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Artists in Focus

 

new video series featuring local artists pursuing a life built around freedom and creativity. 

Read the AIF blog post to learn more

Watch Episode 1 below! 

 

Artists in Focus - Ep. 1 featuring talented Boston-based photographer, Alex Iby. 

Read the AIF ep. 1 blog post to learn more about Alex.

Watch the episode below! 

 

Artists in Focus - Ep. 2 featuring talented Boston-based artist and entrepreneur, Nick Iby, who turned his drawing hobby into a business. 

Read the AIF Ep. 2 blog post to learn more about Nick. 

Watch the episode below!

 

Pursuing this creative lifestyle has literally brought me to every corner of the globe. There's still so much potential and more stories just waiting to be told. I have no idea where this path is leading me, but that's why it's so damn exciting. 

By sharing my journey with others, I hope I can provide a bit of insight and inspiration to whatever it is that YOU want out of this life. Putting in the time and effort is the only way to get where you want to go. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit. 

 


It's important to think about not only the visuals, but also the sound when editing travel videos. Music choice, sound design and voiceover elements combine to bring a travel video to life. If you can utilize all these components, your video will have an edge. 

It's amazing that so many of us have the ability to travel and share our unique perspectives with the world. Let's use this privilege wisely!

I hope these tips help you create better quality travel videos, allowing you to share your personal outlook with the world. 

Top 5 Freelance Tips for Beginners. Starting off as a freelancer in video and photography can be scary. As a beginner myself, here are my top tips for starting as a freelancer. As I said, by no means am I an expert. I'm new in this field. If I had been aware of these things when I began, it would have been much easier. Many of these may seem obvious but sometimes it's helpful to reminded of the obvious. I hope you will be inspired to take a stab at this as your career. 

If you're brave enough to go down this freelance route, I applaud you and wish you much success. It's not easy, but it's worth it to work for yourself. Hopefully you can get something valuable from this video. 

Why do I make videos? Why should you start making videos? 

Creating online content for a YouTube channel or for other social media platforms can open many doors. When you start making online videos, you can help your business grow or turn your channel into your business. You can also help other people in the process. What's better than that? The possibilities with internet videos are truly endless.

It might be right for you! 

This short video was filmed on a day trip to Portland, Maine in New England. My sisters and I thought it would be fun to have an adventure in a city that none of us had been to before. It turned into a video that focused on the importance of siblings and family. 

With this video, I tried to create camera movement in my shots, something I've been trying to improve upon. It started off as a vlog-style video, but then it turned into somewhat of a short film. I was excited about what the voice-over element brought to the project.  I had the idea to interview my sister about the importance of spending time with your siblings. If developed, those bonds can be strong and will prove to be immensely helpful as time marches on.

I decided to create a fun video with the topic of less thinking, more doing. It's easy to get caught up in overthinking many aspects of our lives. Many of these self-created issues can be remedied by choosing to take action despite the friction. Doing something is the answer. Feeling uninspired or unmotivated? Get up, get out and do something. Undoubtedly, it will make your situation better. 

With this video, I challenged myself to create something within the confines of my house, more specifically my bedroom. I felt strong about the topic, so I decided to roll with it. I hope viewers can relate and take something away from it.

This short film captures my family's two-week vacation to Cape Cod. It was a fantastic trip filled with both adventure and relaxation. My little sister is the narrator and main star of the film. It was a lot of fun directing her to get he shots I had in mind. This year was special, because my older sister was proposed to while we were on our vacation. We surprised her with an engagement party. Exciting times. I had a vision for this film for a while leading up to the trip, and I have to say I'm proud of the result. It took hours to edit, but it was worth every minute.
 

Last Hope K9 Rescue is a dog shelter based in Boston, Massachusetts. 99% of the dogs come from a sister shelter in Arkansas. The dogs are fostered locally and adoptive homes are found for each of them. This past Wednesday, the Photo Walk Wednesdays photography group partnered up with Last Hope K9 Rescue at Castle Island in Boston. The photographers and models took gorgeous photos of the pups to promote them on social media. 

