Friday, October 31, 2008


When we are at home we are not in the habit of taking pictures of our daily life. We take pictures of special occasions; birthdays, violin concerts, dance recitals etc. We will also take our camera with us on vacation to photograph the sites of wherever it is we are traveling to.

Now that we are 4 1/2 months into our trip, we have noticed a change in our picture taking. If you are one of the recipients of our Kodak photo albums, you too may have noticed a change - a definite reduction in the number of pictures. With much less busy lives these days, we not only notice these changes, but we even take the time to ponder why these changes have occurred.

For one thing, we are no longer "on vacation." While we knew from the beginning that this was a year long odyssey and not a vacation, it was hard to comprehend that. Everything was new and exciting and there was a great desire to document it. We took pictures of ourselves doing all kinds of "daily activities" in a new environment and also took pictures of the many sights that we set out to see each day. Once we adjusted into our roles of traveling as a lifestyle, we found ourselves no longer taking pictures of the day to day things: new foods, eating in restaurants, walking down the street in a new city. We didn't take pictures of our food when we ate out at home, why would we do it now?

We also discovered a big change once we left Europe. In Europe we were often taking pictures of "sights." Once we got to Africa and India, there weren't as many sights and what we really desired to take pictures of was people's lives. We wanted to photograph women walking with baskets on their heads, people ironing clothes with a coal iron, Tibetan Monks wandering the streets, men shining shoes on the street corner, or the lady selling used socks. But this was their day to day lives, not something to be photographed unless it could be done surreptitiously. We often went without the photo rather than risk offending the person or their culture.

Looking back on our photographs of Africa and now India, our most cherished memories of these countries (and probably future countries as well) will go undocumented. C'est La Vie.

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