It all began in 2008, I was 26 at the time. Young, green, and very naive. I knew I wanted something different. Not because the life I had in Europe was so bad. It was pretty great, actually. The ability to just get in a car and drive to Paris is one of the many great perks of living in the hustle and bustle of West Europe. The endless rain, never ending traffic congestion are a few others. But in deciding to leave all of that comfort and familiarity behind, it weren’t the reasons that pushed me away from there that we’re most compelling. It was the reasons that pulled me towards change. My sense of adventure kicked in, and I wanted a change of scenery. Well, if you’re looking for scenery, Canada is definitely a place to consider. And I did. Amongst a few other places.
Spain or South America
I would have loved to build a life in a warm place, close to a beach somewhere, like Spain or South America. Being practical as I am I decided it would be a good idea to speak the language of my new home country fluently before going there. That limited my options to Dutch and English. My Spanish, French and German were not of the level that I’d be comfortable dealing with everyday practicalities, like calling a plumber or doctor when needed. I watched many documentaries about people moving to a different country, and it never failed to amaze me how many people move to countries like Spain or France without speaking a single word of the local language. A lot of them decided to begin a bed and breakfast, hotel, restaurant, or otherwise pick up a career in the hospitality industry, without much or any experience in that field either. Their dealings with local suppliers and contractors were at times very entertaining to watch. I commend all of them for their courage, but decided a language barrier was not something I was interested in dealing with.
That limited my options to a few countries. Australia didn’t make the cut due to their poisonous creepy crawlies. The United States was high on the list but their immigration policies to become a permanent resident appeared to be next to impossible to crack, so I opted for the Northern neighbour Canada. My first exploratory trip to the great white north was in the dead of winter. I figured dealing with the country at its “worst” (many people told me winters get pretty bad) would be a good test to see if I could make it. If you can make it here in winter, you can make it anywhere.
And I did. With several ups and downs along the way. While I indeed didn’t have much of a language barrier to deal with, there were many other challenges on my path. Looking back, it was well worth the ride. I’m happy I did it. I’m happy I’m still here. And I’m very happy with the life I’ve been able to build in this beautiful country.
My Ode to Canada
Canada has been called one of the most beautiful countries on earth, and I would have to agree. Photographing the stunning beauty of this country has made me feel more inspired than ever before. I fell in love with the exceptional things I saw and the remarkable people who crossed my path.
I’ve had close encounters with bears, roamed mountain roads lead by a pack of wolves, and I found many other little tiny wonders of nature. My experiences have all given me a strong bond with these animals and their surroundings I now call home.
I’m a passionate traveller, an artist whose workplace is the road. The Rocky Mountains are my home, and rest of the world my “office”. My photographic art is my way of giving some of my memories back to the world. My photography book A View to Take Home is a celebration of life in Canada, in all it’s forms.
Photography is not what you see, it is what you allow others to see.
The photographs I share with you in this book carry one important invitation: to go and see it all for yourself. It is my hope that my images inspire you to create your own adventure. If I can help you get started it would be my honor and privilege. Have a look at my book The Freedom Project to learn how I organized most of my travels around the world, and was able to fly to many exotic locales for absolutely free.
For now I want to thank you so much for spending your time with me, and allowing me to show you the world through my lens.
Thank you again, Canada, for everything.
For me, photography is not a hobby – it’s my passion. Taking photos is what I was born to do.
For the last seven years, Wilko van de Kamp has braved the rugged and sometimes unpredictable terrain of the Canadian Rocky Mountains to bring home a memorable collection of high-quality photographs. Using his sensitive nature, Wilko has been able to approach many wildlife creatures in its natural habitat and capture their personality in a beautiful, candid photograph.
Wilko uses a Canon camera with a variety of lenses. All his work is unedited.
A View to Take Home presents the unique life found in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, as well as the bordering cities Calgary and Vancouver. It also includes some of Wilko’s unseen coastal work from Vancouver Island. Readers will get up-close and personal with grizzly bears, wolves, and much more.
This book is 8.5″ x 8.5″, and counts over 200 full-color pages containing hundreds of museum quality images. Get yours today on Amazon or through the link below.View to Take Home
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