Documenting History

Yesterday’s tragic events in Paris serve as a reminder as to how fragile the places that we visit can be. Whether due to natural disasters or man-made events, many of the locations that we treasure can be damaged at some point in the future. The photographs that we, as travelers, capture can do more than just serve as a reminder of the time that we have spent in a place. Ultimately, some of these can serve to document the beauty of a place that perhaps may be lost in the future. Obviously, for extremely popular locations, there can be many photographs that exist to memorialize a location from many different perspectives. With that said, there are some places that are less frequented by travelers and tourists and the images that we capture and the experiences that we share serve not only to educate others about the location, but document them for future generations as well.

Great Pyramid of Giza
Approaching the Cliff Dwellings in Mesa Verde

Although it certainly isn’t are intention to take photographs for historical purposes when we travel, we have definitely seen a variety of places and been able to take photographs that we will treasure forever and that we share via our site. We have seen places like Tiwanaku riddled with bullet holes because the army used the statues for target practice. Walking along the Great Pyramids of Giza, you will find graffiti on the stones that have stood there for thousands of years. Acts of vandalism occur with some frequency around the world. Some of these are easily remedied and others take an effort that is either costly or time consuming.

Tower Bridge in London
Artifacts Found in Athens When Building a Subway Station

Hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and other natural disasters have also changed places, both the buildings as well as the landscape, throughout the world. Having photographs before, during, and after such events allow us to truly understand the forces of nature and how the effect the world. Also, have you ever gone into a restaurant with photographs of a city from a hundred years ago up to the current day? We find those images fascinating and to be a visual timeline of a place. Whether intentional or not, all of us who travel and photograph the places that we visit are creating a visual documentation of those locations that can be shared for years to come.

Beloved Memories of Notre-Dame de Paris in 2007
Temple Statue in Tiwanaku, Bolivia


Our Traveler Evolution

Just like everyone else, the way that we travel today is no where near how we started out earlier in our lives. If we were able to go back in time and were to bump into our former selves on a trip, we’d likely shake our heads and laugh at ourselves. Likewise, we will undoubtedly change again as more time passes and more experiences are compiled. Just like human evolution, there has been a very distinct evolution of the way that we travel that has taken us from crawling on all fours to walking upright on two feet.

  1. Phase 1 – After we first met, our jobs and careers sent us to several different states in different parts of the US. During those days, our children were young and we would explore the places where we lived, but we wouldn’t actively seek out everything that a location had to offer. We would save up for a big trip here or there to places like Disneyland where everyone would have that experience. These were simply family vacations for the sake of getting away and spending time together.

    Picture with Mad Hatter
    Kids with Mad Hatter
  2. Phase 2 – As our children got older, we started going on what we lovingly call “education vacations”. We made sure that we took at least one trip together each year and the destinations were always one of important historic significance or one of the country’s many national parks. Although they were certainly enjoyable, it was all about making sure that we all had an appreciation for our rich history. We wouldn’t, however, see much more than the museums, recreations, and natural wonders.

    Mount Rushmore
  3. Phase 3 – We became empty-nesters and for the first time wanted to see more of the world than our own backyard and had a combination of actual beach vacations in places like Mexico or seeing parts of Europe that we’d always dreamed of. We’d pack up several suitcases, drag a variety of clothes and shoes, and go to places that were wonderful, but didn’t take us out of comfort zone. We went to large cities in countries that were familiar to us and, for the most part, people spoke English. We were still taking vacations.

    Eiffel Tower in Autumn
  4. Phase 4 – After getting our first taste of someplace exotic that challenged us in ways that we could have never expected, we gained a desire to see the world. The whole world, big places, small places, especially places where the people didn’t look like us, speak English, and the cultures were as foreign as the land itself. In our attempt to see more and go to places that aren’t always easy to reach, we learned to live out of a carry-on bag, only take what we need, and interact with the locals with respect and a true desire of understanding. We had become actual travelers.

    Our Trip to India
  5. Phase 5 – We told our stories to all of our friends and shared our photographs with them. With their encouragement, we started to share our experiences on this humble site. We had become travel bloggers. Now we not only seek out the experiences of our previous phase, but knowing that we’re going to write about the places after our return has caused to do even more research, learn more, and push us to go to even more places that challenge us, like jungles, frozen lands, deserts, and more.

    Paddling in the Small Canoe in the Amazon
  6. Phase 6 – Obviously we’re not here yet, so life will only tell what this next phase will bring, but we know what we’d like. Having enjoyed seeing many countries on 5 different continents and getting the opportunity to live abroad, we would like to live in countries throughout the world, especially ones that will challenge us. Spending two weeks in a place is wonderful, but to spend a year or two would provide an even greater experience. At that point we would graduate from a traveler to a world citizen.

    The Giza Plateau in Egypt

So, we started with family vacations, moved on to education vacations, then started to see more of the world, and have finally become what we would consider to be true travelers. Regardless of where our evolution takes us, we definitely appreciate the growth that we have experienced over the years. Some of you have probably been able to jump straight to being a traveler, but there is some nostalgia about having moved through each of the phases of our travel lives.

Time for an Annual Website Review

It is important that you take a look at your social media accounts and websites at least on an annual basis.  Whether it is your profile photos or information, tag lines, or about pages, information needs to be looked at with a fresh set of eyes on an ongoing basis. Realistically speaking, it is probably worth doing more than just once a year, but that is about the minimum amount of time to let go by and using the start of the new year is an easy way to always remember to get it done.

Possible New About Photo

Whether it is looking at any unintentional clutter on your landing page or making sure that it is easily navigable or looking at the content on your about page and making sure that it is up to date, there are a variety of things that we try to do at this time of year. We are always amazed when we take the time to go to our About page and update it, how much we tend to “set it and forget it”. Since it is often the first place that people visit to learn about who you are, it definitely shouldn’t be such an after thought.

Maybe Our Profile Photo

Profile photos are another thing that need to be revisited often and making sure that they are consistent across all of your media sites. Whether you use a photo or something like an avatar, it is important that it isn’t too out of date. Having a photo that is several years old isn’t a true representation of yourself. With that said, it is definitely time for us to update ours as it is a year old at this point. We’re traveling next week, but we expect to get our updates done before the end of the month. Do you have a schedule for updating and refreshing you layout and profile information?

Perhaps Something from Panama