Joanna Kalafatis is an actress, blogger, and photographer working out of Los Angeles, California; she has previously lived in Athens, Greece and New York.
She has published two photo books on “Abandoned California” with Arcadia Publishing and runs a travel blog at LosetheMap.com. Joanna has also traveled to over 40 countries and worked with major travel brands including Hipmunk, Mapquest, and JUCY Campervan in the past.
In addition to writing about travel and cultures, she is passionate about social causes; she helped film a documentary in a Syrian refugee camp in Idomeni, Greece, has worked with charities such as Centro Infantil in Mexico, and partnered with Omaze to promote and help fund Tanzanian charities.
As far as acting, Joanna has appeared in commercials for Mitsubishi, worked as a voice actress in franchises such as Metal Gear Solid, in music videos for Pierce the Veil and Lil Wayne, and acted in many independent films.
Juggling a few connected but different careers is always a balancing act, so she has a few products to help her organize and get the best out of her time:
1. Sunski Madrona Polarized Sunglasses For Men & Women: I used to really have a block against wearing sunglasses, but I travel to a lot of very sunny destinations and need to protect my eyes. The great thing about these glasses is that they are made from recycled plastic!
2. JOBY GorillaPod 3K Kit: So many shots require a tripod to get that truly detailed, professional look and I especially love long exposure shots. You can place the JOBY almost anywhere and set up a great shot; it’s extremely lightweight and great for the road.
3. GoPro HERO7 Black: Even though I will never part with my Canon, this GoPro has been amazing to get active/underwater travel shots and videos I couldn’t really get with my DSLR camera.
4. Osprey Mira AG 26 Hydration Pack: Whether I’m going on a long hike to get some great photos and want to stay hydrated, or just need to comfortably carry my gear with me when I walk around a new city, this backpack has been a lifesaver.
5. Essentials Dot Matrix Notebook – A5 Size: This is the perfect notebook for those who use the Bullet Journal Method; I like writing things down manually, but using this one notebook helped me merge all my planners, to do lists, brainstorming maps, etc. in one place so I can stay on top of my work and responsibilities.
“A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.” ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
I love this quote by one of my favorite Greek authors because it captures the idea that once you have learned what all the rules and expectations of you are, you need to trust your instincts to break them a little so you can truly achieve your dreams.
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