Elena Angeles, 25 – Philippines

“Home is wherever the people you love are – whether that’s London, LA or Lombok.

I was born in the Philippines, but from the age of about four years old I travelled the world with my family. That’s because my dad worked as a chef in hotel restaurants in resorts and cities around the world. It was really exciting, but did have its downside. As soon as I made close friends at school, we moved on. So I really missed a lot of childhood experiences like play dates, birthday parties and creating shared memories with my peers. I could never say to a friend “Do you remember bunking off school in Year 4?”, or “Remember, that boy we both liked who broke our hearts?”.  

On the other hand, life on the road had many advantages, too. Life was never dull and we were all constantly experiencing so many new sights, smells and sounds together as a family. These shared experiences really brought us closer as a family.

The wonderful people and places we came across together are like a photo montage in my brain: the colourful street sellers in Mumbai, the lush tea plantations in Indonesia, the stunning landscapes in North America and the jaw-dropping beauty of Scandinavia.

I’m sure that’s what inspired me to be a travel photographer. I’m never happier than when I’m meeting new people and discovering new places. While I travel the world with my work, my main base is London. My favourite thing is to meet up with the family for birthdays and celebrations for meals in Chinatown. But I never forget my first home in the Philippines. And when I can’t get there for a visit, I send money to my grandparents who still live there. Even a wanderer like me has roots somewhere!”

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