I have settled into that time of the year when I sit back and reflect. I look over my photos and sigh wondering if I really appreciated what was before me while I was there. In most cases, I think no, I didn’t due to jet lag and time at locations and the list goes on. I wonder why I keep doing it, traveling for hours in a plane next to some stranger. Eating food that I am not quite sure of and hoping to get some sleep the upcoming night. The hotels are always an adventure and the bathrooms run in many sizes and luxury scales. Yet, every year I search again for another location to drag my equipment along.
The above frame is from Ireland and the view of a road just between land and sea seems fitting to me. As a traveler, I always feel just between two worlds. The world I am from and the world I am traveling to. I escape my midwestern life for long enough to catch a glimpse of beauty. A land far away from everything I know and a people with an accent worse than mine. (Of course I really don’t have an accent.) My favorite all time comment is a Scot commenting on the Irish accent. My mind is thinking they can’t hear themselves can they. Forever, that comment is planted in my mind and I will smile every time it replays.
Or maybe it is the people who enjoy being creative and sharing a sunset together after a long day. Along with a ride in a cramped van with a lunch of something stuffed into a sack. Rain pouring down overhead and steam clouding up the windows. Unraveling a ball of yarn that is tangled to pass the time, while your new friend sits knitting next to you in the van. Worlds and countries colliding with languages trying to communicate only one thing, that moment the sky and the earth lines up to end the glorious day hopefully with some color. I have stared across the water in hope many times only to have the color disappear. But when the glory is full on you can’t help but keep trying to get that shot till the light fades. The sunset above on the same road in Ireland.
So, here I sit in the comfort of my own home, with only the reflection of memories stored on a hard drive. I can’t explain to you what they mean to me. It is even harder to explain why all the hassle of packing, loading, standing in line and boarding countless planes is worth it. I have made friends- good friends of people from these trips. I would not be the same person without them. My world has expanded not just because of a photograph but the experience behind the photograph.
The best decision I ever made is to travel. To pick up a camera and try to do something new, see something new and grow into someone I never expected. I know I am not the most talented photographer out there. I have met people who just blow me away. I wonder where does it come from? However, the more I see and do the better my eye becomes for the wold around me. But, I don’t mind not being there yet. I will get there and plan on enjoying every step of the journey until I do.