Like many people, Walter Chang graduated college at a bad time. In 2008, the economy was in shambles, so instead of pursuing the career in film and television he’d studied for and dreamed about, he played it safe and worked as an AV technician. Three years later, he found himself still in the job and not enjoying any of it, particularly hating the long hours and the work. Thus, he decided to pursue his dream of exploring Asia.
Chang began by moving out of his apartment and crashing with friends. He sold his extra belongings, packed up what he needed, and took off from New York City to all points east.
Koh Lanta, Thailand
Chang originally planned to travel the world for a year, but soon he found himself in love with seeing new things and meeting new people. His world tour turned from one to three years.
In that time, Chang slept under the stars in Zimbabwe in the company of hippos and elephants, trekked in South America’s Patagonia and to a Mount Everest base camp in Nepal, and reconnected with relatives he hadn’t seen in 18 years in South Korea.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
He also recorded his voyages in photos, capturing incredible scenes of life around the world.
Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.
Pyongyang, North Korea
Machu Picchu, Peru
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Ijen Plateau, Indonesia
Chang traveled light in order to save money, camping, couch surfing, and even sleeping in airports instead of staying in hotels and taking long, arduous train rides across Asia. His travels weren’t all easy, either. He experienced food poisoning several times, had nearly all his belongings stolen in Chile, and his life was endangered when his car flipped in Namibia.
In spite of those experiences, Chang is still happy for choosing to travel the way he did. “Traveling in this manner is really an educational experience and an investment in yourself,” he writes. “You get to see how other people live and how they view life. You also get time to reflect on your own issues from an altogether different perspective. In the end, you may just come out wiser, more confident, and laid back.”
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Australia
Carnival, Olinda, Brazil
After returning from his three-year voyage, Chang is settled in New Jersey and is looking to publish his photos in a book titled We Call This Home.
Salt flats, Uyuni, Bolivia
Chang currently has a Kickstarter going to fund publication of his book.
Church of St. George, Ethiopia
We Call This Home / Walter Chang
You can see more of Chang’s travel photos on his website, where you can learn about his journey and how it’s affected him, as well. He’s also got handy travel tips for the aspiring world traveler that are worth checking out. If you’d like to help him share his journey with others, you can donate to the Kickstarter, too.