If there is one person we know who always seems to be living in the Destinationbetween, it’s Benjamin Ortega. He’s traveled constantly over the last couple of years so we figured he would have more than a few useful tips to share on how he actually manages to get things done while living out of bags. Turns out he had a lot of them.
First off, what do you do?
I make videos, and I try to be a better human being every day.
Your life if lived on the move. What does home mean for you?
At the moment, the world is my home.
When you’re on the road, temptation is everywhere and it can be hard not to procrastinate. Do you have any tips on how you focus when you need to get the boring stuff sorted?
I always get distracted by the attractive stuff and hate doing the boring stuff. For example - my accounting and shitty, boring company things which, if you don’t have them in place, can make you late on so many other things.
I keep working on videos with friends, and fill my time with stuff I enjoy so I never end up doing the boring stuff. I think the best tip for getting that kind of thing done, is find someone else to do it - someone who is experienced in it and knows how to run that side of things so that you can focus on the things you love to actually do. It’s really important to work out when to ask for help on things that aren’t your strong suit, it’s something I need to be better at, in fact - I’m going to hire an agent right now!
What do you always bring on your travels?
I always have my main camera and some extra little GoPro cameras to shoot my water stuff. I’ll take a Drone and an FPV drone, a GoPro 360, my computer is always with me, hard drives, and all the cables I need.The other thing I have brought with me, and I have used everyday for the past year is a skipping rope and resistance band, and some running shoes as well so I can squeeze in a workout at least once a day while on the road.
I also always have at least one, if not two Db backpacks on me. Not even for travel - just everyday adventures. The bags are more often than not filled up with all my camera gear - and it all fits in whether it's a multi-day trip or a day trip. I need good gear solutions that allow me to stay organized - which is important when you travel with as much camera equipment as I do.
What would you tell yourself as a teenager?
I would tell myself to always do the things that I have in mind, that I really want to do, and basically to not overthink them before doing them. It’s easier said than done - I’m still doing it and I think that if you allow yourself to overthink, you’ll only do 1/10th of what you’re supposed to do in your life.
Which is your favorite destination?
Wow that's a good question, recently I've been debating which is my favorite place on Earth but I think it's more about the people than the place which sounds cheesy, it makes the whole difference. There are actually two places which when I’m not there, I want to be there. One is Indonesia, specifically Lombok and Bali, because I have lots of friends there and lots of things going on over there. I love the people and everything is so cool. The other place is probably LA but it's more like a place where I want to live. If I can only pick one, it’s Indonesia - it’s the place I love the most.
What would you tell people that would like to follow your path?
First of all, I would like to tell them, thank you because it's very fulfilling to hear that some people would like to do the same things that I'm doing. But, if they are thinking about making videos or taking photos of traveling around the world, I would say that the best thing is to be highly motivated.
This whole journey and what it looks like from the outside seems like I’m always on vacation, but actually, it's a lot of hard work, and definitely way more work than the normal day-to-day run-of-the-mill 9 to 5 usual jobs. If you are motivated enough and you like making videos, just start doing them with your phone with anything you have next to you, and learn from that. The more you do the more you will learn, and the better you are going to be. In the end, that brings you many more chances to work in this industry. So yeah! keep being motivated as much as possible and Do better, do more!.
My parents were not against this but they wanted me to follow a normal path and they really wanted me to study and get a steady and safe job. I did all that stuff at first and I did it so I would be free with more money and options. I spent some time saving up as much money as possible and also working doing the crappiest job just so I can get the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.
Thanks to that I could buy a one-way ticket to go somewhere new and different and that changed my way of thinking, my way of seeing what I wanted to do in the future, and that experience kickstarted my filming career.
Hopefully, my story will help others be driven toward their goals and dreams.
Have you studied?
I studied something I wasn’t super passionate about. Since I was in school I have always been more passionate about creating stuff rather than studying at school or at home.
I've always been creating things on the side, taking the time to develop passions of mine - filmmaking or building stuff like electric skateboards or other funny things.
After High school, I went to college to study mechanical engineering because my parents really wanted me to follow a very stable and normal path. When I finished my studies and went to Australia, it completely changed my mind about what I wanted to do for a living. So, when I came back, I started my filming company and kicked off my creative side.
What was your first job?
The first one I can remember was an unpaid gig when I was 16. I was actually giving lessons to old people on how to use their computers. I was already starting to edit videos and I knew how a computer worked so I basically went and learned how to teach old people in my town how they could use their PC or Mac. I remember it as pretty fun. That was a really good way of learning how to teach people stuff especially when they're not that young and they didn't know how to use technology they were a bit scared and afraid of it. So I helped them out.
Which stuff brings creativity to you?
Get uncomfortable. When something is uncomfortable, it’s a challenge and makes you find new ways to solve a problem. For example, I had the challenge of filming myself wearing sunglasses for a well-known brand commercial. I didn’t know how to film myself or shoot macros while doing stuff so that fired up my creativity like crazy. I kept asking myself how I should shoot it and how I could make it look special. I ended up filming it at an angle that was kind of unique and it brought me lots of creative ideas.
The other thing that brings me creativity is being surrounded by a lot of creative people that's for sure! If you're by yourself then you only have one brain, as I always say. When you have two people you have three brains because you have your friends, yours, and the communal-brand-new-create-together-brain that appears from interaction with each other. For me, the more people you are creating with, the more creative you can be.
Do you have any packing tricks that you use while always on the move?
I have two packing tricks, one is that when I have time and I'm fully organized and I have literally everything memorized and I know where everything is. For example, when someone asks me where a certain USB c-type cable is, I will be able to tell them it’s on the third compartment of my Db on the top sleeves on the front panel. That can only happen when I’m organized though!
If you don't have a setup plan, then you don't know where things are supposed to go and it will always be a mess. I used to not be great at making time for getting organized and everything in my bag was chaos. Now, everything is in compartments which allows me to avoid this chaos. If you take your Ramverk insert and prepare your compartments and re-organize them so they are well set for every single camera you have it's so much better. You can re-arrange the setup for whatever you need for everyday use. I recommend that as a trick and whatever you take out you put it back again in the same spot and stick to it, it's SO much easier.
Set your organization and STICK TO IT!
Thank you so much. That was easy!