Friday, July 16, 2010

'Why do we travel?'

That's a good question, isn't it?  We all travel for a reason, with expectations in mind.  Sometimes we come back disappointed, other times we come back feeling as if we've been away for ages, refreshed and raring to go.  The New York Times has poised this question to its readers, who are invited to submit one or two travel photos and tell their backstory.  Prompt questions include "Where did you go and why? What’s happening in your photo? What does it mean to you?".   A selection of the best un-retouched images from 2010 will appear in the NYTimes Travel section.  This is a picture I took.  Can you guess the answers?  Share your thoughts by clicking the pencil below.  


  1. I can imagine that the scene takes place in China, or at least in an asian country. Asian culture is actually quite different from our european one. I think trying to discover the way people live there is a pretty good reason to travel to foreign countries. Concerning the picture itself, the people seem to be walking around or just meeting and discussing. It is indeed well-known that asian people living in huge cities go to the parks to take some exercise. It's all about enjoying life and taking time to do something for the own health. What a lot of stressed european citizens often neglect to do!

  2. Hey Carine, nice to hear from you:-) If you have a photo you'd like to share you can embed it and tell us about it. There's a great 'how to embed pictures and videos on blogger'. It's on youtube. It gives you a step by step on how to do it. If you can't find it, let me know. I'm sure I can dig up the link. Thanks so much for checking in, I was beginning to think I'm the only one looking at this. I plan on waiting until Monday and then posting the background story for the photo above. Thanks again!

  3. Where did you go and why?
    Carine is right, this photo was taken in Beijing.
    My husband and I went to China to visit family there. It was an incredible experience. The taxi ride from the airport into the city took us down an incredibly wide, extremely modern boulevard. There must have been 5 or 6 lanes of traffic in each direction. The closer we got to the heart of the city the more in awe I became; Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel stores as big as supermarkets, luxurious 5 star hotels with uniformed porters waiting for passengers to arrive, elegance the likes of which one associates with Paris. It was not what I expected.

    What's happening in your photo?
    We were walking through a park and heard music blaring out of boom boxes. In an empty square, framed with park benches, couples were dancing. Their steps were choreographed, their hands on their hips, and there was plenty of space between the partners to move around. It was lovely, a very moving experience.

    What does it mean to you?
    Whenever I travel, I like to photograph the people I see, doing things they do everyday. Monuments, museums, architecture and history were/are all created by the people who live(d) there. This scene in the park was living history, a continuation of a tradition. The only technology involved was the stereo equipment. These people were enjoying the moment. They seemed happy and peaceful. It was a cool spring afternoon in Beijing. For me it is an unforgettable memory.


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