Our own reasons for travel are individual to us. For Katie Rae, it is to be immersed in an unfamiliar place, become lost, and embrace the surprises that come your way. With her camera, Katie can catch the significant and, seemingly, insignificant moments, telling her story from road and sea.
We follow Katie on her travels to the Indian Ocean, exploring Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Her Miles the Duffle Bag helps carry the load from place to place, town to coastline.
Photography & words by Katie Rae | @katieraephoto
I have always loved being on the road, going somewhere new. I think that’s something everyone loves, away from the normalities of everyday life.
This February I went to Sri Lanka, leading up to the trip, I couldn’t wait. I love packing, especially as a photographer. My duffle bag was perfect for these 3 months away – not too big, not too small. I took it everywhere with me. Just a few weeks ago, I found some stones that I had collected from the beach on my trip (stones are treasure to me). I love that you still continue to find pieces tucked up away in your bag from past adventures and those happy memories float back in your mind. Being from a small Essex town any chance to explore is a driving force – I get excited when I feel lost, finding my way around an unfamiliar place.
I love the surprises that come with travelling on your own, sometimes frustrating, sometimes amusing, sometimes both - it is a strange way to learn more about yourself. One day, I was driving my scooter back to Ahangama, there was a straight road passing the Sri Lankan Air Force, and then, a gust of wind came out of nowhere and for a moment I felt like I was a plane taking off. Laughing to myself my helmet flew back and was left dangling around my chin. A hilarious memory. It’s good to laugh at yourself.
I loved Sri Lanka. It was all very accessible and nothing was too much trouble, the people there were always smiling and willing to help you.
Last year we went to the Maldives, and I had to go again. Landing in the Maldives was nothing short of a dream, one which you wake up from and wish it was real – but this time it is real. We felt incredibly lucky to once again be there, but had to work out a way to do it on the cheap – were very happy to just have a bed for the night. We were there for the ocean. Every morning we met with our driver Anthony. He would take us to all sorts of surf spots, and surf with us too.
There’s nothing I love more than to sit and set up my camera before a surf it's the anticipation of using it in the water. Photography has brought me so much happiness and calm. I’ve never been one with words – but my camera gives me that.