Wishing You Were? Not really!

As I prepare to embark on a 2-week journey to Cuba, tomorrow, I find myself reflecting on the unique allure of traveling alone, particularly for the purpose of photography. It’s a sentiment that might seem foreign to some, but for me, it’s a cherished opportunity to immerse myself in the quietude of exploration and creativity.

Alone but not lonely.

The hush brings rush and gush.

There’s a certain magic that unfolds when I venture into the world with my camera as my primary travel companion.

The early morning departure, the anticipation of new sights and experiences, and the freedom to wander without constraint all contribute to a sense of liberation that is difficult to replicate in any other setting.

For many photographers, me included, this solitude is not merely a preference but a necessity. It’s a chance to escape the cacophony of everyday life and tap into the deeper currents of inspiration that flow beneath the surface. In the quiet moments between destinations, I find myself attuned to the subtleties of light, composition, color, and emotion, allowing me to capture images that resonate on a personal, even profound level.

But perhaps what I cherish most about traveling alone is the opportunity for introspection and self-discovery. In the absence of external distractions, I am able to confront my own thoughts, fears, and desires with a clarity that is often elusive in the hustle and bustle of daily routine. It’s a chance to reconnect with myself on a fundamental level and to reaffirm my passion for photography and storytelling.

When traveling alone, I can be hard and soft…at the same time.

Of course, solitude does not necessarily mean isolation. On the contrary, some of my most meaningful encounters have occurred when I least expected them, whether it’s a chance encounter with a fellow traveler or a shared moment of connection with a local resident or guide or even an innocent flirtation or two. These fleeting interactions serve as reminders of the inherent interconnectedness of the human experience, even in the most solitary of pursuits.

We are all connected in the circle of life.

So, to those who may question the wisdom of traveling alone, I say this: embrace the solitude. Embrace the opportunity to wander off the beaten path, to chart your own course, and to discover the world on your own terms. And to my fellow photographers, I urge you to heed the call of creative aloneness, for it is in the silence of solitude that our true voices emerge.

Life is noisy, complicated, and bewildering, but amidst the chaos, there is solace to be found in the simple act of being alone with your camera. So, the next time you find yourself yearning for companionship or longing for familiar surroundings, remember this: the journey inward is often the most rewarding of all.

Wish you were here? Hell no, I’m glad you’re not.



Jack Hollingsworth