Polina Kazak enchanted us with her photos from Dubrovnik on her Instagram profile - worduuup followed by over 100 thousand of people and we just had to know her story.
-I'm a wanderluster and a storyteller. I love moments. I love nights more than mornings, the moon more than the sun, and the here-and-now more than any sometime later. I belong to no man and to no city. I'm that girl who is lost in time, the girl who is vanishing constantly, perennially dissolving in the darkness and digressing further and further into the unknown. Just like the Cheshire cat – says this special lady.
For The Dubrovnik Times Polina decided to answer a few questions. Follow her at her Instagram profile for amazing photos and stories from all over the world.
Where is your home?
My home is where I'm not. I can't say I have a place I could call home now that mean any more than a key to an apartment. And more I think about it more I realize that Home for me has really less to do with a piece of soil but more with a piece of soul.
What does your Instagram page mean to you?
My Instagram page is my story. My road diary. I never know where I'm going, but I know I'm going somewhere glorious. I think life is delicious, and I want to gobble it up in big bites, eating, drinking, smelling, reading, talking, traveling - everything. I want everything. I'm hungry for everything, all the time. So much to see, think, celebrate, taste, absorb, charm, touch, try, do. I can feel myself come to life, eyes open, taking everything in, fingers running over textures, ears pricked for sounds. Life — is huge. You can't breathe it, you can't touch it, you can't soak it up with your skin if you are wasting your time at home looking at the beautiful faces and stray souls of random people on your screen. I feel life is so genuinely interesting, that there's so much to be tasted and tried and discovered.
How long have you been traveling?
I travel for years. Every country, every place I go to is unique. I think travel is the discovery of truth... about the world, about yourself; a proof of the promise that humankind is far more beautiful than it is flawed. With each journey comes a new optimism that whatever hardships and despair you're going through in life, there are ideas and people just waiting for you to help you to turn your world around, to impact your life, to inspire you, to make a difference for good. Each journey, wherever you go, becomes a part of you somehow, changes you, helps you to grow and by reaching these new faraway places you finally meet your true self.
Whether it's dancing on a rooftop of the 'Beatles Ashram' in Rishikesh, or driving to Kampala to have a rolex for breakfast, or flying to Sri Lanka to meet the sunrise on the top of the mountain ― all these are puzzles of my own story and every experience means the world to me. I'm always looking for those moments I can remember with laughter and excitement.
How many countries did you visit?
I have no idea. I've never been that good in math. My dream is to visit every county in the world so it doesn't matter how many countries I left behind. It's more important what adventures await me ahead.
How did you like Dubrovnik?
I have to say I fell in love with Dubrovnik and with Croatia. Traveling around Croatia is like being in a fairytale, with Game of Thrones and Star Wars in your mind or without. Everything is so familiar, so new and so magical at the same time. I've been to Dubrovnik, Lokrum, Split, Sibenik, Fortress of Klis. I've taken thousands of photos and I've written a lot of stories and I'd love to come back to explore, to experience, to absorb and to learn more about your country because it's absolutely spectacular.
What is important to you when you take photos?
Everything is important in my photography. The landscape, my style, my writing ― all this matters and really depends on the exact situation and the idea behind each picture. I seriously approach to every photo and my style is an important part of every picture I take and depends on every place I go to. Sometimes a story comes out of a scenery and a dress I want to shoot and sometimes I find a place and the right moment, the right light and it dictates my style for the picture. At the end, everything is important: my look, the place and the text that goes with the photo. I think the combination is powerful. I want people to stop, to see, to read and to think.
Why do you avoid showing your face on your photographs?
Showing faces is a very powerful tool. Especially the eyes. I have a few photos like this (if you'll scroll down) where eyes ― is the key. But otherwise, I want people to be focused on the idea of each photo, on the places I go to but not just on a pretty face. A face gets too much attention becoming the centre of the composition and distracts from the essence. This is how people are able to connect with the image better. They can see the world through my eyes but not my only eyes.
Where are you planning to go next?
I never know where I can find myself tomorrow. It's so natural to take a new step and so strange to freeze in one place. I do everything to shook my life so much that the luggage would fall from the shelves. My journey is not separate from life. Life is travel. Travel is life. Wherever you go, wherever you are — the goal is to make your individual life a deep and exciting trip. I prefer crossroads instead of a warm house. Nights alone in hotels in remote western towns where I know no one and no one I know knows where I am. Perhaps my home is my dream city, more real than my waking life precisely because it has no relation to waking life. I've seen a chunk of the universe but there’s still so much more to see. I'm addicted to movement as committed to transformation.
I thank Croatia and people I've met here for giving me this feeling of a home away from home. I wish you the blessings of wisdom & friendship. I wish you to look at the world with burning, fire-lit eyes, dream impossible dreams, follow your heart and to believe in magic. Because once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, faith gives us a fairytale. Bon voyage.