I was asked by the founder of or photography group to create a short video of the action. I was excited to be part of something that was both fun and helpful to the community. And who doesn't love puppies!?

Check out this short film about reconnecting with nature. Getting out of your town or city can be refreshing, allowing you to leave your stresses and anxieties behind for a while. Listening to and feeling the rhythm of the wilderness is a fantastic way to reset and be present in the moment you're living in.

This video was shot at Mount Moosilauke in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It's actually one of the most secluded mountains in the range and it serves as Dartmouth College hiking club's training mountain. We ended up getting lost several times over the course of our hike, and then we even lost our friend. Since we got off to a late start, it wasn't looking good for us to get to the top. We heard thunder and saw rain coming, so we decided to turn around. We were caught in torrential downpours before reconnecting with our friend. We then witnessed dense fog, fallen trees and hail on the way home. 

I thought it would be fun to make a short video about reaching 300 subscribers on YouTube. It's not a big number by any means, but I'm proud of the growth and stoked about the possibilities as I keep learning and developing within the craft of filmmaking. 

To everyone out there trying to build something for yourself, keep at it. To everyone out there transitioning into something new, like adulthood, take pride in small victories. They will take you further than you could have ever imagined. 

BIG thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey. You don't go unrecognized. Much love!  

Went on an adventure in the White Mountains up in New Hampshire. A good friend and I woke up bright and early and drove up north to hike the Franconia Ridge Loop, which boasted gorgeous panoramic views of the Pemigewassett Forest below. It's always refreshing getting out among nature, allowing you to focus on what's important and appreciate the moment that you're living in. Something about the mountains soothes me and puts me in a more serene state of mind. To a place I need to be. 

After a smooth hike up, we ended up taking the wrong trail down, which landed us on the wrong side of the highway. We navigated back to the correct side and walked along the highway in the opposite direction to get back to the car. Following the little hiccup, we had brews and food at the Woodstock Inn Brewery. Overall, it was a successful day. I attempted to add some humor to this one, so please let me know what you think! 

As always, travel is all about the people you spend time with. After 15 months abroad, I finally saw family in Spain. I reconnected with my sister and cousin as we explored. I also met some fantastic individuals that changed my perspective forever. 
Exploring Bilbao, Madrid and Barcelona was certainly special. We sampled wine, tapas and pintxos along the way. All three cities have different things to offer. This trip also gave me the opportunity to improve my photography and filmmaking skills. 

In this video, I decided to incoporate stills, videos and music to create something fun and that would help me expand my skills within the realm of filmmaking. I still have so much to learn, but progress is being made!

Here’s a fun little video briefly summing up about two months spent in Thailand. I had a bit of trouble deciding what to share in this video since I had so much good footage, but here’s what I went with! 

The majority of my time was spent in Chiang Mai, a city in the north part of the country. This is a special spot, because it’s one of the major hubs for location-independent entrepreneurs, otherwise known as digital nomads. It was fun to spend time getting to know the locals and the expats living in this unique community. 
Additionally, I spent time in Bangkok, Pai and the small island Koh Chang. 

Overall, it was an incredible few months that gave me the opportunity to meet people from all corners of the globe. As always, travel has changed my perspective and worldview. It has opened my eyes to more possibilities and has been the catalyst for new ideas, both large and small. 

Haven't uploaded anything to my channel in quite a while, so I figured I'd share a little travel update. 

Since leaving Korea at the end of February, I've spent time in Thailand and Myanmar. It's quite an experience. I've met many fascinating people and seen a plethora of new things. 

I've spent the most significant amount of time in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is a hub for digital nomads and location-independent entrepreneurs and freelancers. I've met some creative people who are really attacking this lifestyle over here. All the people who I speak with have come to a similar conclusion--this is not an easy path. It's a challenging way to go. BUT having the freedom of working for yourself is worth the effort. Here's to going for it! 

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

Thanks for all the support! 
 

Stoked to share this new project I’ve been working on. My friend Michelle and I took a trip to together to Japan. At the start, Michelle enthusiastically shared a newfound revelation that she had about her life’s direction. She now knows with utmost certainty that her path revolves around human connection and creating art of some kind.

