Jared Collins, 38, is a photographer from New York City who moved to Bali four years ago. He now lives in Ubud, where he has just held an exhibition on Balinese beauty, and also works as a real-estate business adviser as a means to stay in Bali while continuing to create his art. He was talking with Carla Albertí de la Rosa.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up at 8 in the morning is work. Who I’m meeting and where I’m taking them. The last three months have been particularly busy as I have just finished a gallery exhibition. So I’ve been waking up thinking of what do I have to do today in terms of producing the artwork. I’ve been sleeping four hours a night which is not healthy.

The first thing I do when I get out of bed is say hi to my dog, Pomeranian, named after his breed. As soon as I move he’s already at the side of the bed waiting to be greeted. I go downstairs and have a look at my house to see how it’s doing, whether there are any surprises. Depending on the day, I’ll have a surprise, something you don’t expect but at the same time kind of do over here, like my four walls covered in ants.

If I have time for breakfast, I’ll have it right before I leave through the door. I usually have a bowl of cereal and some mango and mangosteens. I like to drink aloe vera juice mixed with cranberry. Although I have a coffee maker, I rarely drink coffee at my house. I’ve been spoiled by a restaurant in Ubud that makes the best coffee ever. Their cappuccinos are so good. So unless I’m really in the mood for it and have plenty of time I won’t drink coffee at home.

It takes me seven minutes to get to work, in the centre of Ubud, by bike. I love my bike but I do fear having an accident here in Bali. If you’re severely injured, especially in Ubud, you’re going to be in trouble because they don’t have the best emergency care. But at the same time, this is the life I’ve chosen and I don’t think in what ifs.

I get to my office at 9:30 and I turn my computer on. I’ll make a list of my priorities for the day and I’ll start my morning with a lot of phone calls. I then do inspections of houses that I have rented already and I meet new clients to show them properties. Work is like an extended family. We’re 10 people in the office and it’s an easy job because I never get tired or bored.

Depending on my schedule I will have a 10:30 lunch or I will leave it for 4 o’clock. I love the fish at Warung Mina. They have a superb grilled gurami fish that comes with rice and a spicy coconut sauce that I never get bored of. Although there is so much good food in Ubud it’s somewhere I go every day.

I finish work at 5 and then it’s time to do what I’m really passionate about: photography. I always carry my Canon G10 with me and I’m always taking pictures. I love historical sites, ruins and nature, but I get most satisfaction in people’s portraits. I find it very interesting when I have an amazing shot of a person. A successful portrait will offer the viewer a glimpse into something in the inside of the person, something not obvious from the outside.

I like to have an early dinner, sometimes even at 6. So I go out with friends somewhere in Ubud. It’s a great town for restaurants, there’s a large variety and with very good food. I try to eat vegetables but meat is my favourite. I like wine, but it’s ridiculously expensive over here. I’ve made a conscious decision to stop drinking Coca-Cola but it’s still next to me wherever I go.

It’s so easy here to get home and relax. I play with my dog for a while and then I turn the satellite on. I never watch films but I enjoy the History channel or the National Geographic.

I start to get tired at 10 which is weird because in NYC that’s when I got started. In Bali I wake up early and go to bed early. It’s human, while NYC is totally inhuman.

I sometimes feel that I get into a black hole for information from the rest of the world. Unless I make an effort I won’t know what’s happening, while in the US you have more access to constant news, a bombardment of news. So I go to my bedroom which is the most comfortable room in the house and I watch Al Jazeera. That puts me to sleep at around 11.

Filed under: One Day

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