Name of National Geographic Trip: Alaska Expedition

Year traveled: 2017

Names of trip leaders: Lauren Cain, Brandon Hill, Julia Michaels

How did you decide to travel with National Geographic, and why did you choose your particular trip?

We were living overseas and I was looking for something to do over the summer. All of my friends already had plans, and I was just starting to get into photography. We looked at the Nat Geo website for ideas and found the Alaska Expedition. I had always wanted to go to Alaska because of its pure wilderness.

Describe the most memorable experience from your trip. 

My most memorable experience was when we went fly-fishing. We woke up at 6:30 a.m. and drove to the river, where we put on our boots and learned how to bait and cast our rods. We got in the water and started casting. None of us caught anything until someone caught two in one try. That’s when I looked up and we were standing in a river surrounded by mountains—it was beautiful! By the end, I had caught four, and it was an amazing experience.

Were you especially proud of something you accomplished on the trip or a lesson you learned while in the field?

Something very important that I learned on my trip was how to take long-exposure photos, when the lens is open for a longer period and anything in the scene that’s moving is blurred. One of our trip leaders taught us that technique, and afterwards we went on a photo walk in the forest near our hostel. This is one the photos I took—I love the way it looks.

What have you been up to since your trip? Please include detail.  We’d love to learn more about your current passions, what your day-to-day is like, and your current goals. 

I am in eighth grade, and even though I don’t take photography classes at school, I have been pursuing my interest in photography. I take pictures locally and whenever I travel. I hope that someday I will be able to do something with photography and would really love to travel the world.

Have your travels with National Geographic inspired you to take other trips? If so, explain.

National Geographic has inspired me to travel even more than before. This summer, I am going on two trips with National Geographic, one to Iceland and the other to Italy and Greece. When I grow up, I would love to be a travel photographer, traveling the world and taking photos as I go from place to place.