Today’s blog prompt for the 30 Day Indie Travel Art Project is this:
What is your travel origin?
I started traveling young. The first time I moved I was 2 months old, and we moved 5 times in Maine before I was 7. I’m 34 now, and have moved almost as many times as I am years old (and this doesn’t count the 4 1/2 years I spent as a freelance roadie, not staying in one place for more than a month and a half at a time, or my traveling South America for 10 months and expatriating in Medellin).
And no, we are not military or running from the cops. My parents just moved a lot to give us (me and my family) a better life. Moving to increase your quality of living was never a question for my parents. And I have just kept up the tradition.
But is there one specific event that made me want to travel? Yes!
When I was 7, and had recently moved to Walpole, Massachusetts, my mom and I went to a local church’s flea market, where I found a 110 speed camera that came with a few rolls of film and the old kind of flash bulbs that exploded on use. Within a 3 hours after arriving home, I had gone through the film and bulbs, and matter-of-factly walked up to my mom and said, “I’m going to travel the world and take photos when I grow up!”
She laughed at this, telling me, “No you won’t. No one in our family travels, unless they are in the military” (aka: my grandfather).
Defiantly, I threw my hand on my hips and looked her in the eyes, exclaiming, “WELL I’M GOING TO DO IT!”
18 years later, I called her my first morning in Zagreb, Croatia, and when she answered the phone, before I even said hello, I stubbornly remarked, “I TOLD YOU SO!”, and she laughed, because she knew exactly what I was talking about. I don’t know why, that day, I became so determined to travel and photo, but something in me clicked, and I never let the dream go, even though until I was 20, I never had my own camera again (save for small disposable cameras I bought at CVS whenever I could). That first trip out of the country just increased my desire to travel (though today I do it with a digital camera, not a 35 mm SLR and 75 rolls of film, like I did when I went to Croatia).
And although the photos from my first trip are hilariously bad (I even created a whole travel segment called “MY FIRST TRAVEL PHOTOS” where I basically pick apart my photos in a snarky ‘What not to do’ way), I have been shooting since and have improved greatly in that time.
I am actually coming up on the 10th anniversary of my first, international trip to Croatia and the Balkans and am hoping to have the money to re-take this trip, re-shooting the same scenes (albeit much better this time) to do a “Then and Now” comparison of how to improve travel photography.
But yes, a $3 find at a flea market sparked an itch in me that no amount of reasoning could rid. Sometimes the smallest things spark the greatest achievements.
What sparked you to travel?
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About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.