Does my compulsion to document and share experiences through various media diminish my experience in real time? I don’t know. It’s an argument that currently rages ferociously within and beyond these very platforms.
Cal raises it with me every time I stand up at a table to take a photograph of food from above.
And yet I yearn more and more to tell stories and to hear the stories of others in whatever way they wish to tell them.
Who’s in charge of the way I experience my moments? Who’s in charge of yours?
The stories I like best are the ones that are least contrived. I also like to get a sense of how the people in the stories are feeling. I try to afford people that same pleasure when I share mine.
I try to avoid that thing where all the stories I share are about things being good. Although, driving off on a whirlwind tour of Oz is most certainly good.
These photos are my stories of this time. They span almost four months.
Cal and I tend to take trips at very inconvenient moments. We almost didn’t go on this one. We quit jobs, leave loose ends, or move house and then we spend all the money we have on eating and drinking. We know exactly what will happen and we do it anyway. I like that bit.
It is most certainly not always romantic and it is not even always fun. It becomes tiring. Tension ebbs and flows.
There is inevitably a part of the trip during which I get a bit sad and cry too much. There is a time when Cal gets stressed about money. There is a time when we wonder what on earth we were thinking.
We threw a swag in the bag of a brand new car alongside a pantry of spices and just hoped no one would slam one of many borders shut on our way to Margaret River to pick grapes for vintage.
Turns out we forgot all the warm jackets. I swear I packed the jackets, says Cal, as though any more than last minute thought went into the packing process.
We drank many bottles of wine, made many new friends, slept in swags and dongas and hotel rooms and friend’s houses and beds and walked mountains and ate loads of meat and visited wineries and swam and all the while I took these photos and I’m going to keep them here for you and for me.
Sometimes I feel like all travel stories are the same: We went, we saw things, it was good, we came home. Is it possible to get bored of beauty?
Did I take too many photos? Not enough? What happens to the memories that I didn’t photograph? Where do they go?
Anyway, here are some, unfiltered and unfined. I can’t tell you all the stories but you get the idea. That’s the main thing. A feeling. A sense of a series of moments lost in time.
They’re all jumbled up and in a strange order but that seems the most authentic way to remember things.