Am I really a traveller?

Trying out Fujifilm lenses while in New Zealand

The question of whether or not I am really a traveller is something I’ve asked myself a lot. Do I really want to travel? Do I need it for my photography?

Am I really a traveller?

Am I really a traveller?

When I was in New Zealand this was something I asked myself a lot. After being there for a few days I couldn’t wait to get home. How sad does that sound?

There I was in one of the most beautiful places in the world and I just wanted to be home. Don’t get me wrong, it was inspiring, but as we drove around the south island all I was thinking about was what I could photograph at home.

Maybe it was something I needed, but it was kind of sad that I had to travel there to work out I love where I live and that is what I want to take photos of.

Am I really a traveller?

The younger years and travelling

When I was young I didn’t really travel. There was no money for it and my parents never really took us anywhere. All our money went on my father’s “hobbies”, those being his horses and alcohol. Whether that had an effect, I don’t know. Still, there was no real desire to do it.

One reason was the whole idea of sitting on a plane for such a long time. Sitting still is something I have always struggled with. I remember saying something to my grandmother about it once and she said she loved travelling on a plane. She didn’t want to sleep or miss anything. Not me.

The idea of living out of a suitcase has never really appealed either. Unpacking and packing constantly, Nah not my thing.

Even after becoming an adult the desire wasn’t there. I was earning money, but not enough to travel. Of course, I knew if I had really wanted to do it, I would have found the money. That never happened.

Am I really a traveller?

Living overseas

This was something that I had to do when my eldest daughter was a baby. We lived in Copenhagen for 7 months. It was an amazing experience. Move in and live. Being a new mum my baby and I went to lots of places while my husband worked.

Life was good in some ways, and I enjoyed the feeling of being a foreigner in another country, or as the Danes said being an Alien.

When you live somewhere you can really immerse yourself into the culture. You learn so much more than you would than if you were just visiting.

It was a great way to see another country.

Am I really a traveller?

Travelling Now

Over the last few years I’ve travelled a bit. In 2015 I was in the US, then to Tasmania a couple of times and this year New Zealand.

There are many reasons why I don’t want to travel anymore. One of the major ones being the effect on the environment that travelling causes. I don’t know that I can do it and feel comfortable. Planes are bad for the environment. Not sure I want that big carbon footprint.

The reasons I had for when I was younger still exist. I don’t like sitting on planes, and hate living out of a suitcase.

Though another reason for me now is also the impact of tourism on places. Do we ever really consider the effect we have on these places. How much damage are we really doing? What is the cost of tourism?

Am I really a traveller?

Am I really a traveller?

Perhaps the answer to this is no. I’m not really a traveller.

That doesn’t mean I won’t travel. However, you won’t see me doing a lot of it. Another thing that my trip to New Zealand made me realise was that I really do want to see more of my own country. I’m getting sick of people coming from overseas and they see more of it than me.

Having said that, I will not be doing what a lot of others do and buy a campervan or caravan. My husband has absolutely no interest whatsoever in travelling. Even if he did, towing a caravan around the country would not be an option. He doesn’t drive and I refuse to be the one that would have to do all that. There will be none of that.

What about you? Are you a traveller? If yes, what do you like about it? If not, what are your reasons?




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  1. Hi Leanne,
    I found this really interesting. I love travelling myself. Honestly not so much the plane part of it, I can’t really sleep on planes but once I am there I’m there and a lot of the time I don’t want to come back. But I have grown up travelling and have lived in multiple different countires. I definitely understand your point about the environment though.
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. I have a few friends that love travelling too, seems to be popular with some, not me. Yes, maybe that is the difference, when I was growing up we didn’t go anywhere. I think if you want to do things like travelling you have to find way to offset your carbon footprint in some way. Well if you can. You’re welcome and nice to hear from you, thank you.

