A Solo Female Travel Blog

The Joy Of Soaking In A Place Without Taking Photos

The Joy Of Soaking In A Place Without Taking Photos

Sometimes I ask myself, “Am I taking too many photos?” “Should I stop and just admire the place without trying to record every bit of the beauty that my eyes witness?” I know it’s strange to hear this from someone like me. Voyager For Life is a highly visual travel blog, and hell yes, it has to be! Photos are an integral part of travel.

I just love taking photos. And, I love going through my old travel photos, even though they are technically not-so-perfect. There’s so much of joy, so much of rawness and genuineness in photos that are clicked with a curious enthusiasm. So yes, photos are the best way to revisit a place virtually. However, soaking in a place without taking photos can also be thrilling.

Also read: Photos That I Was Not Supposed To Take

Well, I have experienced exploring a place without my camera a few times. I know it’s unbelievable for people who know me, but it’s true.

Enjoying a place without taking photos
It’s good to leave your camera behind sometimes

A beautiful evening stroll in Yuksom

I went for an indefinite walk with a 70 year old fellow traveller in Yuksom, Sikkim. It’s one of my most memorable travel experiences for many reasons. It was a totally spontaneous trip through Sikkim. I met so many lovely people, stayed at cosy home stays, experienced rough travel, fell sick, did my freelance assignments with whatever little internet I could manage to get, and learnt so much as a traveller.

Also read: Yuksom – Why It Was Not A Usual One

So, there was this one particular day when this sweet old lady from Germany, my fellow guest at the home stay, asked me if I’d like to go on a walk with her. I was game for it instantly. I had just recovered from illness. Thankfully, the weather was also nice. The heavy rains were on a break. My camera was in my room, while I was relaxing on a swing in the lawn. So, the moment I was invited for a stroll, I got up swiftly and I didn’t bother to take my camera.

It was such a lovely evening. We walked a lot and discovered random places – a lake, a local school, farms and a couple of monasteries. We also got to witness the everyday evening ritual at one of the monasteries. I still can’t believe I didn’t miss taking pictures and simply immersed myself in the moment. The old German lady and I didn’t talk much because she spoke only German, but we still shared a warm camaraderie.

The joy of soaking in a place without taking photos
Taking in the essence of a place without taking photos

On a Shikara while it was twilight

I did not take photos on the first day of my Kashmir trip. Kashmir was also one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. I explored the heaven on earth at my own pace. There were days when I didn’t do much; I simply enjoyed the rains, sipped chai or Kahwah, and chatted with the locals.

Also read: Travelling Alone In Kashmir – Is It safe?

Everything was so worth capturing – the first glimpse of Kashmir from the plane, my drive from the airport to the place where I was staying, my walk up to the Dal lake and the Shikara ride. Of course, I did take pictures of Dal Lake on other days, but the first day was about taking in the beauty through my eyes.

I remember everything quite vividly. The sun had set. It was almost dark – the dusk. I got into a small boat that takes you to the houseboat. Although I stayed at a guest house, I wanted to check out the boat, too. Both the guest house and the houseboat were owned by the same person. So, he offered me to stay in his houseboat, which I declined at that time.

So yes, I loved the experience of soaking in the serenity of Dal Lake, the houseboats and the twilight without snapping photos.

Also read: It’s Easy To Fall In Love With Srinagar

Apart from these two instances, I don’t think I ever left my camera behind on purpose. But, I think I should do that more often.

Would you travel without your camera?

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15 thoughts on “The Joy Of Soaking In A Place Without Taking Photos”

  • Wonderful one. It’s true that we not able to enjoy the places fully as we busy in taking pics rather than enjoy the places. Felt many times.

    • Thank you, Gopinath! I’m glad you could relate to the post. I guess we should go back to the old times and spend less time in taking pictures, and more in absorbing the place.

  • I know what you mean, I try to do it once in a while but I find that sometimes even though I remember things quite clearly, I wish I had a few pictures. 😀

    Sometimes I take a few pictures and then put away the camera, so I’m not sorry later. 🙂

    • Yeah, I can relate to what you are saying, Divya. The thing is pictures are important. But, it’s good to enjoy the place without taking pictures at least once in a while. I feel I click too many photos that sometimes I feel I’m seeing the place only in the pictures. I guess the solution to this is that I should take long and slow trips to places.

  • Great article! Sometimes I feel the same, but I know for sure that I’ll regret not having any pictures from a new place, Another thing I was thinking of, how many pictures is too many? When I spend 1-2 days in a new city, on average I take around 300-350 photos. What about you?

    • Haha 😀 I guess we are all on the same boat, Antonina. We all want to extract the best of a place through pictures, which is fine. Pictures are necessary. No two ways about it. But we should also be conscious about savoring the place without taking pictures.

    • Tahnk you, Lakshmi! I’m glad that the post resonated with your thoughts. Travel should be more about experiencing the place than capturing it.

  • Absolutely agree on exploring a place without taking the photos of it. In our world today where you have your camera on your phone it can be very easy to miss the glamour of our surroundings because we are focused on capturing the moments. Lovely post.

  • Exploring a place without taking photos sounds impossible for me, Renuka! However, you obviously enjoyed that unique experience. We are so obsessed with our cameras and mobiles…

    • I know what you are saying, Lydia! Even I can’t imagine exploring a place without taking photos. But, I guess we need to observe a place more than just taking photos. 🙂

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