My name is James Cole. I’m 20 years old, and the founder of EarthFocus, an Instagram page I started two and a half years ago. My passion is travel photography. I used to think adventure meant hiking through forests, climbing mountains, and chasing adrenalin. But traveling solo, and experiencing the versatility Europe has to offer, changed all that for me.

The variety Europe offers, and how things change by taking just a few hours drive, was utterly immense. So whilst I can’t talk about every spot I visited (as it would end up being a book), I want to share some of my personal highlights and the adventurous moments that are born when on the hunt for the perfect photograph.

I think for me, I realised that adventure differs depending on the country, and what you want to get out of it. As a photographer I, wanted to capture the most unique shots from every new place I went, and by doing this the opportunities for adventure just presented themselves to me.

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Rome has a plethora of ancient wonders, unique architecture and of course a silly amount of photo opportunities.

To get this perfect view of the colosseum, I left my hotel at 5:45am. The sun didn’t fully rise through the trees until at least 6:45am

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One of them mentioned a viewpoint of St. Peters Basilica through a keyhole that he had visited years ago, and he was going to locate once again. At this point I was busy photographing the sunbursts you can see in this picture

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Whilst here I was keen to get to a view point where I could take in the beauty of the whole city, so after a steep walk (you can also get a bus to Piazza Michelangelo), I was greeted by this wonderful view, including the famous Ponte Vecchio and Duomo.

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The best way to see Venice is simply to get lost. Go for a long walk, take a turn that intrigues you, and you’ll have the time of your life. The backstreets here are less crowded so you’ll often just stumble on cute restaurants and canal views.

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I fell in love with the city. It has such a unique vibe, everything is clean and beautiful, with great architecture, scenery, restaurants, bars and people. The city just has this buzzy atmosphere, without feeling over crowded. It also had a charm and personality which made me feel super relaxed – unusual for a city to create this feeling in you.

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Going off the beaten track is always fun, and in the process I found a gnarled old staircase that went straight to the top of the big waterfall.

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The Old Town was my personal highlight: ancient, perfectly preserved, respected and loved by its people. I felt privileged to be there. The peoples passion for where they live was a welcome change; a total contrast to where I’m from and what I’m used to. I also shot my favourite photo from the whole trip here, looking down a steep street, colour from all angles and a burst of golden light hitting the buildings.

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The fresh, chill vibes on offer here are intoxicating, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the romance and beauty of it all. Whilst here I saw the most beautiful wedding taking place right by the Duomo in the centre of the town, and later I saw the couple at the harbour, the classic hillside homes creating the perfect backdrop for a photo.

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