The snow and winds this week in the UK from ‘The Beast From The East’ and ‘Storm Emma’ have shaken things up and forced people away from their usual routines. We were fairly lucky in our part of the country, we got away with very little disruption. Regardless, buses still stopped, roads became an ice rink and the world was clouded with blankets of white.
There were some out of this world photographs of the snow and ice shared on social media and it got me thinking – many of these photographs were of things that were right outside the front doors of the people who took them. They weren’t pictures of far away vacations or new streets in a different city. They were pictures of the familiar, the everyday or the mundane. The snow and ice had turned something ordinary into something suddenly different. Something worth photographing.
I had a similar experience with a night out at a local pub recently which turned into a walk across a cold bridge whilst waiting for a taxi. I drifted along the path, chatting away with my cousin and trying to stay warm until the taxi arrived. The lights from the bridge and the clear night sky, filled with stars grabbed my attention. I whipped out my camera to try and capture what I was feeling. It was the same emotion I get from travelling to somewhere new – excitement and awe in equal measures.
Standing there on the bridge, watching the lights traverse the structure, it made me think of the reasons I travel. I travel to see new places, experience different cultures and see things from a different perspective. Most of all, I travel to explore my own emotions and to get a better sense of who I am. That night a very familiar bridge turned into a travel destination and I realised that travelling is a state of mind rather than a place. Sometimes you don’t have to travel very far at all to learn more about yourself.