When I traveled to Europe last September I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I don't say that in an ominous way, it was actually quite relieving to not know what was going to happen.
It was a hard trip for me, I grew immensely in ways I am still discovering 9 months later. I was incredibly uncomfortable until I set foot in Belgium.
I arrived in Brussels and walked out of the train station. I had come from Italy on an overnight train through Paris. The French police had woken us at 2:30 am to return our passports and non of us went back to bed. So, I was tired, I'd been stuck in a tiny room with two other women for 10 hours.
I walked outside the train station and the first thing I noticed was the stillness of it. There are three taxis and a few people leaving the station in a quiet orderly manor. I had come from the south of Europe. when you exit a train station there are people yelling, cabs racing by, smells from food vendors and bright buildings.
The second thing I notice, everything was grey. It was like a bad photo preset. The greens were muted, everything had a blue cast to it and the sky was completely lacking in color.
I hailed a cab and typed in the address to my google maps. I always did this so I could tell if they were taking me the wrong route. Immediately the driver turns the opposite way out of the station. I let the first mister go. After 15 minutes of driving he ends up at a dead end, turns around and straight into gridlock. I can see that my airbnb is just across the river behind us but there are only footpaths. (hence why he should have gone the other way initially)
Pissed, tired and with a shoot to do in less than an hour at my airbnb, I hope out of the cab, grab my giant suitcase and take off on foot.
Now if you've never been to Belgium or outside of its city center, let me tell you, Its sketchy as hell. There's lots of construction, changing neighborhoods, abandoned blocks and creepy men. Anyway, after dragging my suitcase through the road, kind of sidewalks and gravel, I arrive at my Airbnb. Even though the road had been rough, I already loved this place.
On the second day there I was scheduled to shoot Oliviar. I knew I wanted to try a milk bath in the giant tub at the airbnb. He had said he was up for anything so I figured he'd dig it. I had to walk about a mike to the nearest grocery. I think they though I was crazy buying six containers of milk and some clementines with the stems still on.
I got back to the apartment and set up for the shoot. Later that evening as I was standing on the tub shooting, I thought to myself, 'Wow, you put a lot of work into this and look how it paid off.' It was my first moment of absolute proudness. I was proud of myself for putting it together, executing it, and for being here, in another country by myself at all.
This was my first.