How do you like to travel? Do you pick a destination and then spend every spare minute researching what to do and where to go and what to eat? Sometimes that is the best way to make sure nothing important is missed. A lot of people have one opportunity to get to a location in their lifetime and no one wants to get home to find out they missed the Grand Canyon when they were in Arizona or Mount Rushmore when they drove through South Dakota. The internet has made trip researching and planning easier than ever with the advent of such sites as TripAdvisor and Google. Experiences by other travelers are openly shared on the internet helping to point the compass in the right direction.
I decided to approach my last trip more like a wandering nomad with only a general sense of driving west or east today, north or south tomorrow. It went against every grain of Type A personality planning that I have carried around since birth. This was not easy...at all. I find comfort and security in plans. I know what I'm doing. I don't have to worry about what might happen if... I decided to do it because someone I admire a lot used to travel that way. That person was Ernst Haas. He talked about it in his film documentary "To Dream With Eyes Wide Open":
I was always accused of not knowing where I am going and what I'm doing. This is really true because there is an element of surprise which for me is very, very important.
Could this really be true, I wondered? Had I been behaving like a banker my whole life and worse yet, on my photography trips? Taking out every ounce of creativity as I marched through my itineraries, checking off my to-do list one by one?
I decided to put my trust in Ernst Haas. Just once. I took comfort knowing that if it didn't work, I wouldn't do it again. I knew where I was sleeping at night and that was it. I let the car do the driving and if something piqued my curiosity I explored it, letting myself be available to any whim that arose. From the very first photo of my trip, it lead me to off the beaten track places like this:
to the very last photo of my trip:
Was it successful? I don't know, but I felt like this method of travel worked out very good for me and I will definitely try it again. On repeated occasions I remember thinking how lucky I was and being grateful for every moment I had and working like crazy before the clock ran out of time.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and I thank you very much for coming by. As you may have noticed I am test driving a new logo. Comments are open so feel free to let me know your thoughts. Thank you!
Originally published Nov. 17, 2012
This week I finally sprung for a 1 Terabyte external hard drive. I’m running a 2005 Mac with a PC processor it in and only 150 GB of hard drive space. That means over the years I have accumulated a total of 7 external hard drives to store my images on.
Springing for the big hard drive means I can finally put all my best work together in one place. It will be a big job to weed out the duplicates, but in the end I will have a comprehensive body of work that is organized and easy to access.
As I begin the process of doing this task, I am reminded through quick glimpses of photos here and there of all the great things I have done in my lifetime. The people I’ve known, some still here, some have moved on. The places I’ve vacationed to, the laughs we’ve had, the experiences and holidays, as well as the natural beauty in the world. So much to be thankful for that it makes my heart feel full.
Photography is such a powerful tool. It can preserve memories for us and bring back emotions in an instant. If you are lonely this year or feeling like your list of things to be thankful for is a little short, or even if you are plenty thankful, try looking at some old photos to remember the richness and abundance life gives many of us, especially in this country.
Wishing all those celebrating it a wonderful, peaceful and very thankful Thanksgiving holiday.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.