Tomorrow

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  • It’s New Years eve in Auckland, New Zealand, and spirits are hight as a crowd of revellers dance and clap on the street to the drum beats and chants of Hare Krishna’s. The city is among the first places in the world to welcome the new year and for many the celebrations will continue well into the small hours.

    This, therefore, is the final picture of 2012, and the one that brings this ‘visual journey’ to a close. It’s been an amazing year of travel for me, following little more than whims and vague notions to 19 countries around the world. Back in January I had no idea that I was about to embark on such an adventure, or that come the end of the year I would still be on that adventure.

    This project has been an immensely rewarding undertaking, and as I look back on the pictures I am reminded of the back-stories behind them, as well as the many pictures and stories that weren’t published. Those early photographs from New Zealand seem like a lifetime ago now, but at the same time they also feel like they were just yesterday.

    With the task of publishing a daily picture, I spent the year constantly looking for things to photograph and stories to tell. Someone asked me if doing this made me live my life behind the lens as opposed to in the moment, but in fact, while that sounds like a plausible downside, quite the opposite was true.

    Doing ‘366’ challenged me to go out and engage each day in a way that I’m quite sure I would not have done so otherwise. I would talk to strangers, seek out alternative travel routes, and take time to look at things that I might ordinarily pass by with little more than a glance. Making this change in my daily life had a profound impact. It’s as if I somehow crammed more ‘life’ into my days, and more time into my year.

    Of course, there were challenges along the way. Practical issues like living life out of one bag, and keeping that bag below 20 kg (44 lbs). Then there were language barriers and currency exchange rates to deal with, rip off taxi drivers, and the repetition of the same conversation with new people over and over again. Yes, at times I wished for my own bath tub, drawers to put my clothes in, and the comforts that I chose to do without in order to add such color to my life. But those moments pass, and I’d take the color over the familiar any day.

    So tomorrow is 2013, and as much as this is an ending, this isn’t the end. I’ll still be living out of that one bag for a while yet, still taking pictures and seeking out the stories. I’ll continue to look out of the window on trams, trains, buses and planes, and I’ll still be taking the long way home whenever I can, to wherever ‘home’ may be. It’s been a extraordinary journey and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

    Thank you for all your comments and interest, for tuning in and coming along for the ride. Take care and have a fantastic year.

    Simon Jones

    What was your favorite picture?
    I’m really curious to know if you had a favorite picture from 366. If you did then why not leave me a comment and let me know.

    How about a little something extra?
    Would you like to see some of the pictures that didn’t get chosen? If so then please let me know leaving a comment or sending an email. I might run a short series of ‘extras’ in February.

    The journey continues over at BEFORE i FORGET
    Next year I will still be taking pictures and posting stories on my blog at beforeiforget.co.uk (just not every day). I hope you’ll come over and visit me there too! You can subscribe to my email list, just like here. Check out BEFORE i FORGET, and subscribe to the BEFORE i FORGET email list.

  • 18 comments on “Tomorrow

    1. Thanks for doing this amazing project mate, it has allowed your friends to feel part of your amazing journey. You continue to challenge and inspire me to not settle for mediocrity and to engage with the world around me, to look up from my phone from time to time.

      I think my favourite pic is the one you took of the couple in the crowd because I think it just captures something special, and is filled with such emotion.

      Look forward to joining you a couple of times in 2013 wherever you may be.

      • James, it’s a leap year. However due to Simon crossing the international dateline on his way to New Zealand, it’s actually ended up as 365 🙂

    2. I’m really going to miss the daily(albeit sometimes sightly delayed!)update on your adventures! THANK YOU for the time and effort you’ve put in to giving us a glimpse of those unchartered roads 😉

      Now to ask for a favourite… that’s tough and has required another trawl through the pictures!

