So here we go, the answers to this week’s AMA:
(i) What do you enjoy about photography, and how will you make a career from it?
The thing I enjoy most about photography is the concept of capturing a moment in time – forever. I think the world we exist in today, individuals are obsessed with our own story, curating and selling who we are to the rest of the world. But as a result, we become ignorant to the stories around us, stories that can impact us and help us grow. Within photography, the camera forces you to remove your own expectations from the craft. Instead, the camera encourages you to be present – it demands awareness and a level of listening – so that when the right moments arise, you can capture the story and message that may impact the people who see it in the future. Photography taught me perspective and I’m super grateful for that!
How will I make a career from photography? The truth is I’m not sure yet! The blog (writing and photography) has opened up a lot of opportunity for me – so definitely writing or journalism! A path that allows me to tap into photography is all that I want. But once I know – you’ll all know too!
(ii) Best dessert you’ve had while travelling?
The best dessert I’ve had while travelling was actually in Japan. And it’s not super weird. But it was a vanilla ice cream that you ate out of a vacuum-sealed foil packet. It was just super delicious haha! So yeah not a fancy answer to that question!
(iii) Where would be the first place you’d like to visit in Europe and the United States?
Europe – Iceland 100% because of the untouched and wild nature of the landscape and then Russia, because I think culturally it is such an interesting place, especially with the nation’s relationship with the rest of the world. Getting to know locals would provide more context to life there than what we see on the news.
United States – Antelope Canyon in Arizona; I’ve seen too many amazing photos and I’ve gotta go!
(iv) One thing that you never forget to bring while travelling? (not including phone, passport, important items etc)
One thing that I will NEVER forget to bring while travelling is actually a pen! Since I began travelling, the humble pen is actually such an important item – especially on planes where you have to fill out entry and exit cards – having a pen handy is just practical and can often be overlooked!
ALSO – I have like an airport outfit that I always make sure I’m either wearing or carrying on to the plane. This includes a super comfy hoodie and my Nike sliders – just for all round comfort, especially for those long haul flights! So every time I’m travelling – my insta story (@ryan.chengg) features me in the same outfit for every flight!
(v) Overall do you have an all time favourite part/place/moment of Japan?
My favourite part about Japan was amongst other things – the Ramen!!! I was never a big ramen fan before I left for Japan, but once I was there I couldn’t get enough of it!!! Just having traditional ramen with hand made noodles – incredible!!
My favourite place in Japan would have to be Kyoto – unlike the other cities, it was not urban jungle. Instead, it held a lot of its historical heritage which made for interesting walks as I roamed the city!! A ton of famous sights are located in and around the city (the Imperial Palace, Fushimi Inari, Gion) which really immerses you in the culture while educating you about the past.
My favourite moment – of which there are many (you can see them in other blog posts) – would be staying with monks in a monastery up in Mt. Koya. That was just such a unique experience, spending the night in the complex and waking up the next day to take part in a traditional meditation ceremony! It was just an incredibly insightful experience that allowed me to better understand Japanese spirituality and faith!