NEVER CERTAIN WHERE TO NEXT, HAMZA EL ARABI (THE SAFARER) HAS AN INSATIABLE PASSION FOR MULTI-CULTURAL EXPERIENCES AND ALTHOUGH A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT (CURRENLTY STUDYING A PhD IN PARIS), HE HAS FOUND HIS FOOTING AS A TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER THAT REWARDS HIM WITH A PRICELESS FEELING OF FREEDOM.
WHERE ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM AND WHERE ARE YOU BASED NOW?
I am from Morocco although based in Paris at the moment.
YOU HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE IMAGE LIBRARY. WHEN DID YOU START WANDERING THE GLOBE AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?
Thank you so much! I started wandering the globe in 2011. At this time, I took my very first long trip around Latin America. This journey had a huge impact on me and influenced the way I see the world. I have never stopped packing since.
WHAT CAMERAS/VIDEOS DO YOU SHOOT WITH? I
usually shoot with my old Canon 650D that I love. But I also use my iPhone a lot to catch unexpected beauty.
TRAVELLING FOR WORK IS AN ENVIABLE GIG TO MANY. HOW DID YOU START A CAREER IN TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY?
Ha! I think this question might interest a lot of people. Working as a travel photographer is not an easy job. Since sharing platforms went worldwide you really need to have great photography and communication skills to stand out. It is also a job that requires being adventurous, resourceful, very open-minded and able to put aside comfort most of the time.
Few people know, but I have two Master Degrees in Management Sciences. I am primarily a chartered accountant and currently finishing a PhD in Paris.
I have the opportunity to collaborate during some of my travels, but a lot
of what I do is dedicated to sharing my passion for cultures and people around the planet.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Being on the road and exploring unknown places gives me a priceless feeling of freedom.
People that usually travel with me are now used to getting up at sunrise and exploring non-stop, trying to get in touch with people to understand their cultures and beliefs. My curiosity about the world is just insatiable. I portray cultures of the world through social media because I believe it is a great way to allay irrational fears and participate in intercultural dialogue on a global scale.
FROM PARIS TO THE PHILIPPINES, WITH MANY EXOTIC DESTINATIONS BETWEEN, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ‘WOW’ TRAVEL EXPERIENCE OR SCENE?
The most memorable is probably Bolivia. The impressions of the Bolivian Altiplano (Plateau) have never left me. It’s the first time I have cried because of beauty. I didn’t even expect this feeling to exist.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH DESTINATION TO GO NEXT?
I do watch a lot of documentaries on a daily basis and most of the time, this is where I get my inspiration from. But sometimes just the name of places can make me book a ticket.
YOU ALSO DO DOCUMENTARIES. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SUBJECT OR PLACE THAT YOU LOVE TO PHOTOGRAPH OR RECORD?
I would say I am learning to do so, on my own, just like photography. Making documentaries would be a fabulous outcome. There are so many subjects around the world! Basically, every subject that would help us understand and respect the Other in all of their differences.
TOP PHOTOGRAPHY TIP FOR THE BEGINNERS?
Follow your emotions and instinct in the things you capture. If it has a meaning for your heart it will definitely have a positive impact on the others.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CAMERA GEAR SAFE WHEN TRAVELLING?
I carry it everywhere, around me.
DO YOU HAVE A LOCAL’S TIP ON WHAT TO SEE/VISIT WHERE YOU ARE CURRENTLY BASED?
Paris is even more beautiful at night.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO TRAVEL?
Having a dual Moroccan-French cultural identity and contributing to the intercultural dialogue between people around the world are what inspires me the most.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY?
Travel as much as you can and as far as you can. It will make you a better person.
“TRAVEL AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AND AS FAR AS YOU CAN. IT WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON.”HAMZA EL ARABI