With this inspiration came an opportunity to explore a new place and to collaborate on something meaningful that truly expressed Michelle’s genuine thoughts and emotions.

Here is the result!

In this video, I discuss how it’s possible to save a significant amount of money while teaching English in Korea with the EPIK program. With this money, you can pay off student loans, put something away for the future and travel the world.

You will receive this money on the front end through your monthly paycheck, settlement allowance, and entrance allowance. Then, upon leaving, you will be reimbursed for your apartment’s security deposit, you will receive your final paycheck, your exit allowance and if you’re from the U.S., Canada, or Australia, you will receive your pension money (sorry U.K., South African and Kiwi friends).  

Overall, committing to teaching ESL here in Korea is the perfect way to challenge yourself, embrace a new culture and have an unforgettable experience that will put your life on a completely new trajectory. 

As I prepare for my upcoming backpacking trip, I've been thinking about the recent actions of "President Trump". Frankly, I'm embarrassed to have him at the helm in the United States.

Traveling teaches you firsthand that discrimination and hatred for people from other countries is pointless and absurd, especially in today's day and age. Donald Trump and what he represents is the antithesis of the open-mindedness that travel affords.

I don't usually get political in my videos, but this needed to be said.

Created a new video of my first winter hiking experience. Excited to share this one as I continue to develop my creativity and skills as a filmmaker.

As I put this together, I explored the idea of committing to something and pushing through the fears and doubts that inevitably arise along the way. It's astounding what we can accomplish by infusing our lives with action. The right time is always NOW.

What steps toward action will you take today?

My friend, Jessica, and I decided to answer some fun questions about our time living and teaching English in Korea with the EPIK (English Program in Korea) teaching program. Somehow it's nearly been one year. This is Part 2 of our discussion. 

My friend, Jessica, and I thought it would fun to answer some questions about our time living and teaching English in Korea with the EPIK (English Program in Korea) teaching program. Somehow it's nearly been one year! Jessica has opted to stay in Korea to teach another year in Busan. My feet are too itchy, so I'm heading to Southeast Asia for an extended backpacking trip in about 6 weeks. Almost there! 

Another tale from Korea. This time around, I decided to talk about being invited to a Korean family's home...quite a unique experience. I also just hit 200 subscribers on YouTube...not a big number, but I'm excited that 200 people endorse the content that I put out there. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey. 

Celebrating Christmas away from home is not an easy thing by any means, but my friends and I made the best of it. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how a group of expats decided to celebrate the holiday season. It was certainly a different experience, but we got together and ate delicious food, so in a way, we kept our traditions alive.

Here's more 'Tales From Korea' action. This time I talk about a drunken misadventure that happened back in the spring. Find out why I haven't drank much alcohol while in Korea. This little story is a major reason why I've decided it's something that I don't want to do routinely.  

I made a new video about making excuses, because let's face it—we're all guilty of it. They're so easy to make, but they keep us from reaching our true potential. The best way to prevent these excuses from ruling our lives is to take action. Just do something. That's where the magic happens. 

Here's the second installment of 'Tales From Korea'. This time around I share a strange situation that occurred while on a city bus. Since reflecting on these little stories, I've realized that I've encountered quite a few interesting scenarios over the last year being an expat in Korea. More to come! 

Decided to share some funny/strange situations and encounters that I've had her in Korea. I thought about it a bit, and there's quite a lot to share on this topic. I plan to share multiple stories, but this first one was probably the most awkward moment I've had. Stay tuned for more stories from Korea.

Since I've now been in Korea for 10 months, I thought it would make sense to discuss how I've managed to fail at learning Korean. It's not to say that I haven't learned anything...I can read pretty well, even when I have no idea what I'm reading! Although my Korean communication skills are weak, I'm happy that I discovered how much work really goes into learning a second language. As expected, it's much easier said than done. 

I'm now only a few months away from the completion of my one-year teaching contract here in Korea. Next stop is Southeast Asia to backpack for three months. I couldn't be more excited for the trip. It's felt like a long time coming, and it's almost upon me. In this video, I discuss a bit about my trip, and I also talk about why teaching in Korea is a perfect gig for transitioning into something else that you're passionate about. 

