Essay

Road Less Traveled

Road Less Traveled

Ok, admit it. We all do it. We look at those images in National Geographic and think, wow, if only I could go there maybe I could get those amazing shots too. What we don’t know, but now I have some idea, is how incredibly difficult the just getting there can be! I now know how bone tired and head rattled you can be before you ever get your camera out of the bag. I now know what it means to learn to chill out and have some faith that yes, you will arrive – somehow. Maybe not on the day you intended. Maybe not in one piece, but most likely with a spirit of perseverance you will in fact arrive at your destination.

I have just gotten home from my very first trip to Africa, where I was lucky enough to be able to do some photography for a non profit I strongly believe in (more on that another day when my head clears). It was a life dream come true, and I thought, what the heck, I’m pretty tough, I’ve traveled a few miles in my life, how hard can it be? Turns out, pretty darn hard!

In my case, the “there” was 4 remote villages high in the Eastern Usambara mountains in Tanzania. I had a lesson in patience and faith as we traveled over roads of slick clay with ruts and grooves three feet deep, huge rocks, holes and impassable work crews. Yes, there were flat tires and mechanical issues. No, there were no toilets, mini marts, gas stations or tow trucks. There were monkeys and birds and people doing their wash in a stream. I now know why it can take hours to cover what would be a 15 minute drive at home….silly silly me!

The trip was amazing in so many ways and when my brain is engaged I will begin posting images and stories here, but for now I wanted to let you know I am back. Inspired and tired. Over the next few weeks I’ll share stories from my road less traveled and my new appreciation for all those photographers and intrepid souls who wander way off the beaten path.

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