I may be a writer, but as one specialising in travel, this online world demands pretty photos as much, if not more so, as words. Hence, most travel writers are also professional photographers by default.
When packing for a trip the bulk of my luggage is books, beauty products (yes, I know I have a problem) writing materials (including the old fashioned method as well as a laptop) and my Canon with an assortment of lenses. I never seem to have the correct lens on at the appropriate time so often a relaxed trip to the beach involves me rummaging around in a bag of lenses cocooned and protected in sarongs, and sometimes fluffy towels. Yeah, I’m a pain to travel with.
I must confess there are times I resent lugging my camera around. So much so, I leave it at home and rely on my i-phone and believe it or not, I still manage to produce publishable shots through no talent on my part thanks to Apple’s ingenuity. But its almost guaranteed I’ll come across an amazing vista or a fascinating story which I’m photographically ill-prepared for, and I’ll regret my decision of leaving my trusty camera at home.
Considering my love-hate relationship, my camera has had an eventful year. It’s captured orang-utans in Sandakan in northern Sabah and luxuriated on Gaya Island within the Tunku Abdul Marine Park off the coast of Kota Kinabalu in Borneo. It got a little misty-eyed at my sister’s wedding on Bali’s southern peninsula in Uluwatu, and it’s been to shows, galleries and eateries all over my hometown of Perth.
It joined me on a truffle hunt during a campervan tour of Western Australia’s Great Southern and to our state’s famed wine region of Margaret River. It kept me company while I reviewed a raw vegan retreat in Ubud, which I admittedly approached with some trepidation, but found surprisingly enjoyable. It gate-crashed a girls’ weekend in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca with my mum and sister. It snapped many inspiring talents at the Ubud Writer’s Festival 2013 and joined the inaugural flight to Singapore on the new low cost airline Scoot. And most excitingly of all, it was a welcome travelling companion in the US.
We had an incredible time in New York and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, hung out on the Highline, had pastrami on rye and pretended to live like New Yorkers. We revelled in art in Philadelphia and then got all shook-up at Graceland and bluesy on Memphis’ Beale St. We returned to New York and set-up a temporary home in Chelsea. After doing the tourist thing on Times Square we returned to our apartment to discover we’d been robbed. I had left my camera home that day.
All our electronics were stolen including our i-phones, i-pads, laptops, head phones, kindles and of course, my camera and lenses. Most of these items were in my hand-luggage which made it nice and easy for the culprits to wheel out undetected.
We remotely wiped our phones and computers, but alas, my camera was stolen with photos of many of the above journeys. Thankfully, these images were backed up and the items were insured. I’m assuming the new owners probably made their purchases in China Town and threw the camera card away. Or did they? Is someone out there right now enjoying these images and possibly adding precious memories of their own?
Hopefully, I never discover the fate of my dearly departed camera. I prefer to remain hopeful it went to a deserving home. Of course, I now have a newer and shinier model, after all, a camera is merely a vessel for capturing memories and the wonderfulness of this earth and its people.
Thank you for your support throughout 2013 and I endeavour to continue to bring the world to you in the following year ahead. First trip off the mark is my beloved Sri Lanka in January.
Happy New Travels!