    2. Yea I agree, even if it’s take a day out of your normal routine and do a beach cleanup or something along those lines would help massively or volunteer somewhere 🙂

  2. Hi Leanne, Love this set of photos. l did a lot of travelling in my younger days, lived in Europe and the USA for many years. I also have also spent some time in SE Asia. I agree with you in that although i have seen a lot of Australia,I do need to see a lot more especially outback Australia. Having said that, I can never get enough of Tassie and NZ. The effect of tourism on the environment is not good. l noticed that you can no longer bring or use tripods in many of the National Parks in the USA. Also, I am way too old to be lined up shoulder to shoulder to get a photo on a particular subject. over it.

    1. I love Tasmania, I would love to live there for a few months. I am so glad to hear you say that about the effect of tourism, I think not a lot of people really consider it. That is really interesting about the tripods, in a way very sad too. I have to say when I experienced the shoulder to shoulder in New Zealand I wondered what the hell I was doing there. Thank you Ian.

  3. I love travel. I love photography and travel, snapping streets and people. I love living out of a suitcase. I don’t have to think what I’ll wear. I also love food from other countries although Tasmania has the best food in the world for freshness. But equally I love coming home and being with my pets and having my own bed again. Give me a couple of months and I’m ready to go again.

    1. I think I knew you liked travelling from the name of your blog, lol. The food in Tasmania was really good. I love that couple of months, funny how we are one or the other. Thanks Pam, great to hear your thoughts.

  4. Travel – I absolutely love it! My childhood was spent in Hong Kong (my father was with the Foreign Office so I was lucky to be able to enjoy growing up immersed within a different culture, with the sights, the smells etc). My passion for the world has never left me and my life has been spent loving the moment I walk in through the airport terminal doors, to check in for my next long haul flight to wherever to see as much as I can. These days, having moved from the UK to Australia, most of my overseas travel encompasses trips back to the UK for quality time with family and friends back there. But I would be packed in ten minutes at the chance of going anywhere – it’s a thirst that has never diminished!

    1. Sounds like you were born to travel Annie. I think some people are. My eldest daughter was. When she was a baby and we went to Denmark she was the most amazing traveller. People forgot we had a baby because it didn’t bother her and she was really well behaved.
      I know others who have the same sorts of things. I love the way you describe. I really don’t have that same passion. Well I have it for other things. Thank you for sharing your story Annie.

  5. I’m definitely more of a home bird – I only travel when I need to be somewhere else, rather than travelling ‘for fun’. Like you I hate living out of suitcases in multiple different environements. I like being in my own home, and waking up in my own bed, and so I rely on exploring places close to home as if I were a tourist 🙂

    1. You are my kindred spirit Ruth, I couldn’t have said it better. I love being home too. I like exploring close by as well. Thank you for that Ruth.

    2. Thanks Leanne! I often think maybe that would be a good photography challenge, each of us finding ordinary things to photograph close to home – because what is everyday and mundane in one part of the world is different and interesting to others living elsewhere on the planet! 🙂

    3. I think it is a great challenge and I give it out as a challenge often on my facebook page. It really makes people think I think.

    4. Oh, I see – sadly I don’t do facebook any more… we fell out about privacy/ security issues last year… apparently deleting your account on facebook still doesn’t actually delete any of your data already collected – not a happy bunny 🙁

    5. Yeah, that can be a problem. Though I have changed, I hope, all my settings to private so no one get access to my stuff. The Australian gov asked us all to do that.

  6. Like you – if I travel – it will be to see more of my country. We have a few routine trips we take to see family members – but usually it’s by car. We also like to do short trips that are close to home. However – there is nothing like getting home and sleeping in your own bed!!

    1. I really like the idea of seeing my own country. I do the same sort of trips to see my mother, and always in the car. I agree, but I think I like sleeping in my bed every night, lol. Thanks for sharing Nora.

