Why travel photography?

There is probably no greater education than to travel. I have been travelling my whole life and I am struck by several things. Firstly, the similarity of the differences between cultures, ie. how every-day, utilitarian objects, for example, are the same but slightly different yet perform the same function within each society. On the other hand, I marvel at the enormous diversity within our own species. For me, to travel is to aspire to assimilate the most positive things I can find in every new culture I visit. I usually choose my destinations based on the new species I might see or those new human cultures I might immerse myself in. Many friends and acquaintances have often remarked how lucky I am to travel so much. By now my answer has become standard and I reply that it is a lifestyle that I have designed for myself and one which is open to anybody with the same aspirations. It is not so much a privilege to travel, it is almost a duty. By opening our eyes to new areas of wilderness and new cultures we will learn to understand how special each of them are. Through this understanding comes appreciation and through appreciation comes a willingness to protect and cherish. He who knows not the Amazon knows not its value and cares little for its outcome. My greatest sadness in travel is that I repeat destinations often and become witness, with each visit, that the cultures and/or the environment are often more degraded than the last. Travel photography, I believe, is important both to bring home to the armchair traveler the essence of an unfamiliar destination and to serve as an important historical resource to mark change in a society with a short term memory and a shifting baseline. I believe we have a need to expand people’s horizons of what constitutes our planet’s cultural and bio diversity, to erode the perceived self importance of the stay-at-home individual and to celebrate our differences.