In The Real World

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (23mm, f/5.6, 1/900 sec, ISO200)

We had this before. Even a long vacation ends some day. One more day of cloudless skies before we go home.

The last day of a vacation always feels strange. You have mixed feelings. On one hand you look forward to get home to your friends and to finally sleep in your own bed again. On the other hand you don’t want to leave. Especially if you are in California in October and grey and gloomy winter days at home are in front of you. I never was here during winter but of course I have checked the weather. As I write this it’s -2 degrees Celsius here and about 24 degrees in LA.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/8, 1/300 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/4, 1/80 sec, ISO250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/4, 1/80 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/8, 1/400 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/8, 1/450 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (23mm, f/8, 1/350 sec, ISO200)

On the last day of a trip you are also kind of exhausted and tired of traveling. That’s of course is only true if you are on a road trip. We once had a beach vacation in Northern Africa many years back. I was tired of it on the third day. I can’t imagine to do that again but I can easily see me on a road trip for a couple of months. But on such a long trip I think I would prefer an RV. I just don’t like to pack my suitcase and to learn a new hotel room layout on every single day.

Before we pack out travel bags one last time we went to the LACMA. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We have been here before and because it was such a beautiful and sunny day we decided to only go for a coffee and stay outside. There are enough “museum days” ahead of us.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (23mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (23mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (35mm, f/4.5, 1/550 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/8, 1/640 sec, ISO200)

We packed so much in those three weeks that it felt strange to just drink a coffee and watch the people. This was our sixth trip to the South West of the USA and we still managed to see something new. We visited the Zion NP for the first time and we drove all the way up to Antelope Island and Salt Lake City.

In total we spent 18 weeks in this part of the world and as much as we love it I think it is time to see something new. Yes I travel a lot for business and see many different places but it is not the same. On a business trip time is very precious and spare time is limited. It needs time to really know a place.

Before we went back to our car I had a flash back when I saw the parts of the Berlin wall. I was in Berlin right after the wall came down. It was one of my first road trips together with two colleagues from work. We drove all the way up from Vienna. We drove through the Czech Republic and stayed in Prague long before it became a tourist magnet. It was the year 1990 and I just started to travel. Everything was new, everything was exciting.

It was like that again when business trips brought me to Eastern Europe and later to Asia. Everything was new, everything was exciting. The first time at the Red Square in Moscow or the first time in India or the first time in Japan.

Nothing beats when you see a place for the first time. You most likely will not take your best pictures that day because you are overwhelmed but the experience will be the best. I visited the Taj Mahal three times. The first time the conditions where far from ideal. It was hot and humid and the light wasn’t great. But I still remember the moment when I walked through the gate and saw the Taj Mahal for the first time. I had goose bumps all over my body.

We all need more of those goose bump moments.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (35mm, f/2.8, 1/400 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (23mm, f/4, 1/200 sec, ISO200)

So here is JFK and Ronald Reagan side by side on a segment of the wall that once separated Berlin into East and West. When we traveled to Berlin we stayed in East Berlin because it was much cheaper. The wall was still there. We rented hammer and a chisel and worked like maniacs to break out some pieces. I still have mine. And we watched the artists, Back then Berlin was a very vibrant place.

It’s where my love to travel was born. And it is still there 30 years later. This trip ends here or better after a 12 hour flight but it will not be my last.

Apple iPhone XS (4.25mm, f/1.8, 1/1900 sec, ISO25)