Every lived experience, cultural norm and learned fact creates a gravitation pull towards a truth that we know instinctively. We know deep down that living on this beautiful blue marble is a unique privilege. To create meaning we ACT. We travel. We explore. We find balance. We help others and make this world better tomorrow, than it is today.
We’d like to think that one small act can create a butterfly effect so by sharing the stories of special people who have crossed our path in one way or another, we hope to inspire others to love by what they do. One of these inspiring individuals we are sharing with you is Michelle Park, a photographer based in San Francisco, CA.
Our time with Michelle Park left us with a memorable sense of intrigue and inexplicable adventure- the kind of feeling that makes you want to drop what you are doing and book an impromptu trip to Costa Rica.
She lives life in color and with this sense of purpose that translates into the beautiful work she contributes to this world through the art of visual story telling, and we love her for that.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
What gets you outdoors, moving and experiencing the world around you?
Wonder. Unbridled, exhilarating, heart-beat accelerating wonder. When I’m hustling day in and day out in a big city, it’s easy to feel insignificant for a lot of the wrong reasons. But when I’m outside, the grandeur of the outdoors fill me with a breath of fresh wonder and remind me that there’s freedom in my insignificance.
Beats that get you pumped to get on the road?
LANY, Oh Wonder, Chance the Rapper, and a sprinkle of T. Swift when the sun is setting.
Never leave for a trip without ...?
A camera, bikini, and clean underwear.
Go-to drink of choice?
Sparkling water. I think we all know what brand...
Shotgun or driver?
I actually love shotgun...as long as I can DJ!
Hostel hopper or 5-star regular?
Hostels. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely stayed at a 5-star spot before… but to be totally honest, I don’t remember anything significant apart from thinking “why is this shower remote-controlled???” But hostels… I always have rad experiences meeting people from all walks of life and doing some awesomely weird stuff, like scrambling eggs in a parking lot!
Mom's best advice?
“Go out to do what you do best. Run a mile or two! Problems will still be there but you’ll feel pumped.”
...and also “Use your facial mask once a day especially when you travel by air” coming in as a close second.
Best piece of travel advice you have received?
Be fearless and also smart! In other words, have an even balance of risk and preparation ie. Never travel alone without a GPS system, tell someone where you’re going, have cultural/environmental awareness, take a headlamp at night if you’re in the backcountry, etc. Once all those boxes are checked...push all the buttons and jump off all the cliffs!
Who inspires you?
Humble photographers and athletes like Jimmy Chin, Savannah Cummins, and Kimmy Werner, who are kicking ass at what they do and also advocating for global issues.
Where would you most like to live in the world?
Any place that is walking distance from the ocean.
Do you remember the first moment in life that motivated you to help others?
When I was a kid I remember watching my first documentary about child soldiers in Uganda. It was the first time my mind was ever opened to the reality of global suffering and need. That moment sparked a little fire inside me, one that motivated me to contribute towards change and become self-aware of what was happening outside of my own world.
What drives you now?
The desire to keep discovering magic in the world.