Most people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health. If you are one of those many people today, you’re either short of money and working at something you don’t like in order to get more, or you have more than enough money and not enough time to enjoy the good things in life.
As many of you know, ever since I hit my tipping point with office jobs I decided to live a life of voluntary simplicity. This lifestyle change is the main reason why I was able to leave that job and pursue my passions. However, a lot of people who I talk to are curious to know what simplicity means in terms of a lifestyle.
From my experience, simplicity means different things to different people. For the most part, choosing a life of simplicity means that you stop living the “modern-day lifestyle” that many of us have grown accustomed to. You stop focusing on accumulating possessions and what's not and start focusing on getting as much value out of your time as possible. You remove the things you do not need in your life, whether they be physical or mental.
By removing the clutter from your life, you can spend your time pursuing your passions, hanging out with your friends and family and doing the things that make you happy. You clear out all the junk for good and live a life of passion, freedom, happiness and of course, including travelling in my case.
Living a life of simplicity also helps you focus on living in the moment, rather than the past or future. None of us can travel in time as of date, so the only real time we have is now. This very second is your life as you read this sentence. By living in the moment, you can truly experience everything you do in your life. I must say that I truly enjoy this lifestyle. By no means do I feel like I am missing out on anything nor do I feel poor. Matter of fact, I feel rich since I actually have time to enjoy myself, doing things that i like and spend time with the people I care about.
I was out of town (again) recently for a short trip to another part of Indonesia - Tanjung Pinang at Bintan Island. I also went to Tanjung Uma at Batam, Indonesia not long ago for a similar photography shoot mission. It's not those kind of resort stay, it's rather a rustic coastal fishing village where i enjoyed snapping away several shots of what i mean by leading a real simple life on an island.
I checked in at the Singapore Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal for the 2 hours ferry ride to Tanjung Pinang of Bintan Island and arrived at Sri Bintan Pura Jetty Terminal, Tanjung Pinang City.
Tanjung Pinang, is the main port town on Bintan Island, where trade and passenger ships link to all parts of Indonesia and Singapore. Bintan is a good point of departure to other islands in the area and only a two-hour boat ride away from Singapore. A large section of the old part of the town was built in traditional local fashion, on stilts, over the water, although today, its face is changing rapidly, with several first-class hotels and yachting marinas being developed.
Penyengant island is located west side of Tanjung Pinang and can be reached about 10 minutes with the sampan from Tanjung Pinang.
The old culture on the island was Penyengat leading and powerful in the Indonesian history.
Penyengat Island was the seat of the Malay Kingdom and it is famous for its viceroys of Riau during the 18th Century conflict period, Penyengat still bears the traces of their famous and mystical past. The ruins that have been abandoned almost 70 years, recently restored.
Still in use is the old vice-royal mosque, the Mesjid Raya.
Me striking a picture at one of the old ruins that have recently been restored, like the old ruler's palace and royal tombs.
Today there are about 2,500 people living on the island, about one third of them are descendants of the former royalty, most of the residents make their living of fishing, while some work on the main island.
Because the participation of Penyengat Island was very important in historical of Riau Kingdom, so the island is relatively very small and it is meant to be well-known for people to visit it. There is still much kind of historical last sites which can be found on this Penyengat Island. Beside these historical sites, it also founded another interest objects like wonderful views, tradition couch, arts attraction and traditional villages.
My recent trips to Tanjung Uma at Batam and Tanjung Pinang at Bintan are actually meant to be some photographic study of impoverished areas here on Earth. Many people on Earth live in poverty, which is defined as the lack of basic human needs such as food, water and shelter, as well as clothing, education and employment. While many of us enjoy a high standard of living, it is important to recognize that not everyone does and to do our part to improve the lives of people around the globe.
But as a country has become modernised, so too has the face of poverty. As a photographer, i get to see how thin the line is between the rich, middle class, working poor and poverty.
Seeing people living in huts with mud floors or rubbish dump, seeing children living in trailers with holes in the floor and having no proper healthcare etc -These are things that people don't see and that's largely because the mainstream media hasn't really fulfilled its obligation to provide that kind of imagery, to provide those kinds of stories so that people can engage.
I don't think people really understand or have had the opportunity to see the new face of poverty and that's something that i am endeavoring to do.
Social photography and poverty photography in particular touch serious issues of human existence. Such images are full of suffering, pain, and despair. However, if you look carefully at any of the poverty photographs, collected so far in my photography portfolio, you may notice a small yet powerful ray of light in the eyes of the people, featured on the photos. This ray of light is born by hope. Indeed, it is the hope that stays with us even in the hardest times, giving us strength to fight the destiny, inspiring us and making us believe that tomorrow will be the new and better day.
Until around Year 2000, the only tourist activity along Bintan's east coast was at Trikora Beach, a popular hang-out for local visitors from Tanjung Pinang as well as foreign back-packers. Since then, the back-packer scene has largely given way to larger developments and other tourist destinations that have popped up along the east coast.
There are Kelongs (stilt mobile homes made for fishing) around too and there is a good chance that you could get onto one to see firsthand how they get their catch. Local fishing boats with sail and paddles can be rented for as little as 50,000 rupiah/day from local fishermen.
Fishermen and their catch!
This archipelago is extremely scenic and if you have the time to explore, it is highly recommended to see the thousands of uninhabited tropical islands in their natural beauty, which you will come across in any ferry travel through the region. In the evening, you can see the beauty of the sea between Tanjung Pinang and Penyengat Island.
I am really looking forward to my Cambodia trip early next month (counting down from now, departing in a couple of weeks' time) where i will lead some days as a farmer's life as well as experiencing what it is like to live in hunger and face material hardships.
I suppose this is every poverty photographer's goal: to take invisible poverty and make it visible once again.
这里的村落连电话都没有, 换言之, 太阳一下山, 整个山谷漆黑一片, 电视电脑电话, 所有需要用到电的东西, 这里似乎不存在.
原本很难想象, 但进入夜时分, 是乌黑麻黑一片, 我太小勾出一个画面, 但怎么还是不能想象在 21 世纪的今天, 怎么还会没有电的环境中生活.
生活在城市的现代人是很实际的, 不想受苦, 在任何地方, 没有一间像样的厕所, 没有一张舒服的床, 没有种种他们习惯的大都会 "宠" 物, 哪怕是鸟花香的人间仙境, 都不会是他们的天堂.
当地人民没有机会接触过那些让现代都市人陶醉沉迷的种种, 显然不认为天堂需要这些物享受来打造. 我在这里, 和当地居民接触, 发现他们的生活简单但快乐, 因为他们满足于所有的 (即使那只是一点点), 而不会因为所没有的而耿耿于怀.
我们总是觉得所拥有的不够多, 但对这些村民来说, "少即是多".
这是很简单的快乐道理, 虽然未必适用在什么都讲 "金" 的大都会现代人身上, 但当觉得生活不如意, 心情沮丧的时候, 还蛮有激励作用的. 这几天, 收获最大的不是来到这里, 而是从当地人身上了解到何谓知足, 何谓快乐.
所以我很喜欢到生活比较朴实的旅行, 不是为了以别人的不辛 / 不足来衬托自己的辛福, 而是从别人知足的生活中, 领悟到快乐其实可以是很简单的一回事.
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
That's Life, Capture It! Blog is Pledged to Singapore Memory Project
Browse That's Life, Capture It! Blog @Flickr
Follow That's Life, Capture It! Blog in Twitter