Eat, Work, Recharge – 3 weeks in Bali
It has been a little while since I last wrote here wherein I shared a personal story of where my life has taken me over the past 6 months. I promised to write and photograph more and make a better effort to update this site. Well, I’ve done a pretty poor job at that. But the only way work on it, is to start somewhere.
I’m trying to make daily and weekly commitments in my life over the next couple of months. Stereotypical stuff like workout more, eat better, work on my personal business, and write more. I figure if I stick to a schedule, and do these items regularly, I’ll form some habits. We’ll see how that goes!
Since the last update, I finished my circuit of visits in the US and spent 1 month revisiting some of my favorite destinations in Australia and finding some new gems. I’ve also formalized what the rest of my 2016 and beyond will look like.
Focusing on me
First off, where am I? I’m currently sitting in the most amazing coworking space called Hubud, in the idyllic oasis of Ubud, Bali. I came here to really drill down and focus on getting shit done. I was so far behind on curating my 1000s of photographs from the last 18 months of traveling, that I needed to find somewhere to base myself for several weeks. I wanted to choose somewhere that wouldn’t be too hard to connect to the internet, have decent priced accommodation and food, and be low on distractions.
Now after a whirlwind three weeks in this paradise, I am really happy with what I have been able to accomplish. And yet, I know I really need to get back here, there is so much I missed out on.
Get work sh*t done
My main task for this retreat was to get my photo business in order. In my initial travel plans, I saved up enough money to travel comfortably for a year and now I’m more than 6 months beyond that, it’s time to make some money! Within the last 6 months, I some freelance photography and marketing work, but never really focused on building up a passive income from my catalog of images.
Stock photography seemed like the perfect first step in building up a steady income stream. The very basic premise behind stock is there are agencies that represent photographers and help the general public search for and find images for commercial use. When someone finds an image they’d like to use, they pay the agency who in turn gives a portion of each sale to the photographer. Simple.
I have applied for and been accepted to my first exclusive photo agency called Robert Harding. They represent some 1100 photographers and focus on travel and cultural photography – a perfect fit for my style! Applying to work with them was stressful as you only submit a single image and they judge whether or not you have what it takes to make the cut! You can check out my collection of images here. I hope to write more in the future about stock photography as many people are unaware of what this industry is all about.
I am also now on several mass-market agencies – Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, 123RF, EyeEm, and 500px. I’ve identified, tagged, captioned, edited, and uploaded some 300 images over the last couple of weeks, with another 300 more to do. I underestimated how long it would take to get through all the images, decide which agency to upload them to, and then wait for the images to be edited and approved.
Perfect time to get fit
Outside of working, I’ve been trying to develop better habits around my health. I’ve always been a somewhat fit person, can jog or hike with minimal wheezing. But I’ve haven’t considered myself strong or very fit in many years. With Ubud being considered one of the foremost health and wellness destinations worldwide, I figured it would be a great opportunity to find some new activities to push myself to improve.
I can proudly say that in 21 days in country so far, I have worked out all but 3 days, two of which found me sick with food poisoning! I have tried basic yoga for the first time, went to a more spiritual yoga practice called kundalini, started running again, and started doing high intensity interval trainings 5 days a week. I haven’t lost any weight, but I’d like to think that’s because I’ve gained some muscle mass. (I have no proof of this, it’s just nice to think it may be true, ha!)
And the thing that I’m most happy about, is I’m enjoying the workouts! I’m sore many days – especially today after attending an intense 90 minute pilates session in town. I’ve started to get stronger and am pushing my body to become more flexible. Baby steps!
Missing out on Bali
With all the successes I’ve had over the last few weeks, there are several things I wish I had gotten around to – the stereotypical Bali experiences. I did next to none of them! I didn’t go to the Monkey Forest, the water temple, or Tanah Lot temple on the coast. I didn’t get to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed rice fields of Jatiluwih. There are so many absolutely stunning locations on this island that it would take months to accomplish them all. My Google Maps app is crammed with pinned locations to explore and I add new ones nearly every day.
All that said, I could look at my failing to visit them as a let down, but I view them as a thousand new reasons to come back and visit Bali. As a travel photographer, it was a good test of my focus being in such a beautiful place, while being too busy with editing to get distracted and going out to shoot. There will definitely be a next time!
Where to next
This time next week, I will be back in my favorite little spot on Southeast Asia, the Thai island of Koh Tao. I’m heading back to help the wonderful team at Goodtime Thailand continue to expand their business. I couldn’t be happier to see my friends, tackle a new and exciting project, and eat all the Thai food I can! I’ve already been scoping out yoga studios, workout partners, and working spaces to continue my successes from Bali moving forward.
I’m in a good space.