This weekend I decided to start something I'd been putting off for a while; sifting through all the photographs from my travels and trying to put them into some kind of order. Boy, what a mammoth job. I'd got as far as putting piles of boxes in front of me and then I started to reminisce. As I did, one thing struck me…..faces, lots of them, and each one looking right back out at me. I think this is usually how you can tell whether I took the photograph or the Hubby did; pictures of scenery are usually his and pictures of people generally mine.
I thought I’d share some of my favourite faces with you, each one a memory of a happy time.
This is my all time favourite and sits above my desk for me to look at every day.
The Hubby and I were in Laos and as we trekked through the countryside, we came across a local village. Despite the language barrier, we were welcomed not as strangers but as friends. We were offered tea and all sat round communicating in smiles. I took this picture very quickly. Far enough away not to intrude on family life, but close enough to capture the pride in the grandmother, the young sister looking to her brother for guidance and the boy with just a hint of mischievousness.
This friendly chap was following me round Bharatpur, a district of Kathmandu. He was intrigued by me wanting to take pictures of his local life.
Every time I took a picture he wanted to see it (the instant gratification of digital). He gave me a look as if to approve......or not. But when it came to a picture of him, he was a little less forward and came over all shy.
Another picture from Nepal but this time 20 years earlier!
This is me as a fresh faced 21 year old during my year travelling the globe. This picture reminds me of the complete joy of taking off for a year with not commitments or worries. I didn’t know what to expect but knew that I had the freedom each day to do what I wanted. Here I had reached Pokhara in northern Nepal where I decided to stay a while. During the day I taught English in a small school and in the evening worked as a waitress in a restaurant. During my time there I was taken under the protective wing of Maya, seen here in the photograph. She became a good friend: she was there chasing out the rats from my room in the middle of the night as I stood on the bed squealing and she was there to mop my brow when the dreaded stomach bug hit!
Asia is one of those continents that I just love. It’s a combination of the people, the culture and the food. My collection of Asian photographs has its fair share of monks and I normally take colour photographs to show off their saffron robes. One of my favourite photographs however, happens to be this grainy black and white of young monks who were training at the temple of the Divine Mad Man in Bhutan.
Faces come in many different guises in my photographs and at the Bayon Temple inCambodia, I certainly got my fill. The Bayon is strikingly different to just about any other temple around Angkor. Its mountain-like structure is topped by 54 towers, each sporting 4 faces and each slightly different. Everywhere you go eyes of stone follow you. It's such an eerie place and we were lucky enough to experience it with very few other tourists.
In this photograph below I just love the steely determination in the tuk tuk man’s face. We were going to make it through the clogged streets of Agra to catch our train back to Delhi after visiting the Taj Mahal………and we did.
During our honeymoon in South Africa, we visited the township of Guguletu (with an experienced guide of course) on the outskirts of Cape Town. It was an amazing day; scary at times, depressing quite a lot but also uplifting when you come across children with a hope.
Whilst visiting Chile the Hubby and I took a 3 day detour to Easter Island. Let's face it, if we hadn't gone then we would we have? In the middle of the Pacific Ocean it's not somewhere you hop over to for a weekend break! Easter Island had been on the hit list for the Hubby ever since he was a boy and saw a David Attenborough documentary on it. After all those years it didn't disappoint. Famed for its heads carved from volcanic rock, these guardians are an imposing sight with this stern looking chap over 3 metres tall.
For such a small island it’s a real treasure with a fascinating history, 2 volcanoes, a stunning landscape, beaches and a runway long enough to land a space shuttle!
And finally. Another picture from our honeymoon in South Africa, the Hubby likes to call this a meeting of minds!
Although you can’t really see his face, the Hubby’s is, hands down, the favourite face of ALL my travels. We share the same passions in life and travel is the biggest. For me I couldn't think of a better person to share the wonderful experiences and joys that travel brings.
If these photographs have inspired you to pack a suitcase and get on the open road then please do get in touch and let me help you plan the perfect itinerary. Or, just feel free to share some of your happiest travel experiences with me by leaving a comment.
"The traveller sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see." - G. K. Chesterton
(Images: Lesley-Ann Birley and the Hubby)