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Homeless Movies With The Locardi Family Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

10 January 2017

This morning SmugMug Films, the video arm of the photo storage and sharing site, released a short documentary featuring the "location-independent" travel photographers Elia and Naomi Locardi.

The 9:20 video follows the Locardi's first to Japan and then to Tuscany before sliding west to the Cinque Terre. Elia and Naomi narrate the footage, which includes slide shows of their work in each place.

But wait a minute, you're saying. What's with the "location-dependent" stuff?

Elia explains right at the start. "Location independent is basically a more articulate way of explaining our life style of being voluntarily homeless."

That's right. They don't have a single location they call home. They are not registered to vote, apparently. They pay taxes to no state, apparently. The world is their oyster.

If you're thinking these guys are busing around Europe in a new VW microbus, you've misunderstood. They put miles on airlines, hop scotching all over the world.

In 2016, for example, they flew 15,158 miles, spending 488 hours on airplanes while taking 97 flights to visit 78 cities in 14 countries.

And they've been doing this since 2012, visiting over 55 countries and flying over a million miles.

The first stop on the documentary is Japan, where the couple stayed two weeks. They line up a lovely shot of Mount Fuji with a pagoda and cherry blossoms in the foreground. But they had to get up at 1:30 in the morning to get the shot.

'The reality of the most beautiful places in the world is that they're the busiest.'

Then they're off to Kyoto, offering a few tips on finding inexpensive quality food. Including rest-stop sushi.

"The reality of the most beautiful places in the world is that they're the busiest," Elia says. So you have to be the first guys there. Which, Naomi says, is really special.

We get a peek into the impracticalities of living without a home, too. There's only so much you can wheel through an airport. And how much of a wardrobe can you schlep through the world? Office setup, logging in are also an issue. "Most of the time we sacrifice luxuries for maintaining this life style," Elia points out.

And not just luxuries but the pleasures of a familiar coffee mug or knowing where the remote control really is. Which may be the thing that makes you second guess the whole concept.

Isolation from family and friends is another sacrifice location independence requires, they point out.

So why do this?

At one time money and possessions defined them, Naomi says. "But we found that we weren't happy."

They wanted to put value on what they were doing instead of what they had.

Enter Tuscany.

This is where Elia fell in love with photography and travel while visiting family. He had thought of photography only as a hobby but something clicked in Tuscany.

And then they are off to the gorgeous Cinque Terre, which we called home for a brief time ourselves.

Naomi talks about the advantages of "the path we have chosen, our path." Not the least of which is "we get to share these experiences with each other."

It's a personal pilgrimage in search of beauty, in short. That the Locardi's are fortunate enough to be able to make. And that we are lucky enough to enjoy through their eyes.

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