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April 9th, 2020
Happiness comes in waves. The feature picture for this post was taken a few months ago, on my annual trip to the Bahamas. We couldn’t imagine that the entire world would go into a pandemic mode with a full or partial lockdown. And here we are. Safe at home. I’ve canceled more trips in the last three weeks than ever before in my life.
So let’s take a few steps back. What have you been doing, now, today? What did you work on? How did you spend the extra time you may have had today, not being stuck at work or stuck in a lengthy commute? I see a lot of updates come by on social media about cleaning out homes, garages, offices and more. We’re getting rid of our old junk, while business owners get rid of their employees. For better or worse, we’re cleaning out our life of excess. Rethinking strategies, businesses, maybe even relationships.
Companies that are able to continue operating thanks to some variation of “working from home” are frantically looking for a new way of operating, until everything goes back to “normal”. We’re worried about timesheets, bottom lines, and daily meetings to make sure no one really loses their mind.
Back to normal
Soon, we tell ourselves, we’ll be “back to normal”. Whatever that normal was, is, or will be. Because now that the initial shock of a global pandemic is starting to wear off, this week, more often than before, the question has come up: what’s next?
But will everything go back to normal? Will we go back to the way things were before, the way we’ve always done things around here? Most people I virtually speak with these days seem to want to “snap back” to their old ways, like an elastic band. As a planet, we have collectively been pulled outside of our comfort zone. Someone once said everything we want out of life is right here – outside of that comfort zone. But we can’t wait to go back to the way things were.
The only way out is through
From a global health perspective, I hope things will get back to normal soon. Not being able to hug people is a bad thing on an already lonely planet. But for everything else, what would you like your future to look like?
Being future-focused is the only thing that’ll get us through any crisis. So what’s next, for you? What’s next for your life, your career, your business, your future? How do you envision your life taking shape once things go back to the new definition of “normal”?
What can you start doing today, to start giving shape to that future? What are you going to work on that’s most important to you in achieving your life, business, and career goals?
My next trip
Eventually, borders will re-open, travel plans will resume, and we’ll all come out of this isolation. Of course, travel is tricky right now – but I can’t wait to go back to the Bahamas. I’ll probably be one of the first to book a ticket once all of this craziness passes. If you’d like, you’re welcome to join me and start making some travel plans.
Until then, please stay home. Alone. Be safe. Being safe at home in isolation of quarantine is the perfect time to work on one of your most important life goals. So dream, make plans and maybe even start taking some action towards your future travel goals, even today. If there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.
March 9th, 2020
Ever thought of starting a blog? Or maybe you already started one but would like to get your writings in front of a larger audience. You can implement these eight practical tips right away to get into the right blogging mindset.
Most new bloggers dislike hearing this. Committing to a schedule doesn’t come natural to creative people. Most blogs that were started with enthusiasm, die a quiet death after a few weeks or (maybe) months. Keeping up the pace isn’t easy. Even for me, the struggle for fresh content is ongoing. New bloggers, however, feel like it’s just happening to them. The truth is, don’t get a blog just to have a blog. Get it, commit to it, and keep it updated. Content is the quickest way to gaining traffic. How often should you blog? The best days to blog? Nobody knows, even though many pretend to know. Stick to a schedule you can stick to.
Stay on point
I tell my book writing authors this all the time: stay on point, stay on topic. The same goes for blogs. If you don’t you’ll lose your readership. Once someone commits to your blog they want to keep reading relevant information in line with what they have come to know you for. So don’t blog one day about your book, your speaking, or your mission and the next day share your gradma’s apple pie recipe (even though it’s really good).
Plan your blog posts
While spontaneity is the catalyst for creativity, planning is a good way to stay on track. Create a content calendar. Start to map out key dates that you want to blog about that have some relation to your topic. This way when you’re at a loss for topics, you can always pick one from your list of planned out blogs.
Also, if you need some writing prompts, you may want to consider these topics to blog about:
a) Future predictions: everyone loves these, to the degree that you can predict market trends in your industry do it, and the readership will follow.
b) Industry news: what’s happening in your industry that you can talk about? There’s always something going on worth mentioning that directly relates to your topic.
c) The elephant in the room: talk about the stuff nobody else does. What new trends are emerging that your audience needs to be aware of? What’s next for your market and how will it affect you? Think of things that scare you and talk about them.
d) Write reviews: review other people’s books, product or work. Let them know when you do. This is a great way to network and to become a trusted content provider for your industry.
e) Other blogs: what are people talking about? What did your favorite blog just say? Virtual networking (with other bloggers) is a great way to grow your reach and get to know others. Don’t forget to link to the blog you’re discussing!
