It’s only been three years since Karl Ndieli unwrapped his first camera on Christmas Day. But since that fateful day, he’s taken advantage of every opportunity, each and every spare second, to explore and document the world around him.

For Karl, those extra moments aren’t easy to come by, so between his architecture degree and his passion for photography, he stays pretty busy.

Luckily, U.S. college students have vacation days every spring, summer, Thanksgiving, and winter holiday season, and Karl has put his time off to good use every year.

He spends his vacations traveling with friends and family, then posts photos from those trips throughout the remainder of the year. And even though it’s been difficult to find a balance between his passions and responsibilities, Karl makes it work, attributing his success to time management and to-do lists.

A landscape photographer at heart, Karl has learned to persevere while he tries to capture those perfect shots. No matter how much planning he puts into a particular shoot, he’s realized that, ultimately, Mother Nature is in charge. And while that can be frustrating, Karl is always up for the challenge — he’s visited the same spot on the Oregon coast three times without getting the exact photo he wants, but he knows that he’ll return someday to try again.

For Karl, 2018 promises to be a year of both change and growth. He’ll receive his master’s degree in May, spend the summer traveling through Europe and Asia, and move to the Pacific Northwest to kick off his career in architecture come autumn.

But even when he enters the workforce, he won’t leave photography behind — far from it. He views photography as his craft, and he concludes each Instagram post with an enthusiastic “Stay Adventurous Dear Friends!”

Karl’s advice for fellow creatives and travelers? Never leave your wallet in your back pocket. Remember to put down your camera and experience the magic of what you see. Be spontaneous — buy that ticket, take that trip, board that train.

After all, for Karl, those last-minute decisions have led to his most valuable experiences. With a plan in place, his camera around his neck, and a drive to be successful, there’s only one thing left.

Stay adventurous, dear friends!