week and I spent the last week in Monterrico at the pacific coast.
IT'S ABOUT PEOPLE
I'm always amazed by the people I'm able to meet during travels. Somehow every time I'm on the road, people who have something to tell cross my path. It could be experiences, stories, opinions or something else they want to share. All these encounter make up for amazing times in amazing places and some good laughs and conversations around a fire or in the middle of the jungle. That's how I met an Opal miner last year - and that's how I met an author, a reporter, an argentinian couple of an Architect and Taxworker this year - among many other interesting and lovely people. I feel truly blessed to connect with such amazing people!
And then there are of course the people I already know - from Julio that has a coffee business in Antigua to his girfriend McKinzie, Matt who I hiked through the jungle to El Mirador with last year - and who I ran into accidentally in Antigua this year, Diego from the capital who always makes me try new and amazing coffee and with whom I end up posting live interviews on Facebook every time I come back, Gabriel the coffee farmer and his family, Nick who owns the best restaurant in Flores, Eduardo and his rottweiler Baktun who I saw and spent time with almost every day in Flores, André who is also a photographer and a beautiful person, the guys of BajoCeroFilms - Jaime, Rodrigo and Haniel, Meme - another great photographer - who I met this year, Peter - an author and free spirit and someone with an amazing story, Florian who made his dream come true in the jungle of Rio Dulce, Romeo who owned a printing company, retired and now travels around, Oliver who owns my favorite hotel on my favorite beach, Stuart who transformed his home into a hotel, Epy who showed me Belize for the first time...wow - there is so many that I can't mention them all. All of these people are partly the reason why I feel so much at home in Guatemala!
ABOUT THE DOING
My goal this year was to find opportunities to offer my services along the way. I spoke to the people I knew, I talked to new people, I looked for chances to bring something to the table people could be in need of. It didn't really matter what it was - as long as it involved photography or any kind of print or web design. And what can I say - from business cards to websites to portraits to interior photography - I did it all! And I loved each and every second of it. Sitting on a porch in the jungle with a cup of coffee or a beer, editing photos, designing a website and fighting mosquitoes is so much better than sitting in a confined office or even my home - in the cold winter and having a miserable time.
This is what I want to pursue and this is what I WILL do - I will travel more and work whenever I feel like it and the occasion arises. For this purpose, I set up a website specificly for Guatemalan businesses. And I noticed that a lot comes from mouth to mouth advertising. It's amazing how the word spreads once you had your first happy client. I'm really looking forward to going back next year and see what else there is for me to do.
I added a list of projects and websites I had the pleasure to work on during my time in Guatemala - check them out and let me know what you think. And if you have any questions or job opportunities, feel free to contact me directly!
- Design of business cards
Casa Nostra (Livingston)
- Hotel interior & exterior photography
Casa Perico (Rio Dulce)
- Design of business cards
Villa Del Chef (Flores)
- Restaurant interior & exterior photography
Hotel El Delfin (Monterrico)
Anderson's Collection (Antigua)
- Fashion photography