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Zoe Archer World Nomad Journal

My Photo scholarship 2011 entry

Japan | Sunday, 6 November 2011 | flickr photos

I’ve always believed that the best way of learning is by doing.

And yet, I somehow find myself stuck in lectures most days a week. This is not to say I’m not appreciative of the opportunities university offers, but I cannot deny that 99% of the time in the classroom my mind wanders to some corner of the globe very distant to the one in which I am shuffling in my seat.

I had assumed myself immune to culture shock until I touched down in Japan in 2010. I’ve lived with home-stay families in Costa Rica and Borneo, jumped off bridges and am known for eating anything placed in front of me. Regardless of my experiences, I gawk at the crowds, menus, creatures – human or otherwise, the millions of billboards and sporadic lights... it hits me like a tonne of bricks and a pickled cherry for breakfast literally brings me to tears.

It takes some time to pinpoint exactly what is so strikingly dissimilar about Japan (cuisine aside, which fortunately took me no time to adapt to) until you realise the lingering silence amongst the chaos. Outside the city, this silence echoes for an eternity, and what I hoped to convey in these images was an atmosphere of still, winter air that blanketed an entire country.

I believe you are looking for someone with an open mind, with an insatiable desire to explore and learn, who is passionate about the environment and its creatures, and who exists to experience, camera in hand, all the sensual-rich wonders of the world – I am positive I am that person. I hope to, more than anything, dedicate my life to the sort of adventure that a lifetime spent reading NG has inspired and this scholarship could offer, and to reflect that inspiration onto others.

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