How are you?

Hi everyone. I hope all of you are good and safe. How is going your quarantine? Are you bored? Did you do anything creative? Did you manage to think about your life and what you would like to do after the lockdown?

I have been quite in this period. I didn’t manage to think of what to write and share with you. Not because I wasn’t inspired but more because I thought that you needed time to stay on your own and think of your self and your family. I kind of didn’t want to bother you if make sense.

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Limone, Garda Lake – Italy

I decided to write now cause I would like to know how are you and what have you been up to during this weird, new times we are living.

About me. Well, I started to work part time in the beginning of this year as I wanted to have more time for my self and trying to make a living with my passion for photography. In case you didn’t my main job is bookbinding. But because of the situation I am back full time as the owner asked me to. One because not many can work and second because I am going to work by bike and I don’t use transports. From about 50 people we are now in 4.

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Limone, Garda Lake – Italy

In the meantime I am putting down a plan for when we will be able to go around again.
I am creating an online course of photography. Yes you heard. I won’t tell you more as I don’t want to spoil it. If you are interested just subscribe on the newsletter or just go to this Facebook page so that you can have updates specially because I am thinking that when the course will be ready the first 10 people that will enjoy it can have a nice discount… but don’t tell to anyone so you can be one of them.

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Limone, Garda Lake – Italy

Of course I am checking places where to go and really looking forward for when these days will come. I am planning lots of cycling and camping. For these future journeys you can follow my Youtube channel where I will share them with you so like me you can see new places and maybe visit them as well one day. I mean, why not?

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Limone, Garda Lake – Italy

That’s all I have to say. Let me know how are you and if you are planning anything for after this period will end. In the meantime stay safe and be kind.

I will see you next. Ciao.

Pro&Cons Vanlife in London

Hello everyone, hope you are having a good week.
This time I want to share with you some pro and cons that I found by living in the van in London. It is a while now from when I started van life and I decided to put together for you some of my experiences.
If you don’t like to read and you prefer to watch videos no worries. I create for you that too. Just head to my YouTube channel to find out these pro and cons and if you like the content don’t forget to subscribe.
Anyway back to us. Let’s start with the cons.

London Eye
London Eye at sunrise

Cons number 1
View. You don’t wake up in a nice field with a nice view. You are on the street. So forget about to wake up and look to a nice landscape. The best thing you might be able to look at are foxes eating kebabs from what people left. Yep it happened while I was sleeping in a car park.

Cons number 2
Silence. You certainly don’t want people know you are living in your van and park in front of their houses. Don’t get me wrong, some people don’t have a problem with it but some others might be. So it is better avoid problems and keep silence while you are in the van. So you are acting like you are dead, which is not funny specially when you are back in the van in the afternoon and you still have the rest of the day to go.

Cons number 3
Food. Because I don’t want to make any noise in the van I stopped to cook. I love food and I love to cook. So basically my meals are made from food that is already prepared, bought from supermarkets like sandwiches or crisps. Of course sometimes I am going to visit some friends, thanks to them I can have a nice meal while I am staying in the city because of my full time job.

Cons number 4
Parking. I don’t like to go to work with the van because near to my job there aren’t too many spaces where to park, plus I finish work at 4PM and the traffic is insane. I prefer to go around London with my bicycle but by doing this I need to leave the van somewhere. Here is the problem. In London during the day there are Pay and Display. This mean that a certain times of the day you need to pay to park. So I need to find every time a place where to leave the van without this rule cause it can be quite expensive during the whole month and It is not easy to find parking space where there aren’t Pay and Display.

Sunrise in Putney
River Thames at sunrise

Now I am sure you are wondering what the pros are. Well one pro that I found is that actually you save money. You need to be careful to don’t spend too much in food though. As I was saying because I stopped cooking sometimes I like to have a nice meal without annoying friends. Eat out in London can be quite expensive. So if you are careful with this, you can actually save money.

Another pro is the parking space. What? You just said is a cons… Yes I said so but I said is a cons during the day. Pay and Display are only at a certain times of the day. The maximum I found until now is 7PM. After that you can park for free. This mean you can basically park anywhere without paying and this is mean you can sleep anywhere. I park my van in main roads and not in small roads. This is because I feel safer.

These pro and cons are coming from my experiences living in the van until now. Of course yours might be different or some might be similar to mine. It depends on your experiences and of course on your self as we are all different.