Interactions are really important. The more people you can get interacting with your content, the quicker your blog will get passed around. Comments are a great way to do that, but there are other ways to make your content interactive or shareable. In general, if you have a “no comment” feature on your blog, remove it! You want people to be able to comment and give feedback. In fact, at the end of every blog, why not invite readers to comment? If you start getting a lot of responses to this, begin featuring your favorite comments in future blog posts!
Comment on hot news topics
The quickest way to get traffic is to get your blog featured on a high-traffic site. This is called “news jacking”: you write a relevant post about a trending news topic. But how can you do this? By commenting on news stories. Most major news sites have a feature that will list blogs that are talking about the various news stories. Not all blogs get featured, but if your if your topic is related to the story and you’ve written an insightful post on the topic, you’ll likely get listed.
Share your blog
Got something to say? Of course you do. Share your posts on social media. Start by creating an account with the most important ones. If your new to this, check out my social media course on how to get everything up and running. There’s a lot of tools that will help you automate this step and share new content from your blog around the web without you lifting a finger. In a nutshell, that’s what my Business Autopilot course is about. Saving you time by running those tasks on, well, autopilot. Once you get this up and running you can use this to promote your blog, your book, speaking event, whatever you want. It might sound like a “who cares” idea, but trust me, everyone’s on social media these days and instead of just contributing on those platforms you may as well start to drive some traffic back to your platform.
Create your voice
People want to connect with other people, so sound natural. Be yourself and don’t use an “official” voice on your blog. Pretend you’re sitting across a friend over coffee. My travel book started as a collection of emails to friends, explaining them how I booked and arranged my travels. Talk to your audience in a casual, conversational tone and you’ll not only get more readers, you’ll likely get more comments and interactions too.
It doesn’t take much to grow a blog, just a little dedication and creativity. Here’s a few links to help you get started:
Social Media Course
February 9th, 2020
Have you always wanted to travel around the world but want tips and encouragement before you take the plunge?
Or maybe you are currently living abroad and need some nomadic lifestyle tips on how to live and prosper while walking down the road less traveled?
This e-book by Wilko van de Kamp will teach you travel hacks and help you keep your sanity and cool when traveling from country to country.
Wilko van de Kamp is a #1 international bestselling author, who is ready to share his experience of living in many different countries including Europe, Asia, North American, and South America. In his new travel e-book “On My Way“, he will share practice traveling advice, travel lifestyle tips, how to get the best prices when using airlines, along with entertaining stories from around the world.
Download the eBook at https://windmill.lpages.co/omw-ebook/
January 13th, 2020
It’s funny how just over ten years ago no one had even heard of Facebook. Yet today we seem to experience physical stress when we’re de-friending (or being de-friended by) someone on the social network. I’ve struggled with the definition of “friendship” for a long time. True friendship to me means, amongst other things, actively involving those people you call your friends in your own life. Sharing is caring, so to speak. Let’s face it – if you have 400, 800, or even more people in your friends list that becomes impossible, even if you “share” a lot on social media. Most of those “friends” appear to be merely a collection of individuals we met once or twice in our lives.
To me, this can be a good thing. Living across the Atlantic I have many people I deeply care about who I can now stay in touch with via various social media sites. Have you ever realized how lucky you are to have friends from all over the world at your finger tips? It’s so easy to stay in touch with far-away friends, family and relatives we otherwise would have lost touch with long time ago. The internet is a beautiful thing.
But, as with most things, there’s a shadow side. Science has proven we experience an endorphin release in our brain when someone “likes” us on Facebook. Does that mean our brain has physically replaced the human need for interaction with others, by someone clicking a button on a website? Even if that’s partially true, we live in a lonely planet. We’re always connected, but never truly engaged.
I chose quality over quantity, and went from over 400 friends in early 2013 to just under a 100 just a few years later. Most of those I de-“friend”ed myself (sorry), others de-friended me (I know who you are). It’s ok. What’s the point in keeping a collection of people that play no part whatsoever in our daily lives, that we yet somehow feel good about saving as a “friend”. People come and go, leaving memories and (for some) footprints in our hearts.
Curious about my disruptive take on social media? Download my free social media guide here. You’ll get 200 powerful social media tactics for increased sales, fans and followers. From Facebook to YouTube, it’s all covered in my guide! Even if you could only use one of the tips, it could create a pivotal shift in your social media results…
April 15th, 2018
I’m a bit opinionated when it comes to taking pictures, in particular travel photography. There are plenty of, sometimes useful, books already written that attempt to help you get the most out of your camera and take the best travel snapshots possible. Buy some and keep the ones that help you.
