Davide Vadalà is a talented Italian travel photographer, creator of nomadtravellers.com, who manages to travel the world and see the most amazing places spending only $150 per month.
He is so young but he has already visited 42 countries, India, Nepal, Indonesia, UAE, Cuba, Mexico, almost every single European country and so many more.
Captivated by his imagery, we reached out to Davide to know more about his adventures around the world.
His interest for photography began almost casually, as Davide initially took pictures to document his travels. Then the passion for this art took over, motivating him to always create compelling pictures, to describe in images what his eyes are seeing “It’s a form of art and communication at the same time, it’s universal, you don’t need to know a different language to understand it” Davide says.
The pursue of the perfect framing to capture a great scene is what really thrills Vadalà. He doesn’t enjoy too much standing in front of his computer editing his creations.
Read on to see what Davide told us about his trips around the world and to see some of his best shots.
Sunset over the Meteora Valley in Greece, where monasteries are built on top of rock pinnacles
“I started traveling to escape from the daily routine, from a precompiled life that takes your best years away. I left looking for a different life, dividing my time between travels, volunteering activities and life experiences in eco-friendly communities in contact with nature and with different social interactions. In short, what drives me is my will to learn everyday something different, see new places and architectures (I used to be an architect/engineer) and explore nature, which is my primary source of inspiration.”
Volcano Merapi’s crater, the most active of the 150 volcanos in Indonesia, covered in clouds and fumaroles
French Swiss Alps, not far from Leysen
In case some of our readers would like to start an activity as travel photographers, we asked Davide some advises:
“The first rule is traveling light. If you have a DSLR you should only bring one or two zoom lenses to face most situations, but if you shoot with a mirrorless or bridge camera don’t worry, you can take great pictures too. I don’t give too much importance to gear, vision always comes first.
If your budget is tight you can even buy some used gear and upgrade it later if your passion continues to grow.
You will have to be ready for everything, sometimes you will have to disguise your camera with duct tape or hide it in your backpack, but on the other hand you will need to be ready to take it off quickly to catch te right moment.”
How do you get to travel for $150 per month?
“Actually $150 is usually my top limit, and it’s basically money for food. I (with my partner actually) travel hitchhiking and when we are in the western world we always sleep with couchsurfing or camping and we eat food from supermarket cooked at the host’s home or on the road. If we are volunteering in exchange of food and accommodation, the monthly spend can be close to 0$. Now we are in Indonesia though, and things are a little bit different: here we sleep 50% of the times in basic guesthouses and eat cooked food.”
The village of Manarola (Cinque Terre, Italy), perched on cliffs overlooking the sea
Portrait of two kids, Annapurna Circuit, Himalaya, Nepal
Some advises on taking portraits of locals?
“Don’t be afraid to take pictures of people, but remember that sometimes is best to ask for permission, even with just a gesture. And always show the result to the subject, whether he is an adult or a child. It won’t cost a thing to you, but they will appreciate it so much.
One of the funniest things is taking pictures of local kids: they will love to take selfies and will be incredibly happy to see the results on the LCD monitor.”
Portrait of a local woman, Himalaya, Nepal
An Indian garbage collector and his homemade raft
Can you reveal us some of your traveling tips?
“The best advice I can give is to be the most adaptable possible. Chances will come even without planning too much. This way you can incredibly cut costs, sometimes traveling for less than $200 per month!
There are so many sharing, hospitality, house-sitting, volunteering networks that will give you a chance to reduce costs, make unexpected experiences and meet the locals.
Nowadays media teach us not to trust people, but to be a travel photographer you should forget what you know and start trusting people again. People around the world are usually good and love to help travelers.”
Local fishermen, Kukup Beach, Indonesia
A woman feeds the pigeons while cows have some rest, Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal
Which is the weirdest place where you have slept during your travels?
“If I had to choose one place in particular, the winner would be an accessible toilet in the Arctic Circle in Norway. We were stuck there at night while hitchhiking and it really was the best choice. Other uncommon places are without any doubt a souvenir stand in Croatia and a tree platform in Czech Republic, but generally speaking, there are so many places where you can sleep for free without a tent.”
A double rainbow in front of the Hungarian parliament on the Danube river, Budapest
The Aurora Borealis in Olderdalen, Norway. Taken after hitchhiking in ice storms and a month of sleepless nights
Frozen Black Sea, Constanta, Romania. You can see the Constanta Casino on the background, a beautiful but abandoned Art Nouveau building
Night view of the Parthenon in Athens, with the Port of Piraeus behind it
A waterfall in Plitvice National Park, Croatia
Fireworks in Rome during the “Girandola di Castel Sant’Angelo” event
Here is Davide Vadalà (the guy in a yellow t-shirt) celebrating his birthday on the Nepalese Himalayas, during a home-stay. Two Russian trekkers and the neighbors joined Davide and the family that was giving him hospitality. The Grandmother sent Davide to buy some oil (which they couldn’t afford) to make some donuts and celebrate.
We thank Davide for the time spent with us, and wish him good luck for his future as a travel photographer.
If you enjoyed this interview and his work, feel free to know more about his adventures on nomadtravellers.com.