Adam Chang ex­plains how doc­u­ment­ing his trav­els helps him to es­cape the curse of the de­sign rut

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Since child­hood, I’ve been fas­ci­nated with trav­el­ling abroad. Some of my best mem­o­ries were of the times my fam­ily and I would go back to my birth­place, Tai­wan, to visit our rel­a­tives. I re­mem­ber the feel­ing of be­ing some­where for­eign and the cul­ture shock. These trips made me re­alise there was so much about the world that I wasn’t fa­mil­iar with, but I wanted to learn more about.

Af­ter col­lege, when I landed my first job as a de­signer, I de­cided to save all of my ex­tra funds so that I could travel as much as pos­si­ble. Since then I’ve trav­elled to much of Asia, some of Europe and a cou­ple of trop­i­cal is­lands. I’ve found that trav­el­ling is a great way to break out of a de­sign rut.

Ob­serv­ing how peo­ple in other coun­tries live inspires me. Their daily rou­tines, which may seem mun­dane to them, are fas­ci­nat­ing to me. I en­joy vis­it­ing a new city, state or coun­try and do­ing my best to im­merse my­self in the cul­ture. From eat­ing at small restau­rants off the beaten path to find­ing unique neigh­bour­hoods where lo­cals re­side, or just walk­ing around for hours un­til my legs feel like jelly from ex­haus­tion.

When I travel, I like to pack as light as pos­si­ble. Typ­i­cally, I just take along one camera, which is usu­ally my Sony A6500 since it’s small and com­pact, a fixed lens, and some ex­tra bat­ter­ies.

Some of the favourite shots I’ve taken con­sist of quiet morn­ings or evenings in a bustling city af­ter the crowds are gone, and I can cap­ture the city at rest. Lately, I have been shoot­ing a lot more moody land­scapes, as I find a sense of calm in na­ture.

Now that I am a new fa­ther, I hope to share my pas­sion for trav­el­ling with my son, so that he may be in­spired to ex­plore the world as my par­ents in­spired me. Giv­ing him a sense of the global com­mu­nity and a broader un­der­stand­ing of how peo­ple live out­side of the United States is re­ally im­por­tant to me.

I would love for him to travel to many for­eign des­ti­na­tions, try new cuisines, and per­son­ally learn about the cus­toms of other coun­tries. There are so many places that I would like to take him to, but a few in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture are Ice­land, Nor­way and New Zealand. Adam is a free­lance de­signer based in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton. He cre­ates ex­pe­ri­ences for For­tune 500 and start-up com­pa­nies.

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