Arriving

2016-07-22

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Montevideo is bigger than I remembered and the rain has been falling almost continuously since my arrival a couple of days ago. It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s grey. People hurry to get to their destination, focused on the path before them. I long for the familiar streets of Mercedes, the town where I suffered loneliness and consuming self-doubt – but also found love and friends.

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The first week, I hardly leave my boyfriend’s room. I can’t believe it. I thought I had left my old self behind – but here I am, anxious and sluggish again, just like one year ago. My creativity has died, I have nothing to write about and my camera sits unused in the big bagpack I borrowed from my dad. I keep postponing my photo shoots because I can’t find the courage to venture out, facing people and the new environment.

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Then, on Tuesday of my second week here, I finally have my first shoot. My model is Mikaela, the first girl who contacted me via Instagram to volunteer. Even before meeting her I knew we’d get along perfectly. She is one of those incredibly open, lovely and warm people – just the right person to break the ice that has kept me immobile for over a week.

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The sun finally shines bright, but it’s winter and the wind is rigid. I choose a spot next to the sea. I adore the sea and it’s one of the things I love most about Uruguay. We realise too late that a homeless person is sitting next to my chosen spot with his bags and blankets, but Mikaela doesn’t mind so we’re photographing next to him. He is amused; I’m sure he hasn’t been entertained so well for quite a while.

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Mikaela fights bravely against the freezing water that dampens her feet and legs and the unyielding wind that gives her goose bumps. I love the sea behind her, the wild waves, the blue sky and the wind. Freedom. I’m alive and happy, doing what I love. I want to capture the essence of the place, the feeling that fills me here at this very spot (tell me in the comments if I’ve succeeded).

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And just like that, the ice breaks. I’m back, my desire to create is overwhelming and I’m eager to shoot again. The same week, I have four more shoots, exploring different locations, seeing the old with new eyes. I don’t worry about getting robbed anymore and transform into the version of myself I love so much. Confident, creative, passionate.

I’ve finally arrived in Uruguay.

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I hope you’re doing well! <3 I have SO many things to share with you guys and even though my days are busy, I am definitely going to blog more often in the next few days and weeks! Take care :*


Model: Mikaela

33 Comments
    1. Wow, when you finally awaken your creative side, the results are amazing. Nice images here, Monika. Cheers and be well.

      1. Thank you so much! :) This was just the beginning, can’t wait to share more of my work here :)) I hope you’re doing well as too! I definitely have to catch up with blogs like yours :) cheers from Uruguay!

    1. I think your photographs are stunning as is your model. I should like to have seen a photograph of the homeless man too. Welcome back to your creativity.

      1. Thank you, Barbara :)) I was actually thinking of asking him for a photo since he seemed really nice, but then I decided I’d make him feel self-conscious about himself (after seeing us taking rather “glamorous” photos) so I thought it’s better if I leave it. But I’d like to start taking “documentary” photos again once I find the courage.
        Warm regards from Uruguay :)

        1. Monika, I had the same thought on wishing you had taken a pic of him too. Unless you ask you don’t know what,he may have felt. It could have been that he was flattered of your interest. Could have offered him a meal in exchange. Nice pics!

          1. Thank you for your comment! I’m definitely more motivated to approach other subjects now, hopefully my motivation is big enough to conquer my fear. I’ll see what the next days/weeks shall bring :)

      1. Thank you so much! :) I hope you’re doing well :)) I’m sure you know the feeling when there’s so much to share you don’t know where to start, haha.

    1. You are an inspiration to many, showing that we do attract to us, what we need. Thank you for breaking free and doing what you love. I really enjoy the first and last shots the most. I can’t explain the why, I just like ’em. :-) ren

      1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Ren! <3 They mean a lot to me. I'm glad you liked the photos! Have a lovely weekend and take care xox

    1. Wow, I can relate so much!!! Except I haven’t got out of my shell yet. I just can’t get over my fears and my insecurity, the self-consciousness I feel when walking down the streets on my own.

      As always, I love your pictures.

      Hugs <3

      1. I didn’t expect that anyone could relate! I hope you’ll find a way out of your shell soon. I kinda had to be dragged out of it (couldn’t postpone the shoot anymore since the sun was finally out and there was no reason to change the date again), but once I was out and doing what I love, I was okay again. Is there anything you enjoy doing in Rio, a place that inspires you? Maybe you can find someone who accompanies you to the place?

        Thank you for the compliment <3 Next time we take pictures like that in Savona? ;)

        Hugs from Uruguay! <3

        1. Well, I have been wanting to start a travel blog for a long time already, so my motivation would be to go out and take pictures of places and write about them – I wrote a post about this a couple of days ago but haven’t published it yet, guess why, because I’m afraid it sucks. The truth is, I feel like every pic I take sucks, and everything I write sucks, it sounds a bit like a weepy teenager talking, but it’s like that. So even my strongest motivation is not succeeding to drag me out of the house. It’s so frustrating, I feel like I’m imploding, and yet I still can’t change it. I don’t wanna be this person, and yet I still can’t change. I guess I’m lacing courage, and fear is paralysing me. Fear usually pushes me to do things, and yet I can’t get over this. It’s killing me a bit every day.

          1. I’m glad you published the post <3 of course, it doesn't suck! How can something that comes from your heart suck?
            Though I have to admit that some parts of your comments sound too familiar to me.. maybe you should read some of Brooke Shaden's post. It had helped me a lot :) take care!!

    1. I moved to Dominican Republic 5 years ago and I’m still afraid of getting my camera robbed. *tear* and so it just sits on a shelf. Thanks for sharing, the photos are lovely :)

      1. Dominican Republic? That sounds awesome! I hope you like it there :) Is it an option to get a smaller camera first and then, if you feel safe, switch to the bigger camera? It’s a pity that you’re not using your camera to document life around you, I’m sure the photos would be beautiful and interesting :) thanks for your comment and take care x

    1. I moved to new countries twice now and every time I was dragged out I was glad I did it and had a lot of fun. But also have a lot of fun home alone with movies and ice cream haha. It’s good you got out and your pictures are amazing!! If only I was in Uraguay!

      1. Hi Lindsey, thank you for your comment and the lovely compliment! :) It’s so awesome that you’ve lived in Germany and are in Australia now. Movies and ice cream sound great :D I hope you have an awesome time, take care! x

    1. It’s hard to imagine that you lack courage. You are so brave to be globetrotting and doing something that you love to do. It seems to keep you working and creating. Your blog is very beautiful: theme, photography, writing and content. Keep up the GREAT work. Thank you for reading about our humble Servants of Charity.

      1. Oh, thank you so much for your kind words! Unfortunately I’m still often controlled by my fear. But I’m working on it. I appreciate your lovely comment a lot, thank you and take care! :)

    1. Thanks for liking my Jokes post earlier Monica. I liked reading about your experience in Uruguay. If you like humor, jokes, stocks, and/or suffer from low self esteem, check back to my blog!

    1. Loved the photographs. The images were stunning. Thank you for visiting my blog, and enjoy your own blogging AND photography. :)

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