Martin Solhaugen is a 23 years old influencer, creator, and traveler from Oslo, Norway who lives to inspire. With national print campaigns already underway, Martin is exemplifying how young people are redefining their future and taking charge of their own lives. Having found a unique way to express his creativity and pay the bills without being tied down to a desk, allow Martin to inspire you to pursue your dreams in this revealing interview.
How and when did you fall in love with traveling? What was your first life-changing trip?
Since I was little, I have always asked questions. I am a very curious person. A defining moment for me was when I decided to move to Hawaii to attend school. While there, I met a lot of likeminded people who showed me the importance of outdoor activities and the amazing possibilities in the world of blogging, video making, and social media.
What's the #1 place on your bucket list you have not yet been to?
How do you incorporate your creativity with your travels?
I always try to bring positive energy into my creations. I try to look at a scene differently and give it a hint of Martin.
You're from Oslo - what made you relocate to Hawaii? What do you love most about both places? How do they differ?
I moved to attend college, having had the perfect opportunity to do so. My life was not tied to any particular responsibility, and my family supported me 100 percent. To Norwegians, Hawaii is seen as the ultimate dream location. Nevertheless, Oslo may be cold, but visitors recognize the happiness and love of the Norwegian people. Our history dates back more than 1,000 years, and we have great roots in tradition.
Do you plan on staying in Hawaii, or is there another place you'd ultimately like to call home one day?
I do not plan to stay in Hawaii. I have always wanted to live in Tokyo for a year, and I have always dreamed about having a flat in New York. Eventually I would like to settle along the Oslo Fjord.
Tell me about your most memorable adventure.
My most memorable adventure was driving across the United States for two weeks with the Daniel Wellington pop up truck. It marked a change in my mind that allowed me to realize I was finally a professional videographer, capable of producing a creative ad campaign with a multi-million reach.
Your photography often features some spectacular views. What was the most amazing view you've ever seen? Care to share a photograph?
The most amazing view I have ever seen was running down the iconic road in Monument Valley.
What made you choose advertising as your ultimate goal/field you'd like to get into?
I just love creativity! I love to come up with creative twists and to inspire others, especially via ads and movies. Whenever I hear a song, I immediately imagine a shot which matches it. I guess you can call it passion.
How do you think social influencers impact modern advertising? How are millennials and social media changing the way, we promote products?
I am experiencing the possibilities first hand. It’s amazing how social media influencers are given opportunities to create and to inspire. I am behind this concept 100% as it fuels the wildest dreams. This is what keeps me going! The urge to connect, create and to be recognized as a traveler and creator. I believe participating in social media marketing will open a lot of doors for me, but it’s not what will provide a roof over my head. To me, social media and the influencer game is keeping my creative juices alive while I am still trying to figure out which direction I want to go in. My biggest dream is to walk by a billboard in Times Square, look up, and say: “I made that.”
Tell me about your recent Sri Lanka trip. What made it so special?
I was invited by a good friend of mine, Jackson Groves. This guy has been showing me the ropes since day one. It was very special to me that he asked me to come, when he could have chosen anybody. My trip to Sri Lanka was also my first encounter with Asia, and I absolutely fell in love.
Sri Lanka most recently came out of a 25-year Civil War, and up until 2009, it was an extremely dangerous place for journalists to travel to. Along with four others, I was invited to blog about their country and make travel documentaries about my encounters. I was completely taken off guard by the exceptional hospitality of the Sri Lankan people. Their culture has deep history and roots in Buddhism, which is really noticeable when getting first hand encounters in the rural and less populated areas. For the first time, my mind was exposed to another way of life, and another view of what it meant to be happy. Having this opportunity made me realize that a 9 to 5 is not going to make me happy. Neither is all the money in the world. I need to be doing the right things for the right reasons.
I learned that whatever you do in life, never tie yourself down economically, even if it fuels your wildest dream. Learn to appreciate the small moments and the people in it as it can all disappear the next day. Never stop fighting to become the best version of you, connect, smile, and give a little bit of your own personal touch to everything.
What are your goals for the upcoming New Year?
My 2018 goals are to have a commercial aired on TV, to visit the Philippines, and to figure out a direction for the future.
How long would you ideally like to travel for? Do you ever plan to settle down and spend more time at home?
Yes. I don’t like to travel for more than 3 weeks at the time. However, if the job is right, there is no doubt I will be there. I would like to settle in Oslo, eventually.
What are your most cherished values? How do you incorporate them into your life or travel, creativity and adventure?
Always smile, always tell the truth, and give them the real you. Whenever I travel I meet a lot of people. If there is one thing I know is that It always pays off being real and true in the long run. So far, my life has not proven me wrong on that.
What was the best creative project you've ever undertaken? What was special about it?
My recent project in Sri Lanka is by far my most successful project so far. Sri Lanka has led to a total of 7 million views on Unilad’s adventure page, as well as Unilad’s main page. Pictures I took during the travels are turning into an ad campaign in London’s underground (currently under print.) This was my second confirmation that I am capable of producing content worthy of a worldwide audience. I am truly blessed, and I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting me and watching my content. I promise to deliver more.