Richmond Park
Richmond Park

Now I decided to share my stories with you not only because of the van or because of photography… I believe there is no failure in what we decide to do, at list from my point of view. There is what you want and your experiences. Do what you feel… of course in respect of others, please remember this, you are not the only one in this world. Respect the places where you are going and of course respect your self. Try things! Because by trying things you discover more of your self, what you like and what you don’t like. You never know where you might end up. I mean I never thought I would be able to speak a second language, I never thought I would lived in a different country and specially I never thought I would live in a van and find out that I love to take photos and share with you my stories. The good experiences will stay with you and from the bad ones you learn.

I am done for today. Hope you enjoy the reading and thank you so much to have passed by. Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter so I can keep you update with new posts and if you want there is also a Facebook group that I create where you can share photos and your stories as well.

Have a lovely weekend guys. I will see you next. Ciao.

Starting to blog

Hi everyone and welcome to this blog.
I decided to start it as I am starting to take my journey…
Where? Well I am not sure yet.
In the last years I started to discover a bit more of myself, and this year I would like to make it the year of changes.

The first change is trying to develop more documentary photography. I love talking to people and telling their story from their own prospective. I feel grateful that somebody opens up with me and lets me take their portrait.
I am still researching my portrait style but I know it will come at one point with more practice and experience.

The second change… landscape. I never tried it before and last year I started to realise that I really like it. Quite tough though and I am still learning but I like to go for walks or going for a ride with my bicycle on my own and just stay there, finding a place that inspires me, trying to find a composition and waiting for the weather to be the way I want it. I am still not really good at it but I am working on it.
Landscape photography helps me clear my mind. It makes me feel at peace with myself.

The third change… well. I just bought a van and in the end of May I am going to start living in it. It is not converted yet which is going to happen in the next months.
End of May because the contract of the house I am living in will end by then so I decided that my adventure will start from there. It’s anyway already started as in the meantime I am trying as well to be a freelance photographer while I am working full time as a bookbinder and yes… As you understood already, I would like to start a nomad life with photography as a job.

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I know it won’t be easy and I know it will take a really long time to be a pro photographer and of course find my balance by living in the van, but it’s something I know I have to do.
From when I had this idea I feel lighter and happy. Yes. I am scared. Am I doing the right thing? Will it be dangerous? Will I be able to support myself only with photography? Do I really want to jump in this adventure, as I am not that young anymore and I never done something like it? Is it going to work? Lots of questions but in the end… which question about life actually has an answer?
What I know is that I don’t want to look back one day and regret I didn’t try.
With time, patience and hard work everything is possible. I think.

By sharing my adventure with you from the start I hope I will help you be inspired and learn from my mistakes and my achievement to find your own path.
So welcome to this blog. Subscribe to the newsletter to have updates on new posts or drop me an email even if it’s just to say hi.
Have a happy life and a big smile. Always forward. I’ll see you on the second post.

Behind the Rainbow: Katie

My name is Katie.
I am from London ish. I grow up partly in Romford and partly in Mitcham and then I left London when I was 18.
I went to University in Warwick and lived in Coventry for six years. And then I lived in Cornwall for two years. I moved in there with my ex girlfriend. I had this idyllic picture of living in the country side and doing loads of writing and being inspired but I had a job where I was driving a lot and on the road a lot and so, connecting to the country side, it didn’t happen. There wasn’t enough there for me plus the relationship ended and I just thought: it’s the time for me to go back to London.
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When I came back to London I said to myself: “One thing that I want to do when I’m here is get a gay social life”, cause I didn’t have that. So I thought I like sports, so I decided to look up gay sports teams. I found a softball club. That was my first door opened in the gay community.
I started to really understand and I’m still learning what an LGBTQ community means. How important it is and how important the place of that kind of community is to people who don’t have access to LGBTQ life anywhere else.
3411I realised I fancied women when I was about 14. Once I realised, I was like: ok, this is alright. I didn’t have a problem with this but I understood that other people might have a problem so I didn’t tell anyone for quite a long time. I wasn’t ready to talk about it either.
When I was 16 I started to tell some people. My friends gave me a really safe space. I was very lucky. They took me for who I was.
I told to a couple of teachers. My mum. Mum… mum didn’t have a problem with it but at the time I think she thought “I wish you weren’t”. Now it’s not a problem at all. It was just a shock to her. She needed some time to adjust and process but that was cool. She had her time and then she was fine about it. My parents always have been supportive with me and my siblings. Finding our own path. Making our own decisions.
My grandparents… they were the hardest because they were just… my grandma was obsessed with when I would get a boyfriend… classic grandma. So having to cover that up, that was the hardest. Especially when I had a girlfriend. Eventually I told them. They accepted it straight away.
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At one point my life got bad cause I got cancer. I was married at that time. I don’t have a lot of good things to say about this relationship. Towards the end it became… I guess what people call “emotional abuse”. When something like cancer happens to you and you survive it you make decisions about choosing happiness in your life.
So I left and this was two years ago and we are now divorced. I came out better than when I started. I am managing my time and my schedule and putting my health first so… after a lot of stress… I come out alright in the end. If I didn’t have cancer and hadn’t left my marriage, definitely I wouldn’t be in this place now. It inspired me to take the decision to pursue my creative side which is writing.

