Winner: Tanic Nakpresha

July 16 2014

8 cities, 6 continents and loads of good stories later, this year’s Go Explore has been a fantastic adventure. With warmest thanks to everyone who shared their epic shots from around the world with us, we’re very happy to announce Tanic Nakpresha as the winner of our Instagram contest. With a whopping 18% of the vote among our group of 21 finalists, his photo of the baths at Topodarama in Rajgil City, India is an invitation into another world.

Check out the full-crop version below.

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Tanic is a creative art director based in Thailand and has quite a bit to say about adventure – we chatted with him about travel and what it means to him, and he was nice enough to share a few more of his adventure shots. He really is a stellar photographer, too, so catch him on Instagram at @nicktanic.

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Can you tell us more about this trip?
For every journey I set a goal for myself to become immersed with the places that I will be visiting. I set goals clearly so as to really get to the bottom of the purpose of my travels. This makes an ordinary journey extraordinary with more to discover.

On this particular trip, my intention was to travel to India to practice the Dharma. It grew from my interest in Buddhism, with the drive to discover the purpose of life just like any other ordinary men and women would often ponder about. I was filled with questions, curiosity and an appetite for adventure. I’ve read several books about Buddhism and the Indian culture, but I didn’t find any answers in what I had read. The only way for me to find the answers was to discover them by taking a journey there alone on my own two feet and experiencing it with my own eyes.

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The main goal for this trip was to visit the monumental places in Buddhism where the Buddha had ventured 2,500 years ago. I traveled, wandered, and lived inside Thai temples in India. I ate and spent nights with the monks, and in return I contributed donations to the temple for their hospitality; this helped me save significantly on travel expenses.

India has its own distinctiveness. It is filled with extreme poverty but at the same time is rich with culture. The people here have adopted a way of life just like in the past, as if time has been stopped at will for travelers. India has never been a place of ‘neutrality’ – you either fall deeply in love with it or loathe it. The country is filled with many realities in life and these truths are an excellent element for photography. This is why I am utterly in love with India.

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I took the contest photo while I was making a trip to a holy bathing site known as Topodarama situated in Rajgil City. The bathing place here is segregated by class – the upper class cleanse in clear water, while the lower class have to use murky waters that flowed from the top bathing areas. As I was exploring the bathing site, a brahmin priest looked at me with a blank expression. At that very moment when we exchanged glances, we were strangers. I was lucky that I was able to capture that precise moment with my camera.

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Why is travel important to you?
Experience gained from travel acts as a great fuel for inspiration and it has allowed me to think and consistently produce better work in my career. As a creative art director, travel has expanded my senses. I am addicted to putting myself out there and exploring new and challenging places that I have never been to before. Traveling gives me an adrenaline rush, helps me to think creatively and awakens my survival instincts. My journey, from reaching mountain peaks to diving in the ocean has added color to my life. Every time a trip is over I return home with stories and adventures to be told. Hopefully when I am in my seventies, I will be able to sit under a large tree in my private garden, with a tobacco pipe in my mouth surrounded by my grandchildren asking me, “Grandpa Nick, please tell us more of your stories!”

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What do you learn or take away from your travels?
My takeaway from traveling is that each journey acts as an important mentor in my life. Traveling has taught me a lot and I realised that mother nature is the world’s best artist. Travel has allowed me to see the other sides of life, and I am lucky that I am a keen observer that enjoys taking photos whilst taking notes of my encounters along the way.

I have discovered that the more you travel, the more you are able to discover diversity in life; and once this horizon opens up, your mind expands further to accept differences of others and of surroundings. There are countless times where both positive and negative experiences from my travels have pushed me harder to become more a disciplined, stronger and aware individual.

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Where are you off to next?
I am planning a trip with my friends to discover Iceland next year! Iceland is filled with natural wonders and to be able to capture the northern lights would truly be a remarkable and challenging experience. I am currently developing a travel blog project at www.mondayescape.com, to share our travel experiences. Although it is still in the making. I hope that in the future we will be traveling together with support from sponsors and exhibitions.

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Thanks again to Artifact Uprising!