Monday, April 18, 2011

There are benefits to traveling alone. You set your own schedule. You set your own pace. But there are disadvantages, as well. It can be lonely at times.

There is no one to share a picnic with or point out interesting things to. There's no one to take a photo of you. If you want a souvenir, you have to depend on the kindness of strangers.

Today, walking along the waterfront in Reykjavik, Iceland, I watched a family with teenagers stop and take photos in front of the magnificent stainless steel "Solfar" or "Sun Voyager" sculpture. I finally asked a woman I assumed to the be the mother if she'd take my photo. She was happy to and seemed to enjoy it. She took several and while the wind whipped our hair and we took turns with our photographs, we chatted. She was there with her children. I was there without mine and I missed them.

It was the first time to Iceland for both of us.

A snapshot of yourself done on your cell phone is fine now and then, but it's hard to get any distance or scale. I admit I do have qualms about handing over my camera to a stranger, always imagining someone taking off with it. So, I choose carefully. Like today. The bonus is I met and lovely woman. And I have a photo to remind me of a lovely day.

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