Memories vs. Photos

I’m notorious for returning from a trip with only a few photos or a lot of photos of only one part of a trip. It’s because I’m usually so caught up in the moments, I forgot to bring out my camera or phone to snap a picture. Plus, very few people are interested in seeing photos from other people’s trips, so what’s the point?

As I get older, and now that I have a family, I’m disappointed that I don’t have photos of all my adventures. I travelled and did a lot during that decade of  my life, and all I have to show for it are my stories, which are great, but my daughter (and others) want tangible evidence. I want to show Taylor the look on my face when I jumped out of plane over the Hoover Dam. I want her to see the view I saw from thousands of feet above the Earth.

Not only have I been photo-shy, but I was also too cheap to pay for the photo services at many of resorts and attractions. We do have one professional photo from a cruise we took years ago, not because we paid for it, but I’m embarrassed to admit that we stole it from the rack promoting their services. I figured they were going to throw it out anyway and didn’t understand the value of photos. Now I look back, I wish we had more.

Our professional photo taken the Dominican Republic.


In a way, I’m holding my memories hostage and the only way to see where I’ve been is through lengthy anecdotes, which don’t always paint the picture. You will never be able to visualize the breadth of Mauna Loa where you drive up-mountain from a tropical paradise to feet of snow. Our rental car, a four-door compact with limited power could barely drive the incline. At times, the gas pedal was to the floor and we weren’t moving. We made it to the park store halfway up but were advised our vehicle wasn’t equipped to continue. Great story, great experience, but no photos to show for it.

Finally, last year, we went to the Dominican Republic as a family and had beautiful professional pictures taken by the resort. The photos don’t really show the destination, but they demonstrate our happiness in the moment together. These photos will forever be showcased in my home.

My goal is to take more photos on my next trips. We’re heading to Vancouver in the Summer and New York and Bermuda in the Fall.

A photo really is worth a thousand words.

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