Seeing the World…

Mike and I were talking last night about some upcoming trips that we have in the works, and it lead to a discussion about travel in general, and the things we like to do when we go and visit places. He said that he likes to see the sights and sample the local cuisine. However, he has to be careful, because he will try to cram too much in to one day, and in the end it just stresses him out, so the idea of traveling as a tourist doesn’t appeal to him.

I don’t travel like that. I’m a very laid back traveler, as I’m sure Jennifer can verify for me. I just want to be there – wherever there may be – soaking up the local feel and rhythm. Sure, there are specific sites I must see – like the Old North Church in Boston last summer. But if I miss something, that’s ok. If I feel rushed, I slow down. I’m on vacation, I have all the time in the world.

And of course, I have my camera with me.

My camera is my best friend when I’m traveling. In some ways it’s like my shield, protecting me from the strangeness around me. Nothing looks strange through my viewfinder. If I’m alone, it’s ok, I have my camera. I can always take pictures. It makes it easier to ignore the strangers around me, as the introvert in me comes out and I don’t want to have to deal with them. If I’m with friends, it inspires me to point out the interesting things that I see. I must have a camera there – or two, or three.

The summer after my senior year in high school, we went on a family vacation. Our first stop was Minnesota, and I was having a blast doing things with my cousin Renee. Then it came time to head on over to North Dakota – and I didn’t want to go. “I’ll be bored” followed by “there will be nothing to do.” My Mom pointed out to me that everything in life is what you make of it, and if I went there with that attitude, I would be bored. I was making myself miserable. So the first day after we arrived, I took my 35mm SLR camera out and went to take pictures. The park, the lake, Main street. Eventually I saw other kids my age, and they asked what I was doing. We started talking, and before I knew it I was having a great time and meeting new people. My camera helped give me a reason to be out there, to meet them. Sometimes I need that nudge.

As I drove in to work this morning, I realized something. Some people talk about how they see things in HTML. Me? I see the world in pictures. There must have been at least five things that I spotted during my commute that made me wish I had time so I could pull over and take pictures. Signs, colors, buildings, flowers. I analyze everything by the photo I could take of it. After that I think about what I see as a blog post. Is there a story to tell here? What is it? Why is the man sitting there on the corner – does he have a home? What is the history of that old church building? Can I blog about it? What story can I share?

I see the world in photographs and stories. How do you see yours?

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

14 replies on “Seeing the World…”

I think it all depends on what you like to do. You see things in photos, webdesigners might see it in HTML.

Me, I see it in words. I’m a writer, and so everything I see, I see as a story, or perhaps the story behind that object, because everything has a story behind it.

OH! I’m so glad you said that! Because I left that part out of my post, and now I have to add it in… I see things as photographs and as blog posts. “What is the story behind that? What could I write about it?” Hmmm… I could add a lot to that – we’ll save that for part 2!

i have a friend who just came back from three weeks in mexico. he bought a plane ticket and nothing else. traveled around by bus, saw and experienced it at his own pace. that would have driven me crazy. i think i travel more like mike – i always like to have a plan.

i know what you mean about seeing the world through your camera. i’m never without at least one.

I would agree with you, I always think about pulling over and taking pictures, I think of it as drive-by photography. I know you can’t really see music but I think it’s something to “see” the world through. The right vibe sets the tone to the day and to your mood.

I tend to see things in pictures as well, and I do the same thing you do; see potential photographs in everything I see. Unfortunately, I don’t have my camera with me most of the time, so I end up not capturing the image. Go figure.

I also see the world as a sort of web layout; how can I incorporate text and pictures on a screen so they are aethesically pleasing to the eye? What color combinations are the best? I tend to think more in that view than the photographer’s view, actually. Maybe I’m a designer at heart?

Oh, definitely in photos – that or artistic animation. 🙂 And, uhhh, music. Oh yeah, and definitely stories – not necessarily “blog posts,” but stories nonetheless. The world through my eyes is quite bizarre. 😉

Speaking of the traveling and how people travel, you might enjoy this essay: Why We Travel by Pico Iyer – *very* thought-provoking. I found myself nodding along with everything he said when I was reading it last year in a compilation of travel essays. 🙂

i see the issues — mostly still as a reporter — i want to know and understand why things are the way the are. i want to know how things work and who is responsible. now, i’m starting to see the legal issues around me in everyday life. sometimes i just want to stop myself — give myself a break from over analyzing everything — but it’s usually easier to just go ahead formulate all the questions in my head. 🙂

I think I see things through my camera. I can’t imagine traveling without my camera, couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t. If for some reason my camera were to die right before I were to take a huge trip somewhere, I’d probably impulsively run to the store to buy another, even if they were overpriced.

I also think about the whole atmosphere of the place, the smells, the feelings, the sounds. But overall, I’m a slave to the camera (and like it that way).

Now if I could just get one of those digital SLRs…

For me I see it in Photographs. I’m always wishing I could pull over to take pix when I’m in a hurry. If I stopped every time then it’d take me two hours to get to the sushi bar and that ain’t good 😉 But photos, yeah. I’m obsessed w/ photography lately.

Yep, definitely in pictures. I’m a sucker for interesting angles and I’ll see them everywhere. Everyone I know has gotten used to the fact that Laura has her camera with her 100% of the time, deal with it.

Of course I also compose blog posts in my head when I see interesting/strange/funny things. Sometimes I even remember to write them when I get to a computer!

I see it in anecdotes. Even as I’m experiencing stuff I’m thinking “how will this sound when I’m retelling it”, “what’s the funny part”, “what parts will get left out”. I think it comes from growing up with a huge extended family in the one house and only ever getting “the floor” if you had a good staory to tell.

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