Why I am Forcing Myself to Do This One Thing on Every Trip I Take

I travel a lot – but there is one thing that I am consistently forcing myself to do on every single trip I take. It doesn’t matter how busy I am or what I have to get done – this one thing is going to happen. Find out what it is and tell me if you think it’s important or not. 

You probably know what I am going to say, right? Yep – lately there have been several articles posted to my Facebook feed about “Living in the moment” and putting your phone down once in awhile, so it got me thinking. Don’t worry, I am definitely not going to get on my soapbox or lie and say that I don’t also want to capture every moment of every trip I take – literally, it’s my job. It’s why I’m there half of the time. And my kids are just so darn cute – why wouldn’t I want millions and millions of photos of them! But I will tell you this – those moments that I photograph the living daylights out of – for some reason I can’t remember them very well. Ok, yes – I remember them but only through looking at my photograph. It’s weird.

We all know you can’t trust everything you read on the internet – so I started to think back to my own past experiences.

It was this summer during my trip to Chicago for an event. It was a whirlwind type of trip where I needed to get photo’s and information for an article – so naturally I viewed almost the entire trip through the lens of my camera. However, when I think back to that amazing trip – I don’t think about the crazy good food I ate or all of the really cool stuff I got to do – if I do, it is only a general memory. In fact when I think back to that entire weekend long trip,  I think about this one definite moment where I stood on top of a bridge looking down into the Chicago river. It was night fall and the lights from the city twinkled all around me in the water. The smell of eighty different flavors filled my nose and the air was just brisk enough to brush my hair slightly into my face. I don’t know what caused me to do it, but it was in that one moment that I stopped what I was doing and took a long deep breath.

In that moment and in that one breath I was somehow able to breath in that moment and every aspect that went along with it so deeply that I couldn’t forget it if I tried. I can still to this day see in my mind the dance that the lights performed on that river in front of me, the distinct smells that surrounded me and the feelings I felt. The rest of that trip? Yeah, I remember it – but not like this.

This made me wonder if there is some truth to what they are saying – and if I always view special events and trips through my camera lens, will this have an effect on the amount of memories I am able to keep? Am I still creating solid core memories of these special times in my life or are they paper bound to be lost or forgotten?

I am sure that there is research and studies to back this theory up, but I am curious what you think. Have you ever tried this? Do you make it a point to put your phone or camera down and experience a moment for what it is? Has doing this had any impact on your experience or is all of this just another way to shame people? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.

What do you think – does the world of Instagram and photo sharing take away from the experiences we are having or does having the photos to share keep the memories lasting longer? Share your thoughts with me in the comments – there are no right or wrong answers here – just good ol’ conversation.