I find it endlessly interesting to find out what people love – what inspires them – drives them and what feels like home. Everyone has a wonderfully different way of experiencing the world. I recently asked Sydney based surf photographer John Respondek a few questions…
Jessica : How long have you been a surf photographer?
John: Umm… about 15 years now.
Jessica: What inspired you to pursue it as a career?
John: I have been a surfer since i was very young and then got into photography in high school… so it was just a natural progression to mix them up.
Jessica: What is it about surfing that you love the most?
John: Thats tough. There are some many good things. But just simply being around and in the the ocean is best. And then surfing in it is so thrilling.
Jessica: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
John: I couldn’t really say there’s one highlight. Just the ongoing fun travel adventures are all highlights.
Jessica: Who inspires you the most and why?
John: I really couldn’t say a couple of names that inspire me. Its always changing. It depends on where I am, who Im with, what I’m doing. Etc. I am inspired daily by different people for different things.
Jessica: What does home mean to you?
John: Home is the best. You really learn and appreciate that when you spend so much time on the road.
Jessica: Where is your favourite place in the world?
John: Australia is the best country in the world… but other than that I love Fiji and Indonesia. For hanging, surfing and shooting.
You can see more of Johns beautiful photography on instagram.
Who do you find inspiring wanderlusters? Let me know – I’d love to ask them a few questions too.
I had an “ah-ha moment” a few years back when I was in Bali for one of Eoin Finn’s YES (Yoga Ecology Surf) retreats.
It was the final day of the retreat and I was getting dressed for our last dinner together in one of the bigger houses. I’d already packed up my backpack in preparation to move on to beautiful inland Ubud for the next week or so and I realised just how little I had with me and just how little I actually needed.
Fast forward to November 2013 when I was packing up my bags and getting rid of all my possessions. It was absolutely liberating. I don’t want to waste money on trivial things like more handbags, ornaments, clothes, shoes, jewellery, cosmetics or perfumes. When you really think about it how much do those things actually add to your life? How many hours working did you spend to be able to afford that watch your wearing to make sure you catch your train on time? Now I’m not saying I’ve gone all minimalist and have gotten rid of all my material possessions because I haven’t. I just realised that some of the best things in life are not all that expensive and I’d rather spend my money on a grand adventure than a grand gown that will sit in my closet until I find somewhere to wear it. I’d rather work hard at what I love doing then spend each day commuting in to a job that I don’t enjoy just so I can afford the Claude Maus jacket I’ve been lusting after.
Less is almost always more,
p.s. I always love to hear from you guys, so please leave a comment below, or tweet with me @jessicaswander
What an incredible day this was. Breakfast on the beach at Coco Gardens where I’m staying followed by exploring the local area on the mopeds. We swam in waterfalls, stopped off at random beautiful beaches, ate lunch on the beach, found random tire swings and watched the sunset from Amsterdam Bar. I’m really appreciating my time here. I definitely needed a break and a bit of a holiday! Now to create a life that I don’t need a break from…
Only two weeks left now until I leave and It feels a little but odd. It doesn’t really seem real or different at all. It doesn’t seem like a big deal or like I’m actually doing anything special and that’s what feels odd. I’ve been catching up with heaps of friends and family and everyone asks me the same questions “are you excited?” “What are your plans?” “How long are you going for” and it makes me question myself quite a bit.
I mean firstly it doesn’t seem real yet. I’ve not been to England before so I don’t know what to expect so I’m trying not to really have any expectations. I’m open to everything and not connected to any particular outcome. This adventure for me is just time to myself away from my life in Melbourne to work out what it is that I truly love doing and what I want to do. I feel like my life should really be about something and I want to use it wisely to help people, to love people and just enjoy it really and I know my current actions aren’t really bringing me to that outcome as much as I’d like them to. So I guess it’s a bit of a starting point to get to know myself better as who I truly am as opposed to who I think I am based on events and people and things I’ve just fallen in to.
As far as making plans and how long I’ll be there for… I just don’t know. I’ll be there as long as I’m enjoying myself and as long as I feel I want to be. It might be 3 months it might be a few years who knows. I just want to be free, to be happy and to make other people’s lives a little bit better.
I’ll work it out.