What I’ve Learned From Travel (Part 2)

KDickinson Photography - Baja This recent trip I took to Baja felt like it went so smoothly.  Perhaps it’s because we’ve been to the area twice already – or maybe because I’m finally feeling like I got this travel thing down.  Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way:

(Read Part One here.)

Playa Chileno, Los Cabos
Playa Chileno, Los Cabos

While traveling, keep your expectations in check.  Todos Santos wasn’t the quiet, romantic town we had lusted over two years previous.  Well, it still is, but we went into town in the middle of a hot, dusty day during Holy Week.  And there were fully packed tour buses everywhere.  Instead we found peace outside of town, near El Pescadero.

KDickinson Photography - El Pescador
Playa Las Palmas near El Pescadoro
KDickinson Photography - Cabo Pulmo
Cabo Pulmo

Take the group photo… right away (even if you’re all still pale and pasty!).  You think you have so much time ahead of you, but it flies right by.  Take advantage of a beautiful setting or the gorgeous light, even if it’s on Day 2.  And if you’re with close friends or family – but you don’t live near each other – have those conversations immediately.  You know what I’m talking about, the ones you can’t have over the phone, the ones that work better over a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

My friend Tim always initiates a round table discussion of what our favorite activity was that day or to list a favorite quality of the person sitting to our right while we’re eating dinner.  That keeps us focused on staying present and reminds us to be grateful for what we have.  I love that.

Group photo at Canon de la Zorra.
Group photo at Canon de la Zorra.
While I absolutely love the group photo at the waterfall, I wasn't in the picture. This is what we came up with on our last night with this group. Seriously. This is our only group photo.
While I absolutely love the group photo at the waterfall, I wasn’t in the picture.  So we ran out of time (and light) and this is what we came up with on our last night with this group.  Seriously.
KDickinson Photography - Baja
San Jose

KDickinson Photography - Baja Take so many photos.  More than you think you’ll need, especially if you want to document the trip with a scrapbook or digital album.  Take pictures of the details and things that delight you.  If you’re uncomfortable taking your expensive camera out in some areas, snap a picture with your smartphone.  They are so prevalent in so many areas now and locals and tourists alike are taking pictures or texting with their phones.

KDickinson Photography - Baja
Playa Chileno, Los Cabos
KDickinson Photography - Baja
Todos Santos
KDickinson Photography - Baja
Playa Palmilla, Los Cabos

It takes awhile to ease into vacation mode, give yourself a break.  On that note, it also takes awhile to process the whole thing after you get home.  Because I’m stepping away from my everyday life when I travel, I always imagine that I’m going to have these amazing epiphanies about what direction to take next (you too?).  I don’t.  But over time after coming home and getting back into the regular routine, the benefits of the vacation slowly seep in.

KDickinson Photography - Sea Lions and a whale in Los Cabos.
Sea Lions (and a whale!) in Los Cabos.

KDickinson Photography - BajaTravel has wonderful restorative powers.  Not only does everyone deserve a vacation, everyone needs a vacation, even if it’s just for a long weekend.

9 thoughts

  1. Katie, I don’t know why this entry in your blog brought tears to my eyes but it did. Maybe it’s because I so badly need a vacation, which I do, but I think it’s because I long to to make wonderful images again. You inspire this photojournalist to pick up her camera for fun again. Thank you. You are a fantastic photographer, writer and person.


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