Growing up and moving around a number of countries, (Tokyo, NY, London, Buenos Aires, and now Sydney), Miki describes herself living a nomadic lifestyle as a Global Citizen. She made a conscious decision from a young age that not being fixed to her own belief, judgments or thoughts, truly embracing diverse ways of thinking and living, because something perceives as normal in one place may not be in another part of the world. She also becomes a person with strong curiosity who always intrigued by new ideas, language, culture., I believe both her upbringing and kindness in nature built her diversity ideology and curiosity traits, which leads her to explore life possibilities infinitely. We both also believe that we are not confined by the external environment or conditions. There is always a outlet that will spark your curiosity and connects you to the outside world.
On the flipped side, this nomadic lifestyle put Miki experiencing inner struggle with identity sense particularly tracing back to her young teens. As she recalled, she might try very hard to assimilate to being British or at one point try to be Japanese. Eventually, she realized there is no need to define one identity she has, but it’s a journey to finally reaching that point where she feels comfortable being on her own skin and just to be authentic herself.
Those growth pains (fitting in cultural shock, etc) are real and there is no exemption from those struggling, but both Miki and I believe we can turn negativity into positivity, and it’s gonna be better and it does get better.
Trips to South America hands down is one of Miki’s life-defining moments, which sparks her passion for photography. As she said, she was hooked by this wondrous landscape, the rich and diverse cultures, and the extraordinary people there. Small sparks gradually over years grew into her biggest passion.
Miki said, after gaining more life experience at a later stage of life, we can make a more informative and conscious decision about what we really want to pursue. It is a bit too much asking for 17 years old to make a big life &career decision and it’s ok to change your mind later on along the line. (But we are not blindly encouraging anyone to switch to another lane. If you are content with your current path, stick to it!) In Miki’s case, it took 7 years to just get qualified to be an Architect. When time costs and investment are so high, making a career pivot certainly is not a quick transition. It took her years and years of skill-building and soul searching to finally transform from architect to photographer.
Looking back to her Architect journey which she contributed a huge course of her life, it’s a bittersweet but definitely precious life experience she will cherish forever. She shared that once you are an architect, you are always an architect. I also believe many things like the skillset we developed in our first life also end up being useful, translated, and applied to our second life. Tune into our PART TWO episode where we are entering Miki’s second life of her being as a photographer!
Connect to Miki on Instagram: mikisakaiphotography Website: Miki Sakai Photography