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There are people who already know what they want to be when they are children. I still don't know even now.

Good fortune is important in life. I have had the good fortune to travel in my work and visit many exotic countries, especially given that I am a Central European woman from post-communist Slovakia.
I have seen how people live in both rich and poor countries, but it was the second group that fascinated me. Why? Because the simpler people were, the kinder, more open and friendlier they were. On my travels I took photographs - I wanted to capture the many unique moments and cultures because I knew that in a few years globalisation and progress would make everything different. 

"This photograph is good, and this one, and this one - why don't you take photographs professionally?" - I was asked in the Bratislava House of Photography (Dom Fotografie) by Ing. Vladimír Vorobjov, one of the great men of Slovak photography, its historian and theoretician, and a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU). The main lesson I learned from this man, who was always in a good mood, with a smile on his face, was that photography needs to have a soul. And this is what prompted me to try even harder to try to capture fleeting and unrepeatable moments through the camera lense. 

Many countries fascinated me: the culture and religion of Ethiopia, the wild Dogons but also the mythical city of Timbuktu in Mali, the life of the Himba in Namibia, the heritage and legends of Nepal, historical Machu Picchu in Peru, untamed Irian Jaya in Indonesia, the very kind people of Pakistan, the mosaic-decorated mosques of Iran, fabulous Tibet, colourful India, the Bayon smile of Cambodia, the thanaka in Myanmar, festivals and funerals in Bali, the colours of the costumes and pyramids in Guatemala,
the heritage and easy-going people of Laos… Everyone who has travelled knows what I am talking about. Travel broadens the mind, forces us to think and move on. I travelled to the remains of the oldest town in the world, five-thousand year old Mohenjo-daro, in Pakistan, a country reputed to be a hotbed of terrorism. In this place, one of the local people came just to meet us on a bicycle with a machine gun and a freshly slaughtered hen, dressed in the local dress that look like pyjamas, and apologised with a smile for being late in showing us hospitality, which made me aware that the world is full of interest. By the way, even five thousand years ago, people were using the dice we still use in the board game Ludo. 

Mr Vorobjov said that I have a "kind-hearted view of the world". You can judge for yourselves.





Silvia Vaculíková, EFIAP, MZSF 

Born on July 22nd, 1967 in Trnava as the great-granddaughter of the inventor of the parachute, Štefan Banic, and the granddaughter of the discoverer of the Driny cave in Smolenice. 

After finishing her studies, she worked in a travel agency, and subsequently founded her own TA focusing on discovering exotic countries. 

She lives and works in Bratislava. She has traveled through five continents visiting 122 countries.