Two That Travel the World
Bolivia, South America.
As far as the eye can see, the world is reflected on the surface of the calm waters of the Salar de Uyuni. Silhouetted by the setting sun, a woman does yoga against a backdrop vista of this beautiful world.
The short film above will draw you in to the extent that time will simply fly by. “As I was shooting, the tourists behind me were moved to tears.” The videographer who created this video is Ryosei Suzuki. The woman doing yoga is Satoko Suzuki, his wife. They are currently in the middle of a journey around the world.
“What sparked this trip was really just a desire to see everything. You know, it’s always been a dream of mine to travel around the world. I thought it was about time I actually did it and consulted my supervisor, Seiichi (art director and photographer Seiichi Hishikawa). The first thing he said was, ‘Are you crazy?’” Ryosei’s wife had a similar reaction; she couldn’t believe he was serious either. Ryosei says about Satoko, “My wife is like the victim here (laughing).”
Satoko tells us: “I realised he wasn’t joking when he told me, ‘We’re going.’ At first I didn’t know what to do; this happened when my career as a yoga instructor was really starting to kick off and the work was becoming more and more interesting. But after realising that life is long enough and I will still have time for my work in the future, I chose to be with my husband and we set out together.”
They have already travelled around Central and South America, from Mexico to Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil before flying to Europe to visit Germany and Spain. They have travelled for 269 days, completing roughly half of their trip thus far.
To be productive, they agreed on some rules before setting out. One is to create and upload one video each day. The video above is one of many that can be seen on the Tabi Suru Suzuki website. (Tabi Suru means travelling in Japanese.)
Ryosei: “This is the first time my wife has really travelled. The concept was to portray the experiences a traveller might have through her. I want to illustrate many aspects, like the feel and smell of the trip, but from the perspective of a first time traveller who gradually becomes accustomed to travelling, rather than to just show beautiful scenery and landscapes.”
Satoko: “Even I thought that I seemed kind of rigid when I saw myself in the videos that were shot during the early days of our trip. But by now I have gotten used to travelling as well as being filmed.”
Ryosei: “She didn’t even start putting on makeup until we were well into the trip.”
Satoko: “I didn’t (laughs). But I feel like even my personality has changed in a way. I was never the type to sweat the small stuff, but now, after having had the experience of travelling, I feel like it is okay to be even more relaxed about things than I already was.”
The flavour of the videos has become more colourful throughout their trip. Ryosei narrates the videos himself while touring cities and also interviews local people (grosso modo subtitles also by Ryosei), demonstrating the playful heart unique to a videographer.
Ryosei: “There is a lot of trial and error because I am shooting everyday. I got bored with trying to be elaborate and there were times when I didn’t do anything special at all.” Their time-lapse (frame-by-frame) videos strike a chord within viewers, making them feel as though they were there with Ryosei and Satoko, experiencing the wind and the sun and the deepening shadows. The Easter Island video is the masterpiece so far.
Ryosei: “I spent 36 hours filming that. Although some things – such as almost being kicked by a workhorse in the middle of the night – were frightening, I stuck it out, filming the Moai under that sky for what felt like a very long time. I don’t think anyone else would have done that. But to me it was a precious and enjoyable experience.”
On the second leg of their journey the couple will travel to Africa, starting off in Morocco and eventually move on to Central Europe, visiting countries such as Greece and Georgia before heading to the Middle East. “The last destination will be Asia. I have only fond memories of backpacking through the region many years ago,” Ryosei muses.
Satoko: “I can’t believe how hard this trip is! This is my first time travelling in this way so I’d like to enjoy everything. I also want to do yoga in a lot of different places and I would very much like to go to a yoga school in India.”
Ryosei: “We have been in our own world, that of a married couple who are travelling… I don’t mean anything weird by that (laughs) but I would like to interact more with other travellers and locals during the second half of this trip.”
As I speak with them, I am drawn in by the couple’s uplifting and relaxed manner, quite unlike the distant feel long time travellers often exude. The emotions that can be felt in every video may be what is so enchanting about this couple’s trip.
As the interview comes to an end, I ask what their greatest expectation for the second half of their journey is. After a lengthy pause Ryosei says:
“That’s a good question. I would say to make sure the trip is just as I’ve always dreamed it would be.”
Why not join Ryosei and Satoko on their travels on Tabi Suru Suzuki?