I’m not going to discourage you from taking pictures. Actually I would encourage anyone to take amazing photographs, preferably better than mine. Contrary to what people believe there is very little competition in photography. We all have our unique view of the world, and there are an unlimited number of viewpoints a person can take to view the world from. Recreating an image that someone else took (or sometimes millions of others have already taken) is in most cases relatively easy. A quick search online will show some amazing pictures of the Eiffel Tower, and most of them look very similar. I still take the “traditional” Eiffel tower picture every time I visit Paris (or Las Vegas). However the second Eiffel Tower picture I take, I’ll always take from an uncommon viewpoint. I might crawl on all fours over the pavement, looking up at the tower to create a different composition.
On the other end of the spectrum, next time I might charter a helicopter like I did in New York to fly over the tower and get an aerial view instead. The opportunities are endless, and even the most common landmarks still have many unique angles that haven’t been explored yet. The challenge is to find one that works. Be crazy, be creative, and try something unique. Thanks to the digital cameras there is no risk of wasting expensive film anymore. So shoot away, and have some fun.
But wait... before you start: Taking good pictures takes time, a lot of time. So instead of snapping away and coming home with thousands of pictures spread out over multiple memory cards, I set myself a goal. What am I going to do with those pictures when I come home?
Being a travel photographer my goal is two-fold: I mainly take pictures for myself of anything that somehow left an impression while I was traveling. That way I come home with some pictures that tell a personal story of my trip, and I usually end up printing and framing some of my work for my own enjoyment. The second goal is to fund my next adventure by selling some of my work as photographic art. To do that I need to ensure I come home with some truly unique viewpoints that people will love enough they’ll want it on their own walls. Not everyone who enjoys traveling is as dedicated to (read: obsessed with) photography as I am while traveling. Finding some unique point of view takes a lot of time and effort. I notice more and more people choose to take very little pictures while they are travelling, and instead opt to buy the work of a travel photographer like myself from the place they visited. I’m fine either way.
Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything. (Aaron Siskind)
October 29th, 2017
In my photography book A View to Take Home I explored the awe-inspiring beauty of Western Canadian provinces Alberta and British Columbia by motorcycle. Today, I'm going to share some of the highlights of Canada’s westernmost province: beautiful British Columbia.
British Columbia stretches from the Pacific west coast, all the way to the Rocky and Columbia mountain ranges in the east. The province is famous for its spectacular mountain and coastal scenery. So famous in fact, that every car license plate will say "beautiful British Columbia" - and nobody disputes it. Many species of wild life that have become scarce elsewhere still do very well here. You can encounter anything from wolves, bears, and whales who enjoy hanging out along the rugged coastline.
For animal and bird watchers, nature and travel photographers, and anyone who enjoys any kind of outdoor adventure sports, British Columbia is the perfect place to have an extended vacation away from it all. In summer activities range from cross-country bike touring, hiking, fishing and horseback riding, to cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling in winter.
Northern British Columbia
The top part of the province stretches from the mountainous fjords on the west coast, to the incredible Rocky Mountains, featuring pristine forests and countless lakes, rivers and streams. Here you’ll find plenty of wildlife to photograph, and excellent hunting, fishing and hiking. There are great camping spots in the National Parks. In my photography class (over 1000 participants, and counting!), I'll teach you everything about my photography secrets to make sure you get the most out of your camera next time you travel, and don't miss that shot-of-a-lifetime!
Cariboo, Chilcotin and Coast
British Columbia’s central region is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Cariboo Mountains in the east. This popular region is a land of alpine meadows, glaciers and snow-capped mountains, grasslands and lush valleys, waterfalls, lakes and meandering streams, and wild, splendid fjords on the coast.
Okanagan and Similkameen
The south includes the Okanagan and Similameen valleys, where you'll find lots of vineyards, orchards and farms. Your accommodation options in this area include anything ranging from back-country camping to ultra luxury resorts. The lakes provide excellent fresh water fishing and watersports, and the many resorts offer golf, horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. In winter there’s a full range of any snow-related sport imaginable at your disposal.
These mountain ranges lie side by side in the southeastern part of British Columbia. Your travel photography will include postcard-perfect images of pristine lakes and streams, natural hot springs, and panoramic mountain views. Some of the most popular outdoor activities include kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing and boating in summer. In the winter months you'll find a great variety of snow and ice related activities.
My book A View to Take Home features some of my unseen coastal work from Vancouver Island. Don't miss this magnificent destination in your Canadian adventure itinerary. During your stay on Vancouver Island, you'll get the chance to explore BC’s capital city, which is not Vancouver as so many people (myself included) believe. Victoria, located at Vancouver’s southern tip, is famous for it’s super relaxed lifestyle and hospitality with visitors from around the world. From here you can take a whale tour, not cheap but definitely worth it. This cosmopolitan and friendly city is the perfect place to start your visit to scenic British Columbia.
