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Travel the world via the lens of a Jamaican photographer

Published:Monday | February 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Many of us dream of travelling the world. Few of us are able. Some of us, more determined about it, don't just sit there and dream. Rather we get up and go!

That's just what 31-year-old photographer Ishaka Abu Shango aka Ishango did.

In just about four months, Ishango has visited more places in the world than many of us may do in a lifetime - 21 cities in 13 countries spanning three of the seven continents.

Inspired by his work as a photographer in Jamaica, and having seen much of what our own island has to offer, Ishango made the decision that he wanted to see he world. "As a photographer in Jamaica, I got the opportunity to travel around the country and it made me want to see the world at large, not just my world in Jamaica," he said in an interview from New York, his final stop before returning home late last week.


first experience of snow


Those who follow Ishango on social media shared his first experience of snow in Zermatt, Switzerland. A post on January 16 read: "I am so overwhelmed right now I can barley [sic] write but I am seeing #snow for the first time and what better way to see it than to be in Zermatt, Switzerland." It was there in Zermatt that Ishango had his first attempt at skiing with two new friends from Italy and Spain.

Ishango relates that his most profound experience on his travel was in Indonesia at a village named Bukit Duri in Jakarta, which he visited at the end of November. He arrived in the village to see a wedding in progress. While he was able to capture a wonderful photo of the bride and groom in their elaborate wedding garb, it was the spirit of the people there that had the greatest impact on him. "Despite that the people there are poor, you can see that the people are happy," he reflected. He was warmly welcomed into the wedding celebrations, sharing the meal and dancing with the people.

Ishango will tell you that travelling solo is not a lonely experience. Throughout his visual journal, Ishango shared images of the friends he met along the way. "I was always making friends, and with the Internet you are still connected to people anywhere you are. I got homesick when it came close to the end of the journey though," he says.


The world loves Jamaicans


From his experience, Ishango concluded that the world loves Jamaicans. For many, he was the first Jamaican they had ever met. "I got very positive responses from most people I encountered," Ishango said. "I am the first Jamaican many of them have met. In airports, hostels, people always mention Bob Marley, Usain Bolt and ganja."

When asked what would he share with anyone interested in embarking on their own world tour he answered: "For the most part I had an idea where I wanted to go, but I planned it while I was going there, moving from city to city." For accommodation: "I sometimes booked the hotel days before I got there." And cost: "This tour cost me roughly US$6,000 or US$7,000 of my savings. I saved a lot by using coach or bus to travel from one city or country to the next."

True to his passion as a photographer, Ishango has documented #ishangoworldtour by compiling a stunning array of photographs that depicted his journey. Follow Ishango on social media for a virtual experience of the destinations he visited. His photos depict the people at each destination, buildings, monuments, cuisine and other aspects from a unique perspective - literally.

Follow Ishango on Instagram @MrIshango View his photo gallery using #Ishangoworld and #ishangoworldtour.