LAUREN KANA CHAN
laurenkanachan (at) gmail (dot) com
Hi, I'm Lauren
Welcome to my blog, my tiny little space on the web universe!
Since you landed on this page, I’m guessing your curious about me. Here’s my “story”, or little fragments of my past & present.
My parents are Japanese and Chinese (Hong Kong), they immigrated to Canada where I was raised. I grew up in a city, yet slowly realised it was in nature I was happiest. I find my gaze drifting up to the stars and clouds, as if to remind myself that I am always a part of something bigger. Now I take every opportunity to be outside and keep myself moving (my favourites are hiking, running, and yoga).
I lived in Austria, Denmark, Slovenia, and Spain for studies. And lived (temporarily) in Japan and Greenland for work. I don’t know if studying was meant for me, but somehow I’ve pulled my way through a bachelors (commerce) and a masters (sustainability and tourism). To be honest, I often found myself bored while I was in school. But, studies were a portal that allowed me to see the world, and perhaps that was the best form of learning I could have (never) imagined - the interactions with people, cultures, places so unfamiliar to me - my mind kept growing and the world became smaller (and bigger) at the same time.
I travelled to the Refugee Camps of Western Sahara in March 2017 where I learned about an injustice that continues to shadow over me today. It a moving experience to witness a nationless-nation, in exile - distraught and angered (rightfully so) but persistent, peaceful, and creative.
My most transformative experience, to-date, at 24, was an opportunity to work with the European Union in a project called “Faces2Hearts”. I won competition that allowed me to be/become a storyteller, travelling to 7 countries: Laos, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Uzbekistan - sharing stories about people who were being impacted by EU funding projects. I was confronted with realities that were painful, and at the same time met people whose bravery and strength were torches of light. I saw first hand human suffering and the fragility of the earth. My heart felt heavy, and I wanted to shake the world to have a more compassionate heart.
In August 2018, I accepted a job in Bangladesh. Read about it here!
I'm happiest when I'm photographing and writing. My hope is to create images and communicate to a global audience in a way that is relatable, honest, and most of all from the heart.
I love quiet and open spaces, and enjoy plenty of time in nature. I love the feeling of exhaustion after hard work. I love the endless, infinite feeling of a night's sky. I love eating with my hands, sitting on the floor, and eating fresh fruit from trees. I love being lost in foreign languages, and then trying to get un-lost by starting conversations with local people. Fiction books. Ocean creatures. Sound of rain. My sister. An autumn leaf.
I try to be kind to the earth by being mindful of what I consume, eat, and how I travel. But like the rest of my life, this will always be a work in progress.
Most of all, I love the world in all it's diversity. My heartbreaks at the injustice and inequalities, but I strive to do meaningful work and work with people who are also trying to make the world more just and loving.
Master of Science (M.Sc), Erasmus Mundus European Master’s in Sustainability and Tourism Management, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark / University of Ljubljana, Slovenia / University of Girona, Spain
Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm), University of Guelph, Canada