It’s so true isn’t it? We tend to always be three steps (or in my case, 5 years) ahead of ourselves. We have this inability to simply live in the moment – which I know is such a dated and overused phrase but there’s a reason for that – because it’s something we should be doing that we don’t. Particularly when it comes to travel.
Worsened these days by advancements in technology and the presence of social media – gosh, think about places like the Louvre in France where the Mona Lisa is on display. Never have I seen such chaos. Smart phones, cameras, loud voices, people riding on the shoulders of others – it was unbelievable.
Interestingly there was one common theme…
I don’t think I saw one person standing there – free of technology – simply absorbing what was in front of them. Capturing a photograph of oneself in front of said painting appeared to be more important than simply being present and appreciating the significance of what Leonardo da Vinci captured.
Sadly, the same goes for most celebrated landmarks across the globe.
I’ve often wondered – imagine if we lived in a world where cameras didn’t exist? We travelled with nothing but the clothes on our back. How different would our journeys be? We wouldn’t waste valuable time capturing that perfect moment – instead, we’d just stay present.
Because isn’t that what life’s about? Experience? Embracing those ‘alive moments’ as if they were your last? The only thing we can take with us are our memories, those wonderful thoughts we hold close to our heart – not the physical photographs we capture, that often distract us from what’s important.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am no different to anyone else. I take photographs, it’s actually something I quite enjoy doing. But these days I am very aware of what I am doing and I make a point of putting my camera away and allowing myself to absorb all that my eyes are seeing.
I remember looking out over the Grand Canyon – thinking to myself – boy, I would need days here, to take it all in, to process every thought running through my head…
I sat and stared into the abyss.
I allowed myself the privilege to stay present, blissfully unaware to all that was going on around me. Not for one second did I think about what was going to happen next – because when you’re truly living in the moment, you’re unable to see anything beyond.