When adventure and surf photographer Chris Burkard quit his job at 19 to pursue surf photography, he thought he was walking into a dream life. But years later, successful and hopping from tropical location to tropical location around the world, he found himself unfulfilled… even suffocated.

“Anything that is worth pursuing is going to require us to suffer, just a little bit.” – Chris Burkard

He found himself on what he calls a “personal crusade against the mundane”—a crusade to escape the crowds, and hotels, and WiFi, and seek out the wild places where nobody else would be crazy enough to surf or photograph people surfing.

It’s his search and, ultimately, discovery of these places around the world—from Iceland to Norway—that Chris talks about in his wonderfully inspirational TED talk released just this weekend.

A surprisingly moving talk about exploring the fringes of the world in search of, among other things, the kind of pain that brings clarity and mindfulness, it will leave you both inspired and awe-struck… and maybe a bit jealous.

Check it out for yourself below:

Everything about this talk makes us smile and itch to grab our cameras. Chris has been a staple in the 500px community, and it brings us so much joy to see his work and story broadcast to hundreds of thousands of people across the world through the TED stage. Congratulations Chris! You deserve every ounce of fulfillment you’ve found.

To see more of his work, be sure to follow him on 500px or pay his website a visit. And if you want to browse through photos from the TED talk above, look no further than the collection of frozen surf images below.