  7. I’m a traveller–sort of! I totally enjoyed our years of first camping and then RVing. I love the fact that I could take my home with me and not deal with suitcases. Going across the U.S. for three months was wonderful. That was our 50th wedding anniversary trip. Too bad I was just a beginner in photography! I’ve also enjoyed traveling where our RVs couldn’t take us. But, with plane travel the way it is now, I’m not that anxious to go far. Toting camera gear is another aspect to that. If the perfect trip did come along and I could afford it, I would go. I’m loving your pictures from New Zeland.

    1. I think I mean more travelling overseas. I want to do more travelling where I live and travelling in a car is better than travelling in a plane, I think, well I hope it is. I like the idea of RVing, but I would have to do it on my own, and I’m not sure how safe I would feel doing that. I hate the idea of the carbon footprint with plane travel. I also hated seeing all the tourists when I was in NZ, it was terrible. They can be rude and agressive, I don’t want to be part of that. Thanks for sharing your experiences Anne.

  8. In a way I was lucky, most of my travelling was for work, somebody else meeting the bill, and before the environmental consequences were evident. Most of the remaining travel was to escape an unpleasant situation. Although I’ve visited 43 countries at the last count that leaves a lot of beautiful/fascinating places unvisited but I’ve no longing to do it now. I’ve no longing to visit places, but there are a few people I’ve met through blogging who I’d like to visit.
    I think your question about the effect on places/peoples of tourism is an interesting one. I’ve come to the conclusion that the effect is bad; they may have more money but their culture is destroyed.
    Do you need to do it for your photography? I would say definitely not. The only photography which merits travelling is of people, but even that may have a negative effect.

    1. That is always nice, to have someone else pay for it. That is a lot of countries, I’ve been to about 4, not including the one I live in, or ones where I never left the airport. Oh the bloggers, that is always good. I have met people when they come to Melbourne and have always enjoyed that.
      Yeah, I’ve heard some stories about the effect on places. A friend of mine was in Europe a couple of years ago and she was saying that in some places people hated the tourists, the way they took over their towns. It would be hard.
      I don’t think you need to do it for photography. I think my best shots are ones I’ve done here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts grumpytyke.

  9. I am a traveler! I love to learn about other cultures, and try different ethnic foods. I also love photographing people, and scenes from different countries! Lately, I have gotten more serious about birding, so I am always looking for an opportunity to see what birds other countries have!

    1. Fair enough, this was never meant to be a judgy style of post, but it is always interesting to hear why people want to do it. Thanks for your thoughts.

  10. Interesting read, Leanne. Travel can truly reinforce the contentment of home and I hear you. I’m definitely happy to travel in the quest to broaden my horizons and find fresh material to photograph. At the moment I’m at home and taking a rest from my camera. The wanderlust has left me with too much to digest. It can work in so many ways, some of which are almost beyond your control.

    1. Thank you Mike. It can that for sure. Being home can be wonderful. I love having the opportunity to go back to photograph things again here. I think when you travel you do have to compromise quite a bit. There were places in New Zealand that we couldn’t do anything because of the weather, or we didn’t get what we wanted. You don’t have to worry about that when you are taking photos at home. I do tend to almost forget the photos I took while away when I get home. I am ready to get onto the next set. I hope you have lots of photos to go through.

    2. That’s a good point about being on the road, Leanne. You never know what you’re going to get until you’re there and circumstances can conspire against you. I have so much material now that I’m neglecting my home city!

    3. So very true, in New Zealand there were places that the weather just spoiled, but nothing we could do about it. Don’t neglect where you live, Mike, it is really where you will get your best images.

    4. Sounds like you have a lot of work to do Mike. Manchester sounds like an interesting city. Melbourne is going through similar, there are cranes everywhere.

    5. Interesting to hear! It’s hard to imagine where all this expansion is taking us. Seems like too much in one bite here. But lots of construction and new skyscrapers to photograph.

    6. I suspect into a recession, that is what they are predicting here. I love the idea of new skyscapers, but I want them to be beautiful.