Excited to release 'A Year Abroad', a submission into the EPIK Life video contest. EPIK (English Program In Korea) is the program that made it possible for me to have this unique experience teaching English and living abroad.

This lifestyle has been hectic, but it has given me a golden opportunity to pursue my passions—travel and filmmaking. It feels surreal that 2017 is fast approaching. Creating this video has given me a chance to reflect on the adventures I've had, the struggles I've overcome and the friends I've made while immersing myself into the Korean culture.

Since this topic has frequently been on my mind recently, I decided it would be a good idea to make a video discussing it. Our addiction to technology and social media is directly affecting our social skills. It's no doubt that this technology has revolutionized our society, but we need to be aware and mindful of how and why we are using it. 

This is a short recap of a hike that my friends and I did in Seoraksan National Park in the northeastern part of Korea. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather and an amazing two-day hike. I spent quite a bit of time on this edit, as I'm putting tons of thought and effort into infusing my films with more creativity and originality. More adventure films on the way! 

This short film was submitted into the 2016 World Nomads Travel Film Scholarship contest. It features Rocio Cadena, a Mexican immigrant and aspiring writer, who is currently writing a narrative biography about her grandfather. Along with her passion for writing, she has made it her goal to finish here book and travel extensively after she completes two years of teaching English in South Korea. Check it out! 

To read some of Rocio's writing, visit her website: thisisrocio

In this one, I decided to talk about the start of my journey of becoming a travel filmmaker and attempting to become location independent. It's certainly not an easy road, but thus far it has taught me a great deal about the world and about myself.  I'm eager to continue on this unknown path that is leading to a beautiful future. 

Here's Part 2! In this installment, we hike a 12,000-foot mountain in Lombok, Indonesia—insane experience. We also have the opportunity to visit the Gili islands, which boasts some spectacular sceneries that look straight out of a postcard. I worked especially hard on the editing of this video. I have hit 30 videos on my channel, and I'm approaching 150 subscribers. It's a slow process, but I'm enjoying the ride. Stay tuned for more content! 

Here's Part I of Exploring Indonesia! It was a wild two weeks, and I'm grateful that I was fortunate enough to embark on this adventure and even more grateful that I get to share it. :)I haven't uploaded anything in about a month, but I think this makes up for it. It was an exhausting vacation from teaching English in Korea, but it was well worth it. Part 2 is even better. Check it out! 

Took part in a two-day hiking trip in Deogyusan (덕유산) National Park this past weekend. My friends and I were lucky enough to have great weather, which meant breathtaking views and good times! Once again, the beauty of nature was rejuvenating and therapeutic. The struggles from day 1 were certainly not in vain. In fact, the spectacular views were a reward for the work and effort put in the day before. This idea can be applied to our lives…even if we are in the midst of difficulties or struggle, we need to push on to see what is waiting for us on the other side.

Decided to reflect on what I've learned about myself and about the world since moving to Korea to teach English. It's amazing what you realize and understand after only a few short months in a completely different part of the world. As always in life, you face a certain set of challenges that you must confront and conquer in your own way. It's been a wild ride so far, and the future is an unfinished book. 

Got the opportunity to travel to the coastal town of Boryeong, South Korea to experience Mudfest. It involved lots of soju, good vibes and of course MUD. The festival wasn't didn't blow me away, and the weather wasn't the greatest, but we my friends and I made the most of it. In addition to the muddiness, we saw a performance by the Korean/worldwide sensation, Psy. Overall, it was a great weekend! 

With all the crazy things that have been happening in America and around the world, I felt that I needed to discuss what WE can do in an attempt to make a difference.As you know, these issues are serious, and something big certainly needs to change, but arguing about them without taking any real action just spreads more hate, violence and animosity among the HUMAN race. Remember, we are far more similar than we our different. We need to figure out and understand how we can work collectively to make this a better place to live, learn and grow. 

I'm coming up on five months since I packed everything up and moved to Korea to teach English. It's been a wild ride so far, and I wanted to discuss some of the challenges that I've faced since coming over here. Although it has been difficult at times, I know it's shaping me as a person, and I'm extremely excited to see where this chapter of my life takes me. 

