Trono Ambassador: Matthew Kwock

Trono Ambassador: Matthew Kwock

Your perfect chair, everywhere.. that’s the essence of TRONO. We love going outside to enjoy everything nature has to offer.
Our worldwide community of adventurers, travellers, photographers, snow fanatics, hikers, beach lovers, outdoor activists, dog walkers, digital nomads and photographers is exploring the world in comfort with us. They take their TRONO anywhere, and they come from everywhere over the world: from Hawaii to Finland to California to Austria! Get inspired by their stories and enjoy their best travel moments. This month: Matthew from Hawaii.

Name: Matthew Maka Kwock
Occupation: Photographer
Live in: Honolulu, Hawaii 
Instagram: @mmkwock

 

What is your favorite destination and why?


I still have a lot to check off of my travel bucket list, but Iceland certainly tops the list. Anyone who has seen pictures of Iceland wont be surprised of this answer. The country really is a photographers paradise, and the accessibility to the scenic beauty is outstanding. There are thousands of waterfalls in Iceland, dramatic beaches, and gigantic glaciers. Tourism is the country's primary industry, however isolation is readily available if you choose to seek it. Pending the time of the year, the backdrop can change from white snow and Northern Lights to breathtaking sunsets with green fields and midnight sun. It is a place that I want to revisit soon!

 

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 What is your best travel memory?


In the Summer of 2016 I was fortunate to take a photography workshop with adventure photographer Chris Burkard in Iceland. During one of the days, our crew hiked in the remote fjords and cliffs of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Without cell phone reception, it felt liberating to be detached from the rest of the world. The sky never gets completely dark during Icelandic Summers, so we hiked from early afternoon until the mid-morning hours the next day. The midnight sun was insane and were treated to the best weather imaginable. We all became very aware of the fact that we were the only people around for miles and it was an amazing feeling. Hornstrandir is only accessible by boat, so it is very isolated and there are no inhabitants. I plan on travelling to Iceland again in the future, but will never be able to have an experience like that again.

 

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 What is the weirdest thing you’ve experienced during your travels?


I'll swap the word "weird" with "eye-opening". I travelled to Panama in for a medical mission trip a few years ago and it helped expose me to the realities of many third world countries. The villages we provided medical care to lived in extreme poverty. The homes they lived in were literally made of wood and leaves, with dirt floors. One of the villages we visited only had electricity installed the previous year. The water the villagers would wash their clothes and use the bathroom in, is the same water they would use to fetch drinking water and cook with. It was a hard reality to face but also a very rewarding experience. It's easy to be thankful when I reflect on that trip.



What is your favorite picture on your feed and what’s the story behind it?


My favorite picture is of natural rock-bridge in Iceland. I took this picture a few minutes before having the crazy idea to jump off the edge of the cliff. I asked the kayaker to use his paddle to see if he could touch the bottom of the ocean floor and when he couldn't, I climbed up edge and peered over the edge to examine the safety. It was a rather ridiculous idea, and one that usually ends in tragedy more than silly story. I guess the emotion of being surrounded by photographers with peer pressure got to me. After much deliberation, I took the plunge and lived to tell about it. Only the people there that night will really understand the tense moments of that situation, but it is one that I will be able to tell forever. Our local tour guide suspected that I was the first and only person to have ever jumped off that arch bridge.

 

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 Where does your inspiration come from?


My inspiration comes from anyplace I perceive beauty. I'll admit, my city and architecture photography eye is very poor, but that's not my thing. Usually two elements are necessary for me to get really excited about setting up a picture: water and light. I am obsessed with what the combination of water and light can do, and it changes throughout different times of the day. There aren't many pictures I post to Instagram that doesn't feature the interaction between the two elements.


Which country has the best food?


Japan has the best food! I admit to being biased because I love raw fish, but there is much more than the freshest fish and sushi in Japan. The ramen noodles, chicken cutlet, and matcha green tea desserts are salivating. The list goes on...


If you could move to another country for a year, where would it be?


This is a tough one - but judging from personal experience I would have to say Japan. I already mentioned the food, but the people are so nice and respectful there. It is also one of the cleanest countries! I feel like I could easily sleep on a train station floor, and it appears to be clean enough to allow the 5-second rule to extend into a 10-second rule. While there is surf available, there is also powder snow in the winters in Northern Japan. From what I understand, the powder is legendary! New Zealand came in a close second, although I have not visited there yet. Who wants to show me around?!

 

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 If you could go back in time and visit any city or country in another time period, when and where would you go?


I would go back to old Hawai`i, before the white man discovered the Hawaiian Islands. Naturally, Hawai`i is where I was born and raised - my forever home - so I spend a lot of time thinking about what Hawai`i might have been like before buildings were built and when the native Hawaiians would live off the land. Hawai`i has such fertile and gorgeous terrain, I want to know everything about the areas I frequent today and what they were used for in the past. There are books and resources available that document some of this, but I often find myself wishing I could see what things were like when the land and resources weren't taken for granted as much as they are today.

 

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 Where or when do you use your TRONO the most?


Everywhere! TRONO folds up so easily, it's great to transport anywhere. My favorite is on a beach because it's less bulky and easier to carry than bringing a fold-up chair. However, I also love to use it right in my backyard. TRONO is so easy to set up and comfortable! It's a great combination for lounging and relaxing. 

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What is the best travel advice you want to give?


Use a guide! When travelling to an unfamiliar place, I always try to hire a local guide. The reason for this is two-fold. 1) Using a guide will cut down on planning time quite a bit! Because really, who has time to plan out the entire trip? 2) A guide will be able show areas off the beaten path and thus allow for a more intimate experience with a place. Additionally, it can help to keep from wasted time from either trying to find the correct area or getting lost. Of course, make sure the guide is reputable and is available to speak or meet prior to the trip so they can answer appropriate questions. Please don't mistake this recommendation with a tour group. I can't stand tour groups! There are too many people, the experience seems rushed, and the sights are over-done. I understand that cost is always a big issue here, but I firmly believe a guide can maximize an experience to an unfamiliar place and be able to provide insights not many others get access to. Even using a guide for just one or two days for a trip can make a big difference.

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Thank you TRONO for the feature and allowing me to share some of thoughts about travel with you all!