At the end of 2016, I quit my job and booked a one-way ticket to Bangkok, Thailand. I had no idea when I’d be returning home, as I set off on a solo backpacking trip through Asia. From that point, to the end of 2017, I visited eight countries in twelve months. Here are some of my favourite photos from one of the greatest years of my life.
1. Lady In The Siem Reap Slums
I was lucky enough to have been taken on a trip from Siem Reap into the slums by a local guide. During our trip we visited an old home where this lady was showering outside. I was able to communicate with her through my guide’s translations. Along with her grandson, she is the last of a long family tree, tragically extinguished by the Khmer Rouge regime.
2. Girls On Elephant Rock
When travelling through Sri Lanka, I made a really great group of friends in Ella, consisting of Australians and Dutch backpackers. We all met up in Arugam Bay and spent four days surfing, cooking, laughing and drinking in this incredible corner of the country. This photo, taken after a big surf day at Elephant Point, really sums up our time together.
3. The Morning Of…
This photo was taken around 6am, the morning that my team and I made it to Everest Base Camp - one of the greatest days of my life. I really love looking back at this picture and remembering the cold morning, the atmosphere and buzz amongst us, walking through the most perfect day to our final destination.
4. The Old Man And The Sea
This is easily one of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken. We were waiting on the creaky, wooden port for our boat to pick us up and take us across the backwaters of Alleppey, in India. This wooden row boat emerged over the water, with a man with a face so dark and hair so white. The colours of this scene just felt so rich and captivating to me. He was a great model, and we became friends instantly.
5. The Lady In Colour
India was always rich in colour and smells. Wandering through the backstreets of Udaipur in Rajasthan, I noticed this lady, perched on a destroyed thin clay slab sticking out of the wall of her home, legs crossed, simply watching the passers by. She let me take a photo and to this day, the colours and her face take me back to this moment.
6. Mum, I Made It
This was the moment we arrived at Everest Base Camp. The feeling we all had when we made it; cheering and hugging, was priceless. I stood at the top of this small bundle of rocks and did a 360 turn, surrounded by the entire Everest Himalayan range. Truly astonishing and a moment I’ll never forget.
7. Steps In Jaipur
We came across this incredible holy monument in Jaipur, with pink and orange washed walls and symmetrical steps. I remember spending ages here with friends, just sitting on the steps and admiring the craftwork of thousands of years ago.
8. Sunrise On The Water
Sunrise and sunsets are two things synonymous with backpacking Myanmar. Everywhere you go has incredible opportunities to see sunrise or sunset from temples, lakes, bridges and monastery’s. This photo was taken under U-Bien bridge in Mandalay, as this fisherman was pulling in his nets.
9. The Sixty Kilo Walk
During our nine days hiking to Everest Base Camp, we spent a lot of time talking, eating and walking with sherpas and workers like this man, who carried 60kg on his back, travelling over six hours from place to place to deliver goods and food to the inns in each village. I felt this photo really immortalised that moment, with the mountains in the background and the huge cargo he had to carry on his back.
10. The Girl From The Village
One of the first things I did on my trip was a two day hike into the mountains and jungles of Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. During our first day, we stopped at a village high in the mountains for some food, when this curious young girl appeared. I managed to take a photo of her after we played some hide and seek around the hut we were eating in and it captured her character perfectly. I’ll forever look back at this and remember the beginning of my adventures!