Time goes by quickly and between one activity and the next, I sometimes forget the reason that led me to pursue a career in photography and the benefits that it brought me. That’s why I thought of writing down a list of the 9 things I wouldn’t have done without travel photography, partly for a personal need, partly to share it, in the hope that it will help others to believe in their passions. It’s really worth spending time on something that we like and that makes us happy.
1. I would never have run four times (and barefoot!) around the huge Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (Myanmar), just to try to photograph two monks who were walking in the top of the stupa and avoid the many obstacles between them and my camera. But in the end, it was worth it!
2. I would never have seen the beauty of the Llao Llao hotel before dawn, with a pink sky, the lake and the mountains at the bottom, if I hadn’t gotten up so early, driven by the desire to photograph it. A few minutes of magic that repays the fact that I woke up at 4.30 in a cold Patagonian morning.
3. I wouldn’t have traveled far and wide the immense archaeological site of Petra (Jordan) with such will (…and under the scorching sun!) if it weren’t for the desire to photograph and discover always different points of view.
4. I would never have felt on my skin how cold it is at night in Reykjavik (Iceland). I had stayed a little longer than I had to at the Garoskagi lighthouse on the west side of the island to photograph the midnight sun and on my way back, without reservation, I couldn’t find a place to sleep: sold out! After a few hours spent in the street and a brief meeting with the local police, I found space in the lobby of a hotel that eventually accepted my desperate request for accommodation. I remember that at the moment the thing did not amuse me and the idea of dying recklessly in the street had not excited me at all, but over time it turned into a nice travel memory.
5. I would not have spent time with Abel, El Colo, and Alfredo, three gauchos of Argentine pampas. It took me time to document them and try to understand the sacrifices involved in their way of life, completely isolated from the modern world.
6. I wouldn’t have embarked on a professional career. Travel photography has always been my strongest motivation and still today it continues to surprise me and open new paths along the way.
7. Maybe I wouldn’t even have met my partner, with whom I share the same strong passion. Fate has united us during a photographic trip to Argentina!
8. I would never have met so many people, amateurs, and professionals, with whom I could share my experiences.
9. I wouldn’t have daydreamed. I wouldn’t have done what I wanted to do. I would never be myself!
I invite you to write your personal list as an exercise to understand and remember why your passions are important and where they have taken you so far. You can share it with me in the comments below or in private, I’ll be happy to read it.