Video: 8-Month Backpacking Trip Montage

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Checking out Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island of New Zealand, nearing the end of our trip.

Everyone loves a good montage video, myself included. But when it came time to put my own together, I was confronted with the amount of footage I had to work with. Over the course of an 8-month backpacking trip that saw Tristan and I travel through China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, we had shot a total of 1862 video clips, amounting to 201.18GB of data.

Just last week, Tristan and I celebrated our 1-year return-aversary. As the months, weeks, and days grew closer to that milestone, I found myself feeling more and more anxious. I couldn’t believe how fast the time was flying and I so desperately wanted to hold on to the incredible memories from our time on the road. There hasn’t been a day since we returned that I haven’t thought about that trip. I knew I owed it to ourselves to put something together that could encapsulate those months. The pressure was on.

For the longest time I had “the song” picked out that would be the soundtrack to our trip. But after sifting through every single video clip and managing to whittle it down to just 179 clips (with only 101 of those making the final cut), the song just didn’t seem fitting anymore. As it so serendipitously happened, on the day of our return-aversary, a song came on the radio and I immediately new it was the one. “What I Wouldn’t Do” is the newest single by Canadian singer/songwriter Serena Ryder and it perfectly captures the spirit and feeling of our trip.  While it can be read as a song for a particular person, I interpreted it from the viewpoint of the traveler within me, that inner voice that came to fruition during those months.

Oh the things I never noticed, opened my ears to the chorus, you have made me listen careful, and you gave me the line.”

Just before we get to the actual video, allow me to get a little sentimental for a moment. During the editing process, I realized this video couldn’t have been possible without a number of factors, and for that I dedicate this video to:

  1. The people, places and cultures that welcomed us with open arms, allowing us to explore and learn from them. Despite what the media may tell us, this world is full of good-hearted people and at the end of the day we’re more similar than we are different.
  2. The other travelers we met along the way, whether it was for a day trip, a meal, or even a few weeks (ahem, “the family”, you know who you are), you contributed to the unforgettable memories and experiences we had.
  3. The dreamers out there who hope to have a trip like this one day. As I was once a dreamer myself, I hope that even just a small part of this video will inspire you to finally make that dream a reality.
  4. And lastly, this video is for Tristan and I, to serve as a visual reminder of living life to the fullest, of pushing our comfort zones on a daily basis. It’s the exclamation point of an extraordinary journey!

Now, turn up your speakers and make sure you’re watching in HD!

8 months, 240 days, 10 countries and 60 destinations…