November 24, 2016 · Macao, Macau
Birth of an Idea (Long on story short on pictures, I hope you enjoy the read.)
A little more than a year ago, I embarked on what I thought would be my final big trip. The last 4 countries of Europe (Gibraltar, Spain, Andorra and Portugal) that I had not visited, a visit to a friend’s Joanna Sęczkowska relatives in Morocco, visiting a friend in Scotland and celebrating my birthday at Kinvara’s Hooker Festival (Hooker is a type of boat).
Little did I know this trip would change the way I experience and share my travels.
The first change came in Marrakesh (or as I now call it More-a-cash) Morocco, where I took a picture of the night’s sky at Ramadan’s end, and shared a story of the celebration of this event by the celestial bodies, moon, Saturn and Venus. It was the first time I put story to photo.
The second, was when I was on a train from Porto, Portugal going to a village named Agueda, where they manufactured colourful umbrellas and in Summer’s time, used them to provide coloured shade for those walking the village’s streets. I and only 4 other people were on the train. They being Asian in appearance, I said hello to them in Japenese, they were not Japenese, they spoke Chinese. So, then I tried to recover by asking where in China, and was able to save face by saying hello to them in their local dialect Cantonese. They asked me to join them and we spent the day, walking the umbrella’d streets and having a meal to eat together. My new acquaintances were Dennis Ngs, his girlfriend Fanny Lao and her friends Kei Mok and JessiCa ChanCa. The three ladies are teachers and the gentleman an Environmental official for the government of Macau.
We were all headed to Lisboa, the capital of Lisbon and met up the next day to view various castles and ocean cliffs. I enjoyed sharing the experience of discovery with them. Macau, their home had once settled as a colony of Portugal. Upon going our separate ways, as is the case we said we stay in contact. And unlike the normal case we did.
For each of these meetings and other days I began to take my pictures and put them to story.
From there I headed to my Irish home of Kinvara, and met a man E Eamon Carrick selling hotdogs, and we developed a friendship. With him inviting me to stay with him at his home and attend a drum class.
It was these meetings of Eamon, Denis and Friends, the pictures taken that help me to realize, the thing I like most about travels, is not the buildings, history or geography but the people I meet and the experiences shared.
I also learned I enjoyed matching picture with story and self titlizing myself, as a Storyographer.
Upon my return from this trip in August 2015, I embarked on planning a trip of 34 countries, 30 of which I had not been to before.
I thought the highlight would be visiting the now married, Dennis and Fanny, whom I met in July as they were but boyfriend and girlfriend, but when we met they informed me they had a little one on the way.
Last night, I had a special highlight, meeting their daughter of two months, Adaline. This time I knew the right language to speak and greeted her in Cantonese and Mandarin, my Chinese language skills being more developed than hers. But I am sure when we meet again, she will have surpassed my limited skills.
My trip for the year will soon be over, but I thank those who I met that inspired me and those who I have met since, who have made this a special year indeed.
Next I reacquaint with a Taiwanese teacher Michelle Chiang, who I met in New Zealand, and her friends not yet met Winnie Yu and Amy Lin, to discover their world with them. It is nice to discover different ways of looking at life in the world we share.
I will then finish in Patagonia, to make up for what I missed when I sprained my ankle in Chile and say hi to people who have followed my travels on the internet but I have not yet met.