Got an awesome opportunity to check out the DMZ (demilitarized zone) between South Korea and North Korea. It was quite an interesting experience. We explored an area that has only been open to visitors for one year. When walking around, you must stay inside the designated gates, because there may landmines that are potentially still active beyond the fencing. Following this, we went to the border area. It was quite eerie and manned by a few members of the South Korean army. Next, we toured one of the tunnels built by North Korea during the Korean War. There were many restrictions about taking photographs and video at these spots. I can definitely recommend checking out the DMZ if you get the chance. 

Headed to the crazy city of Seoul for the second time this year. This round was to celebrate my friend's birthday and explore Hongdae— a big nightlife area of Seoul. The weekend got off to a particularly interesting start and proved to be one of the most tiring in recent memory. We packed quite a lot into 48 hours. Although I was exhausted, I still had a great time and made lasting memories with my new friends. 

Documented a recent ascent of Daegu's highest peak— Palgongsan (팔공산). Not the most difficult climb I've done, but we certainly ran into a fair bit of challenges during this hike. Despite getting lost multiple times and being woefully unprepared in regards to food and water, we made it to the top of the mountain. We were rewarded with an amazing view and a keen sense of accomplishment. Our path is not always an easy one, but it eventually leads us to where we want to be. 

Recently, I bought a skateboard here in Korea, and it really brought on some memories and nostalgia from my teenage years. It felt incredible to be back on a board. This got me thinking about all those activities that brought me joy and happiness as a child. I believe it's important to reconnect with our childhood, because it puts a pause on your current stress and worries, allowing you to fully embrace the moment as it's unfolding. 

After renting a skateboard here in Korea, I decided I needed to get one of my own. I've been flooded with nostalgia after getting back on the board. The feeling of cruising around on smooth pavement brings me back to being 14 years old again. This new setup was a bit expensive, but it's been worth every penny. Getting back to those activities that you enjoyed as a kid can be a powerful thing. 

Got to experience Sports Day at my middle school here in Korea. I have to say it was a whole lot of fun seeing my students having fun outside of the classroom. They were certainly enjoying themselves as they competed in races, soccer free-kicks, and giant tug-of-war matches. This also meant a day off from my normal teaching schedule, which was certainly a welcome change. Following the fun day at school, my friends and I checked out a free concert at a local university, where we saw a performance from Korean and worldwide sensation, Psy. Interesting experience, to say the least! 

This week I witnessed an amazing lantern festival in Daegu in celebration of Buddha's birthday. Watching hundreds of colorful lanterns floating up in the air proved to be a dazzling display. During the long weekend, a few of my fellow English teacher friends and I went to the coastal city of Busan to take in the sights and sounds. We navigated our way through a massive fish market, relaxed on beaches and also got a taste of traditional Korea. It was a refreshing break from our normal weekly teaching schedules. 

Here is part 2 of my conversation with fellow vlogger/Native English Teacher here in Korea, Jessica Moy, to discuss teaching English and living in South Korea. This time we discuss what we like about Korea and a bit about our future goals and ambitions. Jessica is looking to grow her YouTube channel and blog to eventually become a journalist/editor. I am also attempting to grow my YouTube channel and this website to support myself through the creation of travel films with the goal of becoming a location-independent digital nomad. 

Got together with fellow vlogger/Native English Teacher here in Korea, Jessica Moy, to discuss teaching English and living in South Korea. Our aim in this discussion is to inform people who may be interested in making a big leap like this. Living and working in a foreign country is a major challenge and an exciting opportunity to get out there and experience the world in a completely new way. 

Wanted to try something a bit different with this video. Passion and motivation—two words that we hear quite often, but what do they actually mean to us in our  lives. Being conscious of what our passion and motivation is rooted in is a good first step in understanding our individual goals and ambitions. Your surroundings—whether that is geographical or the people you spend time with—are of utmost important in our journey toward success and happiness. 

