Full disclaimer, the photo above was purchased on rf123.com. I like purchasing stock photos as it helps other photographers and helps give my site a different artistic flavor.
I have been traveling since I was a kid. My father had a job that took him to different countries and we followed him. From the US to Argentina and Venezuela. Our life felt like that of a ping pong ball bouncing to each country and back.....I loved it.
Each location gave me a chance to reinvent myself, meet new people and discover something new. As I grew into adulthood all I knew is that I wanted to continue wondering the world. As I arrived in university I began looking to see which company I could work with to increase my chances of an overseas assignment.
Looking back now I can see that all of my decisions have centered around exposing me to travel. Since university I have lived in seven countries (one of them I lived in twice) and have loved every minute of it.
The most important thing I learned about traveling is that it is more a frame of mind than anything else. Let me explain...Travel is exciting because we do not know what is going to happen next. We are exposed to new things because we seek new things out. We eat fascinating foods because we step out of our comfort zone and try them out. All of these things can, and should be done in your own home town.
A few years ago, while living in Buenos Aires Argentina (a city I consider my home town) I decided to sign up for a photography tour. I went out to a coffee shop to meet my tour guide and let her take me around town as if I was a tourist. I saw the entire city through her eyes and it was very different than the city I knew.
The guide took me to places I had never been, introduced me to people I had never met and allowed me to photograph the city I loved through her eyes. The above pictures are a few examples. I was introduced to environmental portraits, in the case of the ones above that of a butcher and a cobbler. The cobbler owned her store which had been in her family for three generations. The photo above her head was taken in the 1950's and shows all the employees they once had. While the guide spoke to her I was able to shoot some images.
Sometimes we become so familiar with our city that we fail to really see it. If you have the time I suggest you try traveling to your own home town and look at it through eyes of another.