Louise is a photojournalist and a writer. (check her recently updated travel blog here). She turned 24 on the 1st of this December and spent half of her birthday on the plane way back to France. Thinks birthday are only cool if you are a kid with lots of friends and doesn’t like them anymore.
I grew up in the suburbs of Paris in a city called St Leu la Forêt(which literally means Saint wolf of the forest implying there were once wolves in Europe..next to Paris)..half an hour away by train from the capital city. My city was small, only 15 000 inhabitants, and was quite ugly, but I liked it. I had my friends there. We would go to the high school or next town by bikes and local buses, have house parties, smoke weed in the forest near my house (we even built a really cool cabin and would make fire there). I am the eldest child of a 4 girls family, so my childhood was also really centered around family. I remember arguing with my sister about her or me “stealing friends” or my make up, or even my place as the first kid since she looked older and taller than me. But all in all, we got along really well.
As a teenager I started getting bored of hanging around, doing the same old things, seeing the same old faces just a bit grayed by new beard, being both part and subject of all that countryside like gossip, I moved to Paris at 17 after finishing my high school degree.
What did you study after moving to Paris and what do you do now?
I studied Political Science : Philosophy, Economics, History, and Law mainly. In France, my university is a pretty good way to enter the media…and that’s what I wanted.
Now? I don’t know. I am trying to do many things, but you know, we say you tend to lose yourself trying to do too many things. So I..I travel a lot. I take photographs as much as I can. I care a lot about my relationships, with friends, family, love…I try to keep some time to write or talk or see those I love. Ahhh interviews always make you look stupid!
What excites & inspires you in life?
I guess answer to this is in my last answer. I try to do what inspires me I suppose. So traveling for sure, meeting people. Images more than sound (probably why I chose photos over recording). Reading. Well I guess all those are forms of traveling, experiencing the unknown, breaking the frontiers of what your life consists of, meeting something new and different. So it can be a physical travel, or it can be through a movie, a book, an incredible person you spent 24 hours with… many things.
Countries you have travelled to?
I have seen a lot of Asia. Well, this is not quite true. To be exact I went to a lot of Asian countries, but this doesn’t mean I have seen that much of them. Younger..I used to be this kind of a backpacker who was more thrilled by the simple idea of being on the road no matter where but now it is about actually seeing and feeling a place which requires time. And younger I had no time. Just wanted to see a lot and tell about it. So all in all, I have been to China, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, India, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Ghana, Kenya. All around Europe obviously since that’s where I come from. Canada and the US.
Why do you feel the need to travel?
The experience of traveling is linked to many things : the person you travel with (a friend, several friends, family, a lover, or simply yourself), the time you spend there, the season you are there (as depending on the season locals have a different approach to tourists), the landscapes, the culture, the hospitality of people…and those elements will count more or less according to the country you are in. A travel is an equation. Sometimes this equation is perfect. But now as I am thinking about it, all my travels have been perfect because the equation has always been surprising. A travel never looks like what you expected from it. Contrary to a party or studies, not fitting your expectations is never synonymous with disappointment.
I think I always feel the need to travel more because the more I travel the harder it is to impress my traveler’s eyes. As I said earlier, younger I wanted to see, now, and I know this sounds a little pretentious, I want to feel and document.
Traveling preferences and places you’d like to go to…
I prefer traveling to mountains rather than sea. First because I think the sea kinda looks the same everywhere. Then also because I think mountain landscapes & climate are more rough, more intense than a sea-side and that makes the living conditions there more rough…which I find interesting. And photographically, again, mountains are more fascinating. The light, the colours, the faces, the clothes, the fact that you don’t know what lies beyond the next curve….
I really want to go to Iran, Afghanistan and Ladakh. I loved middle-east. I loved Asia. I am very curious to see the countries in between.
What places did you visit in India and what did you like the most?
Well the initial plan was to go to Ladakh and trek in the Himalayas. But everybody (you too!) told me it was absolutely not the season ’cause of the early winter and the blocked roads so I flew to Trivandrum and came to Bombay via Kerala and Goa. I really liked Munnar(faces of the people seemed so different), Fort Kochi, Panajim (up in the town the atmosphere is totally different) and Mumbai!!
As a general concern, I really liked women. There’s something I noticed over my travels..there is a strange and beautiful complicity between the women of the world. As if we were sharing a secret. I love to have this confirmation each time I enter a bus, a train station, a market, or while strolling on the streets of a city.
Below, Louise is in her favorite shirt…Got Milk?
The post-it on the wall reads “forstarkare. kontakt. uttag” which means “amplifier. contact. sockets.” I’ve been trying to learn Swedish for a year.