I’m Titus, a filmmaker / photographer living in Europe.
I say Europe and not a specific country because I’m a nomad living all over the place, and even though I stay in some places more than in others, it doesn’t necessarily mean I live there in the strict sense of the word. It’s difficult to explain, but let’s begin with the beginning.
I’m twenty-six years old, and for about eight years, since I was seventeen, I’ve spent most of my time playing video games, online and offline. Most of my waking hours were spent in front of the computer. This was because since fifth grade I’ve felt that the life everyone around me was hoping to live was utterly devoid of meaning and infinitely more boring than watching paint evaporate off the wall. I wanted something for myself. The purpose of school was boring me, the teachers were bored of their jobs and lives, and most if not all the adults I came in contact in both my tiny town (and later online as well) with seemed unhappy. My logic was that they ended up like that because they did the things everyone else around them did, and so they ended up just like everyone else. I wasn’t going to do that. And even though playing games and browsing the internet all day for that many years may sound counter-intuitive to living a fulfilling life, somehow it all worked out.
In 2013, at twenty-five, I got bored with the computer life and decided to leave it behind for a while and hitchhike around Europe, for both fun and as a creative challenge – at this point I had an interest in film/photography for a couple of years already and had made a couple of short documentaries.
I got the idea for hitchhiking in September 2012 after watching David Choe‘s Vice series “Thumbs up: How to hitchhike across America.” By January 2013 I had purchased all the equipment I needed (backpack, tent, etc) and set my departure date to sometime in June. But the itch to hit the road was so strong that I left on the 29th of April. It was the first time out of my home country and the first time I’ve camped anywhere — but I wasn’t scared. I was excited.
The first day on the road was easy, having managed to impress a taxi driver enough to offer to host me for the night. The day after that I was sleeping behind a gas station on the Hungarian highway just before Budapest, and a day later I was camped in the center of Salzburg, in Austria, thanks to a Romanian businessman who drove me ~600km and saved me from the scorching Hungarian sun. And it all seemed very normal to me. I was happy.
Now, as I said above, part of the reason for this trip was to find inspiration/subjects to make some more short films and to train myself to see more than what is obvious, as well as to widen my perception of the world. I had a solid idea of how the world/people function from making many diverse friends in all the corners of the world, but I lacked in actual, real world, hands-on experience. It was going to be a relatively short trip, with my estimates ranging from 3 weeks to maybe 3-4 months, until the cold weather would come. It made sense, because I only had money for food (~5eur/day for 4 months at most) and packed nothing but t-shirts.
In the beginning I wasn’t taking a lot of photographs because I was searching for video subjects and had to save my batteries in the eventuality that I’d find something or someone interesting — living in a tent electricity becomes a luxury. More than two months later, I had found nothing. But rather than become discouraged or sad about it, I used it as a reason to relax and enjoy the trip for what it was.
It was around this time that I got to Saint Tropez in the South of France and saw some cool sculptures near the entrance to the city. It took me a few days to find out who the artist(s) that created them were, where they lived and whether they’d let me make a short film about them. As it turned out it was a man living on the other side of France, in a small, charming village in the vicinity of Nantes. It was more than twelve hundred kilometers away from where I was, but three days later and many hitched rides later I was there and shooting. This is the result:
Shooting that short film helped me relax even more, to the extent where I was no longer searching for something to shoot and simply lived one day at a time, grateful that I had the courage to make this happen and created this reality for myself (which others call luck), did what I enjoyed most and had a purpose.
A month or so later I was in the Southwest of France and discovered that I am very close to one of the starting points of the Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James) — in the town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. It was soon after starting to walk on the pilgrim route that I made the decision to not return to my old home regardless of how hard it would be to live like this (at this point my daily budget was down to 2eur/day).
Now I had reached a point where I was fully living in the moment, and neither yesterday nor tomorrow mattered. I was walking across a beautiful country, meeting extraordinary people and taking pictures. Money, clothes, comforts, what other people were doing, what they were thinking of me, their worries, my future — absolutely none of that mattered.
Fast forward a few months and I’m in Prague, living with a beautiful, wonderful girl, waiting for the weather to warm up again, and still doing what I love.
What I am trying to express through my film and photography is something that cannot be measured. I don’t always know what that is, but I do my best to capture it.
This is who I am.