Why Travel?

A woman rides a camel past the Taj Mahal.

I love to travel. I have always loved to travel. My father was a teacher, which meant the possibility to take (what felt like) long road trips to visit family over the mountains. I desperately wanted to do what the Brits call a gap year but couldn't afford it. So I had to wait until I was in my 30s to really see the world. The photo above is one I took across the river from the Taj Majal during my round-the-world adventure.

I had arrived from Delhi into Agra on an overnight train at maybe 6 AM. It was a long time ago. I don't remember the time. I do recall that it was early and I was very tired. I remember this because as we pulled into the station, I looked at my increasingly ratty Lonely Plaent guide — I would rip out sections when I left the area, a habit that really, really bothered the book lovers I met there — and discovered that the Taj Mahal is not open to the public on Fridays.

Fun Fact: The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays, which makes sense considering it's a Muslim mausoleum. Don't show up in Agra on a Friday and expect to get into the Taj Mahal. 🎶 ...the more you know... 🎶

This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it forced me to get creative. I knew that the Taj Mahal was essentially symmetrical, so I hired an auto rickshaw and myself to a field across the river. While I was lying on my belly, framing up my shot,  adjusting shutter speed, etc., I looked up and to my utter astronishment there was a man leading a pair of camels on the river bank. An utterly timeless woman was sitting on one. I am not a camera pro, I would never cut it as a journalist, but in that moment, I put the camera to my eye and got my picture.

Yes, it came out a little dark, and if I'd looked up minute earlier I could have framed the scene better, but this is probably one of my favourite shots. I de-saturated it into black & white and it fit the mood. I suppose there may be some clues that the eagle eyed could spot to prove it was shot in 2006, but it's hard to tell.

I share this story because it's a reminder to me now that I'm overseas again that travel makes me better. I walk more. I am more aware of what I eat. I am open to all sorts of experiences I would cross the street to avoid back home. So this section of the site will be where I collect posts I do about travel.

This Travel section could probably be the home page. Mondo is Italian for world and Go | English for, well, go. All the other posts on this site probably come out of Travel in some way. But I wanted to have a section called travel, so here it is.

See my other Travel posts