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Why am I taking all these photos? For memories? Just so I can look at them and remember the trips? Why not just be in the moment? By attempting to capture it forever, am I missing the actual thing? Or am I subconsciously mucking about in the choose-your-favorite-filter vanity bubble of the digital world? So I can bake a cake, have it all to myself, eat it in front of everyone, and gnawed by worry over how many like’s I will receive? Shouldn’t travel be about meanings? Shouldn’t people be the core of bringing meanings to travel? And not the places, food and wine in these photos? How do I photograph meanings? How can I document human connections? Is there any point in immortalising these moments and sights?
According to Viktor Frankl, anything can have meaning if it changes you for the better.
In the process of capturing these moments, my awareness of the surroundings is enhanced. I am making a purposeful attempt to seek out details that reveal beauty, like the tension between textures and the subtle colour that tells a story.
By being conscious of what captures my attention, what I deem worth remembering, and what I intend to accomplish with the photos—ultimately and ideally—I hope to learn more about what really matters to me.
I hope that these photos will remind me where I’ve been, not just physically but also internally—my mind and what went into every inch of my gut.
Maybe these photo can keep me anchored to empathy and openness by illustrating that life can be lived perfectly well and differently from my own.
Perhaps someday these photos will teach me that environment dictates possibilities and possibilities are endless if I consider the varied environments out there.
In every photo, I hope it will act as a time machine, taking me to a positive feeling in the past and teleport my mind to a future moment that I will intentionally construct based on this positive memory.
Why take all these photos? Steve Jobs said that we can only connect the dots when we look backwards. Then maybe the question should be why not? So why not #yolo, take a #selfie of your #ootd with #foodporn on the table as you plan your next #fitspiration post at a place that qualifies for #wanderlust?
That said, I think we can all learn to strive for an environment or Facebook feed that is less about ourselves and more about what we are surrounded with; perhaps even go beyond picture-perfect essentialism and create vivid frames about how we feel, not just what we see.
I’ll continue to document my trips but will also keep in mind to do it in the least intrusive manner. Enjoy and savor the moment first and if an unobtrusive opportunity arises, maybe I’ll create a tangible memory to fall back on. We can all keep moving and document our own trail as long as we remember to look back and connect the dots of those experiences. In the process, let’s continue to ask ourselves “why” and “why not”.
To perception, reason, will, intuition, and imagination—much love, Charine