My wife and I love to travel. We jump at each oppportunity to explore somplace new or revisit a place with exciting or romantic memories. Wandering through cities, soaking up local vibes, and tasting authentic regional cuisines like McDonald's or Hard Rock Cafe. I don't think it gets much better. As a photographer, being able capture some of those memories to bring home is icing on the Big Mac for me. Our library is decorated with travel photos from many of our experiences, with still room for many more.
COVID has certainly put a damper on the whole travel thing. The last real travel vacay we've taken was a cruise to Central America for Christmas 2019.
Photos from Central America Cruise
We had a cruise booked for April 2020, which was promptly canceled the week prior to us leaving due to the whole world being sick or something like that. In retrospect, that cancellation could have been a life saving event, but hindsight is frequently filled with all sorts of bogus justifications, so I dunno. I'm happy to not have gotten sick or been stuck on a ship for months, but it still kinda sucks that we missed the experience. After that, on the fifth time that is seemed this COVID thing might be easing up, we took a train to Berlin to spend a few days. That was almost a year ago.
So, we've had a bit of the travel blues. It genuinely felt like we hadn't gone anywhere for years. I know a lot of people never get the opportunity to experience a tenth of the travel experiences that we've been fortunate enough to have, but when something is a part of your life and then it's just suddenly gone, it can be a bit traumatic. I really love those Hard Rock nachos.
This has been on my mind lately. Traveling, not the nachos. The love of wandering that my wife and I share. Okay, that and the love of all things food related. The longing has probably intensified since we actually have another short trip coming up soon. You know how it is - counting down the days until your work obligations and responsibilities all get to buzz around your head like a gnat at a fucking barbecue, but you try your best to ignore them and concentrate on the McD's fries and ice cream...assuming the machine isn't broken. This is what I was anticipating during a late evening walk through my city. I decided this night to walk in the opposite direction of where I would normally go at night. When I walk in the evening for exercise, I usually...never take my camera. Steps and heart rate don't usually vibe very well with tripods and long exposures when you have to work in the morning. I'd be out all night, and some of us have some very strenuous home office to navigate to in the AM. This particular evening, I got to experience the bright lights of my wonderful town at night. Honestly, I was more than a bit embarrassed that I hadn't taken the opportunity to explore it more before now. I was also disappointed that I didn't have my camera.
One of the wonderful things about todays smart phones, besides the fact that you can carry a thousand dollar computer in your pocket that gives you access to an unfathomable amount of information on almost any topic under the sun - including the sun, is that you always have a camera with you. So, I took a few shots with my phone to get an idea of what I wanted to shoot when I came back out the next night. One of the wonderful things about shooting around town is that you get many more opportunities to perfect the shot, or better yet, to more accurately capture your vision. It also probably won't cost much more than time.
Now I find myself wondering...what other local opportunities have I passed up while waiting for an opportunity to see beautiful things in someone elses hometown? Not just photographic opportunities, but also restaurants, shops, museums, parks and all. I will for sure be taking advantage of this still ongoing pandemic to find out.