I was recently on the road for two months, flitting from country to country. Sounds good doesn’t it! But I was working; this was no holiday.
Travelling on a trip like this takes a lot of preparation, organization and research. Not only do you have to think about where you are going to stay but also how to travel to places that are some distance from the cities. Often there are language and cultural challenges that also have to be taken into consideration. Sometimes, of course, cross-cultural moments can be interesting, even a little curious. In our Turkish village the afternoon call to prayer from the local mosque seemed to coincide with the playing of a Verdi opera by our hotel proprietor. Oh well, it is said that Turkey is the crossroads between Europe and Asia after all.
Of course, from a photographer’s perspective there is the issue of how much and what equipment you should you travel with. As a young man I assisted a National Geographic photographer who travelled with a suitcase full of film. This caused no end of issues when going through customs and x-ray machines. I have also had problems in the past with custom officers who when confronted with my boxes and bags of equipment, demanded a briefcase full of money as a “deposit”, but with no receipt.
No longer am I travelling with suitcases full of film. That approach, along with its issues, has been replaced with all the paraphernalia that feeds the digital capturing world. I take a laptop so I can download the images and video footage every night. The images are then transferred across to two spare hard drives. Nothing is deleted from the memory cards until the images/videos are in at least two places.