Ten years ago my camera was stolen and until this winter, I didn’t replace it. A camera is nice to have for blogging but for traveling and on the trail I find it too heavy and I think it encourages a person to objectify their experiences. Without a camera, when great sunsets are happening, you don’t think, “this will make a good picture,” you just sit back and enjoy it thoroughly.
On a trek in a jungle in Sumatra, a mother orangutan came down a tree with her baby wrapped around her, the guide gave me a banana as I was the only one without a camera in my hands, I handed the orangutan the banana, looked into her eyes and touched her hand. Over and over, I see people missing experiences by trying to capture them.
Five years ago, when I sold my house, I needed to get rid of all of my stuff. I looked through all the pictures I had, took out the ones of my son, sent them to him, and threw away the rest. Life is about now and you can never be in the now if you have to cart the past around with you.
My travels and hikes are not diminished by not having pictures; I think they are enhanced because not having a camera frees me up for experiencing the moment instead of trying to preserve it. In addition, my life is enhanced by not having to store bunches of pictures of the past.