It was just yesterday that I was cleaning and came upon a large cardboard box marked pictures. As I opened it up, I looked at the heap of scrapbooks and bundles of photos randomly scattered about. I started taking them out and scrolling through them. Pictures from a disney trip years ago, days at the lake, our “exploring Chicago” weekend. After I was done reliving the memories and the box was empty, I realized that one trip, my favorite trip, the trip of my life, had no photos.
No scrapbook dedicated to the two-week long vacation. No physical token to jog my memory of my European adventure. It took me only a second to remember why there were no photos in my box.
It was June 27th, 2015 and my family was vacationing in Germany. We had been there for a little over half of a week so far. We’d seen so much, and yet had so much more to do, as we would later also explore France, Belgium and Luxemburg. We had seen so many beautiful places and I had so many photos on my camera; mountains, sunrises, vineyards, castles and much more. Next was a four hour drive on the Romantic Road to Rothenburg, Germany. I was looking through my memory card, when I found a picture I accidently took of my hand. I went to delete it and unintentionally deleted all the photos I had taken so far. I was so upset that I couldn’t breathe. Tears were rushing down my face onto my lap and my parents were trying to ask me what happened. I couldn’t move. What did I just do?
However, I remember this trip like it was yesterday. I can describe each day with immense detail. The trip is always in the back of my mind. Things don’t always go your way on vacations. Sometimes things happen. This “tragedy” of mine, which seemed like the end of a perfect trip, was just the beginning. After I accidently wiped away all my pictures, I was devastated and honestly just wanted to relive the last few days to regain all the memories I had captured. However, that wasn’t an option. I just had to keep going and try to enjoy myself.
That day was rough. I was emotionally drained and I wanted to go home, but the next day something clicked. I had been focusing so much on getting the perfect pictures, that I had been missing the true beauty and adventure of my vacation. It was only after I put the camera down that I started falling in love with Europe. I was actually enjoying the experience, instead of rushing around snapping photos.
I still do have a few photos that I can look back on, since my family members took some and posted them on facebook, but all of my important memories are in my head, like a never ending movie.
No — I don’t have a scrapbook full of pictures. But I do remember so much more because I lost my photos and my desire to take more. Social media is big these days and now, more than ever, it seems like people are exploring, vacationing and being adventurous just to take “artsy” photos. They are more concerned with the amount of likes and how people view them, than enjoying their trips and living their life.
Photography is great, but you can’t travel all the time, so live in the moment. Stop just looking through the lens and focus on the whole view, the whole scenery, the whole experience.
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