Did some more adventuring this past weekend. Checked out a Korean baseball game with some students and my new friends...definitely nothing close to Major League Baseball, but it was a great atmosphere and a fun night. The next day I headed to Gyeongju to check out some Buddhist temples and an observatory that were used during the Silla Dynasty (57 BCE- 835 CE), which was quite interesting. It was certainly refreshing to get a taste of the historical past of Korea.

A look into what it's like to teach as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher with EPIK (English Program in Korea). This new endeavor has already taught me quite a bit about myself, and I'm delighted with my decision to take on this unique job opportunity. If teaching abroad interests you, I recommend researching the multitude of options out there. As native English speakers, we have the chance to teach in many parts of the world, even without going to college/university for education. Think about it. 

This week's vlog features hiking on Cheonwangbong (천왕봉) in Jirisan (지리산) National Park. It's the second highest (1,915m/ 6,283ft) peak in Korea. Not only was it an amazing hike with breathtaking scenery, but I was lucky enough to spend it with great company. The abundance of hiking opportunities in this country is astounding. 

It's difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that I've been in Korea for two months now. Obviously there was much anticipation and countless amounts of planning that took place to make this happen. With that being said, it feels a bit surreal that I've already been in a new country for what feels like a significant amount of time. I've experienced the expected challenges with the language and becoming adjusted, but overall it's been an amazing new adventure. 

Another week of teaching down in Daegu, South Korea. We decided to stay local this weekend and explore some unseen sites in this amazing city. Since we had beautiful weather on Saturday, my new friends and I decided to call upon our adventurous sides. Herb Hillz Eco Adventure answered that call with impressive ziplines and canopy obstacles that left your heart beating and hands trembling. On Sunday,  we scored extremely cheap soccer tickets to round out a solid week. 

Another crazy weekend in South Korea. It just so happened to me my birthday! After a week of teaching, my new friends and I ventured to the town of Jinhae to catch a glimpse of the famous cherry blossom festival. These beautiful trees are an iconic symbol of spring in Korea. After enjoying the bustling streets of the festival, we headed to Busan, an amazing metropolis with mountains to the north/west and the ocean to the south/east. On Sunday, we took part in Holi Hai, an Indian paint festival celebrating the coming of spring, which took place on Korea's largest and most famous beach— Haeundae. 

After being in Korea for over a month, my new friends and I decided it was time to check out the sprawling metropolis of Seoul, South Korea. It's almost incomprehensible how many buildings and people that are packed into this urban area. Although short, with a large group of people from all over the globe, it became an action-packed and adventure-filled weekend away from Daegu. 

Reflecting on the fact that I've been in Korea for a month now. As myself and my new friend both point out, it has felt like both a short amount and a long amount of time. With this being said, it's difficult to grasp and document this experience accurately to give a true sense of what it has been like to take part in this unique and transformative experience. It has surely been a wild ride thus far, and I'm eager to see what the rest of the year has to offer. 

A look into the second full week of teaching and living in Daegu, South Korea. A week that consisted of teaching my new students at two middle schools in Daegu, some exciting weekend festivities, and a Sunday afternoon hike to top off the weekend. During the hiking portion, we hear an interesting and entertaining story from one of my new friends, Ryan, who had a less than ideal start to his living situation in Daegu. 

A little recap of my first full week in Daegu, South Korea. It has certainly been hectic but also extremely exciting and liberating. Being thrown into a completely new experience is invigorating for the mind and soul. This edit aimed to capture some of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that I experienced with my new friends in this amazing country. This is only the beginning! 

A recap of the EPIK (Engish Program in Korea) Orientation in Busan, South Korea. It was an exciting/hectic week of meeting loads of new people from all corners of the globe and preparing to teach English a as a second language. The quality of the people that I met during this week is truly astounding. This will undoubtedly be a challenging and transformative chapter of my life. 

 

A look into the magic of solo travel— the rawest and most intense way to explore. When one embarks on a journey alone, it allows for deeper connections with fellow travelers and a richer experience, as you make your own decisions for the entirety of the trip. The highs are higher and the lows are lower. What can you expect from solo travel? Knowledge, wisdom, and a renewed sense of self that ultimately transforms you into a whole new person, hardly recognizable from the previous version of yourself. 

If you're in search of a challenge, travel alone

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