So, in a few days I leave Australia, for just over six weeks, and head over to the UK to catch up with family and friends. Of course, I will be taking my camera and taking the odd photo or two, but do you think I have done any packing or organising of the trip? Nope! Apart form having a rather vague idea about visiting Ireland just after Christmas, I haven't really got a clue what I will be getting up to. To some, that might appear to be a rather slap dash approach to such a big trip, but to be honest that is the way I like it.
Apart form the obvious benefit that not organising anything means that I, well, don't have to organise anything and can do something else more interesting instead. It also means that I am not locked into any itinerary and can get up to just about anything I like.
Over the years, I have learnt that some of the best photo opportunities are to be found off the beaten track. Not that the UK has many unexplored places, but sometimes by going to the places that are not in the tourist guide, it is possible to get some great images. These places are not marked on maps and it is a case of heading down random roads and pathways, that lead to something special turning up. Most of the time, you don't find anything of particular interest, but sometimes you come across something that you would never have found if you were looking in the guide books or tourist information sites. This is often because, to the everyday person, these places might not hold much charm, but to a photographer, they are a gem. By not having a firm itinerary, I am free to wonder around anything that catches my eye.
I am heading to the UK in winter, and I think I am going to freeze. I am English, and I spent most of my life in the UK, but after spending the last 15 years in a considerably warmer climate, it is going to be a bit of a shock. I last visited about 4-5 years ago, and although it was about the same time of year, I was lucky to go during a bit of a heat wave and it wasn't really that cold. I don't think I am going to be that lucky this time.
One thing I am definitely not looking forward too, is the flight. 26 hours flying, and that is if there are no delays. There are only so many movies, tv shows and magazines you can watch and read, before time really starts to drag. I'm not lucky enough to go 1st class. Maybe one day, but in the meantime, I am stuck with the rest of you, in cattle class.
Although I might be a little unprepared, I am really looking forward to this trip. It will be great to catch up with everyone, and I anticipate getting some great images. Sometimes you have to leave a place to appreciate what you had. By taking the time to actually look at my homeland, I hope to be able to see it in a different light.