The last several days, I've finally gotten around to a project I'd been meaning to do for awhile - going through all my digital photographs, sorting and cataloguing them, and backing them up on CDs. It's been a laborious process, but one of the benefits has been reliving a lot of really great experiences that had started to blur around the edges a bit in my memory.
When I was in my early twenties, I felt that taking pictures of everything dulled the in-the-moment experience of being someplace beautiful or doing something interest. I didn't, for example, take a camera with me when I went to visit my brother when he was studying abroad in Italy in 2003 and the two of us spent several days traveling in Spain, though I visited quite a few famous places on that trip. But the older I get, and the more experiences I accumulate, the more I find that what people my parents' age said when I was younger and too impatient to sit still to have my picture taken, that someday I'd appreciate the value of documenting life as it flies past - rings true. I didn't have a camera with me when I visited Gaudi's masterpiece, the Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. And now, while I retain an overall impression of the place, I can recall little about the details of it. It's not a mistake I'm inclined to repeat - I always take a camera with me when I travel nowadays.
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