See it for yourself in my book
A View to Take Home is a collection of high-resolution, exquisitely-shot photographs that offer readers an in-depth experience of a world that expands from the Canadian prairies all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Featuring photographs from Calgary to Victoria on Vancouver Island, A View to Take Home provides an escape into rugged nature, and surprising urban angles. Western Canada is a world filled with vibrant colors and textures, and Wilko brought them all together in his book. The Canadian Rocky Mountains are inhabited by an entertaining population of characters from the animal kingdom, each with their own unique personalities. A View to Take Home uncovers a unique perspective on this world, and brings it right into your living room.
October 15th, 2017
Using a camera is very simple. Just look through the viewfinder or display, point it at the subject and press the shutter. Results however may vary. Have you ever tried taking a perfect photograph on vacation or while traveling, and after you came home the result wasn’t quite as you remembered it? You knew that what you saw with your own eyes was better than what the camera had captured. It happens to the best of us, right? Or does it… read on.
Most common issues are that the image came out too bright, too dark or blurred. These are common mistakes that can be easily resolved once you know how to use your camera and get the most out of it. New digital cameras have sophisticated technology that makes most of them relatively easy to use. But there’s more to photography than technicalities of applying the right camera settings. Developing an eye for capturing that perfect image is something that only comes through lots and lots of practice, and applying some photography principles.
Taking pictures while traveling means wherever you find yourself there is a new scenery to capture. I usually don’t visit a destination twice, so getting it right the first time is crucial. This becomes even more important if you’ve traveled halfway around the world to cross another item off your bucket list. Creative use of the camera gives everyone with a bit of imagination something to say.
Once you capture that perfect memory you can turn those into personalized keepsakes such as cards, t-shirts, calendars, posters, and much more. There is room for color correction, resizing, cropping and creative effects using photo editing software, but if your original image isn’t close to perfect to begin with editing will only make it worse.
I invite you to take the plunge into the world of photography with me. I recently launched my brand new website, called Travel Photography World, where I share my methods to start taking sharp, clear and high quality pictures like a professional photographer. I’ll personally show you how to create photos like a pro, so you can capture your perfect travel moments. I’ll also share my own travel photography from around the world, including my personal stories behind them and how they were taken. See if for yourself at www.travelphotography.world.
July 20th, 2017
I've been lugging around a big DSLR and lens kits for years on my travels, but after my recent trip to New York I decided I've strained my back enough. The technology behind cameras hasn't really changed for years - all the big players really did was switch out film with a digital chip. "Upgrading" a camera is almost exclusively focused on size: a bigger chip, lens, or body seems to be where it's at. Isn't it time for some more innovation than just upgrading size?
I've been considering making a change for some time now, and after observing the market (and my back) I came to the conclusion that, aside from a silly megapixel war between camera manufacturers, most change is happening in the mirrorless space. The new mirrorless technology was disruptive to some extent, however results were not to the DSLR standards I was used to. To test something different I purchased one of the first, higher end compact mirrorless camera from Sony. Even though it had some good features the image quality was disappointing to say the least, with unacceptable high levels of JPEG noise. For my fine art work the camera was beyond useless.
What I needed was:
February 4th, 2017
A while ago, a 4 year old girl came to my booth at one of the art festivals I participated in, looking for freebies. Quite excited about the free wristband in her all-time favourite colour (blue!) I gave her, she wanted to buy my book. Her mom wouldn�t let her, so we made a deal: She�s going to school to learn how to read first, and then she�d come back. My website was on the bracelet, after all.
Before she left, she pointed at her sister, only a few months old, sleeping on moms arm. �And her favourite colour is yellow. I�ll keep it in a safe place until she�s old enough.�
This girl is going places.
November 29th, 2016
A few weeks ago I wrote about one of the most�expensive photographs I've created so far. While not as expensive as New York City, chartering a seaboat plane in Vancouver was definitely up there in price too, but a fun experience resulting in some unique photographs - such as the feature image today: Vancouver from Above.
My photographic art comes with an invitation: which is to go see all the beauty this world has to offer for yourself. Get inspired to�plan a Canadian adventure.�The cosmopolitan diamond in the rough of Vancouver shouldn't be skipped on your Canadian itinerary.�My book�The Freedom Project�explains, for the first time, the secrets of travel I have�used to explore the world, and fly for free. Pick up your copy today - it's available on�Amazon�as well as through finer book retailers worldwide.
See more of my aerial photography
If you're curious to learn more about my take on travel photography you're welcome to join my online�Digital Photography Masterclass. It contains the same material as my sold-out in-person photography workshop in Kananaskis Country, Canada - I would love to have you join the class.