Few things are as symbolic of summer as the road trip. A real one, evocative of a decade without cell phones, reviews, and commitment to digital itineraries. In the present day, where time and resources are scarce, there exists a way to get around the rigorous planning the ideal execution requires. There’s a secret to soaking up all the awe without the lag, and it’s rather stripped down in form. What remains is the sweet spot between a voyage and an errand- in that you don’t necessarily have to leave your habitat to experience an awakening by way of the road.
First, think about where you live and what it was like when you first arrived. Maybe you’ve been in the same place all your life, but consider it nonetheless. Maybe you’ve spent the majority of your days dedicated to the routine of getting up at point A, cutting a path through points B and C, only to come back to A in the end, as if programmed to autopilot. At some stage you might have asked yourself if it were always this way.
Likely, it wasn’t. In the beginning of getting to know somewhere new, our eyes tend to fixate on the sky and straight ahead. Everything is fresh. We notice the tops of buildings with their carved stone figures, the formation of pedestrian traffic, the unique signage of shops. Our ears are tuned to the arcane hum of city life as it takes on the sound of a foreign chorus riding the train at rush hour. And just as quickly as it began, the motivation to notice disappears. One foot in front of the other, each day the same until the weekend. Until something new.
The only antidote is as follows: throw a few friends in a van of questionable reliability and take with you only what you need. Forget a traditional plan of any sort, and disregard the must-see spots. Instead opt for a circle, a grand sweep of a place you thought you knew. Think of it as a road trip with a minimalist filter, and if you’re afraid you’ve gone too far out, you haven’t.
Paris-based photographer Maciek Pozoga, inspired by the merging of nature on the edges of a metropolitan city, captured the lesser-known realities of a location with a strong universal identity. As a major center of commerce and touristic activity, Paris conjures a certain image of pastel macarons, dreamy lighting, and the Eiffel Tower. But a few kilometers outside the obvious is where the real magic reveals itself. Known for his sharp eye and portrayal of effortless-cool, Pozoga took on the role of documentarian during such a tour. Over three days, he shot a series of friends as they made their way around the outskirts of Paris. Their route took them through fields and architectural splendors, alongside rivers and waterparks, where they came face-to-face with things that remain invisible in day-to-day life, yet are deserving of regard all the same.
Most people cannot claim to have seen any city in full, much less their own. Not just the silent monuments and museums but the entire landscape that’s been delicately woven, torn down, and rebuilt over the years to transform a stretch of land into the mightier district of today. With that, we encourage you to take a tour of your own. Break out of mindless habit and re-discover what carried you to where you are right now.
Click here to see an overview of all items featured in this editorial. For more of Maciek Pozoga’s work, check out his work here and here.