I want to share with you three souvenirs I returned with from my travels. These souvenirs are nonmaterial but very valuable.
What I mean by souvenirs here is more revelations.
1. Live the Dream
This trip was an experiment to see what it would be like to intentionally and unapologetically work my dream job.
My dream job is to travel and take my special photographs.
As you may know, I don’t take normal travel photographs because I shoot multiple photographs of different locations on one roll of film. Since I use analogue equipment, I don’t get to see the results of the combination until I return to my lab and develop the film.
During this trip, I shot up to 49 rolls of film! Only 29 rolls were actually shot 3 times. The other 20 are for the Three Cities project where I shoot the film in three different countries.
In 4 weeks, I shot 29 rolls.
I got completely absorbed with living my dream job and you know what it felt really good!
2. Just Trust
Every morning I would wake and say to myself ‘just trust’. Trust in the process, trust in the vision, trust that the universe supports us. There were a number of moments when my faith was tested.
A powerful moment was when I got very sick. Just after a full day of photographing the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle, nausea came on suddenly. I laid down to rest but my room was freezing cold.
I woke quite ill. Boy, I felt miserable but even during the hours of sickness I continued to say to myself, “just trust”. Even though I wasn’t enjoying being sick, I kept faith that my body was acting intelligently.
Though it was most unpleasant, I believed all would soon be okay. I didn’t stress myself worrying because I had faith. Fortunately, it was a 24 hour bug and I was back to my usual self within a day.
I now had a great story to tell new friends I made on the trip. Believe me, food sickness when traveling is a great conversation starter.
3. Let Go of Expectations.
Though try as I might, I certainly had expectations for my trip and for myself. The expectations I placed on myself I mostly accomplished. I shot more film than I planned, I distributed nearly all my postcards, and I explored new places.
The thing about going to new places is that I really don’t know what to expect. I expected a certain experience yet I received more than what I imagined.
I made new friends and reconnected with old ones. I witnessed beautiful landscape under a spectrum of weather variations. From locals, I learned about little known locations and saw places I hadn’t planned.
See with Fresh Eyes
Not all trips go this way. It’s kind of a gamble and not every place we went was flowers and lollipops. But I got into the flow of traveling and let got of any expectation.
Traveling gets me out of my patterns and heightens my awareness to opportunity. Because of the shortness of time, I saw the value of living every moment fully. If I spent too much time thinking about the past (habitual thoughts) or the future (expectations), then I missed the life happening around me.