Juxtapoz Magazine – An Ode To Travel: The Diaries of Patrick Trefz


We have expended plenty of webpages chatting about how a great deal the pandemic has impacted the imaginative globe above the earlier two yrs, and in individual, we recognize extra and far more of what has been lost, like the ability to journey. We skip the exploration, the thrill of dealing with new topography, architecture, personalities, meals and the in-between moments of discovery that now truly feel like a distant memory. Photographer and filmmaker Patrick Trefz was an avid adventurer, who lived his artwork by acquiring on planes, boats and trains as he sought inspiration. “Travel was usually a way for me to be fully immersed in the pursuit of that art existence,” Trefz explained to us. “Wandering the globe to check out and uncover, exposure to tradition, craft, and persons, to escape the constructions of every day modern society. To be a wanderer, thinker, and tinkerer.” As he is established to publish his images in Ode to Vacation, Trefz chronicles what led him to develop this e-book and vow to remain a freewheeling spirit. —Juxtapoz

It all commenced out in spring of 2020, a time when I ordinarily would pack my luggage to escape the windy Pacific Ocean in Santa Cruz, California, that goes seriously lackluster the moment the winter season swell year is around. I would generally consider off for visits all more than the world for filmmaking tasks and pictures assignments to places like Oaxaca or Chile. I’d stop by good friends and loved ones all in excess of Europe. As for quite a few of us, at this time, it was lockdown at property. I was heading stir-mad! To not get rid of my head, I commenced a vegetable backyard with my neighbors. At least, figuring out if the entire world would go upside down, we’d have carrots, lettuce and artichokes to chew on. That, combined with a newfound every day yoga apply, served me enormously to continue to keep it with each other.

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Afterwards that summer, the fantastic storm brewed up right on top rated of us, in the midst of the bone dry summer months drought that’s typical for California. We typically do not be expecting rain for 4 to 5 months. As luck would have it, and we all know the story by now, a tropical dampness technique strike us in the middle of the night and unleashed a fury of lightning and thunder with 1000’s of bolts hitting the ground, ensuing in hundreds of fires in California. The a person near my property, afterwards on dubbed the CZU hearth, included San Mateo, Santa Cruz and San Francisco counties. Right after days of burning, the hearth arrived barreling through the Santa Cruz Mountains, encroaching on my city. The visibility went down to 100-toes, as our zone acquired a required evacuation buy and my barn/studio/household was only a 50 % a mile away from the large flames. It was obvious: we experienced to evacuate. As we jammed up Freeway 1 to continue to be with a fantastic mate, Health care provider John, in the coastal town of Mendocino, Northern California was on fire. At one particular position, as we have been on the 101, a large hearth barrel engulfed us even though capturing as a result of, and I was going 110 miles for each hour to find an exit. It appeared like Armageddon found us.

Just being ready to seize the bare minimum—cats and puppies, a several tricky drives, passport and a couple of clothes items—felt like an remarkable act. I still left powering my large selection of analog photographs in the steel submitting cabinets. At that level, I experienced not seemed at my do the job in a couple of several years, as I was chaotic concentrating on new projects. But as I left it all, I was wondering, “Well, if it burns down, then that’s the time for a new get started.” Hundreds of houses bought burned to the floor by the fires, a lot of my artist close friends incorporated. It was devastating. After 10 days, the evacuation ban was lifted, we had been ready to return to my studio barn, and the good news is everything was nevertheless there.

As Covid continued, I fell into a slight depression in the course of the wet dim wintertime months, not being ready to vacation to see family. It was a existence-changer for so lots of men and women around the world. Eventually, on January 1, 2021, I commenced digging into my aged files—my lust for journey was seemingly unbearable.

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As I was heading via all the distinct international locations, scanning work about the light desk, I recognized what stunning product was there. Individuals information from many years of traveling experienced a overlooked magic to them, the previous emulsions, the offbeat colours, light leaks, and an eye that was on the lookout for the path considerably less traveled. I instantly contacted my publisher, powerHouse, and pitched them the plan for Ode to Vacation.

I rediscovered 30 countries, from my early traveling times at age 16 when I labored as a dishwasher at Deutsche Financial institution cleansing thousands of plates following lunch and bought a ticket to Tunisia. Armed with an outdated Minolta Srt101 and 30 rolls of expired Agfa slide movie, I explored all elements of Tunisia more than 3 weeks like my lifestyle depended on it. Tromping through 110 diploma desert heat in prolonged trousers and a buttoned-up shirt, having trains and buses, I crisscrossed the place with an insatiable hunger to go deep into back alleys of this historical tradition. The souks gained my biggest focus, as perfectly as piles of herbs and spices, massive masses of watermelons, halal goat heads with a bullet gap between the eyes, and males dressed in traditional Kaftans hanging out, consuming tea, and using tobacco h2o pipes.

At a person issue in my travels, I purchased a van with a friend of mine from the Bay Place, an aged 1964 Dodge, and we drove it by means of Mexico all the way down by means of Central The united states, ending up in Costa Rica. In hindsight, it was surely a harrowing journey, as we had some quite shut phone calls with sharks, troopers, prison, a typhoon, narcos, crocs and other outrageous things. But it was all the journey that will make these kinds of a memory. —Patrick Trefz



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