My name is Johan Lolos. I'm a self-taught travel photographer from Belgium, and 4 years ago I decided to leave Europe and travel the world.
When I jumped into photography, first as a random backpacker traveling in Australia and New Zealand for two consecutive years, I was far from realizing that Europe has so much to offer in terms of landscape and diversity. As a very inexperienced traveler, I thought I needed to travel to the other side of the planet to be able to see unique sceneries and experience unforgettable road trip vibes. It took me three years to figure out my hometown Liège is less than a day’s drive away from some of the most beautiful mountains in the world: the Alps.
From the moment I realized that, I started to list all the places in Europe I would like to visit during the summer months. I have had a few road trip experiences in the past, but they never exceeded three months, which has always been the perfect duration for me. Not too long, not too short, just what I needed to start missing home yet being fully satisfied with the trip. However, three months didn’t seem enough to explore most of the Old Continent, and this time I really wanted to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. Eventually I came out with an itinerary covering three main regions of Europe, and going through 17 countries in a period of five months. I wish I had included more countries and more regions but this would have required to be on the road for an extra 5 months, which I didn’t want.
On May 15, 2017 I started my journey, which I named "Peaks of Europe". The trip was divided into three legs: the North, the Balkans and the Alps, and I returned home on October 6, 2017. 145 on the road, 17 countries visited, 23,280km / 14,465miles driven and a total of 40,760km / 25,330miles traveled if we include the few planes and ferries.
Every day, I was sharing my daily life through my Instagram Stories on my account @lebackpacker. My followers' response to these candid and genuine moments of life was huge, and they suggested I should publish a book out of this trip. I shot a total of 4Tb or images and came back home with a full 1Tb hard drive. Out of those 30,000 photos, I made a selection of 200+ images that I curated in a photo book: "Peaks of Europe".
My book can be pre-ordered on my website www.peaksofeurope.eu, but I first wanted to give you a little preview of what Europe has to offer in all its diversity. I hope you'll enjoy those images and that they will give you itchy feet for your next trip in the summer.
More info: peaksofeurope.eu