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My Life Story

Lourika Reinders Photography, Living Through Lenses, traveler, Lourika Reinders, blogger, Island, Phuket, Thailand

Photo by: Lizane Louw

I grew up bushwhacking the African bush, from a very young age.  My father was a tour operator for many many years, owning Hinterland Safaris, he lived for his passion, which was to show others the beauty of Namibia.  He passed away in 2009, while on safari.  He loved taking pictures of wildlife with his old Yashica film camera, and it was because of him that I fell in love with  photography as well.  As a family we travelled all over southern Africa, countries including; the whole of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia.

Unfortunately, for some reason, I chose a different career path after school in 2006.  I went to study Hospitality Management at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town. I spend 4 years of my life there, partying, studying and loving Cape Town.  Those of you who have never been, it is, to me, one of the most amazing cities out there.  I made wonderful friends, and had a lot of fun… too much fun maybe.

Lourika Reinders Photography, Lourika Reinders, Living THrough Lenses, Traveler, blogger, Namibia

I never really enjoyed the hospitality industry.  I had some good days, and then some very bad days.  But deep down, I always wanted to be a photographer.  I remember how I would phone my parents after a late night shift at the hotel, crying, telling them I want to quit. And my dad would say it’s okay, I can come home and he will buy me a camera so I can become a photographer.  I ended up finishing my diploma, though and returned home, to Namibia, where I started working at a stunning 5 star lodge.

Lourika Reinders, Living Through Lenses, blogger, traveler, Namibia

Photo by: Sarah Ramakhutla-Widmer

Living and working on a lodge, at such a young age did not satisfy my urges to travel and to see the world.  I lasted only 6 months before I got on a plane to go teach English in Thailand.

I have travelled overseas before.  I visited Germany with my family at the tender age of only 4 and later while at uni, I got an opportunity to see The Netherlands. Going to Thailand however, was the first time travelling by myself.  Everything was organized so quickly, and before I knew it, I was on my way to Asia!

I was set up straight away with a job through a friend and got to teach exactly 2 days after arriving in Bangkok….and I hated it!!! I taught at 3 different school a week, with classes packed with 40-50 Thai, high school students who did not speak a single word of English. I simply couldn’t do it.  After 3 months, I quit, collecting my last salary, I got on a bus to Phuket.  My return ticket to Namibia was booked, but I decided to visit Phuket so that I could at least see some islands and the famous beaches you see in pictures and in movies.  I arrived in Phuket at 4 o’clock in the morning and got a taxi to take me to Patong Beach where I would be staying for 9 days.

Bangkok, Thailand, teaching English, Lourika Reinders, traveler, blogger

12 hours later, I was walking the streets of Patong up and down, trying to think of something fun to do, I was lonely and quite bored to be honest.  I know some of you will think “how stupid of me to say that, but I do not like to travel alone, and considering that it was my first time traveling alone, I didn’t know HOW it was suppose to be done.  I flagged down a scooter taxi and told him to “take me to any bar near the beach”.  He dropped me off in front of the Dolphin Bar, where I met the cutest and nicest, tattooed guy from Texas.  We fell deeply in love over the next few days while travelling and exploring the islands together. Eating amazing Thai food, admiring romantic sunsets, snorkeling amongst star fish in crystal clear waters and just enjoying each others company…LIFE WAS PERFECT!!

Lourika Reinders, blogger, traveler, Phuket, Thailand, James Bond Island, in love, island

After the most amazing 9 days of my life, I briefly returned to Namibia, only to pack up more personal belongings.  My Texas love and I were MOVING TO PHUKET!!  We lived in paradise for 2 whole years, exploring the island and the surrounds.  And it was there, and with his help that I reconnected with my passion: PHOTOGRAPHY!!!

Throughout the 2 years I slowly started to add equipment to my camera bag,  I enrolled into the MatadorU photography course and I practiced daily to perfect my art.  Thailand was the perfect country to experiment with- and learn travel photography, and I really came a long way from where I started.

I studied Thai for the time we spend in Phuket, it was a lot of fun, even though I would like to smack the person who invented this crazy language (NOTHING makes sense), but I guess that is how non-English speakers feel about English too.

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During the 2 years in Asia, I got to visit both Malaysia and Singapore and we made a big trip over to the U.S.A to visit family in Texas, Las Vegas and D.C.

Tessa and Trey, two beautiful white ‘wolves’ joined our family, soon after we arrived in Phuket, and they brought so much light and love to my life.  I know not everyone is too fond of pets, but the 4 of us became quite obsessed with each other, and I cannot imagine my life without my pups.

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In October 2013, our dream life came to an abrupt end, due to personal reasons and the dogs and I returned home to Namibia where I am now continuing my career as a photographer. Saying goodbye to the guy I thought I was going to marry was absolutely heart breaking, and I have no words to describe how it felt when I left Thailand…for good!

I will miss the life we had in Phuket, always. There is nothing that will ever come to the quality of life there, the memories I made and what it meant for me in that specific time of my life.  Thailand taught me so much about myself, but it was time to go home, and see what Africa had installed for me.

Travelling became such a big part of my life that I will never be able to ever put an end to it.  But for now, Namibia is where I want to be based, with it’s beautiful open landscapes, the different cultures and the abundance of amazing wildlife.  It’s home, and I know that I can be happy here.

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Photo by: Rachel Lang

Even though my life changed DRAMATICALLY, I am excited for the future and to see what it has in store for me.

With this new Travel Blog, I want to showcase what Namibia has to offer for travelers, young and old!  I will be traveling and exploring through my country, and writing about interesting activities, where to stay, and where to have great traditional meals.

Follow my journey where I will show you how amazing Namibia truly is and to see where my photography career takes me.  I started this blog, Living Through Lenses to share my life’s story “through the lens”, from behind the camera – for those of you who are also interested in making photography your sole career.  I will post stories about my personal experiences as an up and coming photographer, as well as stories about traveling through other amazing countries that I am hoping to visit in the future.

Photo by: Rachel Lang

Photo by: Rachel Lang

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