Sep. 6, 2006 (delivered by Newstex) --
How many times have you, while sitting behind your little desk in your little cubicle, thought about just packing your bags and leaving it all behind? How often have you thought about exploring the world, experiencing new and exotic cultures, new smells, new tastes, and new adventures? What would it take for you to do it, to take the plunge, to head out there to places unknown -- at least to you, alone, with no set plan, just you and your camera, to document our world?
It would take a lot, right? A lot of money, but even then, many of us have spouses, children, mortgages, student loans, the list goes on. We may still have the dream, but our reality always steps in. Until now. Now we can travel the globe, see the places of our dreams, take off at a moment's notice, and live life vicariously, through the lens of someone else.
Christian Wagner, a photographer from Newport Beach, California, plans to spend the next 448 days traveling around the world, capturing moments in time with his camera, and sharing with the rest of us through his Photoblog: LifeVicarious.
Taking the philosophy behind carpe diem to a new level, Christian is doing what many of us only dream of: he is seizing this moment and not looking back. Christian's thirst for travel began four years ago when he took a trip to Europe in May of 2002. Armed only with a borrowed point and shoot camera, Christian took snapshots everywhere he went.
Upon his arrival home, he noticed he really enjoyed the images he had created. Since he had recently begun a rather technical job, he decided the creative outlet of photography would be a perfect fit. He purchased his first digital SLR camera, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Taking both a Canon 5D and 10D, Christian subsequently returned to Europe and also traveled to China and visited 20 different countries, all of which now grace the pages of his blog, LifeVicarious.
Influenced by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and other photographers of famed Magnum Photos, Christian has managed to document the world in a style that is befitting the greatest photographers in history, yet still reflects his own personal flair.
He shoots primarily in black and white, and strives to include people in his photographs. He has the unique gift of capturing not only the mood of a moment in time, but also the emotion of the people involved and the condition of the setting.
He describes, "If you think back on the events in your life, one typically remembers the pictures of that event as opposed to the actual events. I just love the idea of capturing those moments and the emotions of the people."
Christian made the decision to finally take the plunge and take this adventure across the globe after the untimely and tragic deaths of both a very close friend and his younger brother who was only 29 yrs old.
As a means to work through his grief and also to give meaning to his own precious life, Christian thought, "…this is really about living the life vicarious. I don't want to be 80 and look back and realize I did nothing. People think taking a year off is such a big deal, unthinkable. I think working for 40 years straight is unthinkable."
He gave two months notice at his job as a unit manager of a human resource outsourcing and consulting firm, sold off many of his belongings, and began planning this trip.
Christian explains his motivation for such an incredible journey. "I love the idea of waking up, not knowing who you are going to meet, what you're going to see, or where you'll end up…I don't know who said it but I heard a quote once that was something to the effect of 'after a long day of adventure, I took the long way home in hopes of finding another."