Thursday, December 14, 2017

Travel Memories without Photos. An anti-Blogging Adventure

My love for travel started long before I used to have a blog, and even longer before I was able to write and read. Although being born in a dictatorship involved also serious limitations of the possibility to travel abroad - at least for us - my family tried to get the best of everything and did intensive travels around the country that I am thankful for. We went to places that even now are off the usual touristic, state-sponsored bloggers trip radar, especially in the mountains and through little villages lost in time. 
We travelled with our eyes opened keeping the memories mostly in our hearts. Most probably my parents rather preferred to spend the money for a nice trip with a visit to museums and other sights instead of investing in a camera. Our summer holidays - which in the old country were outrageously long for school children, of 3 months - were kept until now in our hearts, but no visible traces of our happy faces in the front of the camera. The only way I keep sometimes the track of the places I've visited is by having a look at an old map and trying to remember all the places we've visited. Very often, even without a picture, my memories are rich because I can also remember people and their stories.
Later in life, as a journalist, my travels expanded to even more countries and places, but having the priviledge of being accompanied by a professional photographer - many of them artists that taught me a whole lot about the right angle but also of daring to go far for the right image - therefore, my visual involvement was sometimes to only pick up the right illustration for my articles. My academic travels brought me to many beautiful places too, but besides one or two photo groups, I rarely see myself in an unique location. No smartphones or cameras, therefore no proof of my wanderings, besides a line in my CV listing my conference and academic participation. Which doesn't mean that the stories are not there and waiting to be told/written.
Although I am fascinated about photography and visual arts in general, I always kept a distance from domains that I knew are not my piece of cake. All my focus was and still remains on writing and reading, and I am always shy when it comes to other ways of expressing myself. The written word is mostly enough, and I am always careful to not sin by ending up in a moment of complete blindness of the self, 'an artist' only because once in a while some of my pics are a bit above the average. It is not a sign of low self-respect, but it rather has to do with my way of creating my own career mostly in a very classical way, with one clear direction. 
Therefore, when I started a completely new life ten years ago, and travel blogging became more or more an important part of my new beginning, the weight was always on writing instead of the visual aspects. Photography was a way to add more beauty and mystery to the written text but was not an aim in itself. During my travels I greatly neglected to carry a camera with me, and when my old Nikon died of overexposure to too much humidity in Thailand I didn't buy a new one until a couple of years and trips later when I finally decided to launch my travel blog. After all, exploring new limits is part of your evolution as a human and professional being and adding photography to my skills, instead of confusing my goals brought a lot of depth and creativity to my writing too.
Those were the times and right now, I am trying to rebuild some visual content from old phone photos and printed photos from my early years in order to recreate stories. I still remain very shy under - and in the front - of the camera, but at least I am doing my best to share quality images of the places I love to tell the stories on my blogs. Even though there will not be exhaustive lists of places I've seen and foods I've tasted, there will be for sure some memories that resisted the test of time that I would love to share with my readers in the next weeks. Interestingly, there are the images - more or less accurate - that I keep in my mind of those places who are somehow dictating my impressions and future texts about it.  
Social media challenged me to get out of my shell of words and tell my stories in more than one way. Nowadays, I have an Instagram account and even a YouTube account too where I would love to share more often high-end photography and visual stories. My smart phone can help me too, with so many edit options which make the life easy even to a beginner photographer as me. Travel, and my life in general, seems to be a lot about going beyond your own limits and exploring the world though all senses - if someone would have told me 12 years ago that one day I will be able to recreate sophisticated dished in my modest kitchen and even write about it I would have laugh for days, but it is happening right now and I feel a little pride in this, because I did it, against all odds! - and trying to be a more accomplished writer and travel story teller is one of my biggest aim I want to achieve in the next 12 months. Besides an extensive list of topics that I hope to be able to write about very soon. Feel free to come along and follow my journey!

PS. This blog post doesn't have a picture on purpose, of course...

5 comments:

  1. It seems your travels are more a way to write than an opportunity to build visual memories, so keep it that way to see (!) where it'll lead you.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Doing my best to improve and diversify my experiences, especially since blogging, but the written word will always be my first and main love.

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