Business Travel, City Breaks, Photo Essay, Road School, Road Trips

Road School: Bumming Around the Bay Area

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Traveling for work has changed almost everything about the way I view–and approach–travel.  Last minute trips are my new normal; extreme-advanced-planning has flown out the window.  Packing isn’t a verb I use anymore.  I am always just ‘packed’–my travel toiletry bag sits on my bathroom vanity when I’m at home; it is simply where my mascara lives now.  I am officially one of those people who can sleep through takeoff and landing–though the actual wheels-down bump does wake me.  But I’ll go immediately back to sleep until we are at the gate and everyone’s seat belts click open.

All of these changes are positive changes, at least in my eyes.  But there is one change that is decidely not positive: I’ve abandoned my camera.

When traveling at the last minute–and/or for short periods of time, for work–I just can’t justify taking up more than half of my computer messenger bag (frequently the only bag I carry) with a dSLR.  So I leave it at home and take crappy iPhone photos that I fix with simple Instagram filters.  Don’t get me wrong–I love simple Instagram filters–but I can’t help but miss the feeling of a shutter button: I can’t help but miss the process of sifting through hundreds of photos to edit–actually edit–the best twenty or so.

You’ll note that I said that traveling for work has changed almost everything about the way I travel.  That’s because one thing has remained constant–whether I travel for work or not–I view the world through the lens of a travel blogger and, thus, take extensive notes.  At all times.  You’d literally have to pry my iPhone–and my Evernote app–from my cold, dead hands.  In fact, even in death, I’d like to think that my nervous system would hang on for at least a few hours.

I’m going to California for a couple of days this week (yet another thing that changed–I now ‘go to California for a couple of days’) and I’m not taking notes.  But I am taking my camera.

Guiding Question:

How effective is photography as a method of note-taking?

In keeping with the spirit of unplanned, last-minute trips, I don’t really have plans, per se.  I’m going to have drinks with a childhood friend, and I’m renting a car and driving either north or south on Route 1.  Perhaps both–I do have two days.  Because I’ve always wanted to do that.  And that is enough of a reason.

Tune in next week for what may possibly be the worst photo-essay-post ever, with captions like ‘I don’t remember where this is, but isn’t it pretty?’

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