Postcards from Myanmar
I almost lost every single photo you're about to see. Partly because I'm too much of a perfectionist to put my work out in a timely fashion, and partly due to backup negligence. This story has a happy ending, so I'll leave out the dramatics and cut to the chase. After a week and a half of mild panic attacks sweating it out, my failing hard drive ~ with nearly 700 gigs of data dating back to 2010 ~ was fully recovered. HALLE-FUCKING-LUJAH.
Weirdly, I'm pretty grateful it happened. It was just the kick in the ass that I needed to get these stories and images out into the world. And to back up all my shit.
But as I started to dive into photo editing, I remembered why this trip in particular was so damn difficult for me to get into.
EXCUSE NUMBER 1: My ex was moving out of our shared apartment in Bangkok while I was away and I was a total mess of emotions. The relationship had been on a downward trajectory for a while, but it still hurt to know he'd be gone by the time I got back. To top it all off, Polly's visa got rejected and she had to cancel her plans to meet me in Yangon. I was heartbroken and alone, desperately trying to enjoy my time in a country I'd been dying to go. EXCUSE NUMBER 2: Myanmar is complicated AF. We're talking about a country that was closed off from the outside world for nearly 60 years under the control of a brutal military junta that inflicted human rights violations like it was their job. Add in decades of ethnic unrest and you have a true recipe for disaster. Despite opening its borders in 2011 and undergoing democratic reforms, the country formerly known as Burma is still plagued by corruption and civil turmoil. It's a beast that I'll never pretend to fully understand, but hope that my experience can give you a small glimpse into a country that was once one of the world's most isolated places.
Myanmar may be complicated, but it's also one of the most interesting countries I've ever been to. Deeply spiritual and rich with culture, Myanmar is one of few countries left that isn't completely inundated by Western influence. However, that's quickly changing so I recommend getting there sooner than later if you hope to experience its untouched Eastern allure.
Whether you're on the hunt for majestic mountains, untouched beaches, or ancient temples, Myanmar is sure to win your heart. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage and useful information for planning your own Burmese getaway.