So I know I was just singing the praises of London, but I do have one small gripe. I’m in Bangkok now (more soon!), but everything I said still stands. I love the City on the Thames. However, my fascination with London didn’t prevent me from “tourist burnout” — that sinking feeling of walking around a particularly popular sight with hundreds of Joes and Janes just like you, camera in hand, snapping away, oblivious to time, space or history. It hit me this past Sunday at the Tower of Lodon, real quick like. BAM! and all of a sudden I realized just how much I was a tourist and, worse yet, just how far removed I was from that place and time by virtue of my digitial camera happily clicking away.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been having a lot of fun taking photos on this trip. But as one that has historically not gone in for photo documentation, I’m still trepidatious. Even though I was ready to throw my camera in the mighty Thames, along with every other camera I could snatch from the mindless around me, it was ultimately a positive experience. It reminded me to be in the present. To look with my eyes, then with my lens. And to have a little compassion for the hordes of tourists, of which I am one.
Thankfully I’m in Bangkok, now, and it is a tad easier to find myself removed from those hordes, embedded in the everyday life of the people here. Ironically, though, compared to London, I stick out like Big Ben amongst these crowds. But hey, isn’t that part of the travel experience?