In June 2010, three crew members set out to shoot a concept for a new Matador TV show: Breaking Free. The show would profile expats around the world who are living their dreams: their challenges, their hopes, and their triumphs.

And so the fellowship set out: myself (Director), Brian Chu (Director of Photography), and Robin Esrock (host).

The result: a resounding success. The next step – to make the show a reality. In the meantime, enjoy the photo gallery.


1. Finca Bellavista. The journey began deep in the jungles of Costa Rica, where two Americans, Matt and Erica, were hard at work building an Ewok village. Learn more about the Finca


2. Three Amigos. Riding in the back of Matt's truck, the three members of the crew (from left to right): Ian MacKenzie, Brian Chu, and Robin Esrock. Robin needs to watch out for low branches.


3. The Interview. Matt Hogan describes their first year at the Finca, living in a tent by the river. Small wonder that he says, "I wouldn't change anything."


4. Zipline. Erica shows us how the Finca is connected by a network of ziplines - basically the coolest way to commute...ever.


5. Suspended. DP Brian Chu crawls across the zipline with Matt Hogan, high above the jungle canopy. (Brian proves he'll do anything to capture that perfect shot).


6. Treehouse. One of my fondest memories from the shoot - waking up with the rushing river and jungle creatures in my very own treehouse. Photo: Robin Esrock.


7. Hunting. After the Finca, we drove a few hours north to Dominical, Costa Rica. Brian Chu looks out at the waves where our next subject, Trevor, surfs the break.


8. Time. Trevor and his companion. He spends his mornings surfing, afternoons selling real estate, then he's back in the water. He said it best "I'm rich on time and not money."


9. Scorpion.. We stayed the night in Trevor's surf sack, complete with scorpions hiding under the pillow.


10. Arenal Volcano. Next we drove even further north to La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Usually hidden by clouds, we were able to snap this photo of the incredible volcano on the city's doorstep.


11. Suresh. "I went broke four times," says Suresh as he relates starting his company Desafio Adventures. But his persistence finally paid off, and his company is thriving.


12. Forest Ruins. We flew to Panama for our next stories. On a day trip to the countryside, near Boquete, we spied this abandoned castle in the trees.


13. Leap of faith Robb Pickett wasn't happy in the US - so he flew to Panama without a plan. It wasn't long before he found his place: starting Global Humanitarian Adventures, and NGO that places volunteers where they're needed most.


14. Open heart.Yoga teacher and studio owner Laura Kay reaches for the sky. She built Bocas Yoga on the island of Bocas del Toro, Panama.


15. Inner Peace. Brian gets up close and personal to capture the spirit of inner peace present in all Laura's classes.


16. Namaste. Robin Esrock feels the bliss after Laura Kay's yoga class.


17. Eating Fire. Darion Grobler puts on a fire show for the locals, outside their restaurant in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Photo: Robin Esrock


18. Cannonball. Brian Chu puts down the camera (for a moment) to leap into the clear waters off Bocas del Toro.


19. Breaking Free. Robin Esrock feels the wind between his fingers, on the final day of the shoot.