  11. Nice to read about some of your experiences, Leanne 🙂
    While I lived in Denmark years ago, I also had some years in Copenhagen. What do you think about that time?
    I like to travel, but haven’t overdone it for years now. I have animals and I don’t like to deliver them to strangers, just to be able to travel. My last experience that way wasn’t good.
    Soon I have been living in Spain for 7 years, which I enjoy.

    1. Thank you Irene.
      It is hard to know Irene, it was almost 25 years ago. They were magical, but I was busy being a new mum, so everywhere I went so did my baby. I met other mums and we went to all sorts of places. It was incredible. We did stuff nearly every day. I wasn’t doing my photography at the time and that is probably my biggest regret from that time.
      I have cats, but there is always someone to look after them, thankfully. I have to travel on my own when I do it because my husband won’t go anywhere with me. Spain would be intesting.

    2. So many years ago, we didn’t have digital cameras either, Leanne. Those have helped us to be able to photograph a lot without need to pay for all the peaces of paper, which were expensive that many years ago.
      If you wish to go to Spain, I will recommend you to go in the spring, as you will find it most beautiful and colorful. In the summer much get yellow by the heat and we don’t have autumn colors in mostly of Spain, only in the north.

    3. That’s true, it was expensive. I love digital for that reason.
      I’m not sure I will ever get to Spain, but that you for that advice, I will have to try and remember it if I get there.

  12. I’m a traveller, but it’s not my choice. My wife loves to travel – so you know the saying, “A happy wife is a happy life”. However, as we grow older health constraints restrict us somewhat. It’s not just the travel per say, it’s the fear of being away from affordable medical services.

    1. Oh yes, I can imagine things would change as you get older. Maybe I should do a blog post on that as well. You also travel to visit family don’t you? Thank you Don, nice to hear you like to keep your wife happy.

  13. I’m absolutely a traveler. Love it! I even just love being in an airport. I consider the whole world, the whole planet my home and I want to explore it all. When my husband retires we’ll be travelling around Australia in a caravan, but for now, while we can afford it I want to go to far far away places and be in absolute awe of this amazing thing called planet earth. 🙂

    1. Wow, even the airport, love it. Do you ever wonder about the damage that tourism does? Do you consider those things when you are planning trips? I’m not being critical, just wondering whether those things are considered. I have a friend who doesn’t care at all, she goes where she wants to go and the environment be damned. It is always interesting to hear what people think about. Thank you Tracy for letting us know.

  14. Thoughtful post, Leanne. I guess I am a traveler, by necessity. It is the only way to get to the numerous places I want to go, whether it be to visit my scattered family and friends, or to finally visit one of the places I have dreamed about since childhood. I grew up in a small town and knew I couldn’t stay there. The world called, and though I was not the bravest person when I first started traveling, I overcame (most of) my fears. I have been lucky as an adult to be able to afford to travel. New places still excite me, though my travel style has changed from solo to small tours.

    1. Thank you Marie, funny, I never think of visiting family as travelling, I just go. I guess I define travelling as going to places where I don’t really know anyone and want to see the place. I grew up in a small town as well, but knew I just wanted to live in a city. That’s great that you love travelling Marie, I really don’t think I will ever do a lot of it.

  15. Leanne, I love your photography and admire your reasons for not traveling more. I yearn to travel more to see beautiful landscapes, but like you, I feel uncomfortable with the environmental and cultural impact of so many people traveling around the world for work and play. Currently, I don’t have the funds, so I stay local and try to find interesting subjects to photograph.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and honest thoughts on travel, brad

    1. Thank you Brad, I’m glad you can see my side of it. I think it is important if you want to travel to find ways to offset your carbon footprint. I do it by being a vegetarian and have done a lot in our house to reduce how much fossil fuel we use. Still, I find it hard to justify, but think every couple of years is okay. Yeah, I’m the same with the funds, it is expensive to travel. Local is great, I think you have the best chance of getting the best images when you do that. Good luck.

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