Brendan van Son

My name is Brendan van Son, and I’m a travel photographer and journalist from a small town in Canada called Rocky Mountain House.  After completing degrees in Political Science and Geography in 2008 I headed to South America to take a job that paid me only $50 a week, but allowed me to travel.  I knew within 3 days of arriving in South America that I’d never stop travelling, that I needed to find a way to meld travel into my career, no matter what it took.

Over 5 years later now, I’ve visited around 80 countries on 6 different continents.  I’ve done some crazy things like drive a $600 scooter down the west side of Africa.  I’ve done some amazing things, as well.  I count my blessings that I’m able to live this lifestyle.

In the 5 years since I’ve engaged in the life of a travel photographer and journalist my work has been in a number of major publications such as The Guardian.  My travels themselves have also been featured in various major media outlets such as the BBC, National Geographic Traveler, and others.

I have no intention of slowing down.  So if you decide to follow this blog, be sure to hang on tight, because we’re going for a ride.


Brendan van Son

“If travel really is what you want to be do doing then go out and do it. If you seek guidance you need not look further than your own desires. If you need support your friends and family will always be there for you. And if you need a hand, those who have set the trail ahead of you will always be there to lead you or, more importantly, remind you that it’s alright to burn your own path.” – Brendan van Son “How I made Travel a Career


  1. Yet there is nothing insignificant about you Brendan!

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  2. Hi Brendan! Found you through #tni and linked you on the blog! I am looking forward to checking out all of your posts!

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  3. Hey Brendan,

    So happy to have found your site! Tons of great stuff to read – there goes my productivity. Anyways, thanks again for being our expert on the Canadian Rockies this week for #TNI. Cheers! -Rachel

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  4. Hi Brendan!

    Found your blog on Twitter (@lilyleung) and wanted to drop a note to say hi and look forward to more of your updates.

    P.S. Is the pic on your About page from Ecuador? I think I was in the exact same spot 3 years ago, I recognize the little hearted island 🙂

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  5. Beautiful quotes you’ve got there. Keep traveling. And writing too.

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  6. Hi, Brendan, it’s great to know about a man like you who braves to breaks boundaries. May you always got some worthy life lessons. God bless you, Brendan!

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  7. Here’s a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson that you might like:

    There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
    A race that can’t stay still;
    So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.

    I bookmarked your site a while ago, but only just now found out we have something in common: both from Rocky Mountain House (although haven’t lived in the area for many years). Well I remember the day when Grandad P. dropped me off on the highway just east of the Alhambra corner where I started hitch hiking to Panama. That was in 1965, and I’ve been breaking the hearts of kith and kin ever since.

    All the best
    Jim P

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    • I, too have something in common with you, Brendan. Like my cousin, Jim Patterson, I remember Grandpa P dropping me off to set out on on my world travels. We are all kin in the sense that we see the world as a myriad of un-experienced adventures. The next plan, for Wilson and I, is coast-wise navigation of North and South America. Happy travels, Bendan and Jim.
      Pat Teskey and Wil Southam

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  8. Yes, going beyond the borders of text books is quite correct. I ave enjoyed your site. I shall return to read some more. I have wondered what it would be like to travel for longer periods without stopping. Unfortunately I’m a family person and the luxury to time away is restricted. But I do get around quite a bit.

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  9. Hi Brendan,
    found your blog by chance and it’s really great to read it!! Especially all your infos about South America.
    Keep it up!!!

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  10. do you do naughty things during your travelling?

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    • Hi Beth! Yup, my life definitely doesn’t suck haha.

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  11. Looks like I have finally landed on the right website after browsing for many days. Amazing adventure

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  12. You are living my dream.

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  13. Hi Brendan,

    Wonderful blog you have! I understand you very well as I also love to travel, especially when it is done on the spur of the moment. May you continue your journey to your heart’s desire!!!

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  14. can’t stop watching your posts. I have a little catching up to do, I am on day 30. you just saw an amazing water fall.

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  15. I would like to say that I appreciate this article. I seem to enjoy playing around with my camera and taking many pictures. For a while, I have been getting many compliments on my pictures. Some say I have an eye for views. I just don’t want things to go to my head.

    I was checking out DSLRs and found that I really don’t like them. It is an expensive hobby getting into dslrs and I don’t have the budget for that. I’m more of a work with what I have person and usually don’t need more than I have. I settled on a nice bridge camera that takes phenominal pictures.

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  16. Thanks for giving us hope that everything is possible;) hope you have many excellent good travels!

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  17. Hey Branden,

    We had a quick chat in Page, AZ when waiting for the Sunrise at Horseshoe Bend. And I did ask for your website address when Tiffany and you left. You had typed your websites into my mobile’s note, but unfortunately by some reason the note has gone. I thought that I could not have a chance to talk with you guys again but thanks for the Google, I did a search with something like “canadian photographers vietnamese tayninh trip” and ended up with this blog eventually 🙂

    Your website is great and your pictures/video are amazing. Thanks for your great works. Good luck for your 3 months South America trips.



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    • Hi Trong,
      It was really nice to meet you at Horseshoe Bend! Thanks for finding the site and leaving a comment I really appreciate it. And, if you want to find Tiffany too her blog is
      I hope your road trip is going well. All the best to you and your family in the New Year!

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  18. I have been moved and inspired by your spirit that you bring to your life and pictures, ,

    Safe travels always-


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  19. Hi Brendan

    I remember you mentioning that some of the countries you were visiting were on your list because some clients needed photos. Do they contact you and ask you for specific places that they want you to shoot or are you doing this on spec in the hopes that they might need the shots?

    Really enjoy your photography.


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    • Hard to answer because it’s a bit of everything.
      I’d say it’s about 50% me going somewhere and pitching images later, 35% me going somewhere and having pitched things beforehand, and 15% someone sending me somewhere specific.

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  20. Great website! I like all that you are doing! Keep living a courageous life!

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  21. I like all that you are doing! Really enjoy your photography.

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