      There have been many which have made me laugh out loud at the accompanying story (11 September); those which have brought back such fond memories(2 March and 23 September); those which have let the true beauty of nature shine through (3 August)… but… Will – I’m with you in thinking that In the Crowd has something that little bit special about it.

      As for my least favourite… Into the Clouds… 🙂

      • Ah yes, I know you don’t like the cable cars 🙂

        I’m glad you enjoyed the site Sam. I’m trying to figure out how to do something with the pics now. A book or something else maybe, who knows?

    3. Simon,
      Sorry to see the end of this project. Although I rarely commented, i thoroughly enjoyed seeing the pictures and being able to “take the journey” with you. Your eloquence never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes the captions/stories painted a more vivid picture than the actual photo. I love geography and having you show the human side of these places was very insightful. I learned so much. I will miss this daily post.
      Hugs,
      mk

    4. I’m sad that there will be no more daily pictures. But YES PLEASE post some of the unseen ones, that would be great!

      My fav picture is ‘The Southern Swing’ http://www.366pictures.com/07/the-southern-swing It’s such a lovely photograph of that family.

      I have subscribed to your before I forget too so I look forward to seeing more pictures from your inspiring journey around the world.

    5. I’ve never commented before, but I’ve enjoyed watching your travels online ever since I met you on Oriental Parade in Wellington back in January. I would be interested to see a few of the extras you didn’t publish too.

      You have a very good eye Simon and I very much enjoy the way you tell a story. If you do ever make a book of this please be sure to let me know.

      Oh and my favorite picture. The picture of all those people on the bus in Coron http://www.366pictures.com/08/room-at-the-top/

    6. Simon,

      I will miss your daily news and your stories that kept me traveling while I am back here. Through those images, you have inspired me to follow my heart and my passions. I loved seeing you work on this project everyday that we were togheter with always the same motivation, the same energy and love of what you are doing. The way you are so meticulous about every detail of this is incredible. I am looking forward to witnessing your next project!

      Here is my top 5 of your best pictures:

      http://www.366pictures.com/10/the-monk/
      http://www.366pictures.com/09/a-windy-day/
      http://www.366pictures.com/08/hong-kong/
      http://www.366pictures.com/08/manila/
      http://www.366pictures.com/08/face-off/

      May the journey continu!

    7. Hello Simon, finally catching up with your catching up.

      Thank you again for posting all these pictures and texts. It has been inspiring and I learnt quite a lot about all these places where I’ve never been.
      It’s also inspiring to see you stick at it, and to read your comment at the end – that you actually lived more by doing this. It’s true that living a 9-5 did the opposite for me this year: it vanished so quickly and without much trace, even though it was fun. I wonder if documenting a 9-5 life would have the same effect….? Certainly wouldn’t be worth posting!

      The most memorable picture for me is the swimming pool on the roof the the palace hotel in Singapore. A place I would never have imagined existed. Many of these pictures made me go “wow!” and if someone was around, “look at this!”. Felix laughed when he saw the ‘Apple screensaver’ photos, he thought it was all photoshoped and didn’t really exist.
      The “best” picture, scanning through them again, is face off http://www.366pictures.com/08/face-off/, though many are worthy of praise.

      I was impressed by the way you had the confidence to take pictures of people, and take the time to frame them properly too. I really like the Manilla security check for that.

      .. Good job you missed a day travelling East, or it would have ruined your nice layout by having one too many photo!

      Good luck for 2013!

      • Hey there Joelle. Sorry for the late response to this comment.

        I’m really pleased you liked the site and it’s been a little hard not continuing it. Certainly I’ve been taking pictures, but I’ve also been resting this month. I’ll be posting 28 pictures that never got published on my blog at beforeiforget.co.uk throughout February, so look out for those.

        I think that my favorite pictures are the ones of people and the stories behind them, though for me to pick a fav picture is almost impossible, as you might imagine.

        Finally, there are indeed 366 pictures, not one was missed. I did cross the international date-line, but I still took a picture for that very short day. 🙂

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