HOPE - to believe, desire or trust. To feel that something desired may happen.

SERENDIPITY - an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

 

I think the fact that I was surrounded by National Geographic magazines during my childhood may have just rubbed off a bit! My Mum has been getting a monthly subscription of Nat Geo since well before I was born and still is getting them to this day. There have been many hours spent poring through the pages and wondering about those far off places and extraordinary wildlife. The pages were turned gently, showing an almost religious reverence for the photos. I dreamed of going to these far flung places and taking my own photos, maybe even working for Nat Geo (I can dream can't I?).

At the bottom of the family linen press, kept carefully in a "Jetset tours" bag lived my Dads' cameras. A box brownie, a polaroid camera and a Kodak Retina. When no one was looking I would sit in the hallway, get the cameras out and wonder at them. I wasn't meant to be touching them, but I was fascinated with the magic of the prints they could deliver. If I was very lucky Dad would let me take a photo with the polaroid and I would wait for the image to appear!!

In High School I jumped at the chance to do a short Photography course and learned to shoot using black and white film and then process in the Dark room. What a buzz! I continued to follow my passion for photography after school but was soon waylaid by the travel bug. I joined the hordes of Aussie backpackers travelling through Europe and working in the UK. The camera came with me but took a backseat. The Travel industry became my new calling and I continued to explore the world and help others pursue their own travel dreams.

Fast forward quite a few years, I left the workforce and became a Mum but some things just won't quit. Once bitten by the travel bug there's no going back - there is always somewhere new to explore or rediscover. I've travelled to 43 countries (lived in 3 - Australia, England and Papua New Guinea) so far - so many more to go to! I finally got back in to photography in a serious manner a few years ago and now can't get enough of it. Magazines, books, courses, workshops... Any chance I get I'm out travelling, shooting the landscape and wildlife. If I can help people, in some small way, see the natural beauty of our planet, maybe they will pause long enough to consider their actions and help protect it and all that lives on it.

The desire to care, protect and nurture is innately in all of us. We all know what we should do, so let's do it. It's so easy to be overwhelmed at the state of the world and think "what can I do?". The problems are too big and it's so easy to just give up. If you focus on the little things, on what you can easily do at home you DO make a change. Together we make something happen and that is Serendipity.

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    © Hope & Serendipity - images by Natalya Stone. ABN 33251664327