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Witold Śmieszek

“I believe that, with anything in life, if you have the patience, desire and passion, you can do whatever you set your mind to.” -Ed Viesturs

When he was a young boy, still living in his hometown somewhere in the southern Poland, Witold often sat on the bare, slightly creaking wooden floorboards in his parents’ room. Nestled between a piano and a large bed, he engaged in what many children do – engross himself in his own private world of imagination. On that wooden floor, with an aid of a chair-turned-airplane, he traveled to distant lands of Africa, Asia, and South America, searched for long lost secrets, and met with secluded indigenous tribesman. The sources of these fantasies were the many hundreds yellow-bound issues of National Geographic magazines neatly arranged on the bookcase. Sent from the United States, the publications were all in then-undecipherable language of English, but the pictures were evocative enough for a young explorer. Later on, he began to read works of great adventure writers such as those of Jules Verne, Henryk Sienkiewicz, and Alfred Szklarski. Completely engrossed in escapades portrayed on the pages, he was inspired to dream of journeys to the furthest lands imaginable.

It were these childhood times of leafing through volumes of National Geographic, following the characters of “Around the World in Eighty Days”, and exciting over every ”Indiana Jones”, that kindled his desire for travel and adventure. Witold doesn’t believe that the age of great adventures is long gone; neither does he think that there is nothing to be discovered or achieved in the world anymore. Through his photography, he aims to evoke that special, romantic impression of journey as adventure that mesmerized and captured his imagination so many years ago.

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