Virginia and I have always been travelers, having spent considerable amounts of time in Asia and SE Asia, Africa, Australia, South and Central America and Europe. In North America we love to travel and discover more about our own country, Canada but the US has become an increasingly less joyful place for us to spend time; the politics, not the people.
When I started my blog a couple of years ago, the writing process led me to try and understand the common themes underlying our travels and why we made the travel choices we did. So, what do we take pleasure in and what themes ran through our trip planning?
- Virginia was the Board Chair of the Textile Museum of Canada for a number of years and we both have an interest in textiles, weaving, fabrics and rugs;
- I bought my first camera when the transformation to digital began at the turn of the century and I began to haul my camera on every trip, business or pleasure. I found that I was spending increasingly more time thinking about how to integrate photography into my trips, to the point that on my retirement from a business career a couple of years ago, I turned myself into a full-time travel and wildlife photographer;
- We love to eat, cook and try new culinary experiences;
- We are fascinated with people, seeing them in their own settings, watching them, talking to them and photographing them, working, playing or over a meal;
- We actively dislike traveling as part of a tour group,and all of our travels have been planned by the two of us and our tour group consists of Virginia and me.
All of these things make an enormous contribution to our travels and help us give shape to trips; they are the bones and skeleton of our itineraries. For example, textiles and weaving have taken us into mountain villages in Bhutan and Chiapas and way off the beaten track in Laos and India to find weavers and artisans in out-of-the-way places that rarely see outsiders. The same is true of photography, and rural markets are one of our favourite places for photography, for interesting foods, for textiles and most of all for people, who are generally much more comfortable with just the two of us than they ever would be with a larger group.
My aim in writing these blog posts is give heart, and hopefully some suggestions, to those of you who travel in packs but would like to travel in a different way. We love to travel, to try new things, to keep the scale very small and to take the best pictures we can. For those of you who share these interests, I hope our stories can help you do it too. And for those of you who are already successfully doing these things I hope you’ll comment and contact me. I’d love to learn and to share.
“There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
— Leonard Cohen