Boarding Pass – Joe Lukawski

This summer in Fez I was lucky to experience the intense yet relaxed travel style of journalist and film-maker Joe Lukawski. After an extremely focused filming session (we were down there for the Fez Festival of Sacred Music), more often than not some café sitting and mint tea sipping was in order, or lunch at Rachid’s. After summer travels around the US, Joe is now back down in Fez for his fulbright, working on a documentary film about the water systems of Fez. I posted about it last week, but you can learn all about the film and support Joe over on Kickstarter. Thanks, Joe and best of luck raising the final funds!
last trip taken:
New York City

next trip on deck:
South America somewhere I hope

one place you would go back to again and again:
Fez. I’ve been many times, and its always different. There’s always something new to discover in Fez and about oneself.

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Cairo. It’s a shock to the senses at times, but a lovely city with fantastic people in it.
preferred method of transportation:
4×4 when possible. Walking is nice too.

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Anywhere in South America, so many vibrant cultures and gorgeous places it seems.

place you’d never go back:
I’d never go back to…. well, I’d probably go back at some point or another. Laisse-tomber.

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
The West Bank with Merrit Kennedy, Ally Krupar and Sofia Unanue was emotionally charged, beautiful and unexpected.

how do you prepare for a trip?
I usually don’t prepare enough. I guess I just grab a bag, my passport, my cameras and go.

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I try not to over-record. I like to keep my memory for places, faces and feelings sharp; but when the moment is perfect I snap a photo or two, sketch a detail I’d surely forget or write a quick journal entry to ensure proper transmission.

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
I like photographing street scenes, and love photographing doors and windows.

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
Six or seven hundred when I shot a lot of digital photos. Now usually two or three rolls (getting expensive!). Sometimes none.

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
I currently travel with my Nikon 20/20 fitted with a 50mm f1.8, a little Kodak HD video device, a great handmade notebook I picked up in Brooklyn and a few pocket Moleskine notebooks with perforated pages.

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
Since on most trips I find myself filming something for someone and getting stuck behind Final Cut Pro, I actually prefer to just pile up my used rolls of film until I am planted somewhere firmly enough to process them and to need to feel like I am still traveling.

favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
My favorite souvenirs are, to translate literally, my memories of the place and people I spent time with. I generally spend my whole budget on food, drink and transport; so buying, packing, shipping, etc… are not my scene. However, I’ve made the habit of picking up some eau de fleur d’oranger and some berber linen every time I pass through Morocco.

what is your latest project?
I am currently raising money to produce a documentary on the waters of Fez focusing on the medieval water system, problems with access to water, and the urban planning and development work aimed at restoring the rivers running through the old city. More on the project, as well as your chance to donate to the film here.


BOARDING PASS is a weekly column exploring the creative ways people travel.


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