2018 was a decent year regarding travelling.
Even though I did not visited as many new places as I did in 2017 I’m extremely happy with the things I seen.
It all started with my landing in Malaga then moving straight away to Seville, Cadiz, Jerez de la Frontera, Cordoba, Ronda, Setenil de las Bodegas, Granada, Nerja, Frigiliana and ending up in Malaga for a few days before flying back to Bucharest.
As a side note, I am still working on my big Andalucia article and even though I wrote about 4000 words I am still so far from finishing it.
Autumn brought another long two weeks trip that started with me landing in Birmingham then driving to St Ives.
In my UK trip I visited some amazing areas in England like Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, took another look at the Cotswolds then drove back to Birmingham and finally to London for work.
My exploring started on my first day in Mawgan Porth, then to Bedruthan Steps then reaching St Ives in the evening.
In the following two weeks i visited Morazion, St Michael, Mullion Harbour, Kynance Cove, Lizard Point, Cadgwith, Godrevy Point, Mousehole, Merry Maidens, Penberth, Porthcurno, Lands End, Botallack, Sennen Cove, Lanyon Quoit, mevagissey, polperro, west bay, hive beach, Weymouth, Pulpit Rock, Old Harry Rocks, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Stair Hole, Bat’s Head, Clovelly, Ilfracombe, Bourton on the Water, Lower Slaughter, Snowshill, Broadway, Stow on the Wold and Clent Hills before returning to Birmingham.
My big UK trip ended in London, a city I been visiting regularly for the last 3 years either with work or just for fun.
2018 also brought my first failed trip. Morocco. What started with a plan to visit four cities ended up after Chefchaouen and Rabat due to various reasons I detailed in my article on the blog.
I am writing this article today, the 14th of December, because I seriously doubt I will leave the country again this year.
Winter holidays, Christmas, is something I always celebrated alongside my family and frankly I do not wish to travel in the following month except maybe If an extraordinary offer appears.
In my last two trips I got a bit tired by either driving for over 1800 km in 7 days in the UK, with the steering wheel on the right or by driving about 600-700 km in 3 days in Morocco. I actually didn’t calculate how much kilometers I drove and that is a first for me.
For the first time since I travel I am actually considering a holiday at the beach, doing nothing and just relaxing. And who knows, January is amazing for such a trip in Thailand for example or maybe Sri Lanka.
While I do have some things on my list for the next year I am pretty sure many things will change and new destinations will appear.
What is curious is the fact that I don’t have any long trips planed. Yes, of course, all can change suddenly if a great last minute flight appears or an early booking but this is not something planned.
As a matter of fact, all the places that are on my list are in Europe.
I think that I am more tempted by places that can be reached faster from Bucharest, my hometown, instead of spending 10-16 hours again in a plane just for one way.
Maybe, who knows, I’ll even start taking more pictures in Romania.
This year, and I’m referring to 2019, is the first year I don’t plan again to visit Japan. In 2017 I was so close… Even had the accommodation booked but… It wasn’t meant to be.
Instead I visited some other great places so I’m happy with that.
One major change I did before my last travel and finished upon returning in Bucharest was to sell all my expensive photo gear.
I bought a second hand Fuji and one more is on the way and gave up on my brand new Sony and Sigma and Sony prime lenses.
Sold my Vimble, my selfie stick and some other gear.
Moving thru England with a 12 kg pack on my back(including a tripod) showed me how important it is to travel light and moving thru Morocco showed me how important is to have a decent, cheaper photo kit.
You may laugh but even since I am big and know how to avoid danger and I don’t tire easily I realize that I’m not a professional photographer.
And frankly this is not something I aspire to.
What I am is just a man loving to travel and catching his memories in his mind, soul and on some SanDisk memory cards.
And for that I don’t need 2500 euro worth of gear.
And I don’t need to spend hours trying to catch the best composition, cutting people from the pictures or mastering Adobe Lightroom.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, photography is losing ground to digital mastery. From a shitty picture you can Photoshop something at least very decent and that is too bad. People are starting to learn to edit before learning how to use their cameras.
Even though I love taking pics, my trips mean more than that.
I would never rush in a place and look for the best angle, best lightning, etc then proceed to take pictures.
And that’s why I will never be a pro. Because I enter a place like a tourist. I marvel at the things I see and my hand is not touching my camera. Only when I had enough I start taking pictures.
And I think that I only try to capture the place as it is. And that in my opinion is better. No special effects, no cropping, no changing the skies, no adding or removing people from photos because that frankly sucks.
Have you ever looked at a processed picture and think”wait, I was there also… It doesn’t really look like this”.
I do plan to bring a new breath, a fresh air to the blog in 2019 and while I don’t have anything planned yet, I do hope I will travel a lot and feast my eyes with beautiful new places.
Having said all of the above I wish you all a quiet, happy time with your loved ones and friends and let us hope 2019 is even better at least when it comes to travelling.
Happy New Year 2019!
Written 14th of December
Published 31st of December