Watercolors and Micron Pens
We had an excellent time in Kenya, and enjoyed our layovers in Zurich very much. Now we’re settling back into our daily rhythms. It’s good to be home.
I wrote the following entry on one of the last days of the trip. In case you weren’t aware, Nathan and I were traveling with a group of camera-toting doctors. We were withe them all week while they were volunteering, then we all went on safari for two days. What he and I observed prompted me to write this reflection/rant.
Our culture is so busy. Even our enjoyment is busy. We’re so focused on capturing every beautiful moment that we don’t know how to savor an experience! Ok, I understand that many folks enjoy taking pictures as a creative endeavor. Cool. And, I know, it’s really fun to share special moments with friends and family. I get it! But when an assessment of your experience consists only of how many good shots you got, you know you’ve got a problem.
Don’t travel for other people. Don’t pursue beauty just to show it off. Enjoy where you are…while you’re there! Maybe, just maybe, you don’t need 18 shots of the same zebra. Maybe you should put the camera down and observe – watch his glossy stripes ripple under flies and cool air. Stop and notice the way the momma buffalo is waving her big head, threatening you not to bother her baby. Soak in the expanse of green tea fields and endless kale gardens.
And take a moment to feel something. Anything. Learn to develop your emotions and thoughts, not through action, but internally. Treasure these fluid moments, and note your own responses. When you do, you’ll find that your memories of travel will become richer and more emotionally nuanced. You won’t only remember what you saw, but how you saw it and what it did to you. The sum of your experiences won’t be measured in what you took for yourself, but in how much you were changed.
Besides, no one wants to see 700 mediocre photos of your safari. And that’s a fact.