Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Is traveling for ourselves or for others?

I live on my computer. I have a Mac PowerBook G4 and we are inseparable. Just like my trusty black Old Navy Flip Flops, my computer has traveled with me around the world. And then one day, just like my flip flops, she decided to die. One morning, I turned her on, but she just wouldn't wake up. So I took her to my favorite store in the Houston Galleria-no, not Banana Republic, close second though-the Apple store, and they decided something was wrong with her RAM and they sent her off to be fixed. Five days later she comes home looking nice, shiny and new.

While I'm very happy to have her back alive and well, I have a massive problem. All my music, videos, documents and photos are gone. All my pictures from around the world, every place I have ever been, all the videos I've ever taken of my friends acting crazy, all my thoughts I've ever written down while doing boat deliveries or on the train, my favorite songs from my favorite albums are gone. Music is recoverable, but expensive, but my pictures are priceless. Who knows if I'll ever go back to Australia to dive the Great Barrier Reef? Will I ever have the opportunity to see Kyoto again and a real live geisha? And most of all, how can I prove that I ever went to those places in the first place?

This seems like a vain question, but I really worried about this. How can I show people these amazing things I have seen? And why is it so important to me that I have these pictures to share? Is it because I'm egotistical and want to show all the places I've been to that others haven't? I'm worried that part of this may be true. But, deep down, I know it's not. I travel for the love of it. I travel because I meet interesting people, I witness incredibly beautiful places, I see history, and cultures, and life. I travel because it inspires me. It has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. The reason I want these pictures is to remind me how wonderful life has been and to encourage me to continue to experience more. And I want my photos to share with others my love and passion. Because I want them to feel the excitement and exhilaration that I feel. The feeling is indescribable, but maybe it can be shown through pictures. I suppose that's partly why I need my photos.

I will accumulate more pictures as I travel in the future, but I'll mourn the ones I lost. At least I have the memories, right? But, oh, how I'll miss the picture of that geisha!


Dominik said...

i think pictures aren't only good for sharing with others, but also to remember certain situations for yourself - i always get into a special kind of mood when i watch my asia pictures, pictures of all the faces and places i probably couldn't remember so detailed if it wasn't for the pictures.

but don't you have any backups? no paper copies? then it's really sad!

Mikkel Thorup said...

thats horible, i would be totaly gutted for sure. guess all you could do is start sending off emails to old travel mates and see if they would send you photos from there cameras..

good luck

Karina said...

omg I would be devo if i lost my photos!!!
I think a part of us likes to show the photos - but only so other ppl can experience a tiny part of what we did whilst we were travelling.
its true that a picture speaks a thousand words - so its much more easier to show someone a pic than try and explain what a place was like.