Travelling without a camera

I recently travelled to Belize for 12 nights without my camera at home. I had my phone of course and I have visited Caye Caulker before back in 2015, so one might say I’m cheating a bit. But the point remains, I was on holiday and had no real interest in taking any photos.

It was such a liberating feeling.

I was able to enjoy moments, not having to worry that I was going to miss out on a photo opportunity or that a moment would pass me by before I had the chance to get out my camera and snap it.

It was such a liberating feeling

It was most noticeable on two occasion: first, when I went snorkelling, and second, when I watched the first sunset from We’Yu Hotel.

I swam with some amazing marine wildlife: turtles, manatees, sharks, lobsters, rays and an array of fish of different shapes and colours. I was one of eight on our boat; three, maybe four of who had a GoPro camera. I am sure they took amazing photos and videos, but I couldn’t help but notice the time they spend in the water trying to find the perfect place to take a photo from. Looking for the perfect angle to capture what I was just enjoying, floating in the water without a care in the world.

The sunset was a different experience. I will admit did take a couple of photos with my phone (literally two) but the vast majority of people spent more time taking photos than not. These included selfies, not even looking in the direction of the sunset. I spent most of my time sitting on a beach chair with a bottle of beer in hand, just watching. Not doing anything else.

Looking around, it almost feels we are in a time where if a photo wasn’t taken, it didn’t happen. I am not trying to be righteous. I normally take too many photos. I upload photos to Facebook and Instagram, but I do try and limit this.

if a photo wasn’t taken, it didn’t happen.

I never once missed my camera, never once worried that I had missed out by not being able to take a photo. I arrived home and enjoyed not having the stress of sorting through the reams of photos I would have otherwise. Do I miss not having photos to look back at, only having my memories which do fade over time? A little perhaps. I don’t plan of chucking on my camera any time soon, but it was a liberating experience and quite insightful into just how obsessed we are with taking photos of nearly everything.

Photo by William Bayreuther on Unsplash

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