I Dreamed of This - Photographing Exotic Destinations Around The World via@idreamedofthis

Where Am I Again? Does This Place Have Wifi? - Nathan Allen

Photographer Nathan Allen exploring the Panamint sand dunes in Death Valley, California via @idreamedofthis
Sand dunes in Death Valley, USA

Funny thing about me: I have a fear of flying. Knowing this, my parents offered me a trip to Europe for graduating early (when I was 16). They didn't have much money, but they thought for sure I would turn it down because of the flight. Little did they know that my desire to see the world would trump all obstacles.

So my very first plane ride was a very long overseas trip to Paris and London when I was 16. I filled up a few disposable film cameras with photos, and when I touched down in my hometown after 2 weeks (standard vacation time), I was almost in tears - feeling like I had just begun to scratch the surface. I promised myself I would find a way to travel more. MUCH more. Now I fly more than almost anybody I know. Life is funny like that.

By now I have streamlined my life enough to the point where I can work from anywhere (with Internet), and travel and photograph as much as possible. It's not always a cakewalk - and has definitely required huge sacrifices, but for me, it has been ENTIRELY worth it.

I used to be vegan, but as I get older I realize I don't want to miss any great experiences in life. I didn't travel to the other side of the world to NOT try these foods!  How could I not eat rabbit in France? Crickets in Cambodia?  Balut in the Philippines?  I will try just about anything a local puts in front of me.

The last few years found me living in Washington DC, San Francisco, New York City, and traveling all over Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, and the Philippines.  After this, who knows?

 

My Personal Philosophy

Photographer Nathan Allen Posing for a picture in Naga, Philippines via @idreamedofthis
Posing for a picture with my camera

I believe you really are the 'architect of your dreams'. This I found out firsthand. People live stressful and complex lives, because that's all they know. They think they have to. Then they have to escape their lives in the form of drinking, drugs, television...and while these things may be fun in moderation, my philosophy is simple: I aim to design a life that requires no escape. I want to engage in the present, and continue trying to push the boundaries of what people think is possible...in all aspects of my life.

My life is like a river, and I have learned to not fight the current. It has lead me down a very unconventional path...one which required sacrifice, but provided me with plenty of incredible (dare I say jaw-dropping?) experiences that have left me truly, deeply happy. I have never been one to trade my valuable time (and contentment) for a fist full of dollars. I feel so fortunate and am truly grateful for the life I have.  

 

“The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

 

I am addicted to photographing sunsets and the full moons, and try to see both as often as possible.  My mind is blown on an almost daily basis out here, and I share my photography in the hopes that it will inspire others as well.  Yes, I hope in some small way these experiences might help shine some light on what it is YOU love to do.  I don't care what that is.  Just do it.  As often as you can.

 

How I Run My Blog

We live in an era where long-term budget travel is easier and more affordable than ever. The Internet is a wealth of knowledge for DIY adventurers. I maximize my budget by using Amazon (U.S. / U.K.) and Lazada (PHL / SG). for my camera and travel gear. My rule is I never buy anything that has less than thirty legit 4-star reviews...Amazon ensures that I get the best price, and my "rule" ensures that my products have been thoroughly tested and approved before taking them out on the road. They last for years!

 

When it comes to gear and hotels I recommend to you...I apply the same standards. I will never recommend a sub-par product or service simply because I'm being paid. Honestly, I despise blogs that are too "salesy" or promotional. I don't even like pop-ups  that ask (force) the reader to watch an ad or "like" the blogger on FB. I will never do that to you.  I just try to focus on producing the best and most engaging content I can.

 

Always.

 

I do hope you like it.


 

- Nathan Allen

 

More blog posts HERE

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Nathan Allen has spent 6 years taking photos and documenting life in Asia.  A long-term traveler, he lives by the motto "spend less, see more".  Follow him HERE.

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