Preparing for my first trip overseas I knew I wanted to take photos… and lots of them. I didn’t own a real camera, so I purchased a few disposable film ones to capture the anticipated trip of a lifetime. While on the journey I snapped photos of every landscape, castle, tree, and person I could. When I inevitably ran out of cameras, I bought more at train stations along the way. 

After returning home and getting the photos developed, it was such a thrill to sift through and share them with the friends who were with me on the trip. It brought back all these wonderful memories and stories that had made us both laugh and stand in awe. Some of those moments we’d forgotten about until we held the images in our hands. 

Like most travel-newbies we’d written in our journals each day to record every crumb of detail, but it was the photos that brought immediate life back to those moments. As we reminisced over them, I realized the importance of taking photos to go along with the written word. 

Having been bitten by the proverbial travel bug, I’ve since journeyed to many parts of the world, always with a camera and journal in hand. While the style of my journals remain old school, the cameras I carry have gotten exponentially advanced. Instead of a winding, paper-wrapped camera bought at a train station, I now bring two mirrorless camera bodies each with different lenses so that I’m always ready to get the shot whether I need a close-up or a zoom. 

Now, as a travel writer, I can’t fathom how I would make the words on my page come to life without my photographs to assist. The colors, smiles, and life I see in my photos give me a palpable recall of the smells, tastes, and atmosphere of each moment. 

I would never go on trip without a camera.  And I don’t suggest you do either.

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