What impressed you most in India

Photo gallery: Photo gallery: Dropouts in India

GEO.de: How did you come up with the topic? Have you ever thought of getting out of the car yourself?

Isadora Tast: No. But I think it's important to ask yourself how you would most like to live. Life doesn't always have to be like this straight be as we know it. I was also interested in the life stories of these people who left everything behind.

In your book you introduce 41 people. How did you get to know her?

The research was difficult - and time-consuming. Overall, I spent more than half a year in India on three trips. I drove to the dropouts and asked around, sat down in the relevant cafés and spoke to people. I was in each place for eight to nine days.

You also portrayed older dropouts. How do "getting out" and "being old" fit together?

Surprisingly good. I think being old works even better in India than it does here. They have more respect for age there. And you is not really old either. You go to concerts and you are socially better integrated. It is of course more difficult financially. The older ones usually had very little money ...

Unless they've taken precautions ...

Yes, Andreas, for example. He lived very frugally in Germany and saved up for his life in India. And he continues to pay his social security contributions in Germany. That is very German - but also legitimate. I find it rather strange when people get out at the age of 20, do nothing for their country and expect that they will be treated free of charge in their old homeland if they are sick.

Which people have impressed you the most?

What impressed me most, perhaps because I am not a dropout type, were the people who are also aware of their social responsibility. For example the family of the Swiss Alain and Laurence. They have a harmonious relationship, are largely self-sufficient, live very frugally and know that they have to do something. They have adapted and integrated as best they can.

I also found the encounter with New Zealand-born Antoinette, who only got out of the car when she was over 60, exciting - a very adventurous woman with an incredible past. She suddenly realized that she wanted to die in India. Your openness, freshness and youthfulness - that was just great.

Your personal conclusion?

Maybe we should go through life a little more fearlessly, pay more attention to what we want ourselves, without living at the expense of others. And ... I think it's a shame that these people don't have a place with us. I would like it to be a little more colorful, lively and crazy here.

Interview: Peter Carstens

They come from Germany, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Azerbaijan or Canada, the people Isadora Tast portrayed for this volume. What unites them all is the search for a more fulfilling life. The photographer portrayed her - and asked her whether her wishes had come true.

Isadora Tast

Mother India: Searching for a place

With an essay by Christian Schüle

Peperoni Books, September 2009

144 pages, approx. 50 color illustrations

The photographer's homepage: www.isadoratast.de

More about the book on the publisher's homepage: www.peperoni-books.de