Wanderlust… travel… adventure…

Why do I travel? To make the world a smaller place!

“I haven’t been everywhere but its on my list” – Susan Sontag

Botswana

Botswana

Wanderlust: An irresistible desire to travel to understand ones very own existence

Burma

Burma

I’m in love with the cities I have never been to and the people I have never met

DRC

DRC

“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us” – Anonymous

Namibia

Namibia

“Not all those who wander are lost” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Rwanda

Rwanda

And then I realised adventures are the best way to learn…

India

India

“Travel. It leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller” – Ibn Battuta

China

China

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
– Lao Tzu

Tanzania

Tanzania

“I would rather own little and see the world than own the world and see little of it”
– Alexander Sattler

Tibet

Tibet

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving”
– Lao Tzu

Burma

Burma

Travel: The one thing you buy that makes you richer.

India

India

“Happiness to not a state to arrive at but a manner of traveling”
– Margaret Lee Runbeck

India

India

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Peru

Peru

“People don’t take trips. Trips take people” – John Steinbeck

Uganda

Uganda

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”
– Gustave Flaubert

Thailand

Thailand

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” – Anita Desai

Sri lanka

Sri lanka

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself” – Danny Kaye

Nepal

Nepal

“A nomad I will remain for life in love with distant and uncharted places”
– Isabelle Eberhardt

Bhutan

Bhutan

“We lean forward to the next crazy adventure beneath the skies” – Jack Kerouac

Sharing Smiles… one photo at a time

I love taking photos but I think I love giving them to people more… in India I used to go with friends on the weekend to hang out with beautiful children at Mumbai Mobile Creches and shoot portraits, print them and give them to the kids. The children always started off shy but as soon as we printed out the first image they would be eagerly wanting to be next and with so many centres around the city we could always find another one to head to.

After seeing the joy from these children receiving such a simple thing as a photo I started delivering photos back to people on the street who I took photos of… again and again the excitement and joy was priceless and gave me more happiness than taking the image and sharing it with people. Giving back a image to the person who was in it was something special – knowing that for some of them it was the only image they had when we obsessively now share images of ourselves and others daily.

This continued when I traveled to other cities and countries and the response always has always been a big SMILE back and huge appreciation. Check out some of the images below and see how you can come share some more smiles with me!

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The first photo they ever got to keep of themselves! My first time in a Mumbai Mobile Creche which had me hooked right away.

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In the Ger in the Mongolian countryside I was able to take and immediately print this! Was priceless to watch him as it printed!

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Best gummy smile

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” It’s me! ” Originally he thought he wasn’t getting his own picture as the photo was of him and his brother. His reaction to getting his own picture was amazing!

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Anticipation builds as the photos print

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Sharing smiles!

A young boy & his father at CURE Hospital in Addis Ababa Ethiopia watch their image print out

A young boy & his father at CURE Hospital in Addis Ababa Ethiopia watch their image print out

Carefully studying his photo

Carefully studying his photo with his Dad

So now I have something even more portable which can print straight from the camera and I can share immediately with kids and people I met on my journeys.  So often I hear people promise to send photos back and wonder how often they do… I love that I can right away hand over a picture to someone and see them smile right away at it.

Wanna help SHARE SMILES ?

If you send me some polaroid paper, include a self addressed envelope and I will send you back one of the images taken with your paper along with the story of where it was taken and the shared smile!

Send the paper to;

International Community School of Addis Ababa
Tash McCarroll
P.O. Box 70282
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

P.S. Just indicate paper only on the packing tag (not camera paper)

See the images below for the paper packet – its super small and light weight.
Polaroid premium ZINK paper 2 x 3″ goes with the Polaroid Z2300 camera.

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Come share some SMILES with me!

Education matters… for everyone

Mumbai Mobile Creches is an NGO working with the children of migrant construction workers since 1972, providing them comprehensive daycare and education centres directly on construction sites that provide education, nutrition, and health services. Their primary aim is to provide children with the nurturing care that they deserve so that they can enjoy the benefits of a happy, healthy, and safe childhood. As they say “It is deeply ironic that the children of the very people who produce the symbols of economic development – skyscrapers, residential and commercial complexes – are denied the ability to participate in and benefit from the progress the city promises”.

