My favorite photo from my RTW trip
I’ve finally finished editing the 7k photos that I took during my year of travel and I think this is my favorite one of them all. It’s not very good, I took it on my phone, hastily. I was out walking along the beach in Nungwi and looked up to see this group of Muslim school girls walking home after class. They were squealing with laughter, trying to make it across a little patch of beach that got washed out when the tide came in. They would go a few at a time when the waves rolled out, holding hands and screaming as they ran and sometimes they wouldn’t make it so they would jump up and grab the ledge so their dresses wouldn’t get wet and then start running again when the water receded. They shrieked and laughed the whole time and they caught me watching them and we all laughed together. When the last group of 3 ran across, I snapped this single pic.
Here’s the truth about travel- all the things you’ve pictured, all the places you’ve thought of over and over and cut pictures out of magazines to put on your ‘vision board’- they’re never as good as you think they’re going to be. You’ve already built them up, you have an idea of how they’re supposed to go and they will never live up to it. It’s been a rare occasion that I’ve went somewhere I’ve fantasized about and had it be what I wanted. The real things that take your breath away and make you think and make you be thankful that you left it all behind are the moments you never saw coming: the stranger you meet in the desert, the homeless man you watch feed stray animals with his earnings, the kid you talk to at the bus stop. Real travel isn’t about climbing a mountain and posing in front of the temple or taking the exact same photo of Ha Long Bay we’ve all seen a million times. It’s about the people – tiny serendipitous moments with people that you can’t plan or romanticize in any way. That is what you will remember.