A Passion for Travel

Recently I was asked to write down why I am interested in travel photography…

Well, I love the way I feel when I travel.

Malibu Pier, CA

I remember wishing to be a travel agent when I grew-up, and I fulfilled that ‘dream’ at STA Travel, only to realise that I’d rather be the one doing the traveling. I got into the media industry to fund my addiction; ultimately, it propelled me to embark on a working stint overseas.

Park Avenue, NY

What interests me most about travel is anthropology; there’s nothing more inspiring than immersing yourself in another culture and being able to “walk in another person’s shoes,” to quote Anthony Bourdain.

Walking towards the Hollywood Sign; downtown LA in the background. As seen from the Hollywood Hills, CA

To me, documenting travel means that writing and photography go hand-in-hand; placing images alongside words better tells the story. I’m interested in showing the reality of a place or space – using words and images to stimulate a response, a feeling. Whether I choose to shoot street photography or architectural compositions, that depends on the nature of the story.

The Binoculars Building, by Frank Gehry - Venice Beach, LA

To know I may have inspired, educated, or motivated someone through moments captured with my words or through my lens makes me happy.

And that was my answer. What would you have said?

Street Art - Silver Lake, LA

73 thoughts on “A Passion for Travel

  1. I share your passion! Just returned to NYC from a six month road trip. The best thing that travel does for me is forces me out of my routine and out of my own life.

  2. Great question – and equally great answers Marina! Honestly if I were to answer I would echo your sentiments. The joy of making an impact on another’s life is truly a gift – one I adore more than anything else I have found in this life so far!
    That is a feeling worth pursuing everyday, and when I imagine what a world we would live in if everyone did that….
    Great work and great post today my friend!
    xo 🙂

    • Thanks Shira! Imagine if we started a global camera initiative – everyone would stop and take photos of moments! How cool would that be? That would be a photo worth taking!

      • YES! That is the hope indeed! If we can pull it off it would (and could) be epic indeed…!! 🙂 I am so happy you read up on it – it’s so needing work while we formalize a few things and I am looking forward to being ready!

      • Thanks for the support – I totally plan to – seeing that I am a perfectionist though, I am waiting until the website and the look is dialed – it’s all in the works now and we are lucky to have great folks on board who are working on it!
        There will be lots more and once it’s ready to go……who knows where it will go?
        It’s been fun!

      • Love your kind words – and friendship! So great to cheer each other on – I am so glad we met here! Got to love the blog world..so many inspiring people 🙂

  3. I can identify with everything you’ve said. I love nothing more then to go and explore and learn about a place and the people, the history of it all, the way the air feels, the sounds and smells and sights. Not like a tourist, but to embrace more of the world, I guess.

    • Exactly Lois! I wish I could live in one city every year, for the culture-immersion. It’s one thing to whizz through in a week; the experience is eye-opening if you breathe the city. It’s lovely to share that. Thank you!

  4. Hi
    I’ve spent a good ten minutes staring at the screen thinking about this……..and I’m still really struggling for an answer………….
    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE to travel..ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO!…maybe its genetic, my great -grandparents were Eastern European Gypsy, living on wheels….(I dont honestly believe that’s relevant, but its a romantic notion I rather like to return to). Whatever the reason, if I spend more than a month in one place I get the jitters, two months and I’m pulling my hair out….But ask me why I love to travel and I cant give a straight answer…I firmly believe that more than 50% of travel is, if not a dissapointment then certainly underwhelming, sometimes even down-right depressing with you seeing the same sad examples of the same sad things the world over….even ignoring that travel involves seeing bad things in the world, the reality of the good things often seems pale compared to the magic of the imagination…Things that you thought you would love, that you have longed to see, often ‘fail to deliver’, maybe the pressure of expectation doesn’t help, but this has happened to me too often, on too many trips, for me to ignore it…But I still ABSOLUTELY LOVE to travel…Its that other 40 odd percent that seems to matter, and for me that always seems to involve ‘Surprise’…..
    I like to find positive things that I didnt expect, ‘beauty’ in the broadest sense that I hadn’t already read about…..and crucially ‘Travel’ gives you more of these sort of surprises than anything else…
    Bring it right down to the crux and, (I’m sure this is pivotal for me), travel, no matter how radical that travel may be, is the easiest, laziest way to get new experiences.
    Simply by putting myself out there, I find myself blindly, stumbling into ‘beauty’….Situations and things that simply stop you in your tracks….I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO TRAVEL! (had I mentioned that?).
    Photgraphy is a whole other issue…If I’m brutally honest I’ve always taken pictures as an ‘excuse’ to travel..I justify my travel (to myself) by the pictures that I take….Before January of this year my travel shots might have been seen by two other people at the most, thousands of shots have never seen the light of day, so I’d be lying if I said that the reason I started photographing my wanderings some forty years ago had anything to do with communication of experience..My photos simply gave me some sort of tangible proof, (that I could return to), that I’d been ‘Out There’, experiencing more than I would have done staying at home….So once again, getting down to the crux, my photography allowed me to affirm something about myself, to myself…there was always something a little selfish about it.
    But things change….
    Time changes things, travel changes things, travelling with someone you love changes things, realising that photos ‘have legs’, and that others may genuinely ‘get something’ from them changes things…Blogging has changed my attitude to photography immensely. Maybe I’m at least beginning to be a ‘communicator’ of sorts, but I’m right at the start of that particular trip.

