Social media has truly revolutionised the way we perceive travel. Years ago we would be flicking through the pages of travel guides and browsing magazines to admire photographs and feel the inspiration. But now, inspiration comes to us. Whether it’s Instagram, YouTube or Facebook, social media platforms have become an accessible and easy way to share life-changing experiences and expose people to destinations that were otherwise unknown to them. But out of all the countless travel bloggers and Instagrammers out there, there’s one that’s never failed to capture my imagination.
With a name like “everchanginghorizon“, you can imagine exactly what sort of content can be found on Quin’s Instagram. From otherworldly rock formations of Nevada contrasting against the blue skies to the verdant, razor-sharp ridges of Hawaii’s mountains shrouded in mist, Quin’s images capture not just landscapes, but moments in time.
That’s precisely the idea behind Quin’s Instagram account. For him it’s a means of portraying and conveying that sense of thrill that goes hand-in-hand with travel and adventuring. To find out more about his creative processes and what led him to becoming a prominent member of the travel community on Instagram, I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with Quin for this week’s podcast episode.
Life journey – from college graduate to full-time travel photographer
To travel as a full-time job is the dream for many. Yet that progression and route from a conventional 9-to-5 job to professional globetrotter can seem either out of reach, or simply impossible. How do you make that lucky break? What’s it like to walk away from that financial security?
Despite the incredible adventures and trips, it may come as a surprise to some that the route in life that Quin originally took is much more conventional than you might think. Hailing from the south of California, Quin eventually went on to study business and accounting in Hawaii. His life-long passion for skating, surfing and staying active meant that he felt naturally drawn to the region, which of course boasts the world’s richest surfing heritage. His two older brothers had also studied there, meaning that in way, they had already paved the way for Quin to make the journey there. By looking at his Instagram feed, it’s obvious to see that Hawaii is a place that will always be dear to him. The rippling mountains of Nā Pali Coast State Park can be recognised in a heartbeat in his feed, and the infamous ‘Stairway to Heaven’ has certainly featured a few times. This awe-inspiring video about Hawaii features Quin and it seriously took my breath away. I just want to hop on the next plane there…
The real catalyst that lead to Quin beginning his life as a travel photographer was the break-up with his partner during his studies in Hawaii. After having married at a young age, it was the relationship that was really his main reason to pursue his studies as an accountant. But a divorce shortly before graduation turned his world upside down. Close to dropping out, Quin realised that this corporate world was not the path for him. He wanted to stay true to his roots, investing in his love of skateboarding and surfing and focusing his time on what he loves. He pushed on at college and graduated – and after his first adventure to Peru, it was clear that this was the life for him!
Everchanginghorizon on Instagram
Quin has now been Instagramming full-time for about 3 years now. He has built up a colossal community around him – he currently has almost 700,000 followers, and each post garners tens of thousands of likes. Scrolling back to the beginning of the timeline it’s incredible to see that gradual transformation from what felt almost like a personal Instagram to a wide-reaching personality.
It’s never too late to pursue what makes you feel alive.
Social media really has been a huge changing force in modern society, and its effect on travel has been nothing less than transformative. Quin believes that social media has essentially enabled people to go out into the world and pursue their dreams. After all, when you’re out travelling the world these days, you’re still in direct contact with people – you can upload photos or stories at any time, and your followers can be with you along the way. This is in stark contrast to the more time-consuming method of crafting lengthier and more static blog posts. It’s taken a year for Quin to establish himself on Instagram, where he was constantly posting content until he managed to gradually build up a community around him that shared his sense of wanderlust and thrill.
Once he had achieved this, businesses eventually started to approach him seeing to set up collaborations and sponsorships – he’s worked with big brands such as GoPro and Sony where Quin acts as an ambassador for them.
What also strikes me about Quin’s Instagram feed is that there is a lot of content shot within North America. Big names such as Yosemite or Banff National Park aren’t the only places to feature however. Quin manages to seek out wonderfully hidden places in the most obscure locations that not even most Americans would think of going to. If you told me that you could go spelunking in huge sinkholes in Alabama, or go paddleboarding in crystal-clear springs in the north of Florida, I’m not quite sure I’d believe you! Yet Quin manages to portray his home country in a whole new light, and it’s fantastic to see the places he happens upon – and camps in! It just go to show that there’s always something new waiting to be discovered, even in the regions close to home.
One trip that I consider to be a highlight of his travel career is the gargantuan road trip that he did around North America back in 2014. 25,000 miles, 10 countries and one campervan – it was a mammoth drive that took him from the majestic peaks of Canada’s Rocky Mountains to the tropical shores of Panama. He saved up for this trip by working a normal day job installing and fitting alarm systems, and in a way this was his real first step towards becoming a true adventurer and distancing himself from that conventional 9-to-5 life. And it was his first real fray into photography as well. He had never received any formal training, other than the mentoring and advice that his travel buddy and other photographers were giving him along the way.
“This job as an Adventure Photographer must be a dream – surely I will wake up sitting at my dreaded desk job;” Quin wrote on his blog post about the North American adventure. “But it hasn’t happened yet, so I’m gonna ride this wave as long as it takes me.” It seems as if this is one wave that isn’t about to stop any time soon.
It’s fair to say that Quin has a very busy summer ahead of him. He has a mega trip planned in June and July which will take him through 6 different countries across Europe. He’s never been in this part of the world just yet, so I’m very excited to see what fantastic images he can create out of the landscapes that are a lot more familiar to us as Europeans. I’m certain that he’s going to make us see everything in a totally new light!
Quin was an absolute delight to chat to – super chilled and laid-back, yet always true to what he loves doing in life. There’s a lot more he talks about in our exclusive interview, so be sure to give it a little listen to. It’ll be available on iTunes, Soundcloud and even YouTube as well. Enjoy!
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