I am proud I have such amazing people in my life. We have been in and out but we have cultivated incredible friendship. I have so much love in my life. I am proud of putting myself first in the last two years. I am proud I am doing my writing now and it’s starting to get traction so It’s a long process. Anything creative tends to be long, writing in particular. Things don’t happen overnight. Persistence and perseverance are really important. I understand that in a way I never did before.

Behind the Rainbow: La Cher

I am La Cher from U.S. I am in London because It’s my destiny to be here.
When I was 16 years old someone said “La Cher, based on your personality and who you are, you would like to come to London to visit and live” and I just remember thinking I’ve got to go over there but at that time I just never did it.

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I moved now because it was meant to come now. I just said to my kids: “In three weeks I’m leaving!” I put my house on the market, sold my motorcycle, and my father who was my biggest connection, and I was worried to leave him, he passed away a couple of weeks ago, which confirmed even more that it was meant for me to come because there was nothing really for me to worry any more. Everything worked out for me to get here.

I am a certified personal trainer. I know how good it feels to go to the gym to workout, to exercise. I know how it can dig you out of depression. I know how it can make you feel so much better about yourself, and why not be able to show other people that? This is why I got the qualification for personal trainer.

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When I was young I felt attraction for females. I would probably go back as far as my teens. But society is man and woman, man and woman. So you get brain washed. You try to make it work but you are never happy.
I realised that I was being who I thought other people want me to be. Two years ago I actually came out. I released the inner woman to inner me and that was the most beautiful thing in the world. I found true happiness. I was free to be me.

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A friend from the gym where I was working gave me a card cause I was leaving to come to London. On this card there was this rainbow. She didn’t know about me being lesbian and inside the card she wrote this nice message “I wish the best on your journey. It was great working out with you” and at the bottom of the card “P.S. Your father will always be with you. You will always be daddy’s little girl”. I never told her my father always called me daddy’s little girl.

That card was from my father. You can’t tell me no different! So he knew about me being lesbian and he was telling me that he was always going to be with me and I will always be his little girl.

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“They want to have sex with all their gender”. That’s what people think when people are gay or lesbian. It doesn’t mean that. I look at you but I’m not attracted to you. I still have preferences. That’s people’s mentality. We have to change that. Hopefully.

Everyone in the world wants to be accepted for who they truly are, but we hide parts of us and we put stuff down because of society, family and friends telling us “You’re wrong. You shouldn’t do that” or “Something is wrong with you. You are strange. You are weird”. But things are only weird when people don’t understand things. Once you understand something you get rid of depression. You feel better. It doesn’t mean you have to accept it, but understand it.

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If you try to hurt my heart it means my heart is not for you and it’s ok. It’s not a big deal. When it comes to love you don’t need to ask “Do you love me?” You do know if that person loves you. You don’t have to ask that. We try so hard to hold onto something we want but it’s probably not what we need. So just let it go. If it’s meant to be, it will be. Whoever happens to come in my heart is going to be an amazing personality because you know…I become amazing. Took me a long time to get here, but I’m here.

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It’s ok to be who you are. Don’t worry about what people say. People look and stare and say shit about you even if you are doing what you are supposed to do. That’s what people are. So at least be happy by doing what the hell you love to do because people are going to talk regardless. My motto is…I’m free to be me!