I am nine years old, walking up to a shrine in the Himalayas. I see a crowd of pilgrims erupt in chaos. In the distance, two men are climbing up through a seemingly impossible path to the shrine. I wonder why I am being made to walk when that looks like a fun thing to do.
Twenty-one years old, walking amid leeches in the Naxalite infested Agumbe forest of Karnataka; my heart shudders to think of an encounter. The forest is green and effusing with fresh air. The leeches leave an eternal imprint on my soul.
At twenty-five, I am on a thousand meter cliff hanging on a tree. “Thanks for the picture, mate,” Jake leaps away into the abyss. The beauty of being in that moment stays etched forever.
The drop is massive. The mountain, with stones embedded under fresh powder snow, resembles Dalmatian skin. I am twenty-six, hurting in all limbs and questioning my motives. I have seen two helicopter rescues in two days. Following a tremor of confusion, my board drifts me to the edge. I slide in and ride along to the bottom of the gully. It is time to go home.
Outdoor exploration, besides being a constant source of education, gives me the opportunity to cross paths with people who have been living a simple and fulfilling life while respecting and preserving the very few natural places we have left today.
Photography has taught me that change is the only constant in our lives. My work is a conscious effort to capture this change and bring it to you with the hope that along with it will come the same absolute sense of freedom that found me.
This is their story, not mine.