Traveling, for me can be exhausting sometimes, stressful even. Do not get me wrong... I absolutely love to do it.
I love to see new things, experience new places and document the whole thing. BUT occasionally I forget all about just enjoying the time I have and turn it more in to a burden, a check mark, a hurry-through-it so I can move on to the next thing.
But, I have been learning a new perspective about life lately and this week it hit me all of a sudden that traveling can be so much more satisfying.
I am in a new part of the country for an extended period of time, to work on my education in Mass Communications through basic photojournalism.
One of our assignments for the week is to take 100-150 photos on a Nikon D750 camera with various criteria to meet, including photographing complete strangers.
(Side note: I have been a Canon shooter for my entire professional career so this in itself is a challenge, don't judge.)
So off to the nearby public spaces we go...
Go me for thinking that the Northern East Coast would be a great time of year in January!
I realized something as I am standing on the pier freezing my tushy off.
I am faced with a choice.
I could either complain about the cold, the wind & the assignment. Rush out there, grab as many shots as I can, doing a poor overall job. Then run back to the car while traveling the shortest distance possible - grumbling and consumed by the fact that my face and fingers felt like they were about to fall off.
I can take my time. I can sit back and recognize the cold but not let it overwhelm my moments. I could breathe in the crisp air with intention and feel how fills up my lungs. I could look around at the lights lighting the harbor, watch the bustle of people as they hurriedly race from warm store to warm store, enjoy the sunset fall on the gentle waves of the harbor and then disappear in to the night. I could work with purpose and be filled with the awe of it all.
It is so easy to go with the first one. Not that long ago I would be totally on board with that.
But that is no longer the life I want to live... even on the coldest day I have ever experienced in my life.
And so, I saw the choice come before me and I consciously made my decision.
I choose to dance to the sounds of a drummer in the streets, I choose to capture the beauty around me and take in the sounds of the wind and waves, the smell of the crisp air.
I choose to do my best to be in awe every day of this adventure. And I will continue to work on making that choice every time it presents itself until it becomes part of my nature.
Will you choose to do the same?
Elisabeth Ashliegh Gelhar