Charley Zheng
Portland, OR
Nikon D3200 | Canon EOS 5D Mark II

If there was one place you had to spend your life-time where would it be and why?

Hard to say that I’d be comfortable staying in one place for the rest of my life - I’ve got too much wanderlust right now to put a stake in the ground anywhere. I will say, however, that Portland (where I’m currently living) will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve grown, explored, discovered, loved, and learned so much in the 8 years (the longest!) I’ve been here, and though I have my sights set on moving abroad within the next couple of years, I know Portland is a place that I’ll keep coming back to. Oregon has a piece of me that no other state or place has ever been able to claim.

Does being a Digital Strategist come into play when planning your adventures? How much does it influence the journey you take?

Being a strategist (that is, working a 9-5 office job) has it’s advantages and its limitations. I really like what I do and the projects can be really fun, with some interesting challenges to solve. Keeps me and my brain on its game. On the other hand, I don’t think I’m built for the 9-5 in the long run. Most of my photo work are from trips taken over the weekend, and 2 days to explore simply aren’t enough. Mostly I have to plan around my job; it doesn’t quite work the other way around. That said though, I’ve been fortunate to have seen and done many of the things I’ve wanted to see and do in the past couple of years. I think I’ve been able to strike a pretty good balance between work and play, and it goes to show it’s possible to do a lot even when you’re tied up in the office 80% of the week. I have this saying – life is pretty cool when you’re actually living it. You just have to make it one of your priorities.

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