    I’ll keep travelling, taking photos on the way, as long as the surprises and changes keep coming.

    • I love your answer because I agree with all of it.. except I claim to have been photographing for 6 months! I think genetics have everything to do with it – I blame my Russian mother born in China and my Russian father born in Germany, both Australian based now – for some of that addiction. I love to find beauty in travel, even in the worst situations as from every ‘down’ there is an ‘up’. I am glad you started sharing your photos. I wonder where the blogging experience will take you? Thanks for your great answer.

      • I like an excuse for a bit of introspection….self analysis does us all good every now and again….

        And it really doesnt matter how long you’ve been taking photos…….its the next shot that matters.

  5. A great post Marina. When asked the question you could have just referred your questioner to your blog. It says everything about why you love the subject and your love of it comes through with every picture you take and every phrase you write. When you travel and take pictures, even if you only intend to show the pictures to your friends and recount your adventures verbally, you’re engaging in a tradition of educating others about places they may not know and may never visit. This is how we gain a greater understanding of the world we live in. This can only be good. Being educated and then turning educator is a very rewarding process to go through.

    • Thanks Adrian, I like the line “being educated and then turning educator” as I never really thought of it that way. But so true! Thanks for being kind about my blog – that’s really nice of you! I know you have done a fair amount of traveling and I hope to learn more about it from you 🙂

    • Thank you Shimon – glad you liked the pictures. You have alot of experience to show – your posts are indicative of that. though i have to say that there;’s something nice about being a tourist in your own city. I did that today – just acted like a tourist for a couple of hours – and it felt great. I have some photos to share soon!

  6. I like your thoughts about traveling, Marina, and immersing yourself in the culture.
    I think that is what makes you such a great documenter of place. Words and images in a perfect combination. Always a visual delight with interesting thoughts.
    I hope I travel with the same essence as you!

    • Hi Karen, Thanks so much – I appreciate your comment about my documentation of place 🙂 So nice to read! Essence is at the core of your being, and you’re such the artist that I imagine you travel very well!

  7. Marina this post I like the most, well I guess I feel like you had written the post about how to choose your best images, that is one of th toughest tasks as a photographer. I do like all of your posts, but this one I can really identify with what you say about travelling. This immersing in other cultures, tradidtions and getting to know more about each countries religion is so fascinating, it opens worlds and minds to me. The best trips are the cheapest ones with a backpack and tent, travelling by bus or train, were you get really close to the folks of the country and make the most interesting connections. To share that along with images with others is so rewarding in the way that you awaken other peoples interest in new places and open up their horizon to newer things in live. Love your writing Marina, I wish I could be a good writer to enhance my photography work. You are exqusite writer, thanks for sharing it with us .

    • Cornelia, thanks so much for sharing your insights. Traveling ‘grass roots’ really is fun… when in Rome…! I haven’t attempted camping and not sure it is in my forseeable future (!) though I completely know what you mean. I love that you mention expanding horizons – I’ve heard that all my life, through school until now, and it means so much in so many ways! Your compliment is so so kind about my writing, and I appreciate it so much. Speaking of photos though, I am looking forward to you Carlsbad post?

  8. “What interests me most about travel is anthropology; there’s nothing more inspiring than immersing yourself in another culture and being able to “walk in another person’s shoes,” to quote Anthony Bourdain.”


  9. Great post, to the point 🙂 I studied tourism management, but never really worked in travel industry, I love taking pictures while travelling, but I could never write about it like you do, especially in English 🙂 Sometimes I think that things would be so much easier if I could speak my native language all the time, but I love English and love all the possibilities I have here that I wouldn’t have back home, especially travel wise 🙂

    • I completed a Commerce degree with Hospitality Management and Marketing majors, and since graduation have worked the majority of my career within the media industry – though never worked in a hotel or as a pure marketer! That said, the education was so important and formative. I am so glad you love English and are open to all possibilities – it is inspiring to hear! Thanks for your comment about my writing 🙂 and happy we share a passion for photography!

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