In interviewing Brendan, I asked him a few questions on how he captures the moment on paper and in photos. If you would like to know more about Brendan, he can be found on the net here; Brendan’s Adventures, It’s My Life 365 and Vagabundo Magazine
1) Since you have been on the road for three years, how do you decide which destination you will go to next?
Do you follow a certain path from one destination to the next or do you sometimes skip around the globe depending on where life takes you?
I guess I’d consider myself on a bit of an “Everywhere Trip” meaning that I just go to all places. But I always go to new places. I don’t travel like this to check countries off a list or anything like that, hell, I couldn’t even tell you how many countries I’ve been to. I travel like this because I want to give all places a proper chance. If I’m in West Africa, I’m not just going to go to the tourist zones, but all countries.
I also really like discovering places that most people don’t know about so the chances are you wont find me in big tourism destinations all too often. You’ll more often find me in places like Paraguay, Mauritania, etc. I feel like that when I chose to travel for a living I couldn’t do it as a vacation, but instead take some sort of duty from it. I try to use travel to grow for one, but also I travel to discover the undiscovered and share the deserving stories with the world, not just the popular stories.
2) Do you try and capture certain moments in your photos?
Do you try and capture moments that no else has ever captured on film?
Do you feel this is the same when you write an article for a travel magazine i.e. writing something new that the reader may not have read before?
Do you try and give it a different spin because the article is being written through your eyes as you experienced it?
Holy questions batman! In my writing, my photos and video, I try to capture the mood and emotion of the world that I see through my eyes and feel in my heart. I try to capture it as I see it. I honestly don’t really care if no one has ever captured it or if everyone has captured it as long as I can harness the feeling that I felt while breathing in the moment for myself. I think that as soon as you start doing what others have done, then you lose the honesty in your work, and that’s probably the most important aspect of it.
Of course, when I write articles for travel magazines, the stories that sell best are ones that are unique, and I go out of my way to find these types of experiences. But I’m not stuck on the idea that I need to be different. Again, when it comes to spinning articles, it’s not something I really believe in because I think that a story, even if it’s meant to be entertaining, should also be honest. If something is shit, it should be said. There’s no point in sugar coating the world to give people fuzzy feelings. That being said, I do tend to focus on positive stories, because I really do believe that the world is an extraordinary place and people should really stop being so scared of it.
3) How important do you feel it is to know certain words in another language such as ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ when traveling?
Do you feel it is important to know these words in more than one language depending on how many countries you plan to visit?
For me the language thing is all about respect. Personally, I speak 3 languages fluently and a couple others quite choppy. I can pretty much get by in any country in the world using those 3 languages. However, regardless of what country I am in I make sure to learn bits and pieces of the local language. It can be difficult travelling to African countries, as I currently am, because each country has about 4-5 major languages aside from the colonial ones.
However, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stepped into a store or a grouping of people with a simple “hello” in the local language and gotten wide grins of appreciation. That little bit offers so much respect that the people no longer look at you with apprehension, and it shows that you care about them and aren’t just there to exploit them. It doesn’t take much to learn bits and pieces of a local language, sometimes it’s just asking a taxi driver to teach you a couple words, which is usually how I learn my first few words..
4) Any advice you can give to someone who would like to travel long term but they are letting their fear stop them from taking that last step from cubicle life to world traveler?
Stop making excuses. If it’s what you really want to do, then do it. I left home with $500 in my bank account, plenty of student loan debt, and no plan, and I came out alright. However, I left myself no alternative. If you’re going to dive in you have to make sure you know that there’s no turning back and be o.k with that. And remember, even if you fail, at least you’ll get a good story to tell from it.