Traveling the world with your loved one while following your creative pursuits: An unrealistic dream? Photographer Jess Bonde has made it a reality. Allow him to inspire you in this revealing interview about how he's managed to pull it off, and who he's sharing it with.
What made you fall in love with traveling?
I'm not sure if it is my lack of being able to sit still or a little bit of ADD, but I always love being on the move and seeing new things. There is so much to explore and discover in a new place, so all of that fresh entertainment is so addictive to me.
Which destination has been your favorite so far?
Lofoten in Norway blows my mind every time I go, and I guess that’s why I have ventured up into the arctic 5 times now. Sheer cliff faces rising hundreds of meters out of deep blue fjords is something I will never get sick of.
What's a place you're dreaming of that you haven't yet been to? Why?
I think Greenland would be so amazing, as it seems so untouched and raw. Sailing around some giant icebergs, then hiking unknown and untouched peaks, and not seeing another soul the entire time sounds like bliss to me.
How long have you been living the lifestyle you have now?
I have been traveling for the past 7 years, but I had full-time jobs the first few years to keep me going. Now I manage to work less, travel cheaper, and stay on the road for longer.
A lot of people wish they could leave everything behind and live the way you do. Can you give them some advice about how you got started and how they can support themselves on such a journey?
I think the biggest thing is not stressing about money. I have been on my last $1000 for the past 5 months, and something always comes up to keep me going, put food in my mouth, and gas in the van. Be open to new adventures, embrace people, and that cash job opportunity or new idea where you can make some dollars will come up, just have faith and hopefully you can handle having no idea what the future will unfold. You can also get by with very little if you are willing to sacrifice a lot of the creature comforts such as dinners out, alcohol, café coffee, and those new shiny things.
Are there any downsides to this lifestyle?
There definitely are. I have missed many of my friend’s weddings because I can’t afford to fly home or have been in the middle of a project. You miss having your own space that you can throw your gear in, or having all of your things you somehow collect along your journey. It would also be nice to stay in one place long enough to grow some vegetables.
How has traveling as much as you have enriched you in character, life lessons, and experience?
It has definitely taught me to stress less, go with the flow, and embrace people no matter what they look like or where they come from. Some of the best experiences have come from saying yes to strangers' offers and interacting with locals.
How do you see the next 5-10 years of your life? Do you see yourself ever settling down?
My girlfriend is from Sweden, and we are actually discussing moving back thereto start a business. I guess that will pin me down for a little bit, but it is also close to plenty of amazing places, especially my favorite Lofoten, so I think I will be able to get my traveling fix in pretty often.
What's a motto you live by?
Embrace the journey. The highs are obviously amazing, but also the lows create the best stories, so embrace the journey no matter if it’s a high or a low.
All photography used in this interview was taken by Jess Bonde and can be found by clicking here.