When I was living in India I spent a lot of time volunteering for MMC  I got to know about them through a friend. I love what they stand for ‘every child has the right to an education no matter their circumstance’. Setting up crèches/ schools on worksites around Mumbai and giving the opportunity for children of the workers on the construction site to be ale to receive the education they deserve in a safe environment.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandala

I visited over a dozen sites in my time and met some incredibly bright beautiful children along with many passionate and dedicated teachers. Enjoy a small snap shot of them below…

Mumbai Mobile Creches

Mumbai Mobile Creches

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Taking a Smoke Break

I’m not a smoker but I love to capture people taking a break from life and in a state of smoking ‘trance’. I know physically smoking isn’t good for you but there is a certain look people get in their eyes, a deep enjoyment and almost a sense of calm that seems to come over them… I am sure many a smoker would argue for the mental health benefits of that break. Here are a few images I have captured of men in a few countries in that moment…

Taking a break in the Mongolian countryside

Taking a break in the Mongolian countryside

Deep in thought, India

Enjoyment, India

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Bidi break, India

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Cowboy Mongolia

Cowboy, Mongolia

Chilling in China

Chilling in China

Where does RESPECT come in? : July

QUICK BACKSTORY:: We created a 2014 Calendar with 100% of funds going to help rebuild one of the many villages in the Philippines destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. With the profits from the Calendars and many other amazing peoples generosity we (a big we) have been able to rebuild over a 100 homes and support so many more families… we are now into helping to rebuild a second village where many still need support. These blogs are images (month by month that were used in the Calendar from around the world) to give you some background story and some more food for thought.

RESPECT … the deep admiration you feel for someone & all that they are

This is one of my favourite images… there is so much more to this photo and the family in it that it makes me miss India and the streets deeply. It also brings back a huge amount of memories and flood of emotion.

This is a story with a lot more images telling you about the family and some of the time I was so fortunate to spend with them. The deep respect from the time I spent with them, watching them go through tough times, the birth of twins on the street and the reality of life for so many and the internal battle I had to fight with every time I walked away.

RESPECT

RESPECT

One of the beautiful young girls from the family and her grandmother on one of my first meetings with the girls which was just on the street along from Dadar Flower market in Bombay. The street is incredibly busy and many families live on the side of the road and under tarps and in makeshift ‘homes’. Not an easy life but every time I met the girls, their friends and family they were incredibly friendly, never asked for anything other than to have their photos taken – so the least I could do was to return their photos each time.

Taking the shot : my friend Nema was with me this day & I am so happy he caught this shot of me.

Taking the shot : my friend Nema was with me this day & I am so happy he caught this shot of me.

I first met the girls at the end of Dadar Market in Mumbai. They were sitting down with a small selection of vegetables they were selling. Their eyes and smiles caught my attention and I asked them if I could take their photos which they immediately responded with a smile and giggles from friends.

Fist day I met the girls

Fist day I met the girls

First meeting in the market

First meeting in the market

A week or so later I went back to deliver the photos to the girls  (as I often do) and found them a little further along with a group of friends and loads of other families. They were so happy to get the photos and of course this then turned into a photo shoot with them, friends and others who joined the fun.

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Beautiful friends

Beautiful friends

I returned to the visit the girls many more times over the following months, delivering photos, taking more photos and hanging out trying as best I could to communicate with the girls with no common language other than smiles and hand gestures. I enjoyed their energy and while I wasn’t doing anything for them they seemed excited with my visits.

Grandma & some of the kids

Grandma & some of the kids

I came back one day and the girls were desperately trying to explain something to me. They signalled for me to follow them across the road and up some stairs onto a flyover where I was met by a whole load more families who were living in this new spot. There amongst a group of people they pulled back a sheet to reveal two tiny babies sleeping in a wee cot and managed to explain to me that this was their new brother and sister – twins! The girls were beaming!

The twins

The twins

I was blown away and wondered where their mother had given birth, how old the twins were and if they doing ok. They seemed small and their mother looked exhausted as well. I told a friend about the twins and she put me in touch with a midwife who does a lot of work with families on the street and she said she would come back and check them with me another day. I was nervous about how the family might respond to me bringing someone in and I am no expert on babies so hoped I wasn’t over stepping the mark.

