Daring Adventurer: From being homeless, Jojo has become a prestigious photographer, and now he’s starting to travel around the world
Jojo Samek has went through a lot in his life. His own business put him on the street, today he’s a prestigious photographer and he’s setting off to an adventurous expedition
Jojo trusts people. Despite the fact that he bruised against the very bottom, he doesn’t give up and keeps on fighting. Fighting everything that comes in his way, including cancer. Although it didn’t hit when he was homeless, it hit just after he got out of it. One would say he shouldn’t be hit again, but Jojo believes it doesn’t work that way.
On the Street
The word “unlucky” chimed in for the first time when Jojo made his own business. He paid for it with his trust in others and inconsistency. “I am a person who believes in friendship. But most of the time, it always backfired on me,” he says. His colleagues from the business that he left didn’t pull official matters all the way through. And so the overdraft loans that accumulated and weren’t paid for have landed on Jojo’s shoulders. He ended up on the street, alone, with two plastic bags. In one there were a few things that as a homeless person you couldn’t put on, because you don’t even have a place to change. In the other had the most important things; a notebook and a camera. In retrospective, Jojo said that he considered that time the most motivating: “If you don’t have anything, you’re at the very bottom, you can say that you are free.” The freedom, although forced, Jojo has enjoyed it in a different way. The homeless life he lived was with a camera in his hand at all times. Although, yes, if he sold it, he’d have money for food. But he didn’t give up on it, even for the price of hunger. An incident with a child’s father, whom he was taking pictures of, a sudden guardian angel has stood upon him. The mother of the photographed child was the person who defused the conflict and single-handedly has changed Jojo’s life. After a week there were many other families who went after Jojo to take pictures. And as a homeless person, who sometimes doesn’t eat for whole days, or doesn’t drink for a day, suddenly has enough for both. Enough to rent a studio room. It looked like he was out of the worst.
Slowly, one step at a time, the name Jojo has built up more and more positive reviews, and he has gotten out of the street back up. Into a studio, back into a normal and happy life. Up until cancer slowly showed up. “I started doing good, but then I got ill.”, Jojo thinks. He’s not complaining, just pointing out the facts. “Suddenly you don’t work for a year, clientele is no more…”, says the person whose fate has been tested. One of the last projects he did was with the cooperation of rapper Kali. Humility, thankfulness and responsibility were an ensured way of a continuation. And so he has gotten out of being ill and hard times, Jojo has gotten back up, but how many times?
Jojo doesn’t run away from challenges. And if these challenges don’t come to him, he’ll come up with one. Just like this expedition. “Sixty days around Europe and Asia”. A dream come true, or an escape from reality from these times? On this road he’s going to sit behind the wheel 10 hours a day. Is that even possible? Theoretically, yes. Practically? Time will tell. Just so it’s not that easy, a suggestion came through: “Just do it all alone! Let the cameraman just record it all!” And so Jojo once again stands before a challenge, who he has come up with himself, staged, dreamed, and… 1st of September, he departs for his trip around the world.
The plan is to travel 31 693 kilometres. That means that’s about 460 hours of driving according to Google Maps. In his own car, Jojo will go through twentyone countries: Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, India, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. The estimated date for his return is 30th of October.
“A crazy absurdity even for me. The thought of sitting behind a wheel daily for 10 hours. If the roads are going to be bad, and believe me, they will, then it’s really becoming a challenge. Finish the thought with usual car problems on the road, or technical problems, sometimes falling into a ditch, flat tire, being tired or stress. Mix it with driving through borders, because you never know who is having a bad day so they could let it out on you. Driving through mountainy areas, crowded places, food that you are definitely not used to, and you have a base for a lot of different experiences,” he expresses his expectations. Still, it’s crazily absurd. Although Jojo is not scared. He’s looking at it as one big adventure.
You can go through anything. Rises and falls. You can get used to the street, even a fight that goes on forever. Winter, cold, helplessness and illnesses. How Jojo will apply his experiences on his trip across Europe and Asia, only time will show! We’re crossing our fingers and wish him good luck on his trip!
The information about his adventure will continue from Saturday. Jojo has even promised us, that for Plus 7 Dní he’ll prepare a small trip journal, complete with his pictures. So you can see the whole trip on our website from Jojo’s own eyes.
Author: Janka Fialová…
Translation: Jozef Samek Jr.