Adventurer Of The Month
– Andi Sakowski –
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. We want to get to know you!
I am 21 and from Los Angeles, California, but plan on eventually making the move up to either Portland or Seattle. I believe a good cup of tea can fix anything and I am a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a concentration in writing. Although I spend much of my free time traveling and taking photos, I actually work in radio. Currently, I have been learning how to make my radio career and travel/photography work as I never expected to land in radio post graduation — it was simply just a hobby in college. God does funny things and He decided my hobby and career were going to switch places. It has been somewhat of an identity crisis, but I am trying to figure out exactly where He wants me.
2) We love seeing photos of your adventures! How did it all start for you?
I have actually been shooting national parks since the tender age of 9 with the Grand Canyon being the first of many. Of course, it was nothing intentional and was just something I did while on family vacations. My goal was never to actually become a photographer. During the summer of 2014, I went on an annual road trip with my mom and grandma. I had been into photography for the last few years, but this was the first time I took pictures and put them on Instagram to document my trip. After that, I continued posting to Instagram, intentionally posting photos as a curated feed.
3) Do you have a favorite trip? And if so, what made it so special?
I actually have two favorite trips that took place this last summer. The first was a graduation trip to Japan. This country had long been at the top of my list as I was raised around Japanese culture having grown up in Southern California and even took it as my foreign language in high school. It had been number one for so long and was so surreal finally going. It was everything and more than what I had expected. My second, and equally favorite trip, was a 3 week long backpacking trip I took to France and Italy with two of my close friends. Returning to Paris after 3 years was a dream and experiencing my Italian culture in its country of origin was amazing.
4) You capture the world so beautifully. Do you have any tips on taking and editing photos?
Just start shooting. Take pictures every single day and be intentional with every photo you take. Often I notice many photographers just snapping a picture and hoping for the best. Pay attention to your lighting, what exactly is placed in the frame, and know your camera like the back of your hand. As for knowing the camera like the back of your hand, simply throw your camera into manual mode, learn by doing, and from your mistakes.
5) Since you travel so often, do you have any travel tips and tricks for aspiring globetrotters out there?
Simply book the flight. Close your eyes and hit buy. It is so easy to say you are going to go on a trip and keep planning, but never actually go. Find friends who also love to travel and impulsively click buy together. Many of my best trips were planned just a few weeks in advance because I decided to just go.
6) What have you learned along the way, as you’ve explored different places?
I’ve learned to go with the flow and laugh about mistakes more often. Nothing ever goes as planned, but making the most of it and remembering it will be a good story when you get home makes it all the more fun. Also making a loose plan for a trip rather than a set schedule allows for flexibility and the impulsivity that really makes your trip a blast. I have also learned an incredible amount about various cultures and the importance of our national parks.
7) Do you collect any souvenirs from the places you visit?
I collect a postcard from each city and national park I visit. It’s cheap, easy to pack, and looks great as a collection on a wall.
8) What makes your heart beat? What do you really believe in, stand for, and want to tell others about?
The importance of our national parks really makes my heart beat. Continually protecting our parks and educating those around me is very important. We can have an abundance of buildings and streets, but those do not bring us joy. Just like art in comparison to science, we need the parks as a way to escape the busy nature of life and to simply take a break. They are a refreshing break to reality and also a reminder of the beauty God has created, which can be hard to find amongst hustle and bustle of cities.
9) Where do you plan on going next? Any trips in the making?
A Hawaii trip this June is currently in the works as a post-graduation trip for some friends. After that, I plan to head out to the UK at some point.