Luckily for me the family received the visit with their usual openness and smiling faces. We found out the babies had been born there on the street – addition 8 and 9 to the family. While they were small for their age, I was assured they were in good health and like their family incredibly resilient.

Family

An amazing family

I don’t want this to be a sad story – I guess I wanted this to be a story of seeing more than what is in front of your eyes… looking past circumstance and seeing beauty in tough situations. Getting to know what is under what we SEE at a first glance… and giving everyone dignity and respect!

A persons situation does not define who they are!

SOUL in May

“HOW YOU LIVE ON IN OTHERS MEMORIES”

Wow this women looked into me!

She was sitting in a doorway in a back alley in Udaipur (one of my favourite places in Rajasthan, India). Once you get off the main streets and start exploring you can go all day wandering around alleyways that lead through homes and small businesses. Its a maze of fun, faces and invites into homes for chai and meals.
I always try to engage people in a small conversation before taking their photo but she didn’t speak any english so after a small exchange of smiles, a few words in different languages, head and hand movements she motioned that she was happy to have her photo taken. I clicked a few shots and then sat down on the ground next to her to show her the images. As always others gathered for a look as well and she smiled and buried herself in her head scarf as others made comments. Then we just sat, no words just the odd glance and smile and watched the world go by for some time. I’m not sure what it was about her but I just loved being in her presence. I tried to explain to her that I would bring the photo back in a few days but she just looked at me with her half smile and continued to sit content with life.
Soul

SOUL – how you live on in others memories

A few days later I went back with her image (something I have done for a long time and will always continue to do). This for me is usually more exciting than taking the photo. However, this time it was very different I walked up to where I had taken her image and she was sitting in the same spot wearing the same outfit. I was so pleased I had been able to find her and sat down next to her and opened my bag to get her photo, which I promptly put in front of her. She looked at it for a short while, smiled and then handed it back to me. I tried to hand it to her again and then asked one of the men who had gathered to explain to her that I had printed it so she could have a copy. After a short conversation he told me that she wanted me to keep the photo so I could remember her as she had no did not need it being so old. She looked at me and smiled – I moved back and took another photo of her (below attached) hiding her smile – touched her hand and walked on. I may have only spent a short time in this woman’s presence but there was something about her that was just soulful and I will remember.

Even a short presence in someone’s life can have a long lasting impact!

Hiding that smile

Hiding that smile

There were so many beautiful souls on the streets and alleys here are a few sights and people I met.

Friendly children in the alleys

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Family

Smoke break

 

Looking for PERSPECTIVE in April

PERSPECTIVE… the way you choose to view the world!

CHOOSE being the key word in this definition… it’s a CHOICE.

You can go out and see beauty and opportunity in some part of everything or you can choose another perspective. I guess this is one of the reasons I love photography as it helps me look for the good and beauty in everything I pass – it helps me truly ‘see’.

Photography has made me approach people with not only more open eyes but a heart that is more open to seeing things from another angle or perspective and to inspire others to see the same, make the shift or at least try!

Perspective

Perspective

The image from April on the Calendar is of a beautiful young Muslim girl from Malad East Slum in Mumbai India. An incredibly poor slum area but you wouldn’t know this from viewing the image I don’t want to highlight the fact that she is from an incredibly poor slum area but the fact that from this image and looking at her you wouldn’t know any of this.

The picture was taken on an old bus (see attached shots) on the edge of the slum area that has been converted into a classroom in order to enable these children to attend school. Around 40-50 children from the area are able to attend a school on the bus which for many may be the only education opportunity they have in their lives.  Supported by a local NGO Called ‘Un Toit A Bombay‘ translates to a ‘A roof in Bombay’ and this is what they do, give opportunity and a roof (in another building) for children to come and do their homework, wash, eat and play together in a safe environment.

When I stepped onto the bus for the visit it was buzzing with excitement, wide eyes and smiling faces. Children genuinely happy to be in a school of any sort, no complaints just getting on with it.

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School on a Bus

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Friends & classmates

One of the girls at school

One of the girls at school