By Sophie Jourdain
As far as I remember I have always enjoyed taking photos and videos of everything that was happening in my life. I have always been scared of how quickly time flies, moments are fleeting and events and experiences can be easily lost. For a few years now, I have been struggling with remembering things, and I guess that is when photography started to take more of a place in my life as it has been a great tool for me to capture moments that I have lived.
Sleeping in a car, eating canned food heated up on a gas stove, walking under heavy rain for hours. Although these experiences might sound commonplace to the majority of people travelling or adventuring these days, they seemed foreign and crazy to me. I have never been what you call an “adventurer”. I have never been fearless. I think the most adventurous thing I have done in my life prior to my trip to New Zealand was camping in my parents backyard before running inside the house in the middle of the night because I heard a weird noise.
However, two years ago one of my friends left Paris to live in New Zealand. When she left I promised I would visit, even though I was scared of flying. I felt like this was an opportunity for me to face, and possibly overcome, one of my greatest fears and so I took it.
We embarked on a road trip and I always carried my film camera with me. On sunny days, rainy days, cold nights, wandering in the streets, hiking the mountains, swimming in cold lakes my camera came along. I have never felt more alive and more proud of myself. New Zealand is a place unlike anywhere else in the world. It is astounding that you can drive for a mere few hours and find yourself in a completely different environment than the one previously. Nature really is queen in New Zealand, and at times it seem to come right from a dream. The ferns are vibrant in colour and the palm trees tower above as giants. Some places appear to be untouched, as though no traveler has gone there before. There are still quiet and peaceful places. As you drive through the landscape it would seem that the roads are never-ending.
I told you I was afraid of heights, however, on the last day of this trip I skydived. I literally jumped out of a moving plane. Two months prior I was having nightmares about flying for two hours. I never thought I would be able to do such a thing in my life, ever.
This trip meant so much more to me than a simple vacation. It showed me how to become a bit more fearless. It taught me how to stop worrying and how to start living. I was meeting my friend, but furthermore, I was finally meeting myself.”
For more from Sophie you can find her on Instagram here: @sophiejourdain