The Goal (a destination project):
During the past three years I have spent over 34,000 miles in my helmet. With my voice and a motorcycle as the majority of companionship during those travels, I have brought my journeys from the road to the page. Now as I prepare for a 20,000-mile adventure in the span of only 6 months, I look beyond my two wheels toward the road that lies ahead and how I can share those experiences with others.
In early November of 2012 (that’s right, just over a month away and the days are ticking away fast), I will pack up all I have come to know in my 9-year residence of Los Angeles, CA and embark on a solo ride throughout Central and South America. After spending the two previous summers wandering around North America, reaching as far as Alaska, it seemed a natural progression to point my wheels toward the southern tip. My goal is to reach Ushuaia, Argentina, a.k.a, “the end of the earth” within 6 months, before their Autumn sets in.
What is this kickstarter for?
To present an inspiring body of work wrapped in a dust jacket. This is more than a pictorial review of the roads and landscapes of Central and South America. It is more than a portrait of the cultures as I pass through big cities and small villages. It is not quite a guidebook, travelogue or memoir. It is all of it. It will be a narrative of process, discovery, adventure, and what it is like to live on the road. The story will be determined by the experiences, which remain in the miles of curvy pavement and long stretches of dirt that still lay ahead.
In my quest to simplify packing, I am using this opportunity to return to my roots in art instead of technology and bring minimal photo equipment. After working in the commercial Photo Industry over the past 7 years, and having any and all high-end equipment at my fingertips, I decided to leave the DSLR at home. In the digital age of overabundance of images, the images I create will be a reflection of what I see, be it mood, weather or experience, not necessarily the crisp re-enactment of the situation. I am bringing 3 point and shoots (always good to have a back-up): my trusty Canon G11 that has been with me since the beginning, a shiny Lumix M4/3 with assorted lenses, and an Olympus Stylus (yes, a film camera). I am also packing a MacBook Air to keep up with the demands of writing, and posting, and editing of words and images as I travel. Additional to the book in progress, my blog: www.alisonswanderland.com will be updated along the way with unique posts (hopefully weekly given internet availability.)
What do contributions go toward?
Presenting this kickstarter is not a request for travel funds. I already budgeted and saved for minimal daily expenses necessary for a 6-month excursion (food, shelter, gas, maintenance). This project helps fund:
Gear (Photo). Finishing touches to aid the visual and written storytelling portfolio: I still want to add weatherproof video, additional still lenses, software, hard drives and storage media, etc.
Gear (Moto). Maybe an extra layer or two for those cold days!
Experiences. During the trip, auxiliary events, be it a tour to historic ruins or side trip to a recommended location, would enrich the journey and make more stories.
Time. Last year I took 3,500 images in the course of two months, I can only speculate the number of stills and videos and words I will collect over the span of 6 months. Part I: To take an extra day here and there off the road and off the bike to decompress and organize the book in progress. Part II: Once I return for the journey, the editing of photos and polishing of stories will take time to construct into a cohesive body of work.
This is more than a detailed account of one woman’s journey on two wheels, down the Pan American highway. It’s a journey of discovery of how to live out your dreams. Come along for the ride, as I will share my story of travels through unfamiliar geographies, and reveal what it is like to be on the road.
- (30 days)