So, my wonderful Cornwall experience has now drawn to a close. I truly had a great time – every hour of every day was fun and had such a positive vibe to it. It’s hard to put into words what this trip meant to me – I’ve seen some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever laid eyes on, have met and become friends with some truly wonderful people, and experienced a different way of life, even if only for the five days of the tour. I will carry the memories of this Cornwall tour with me for the rest of my life.
What I Learned
I learned many things on this trip, from both a photographic and personal development perspective. It is comforting to know that I am still self-sufficient and confident when travelling alone and can depend on myself to make my way successfully through the journey – I can count on me. It was good to know, too, that I can rise to the challenge of meeting strangers in a foreign country, socially interacting quite well when need be. It can be a challenge for a reserved person to join a tour group like this where you’re surrounded by people and social interaction for much of each day, but I did just fine.
Another thing I already knew but found reinforced by my experiences in this trip is: be proud and glad of the fact we’re Canadian – seriously. We frequently tend to complain and moan about shortcomings in our country, but we DO actually have it very good in our home and native land. There are many good reasons why Canada is ranked the second best place in the world in which to live (U.S. News & World Report). We Canadians tend to have a massive inferiority complex when it comes to ourselves and our country. We shouldn’t – Canada and Canadians are highly admired and respected by people from other countries for the qualities we possess and exhibit; almost all the Britons I met loved Canadians and our country, and respect us a lot for being different from our southern neighbours.
Britons are somewhat like Canadians: they are reserved at first but once you get to know them they are the kindest, friendliest, warmest, most intelligent and charismatic people you’ll ever meet. They are also extremely confident in everything they do. Londoners, especially, are an interesting bunch: they are hyper-driven and wear an invisible protective bubble around themselves (who wouldn’t when you live in a bustling city that large), but once you pierce that bubble they really open up and are quite warm and friendly – at least in my experience.
I do truly love England, home of my maternal grandparents.
On Travelling Solo
It felt odd to do an international trip without Vince. We usually travel together but this was a solo trip – my first European solo trip since 2009. We are a great “travel team”, having many of the same interests, and it’s wonderful to have a travelling companion with whom to share the experiences of your journey. It’s interesting to note that when travelling solo, people you meet along the way are more inclined to be chatty/social when they see you’re alone. Nothing beats the freedom of solo travel but one of the down sides is that it’s just you and you alone who has to deal with any adverse situations or problems that arise (and oftentimes they do).
A big thank you to my partner Vince for being so supportive and encouraging of this trip. Although he likes concrete under his own feet when he travels, he understood my deep-seated desire to go explore England’s rugged southwest coast. It is indeed important to do these things in life that are on our bucket lists before it is too late. I just needed that extra little push out the door on this one [“Do it! Do it now or forever wish you had!”]. I know it’s a cliche, but life is just so damn short. It’s also uncertain and very precious.
This photo blog of my journey has been a lot of work but it’s truly been the proverbial labour of love; I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it. My sincere thanks to all of you who took the time to follow my adventures by reading this blog. I’m also very grateful for the comments you posted – those things really do mean a lot to me. The sharing of the adventure is as important to me as living the adventure.
As with our Amsterdam experience last year, if I failed to get back to you with a reply from an email, it was due to the shortage of time and nothing else (there’s that old time-thief thing again…).
Would I do another Light & Land UK photo trip? Absolutely. In a heartbeat (…when do I leave?!!). It’s a terrific group of people to be with, the shooting locales they visit are stunning and there’s a real sense of fun and camaraderie in the team. Many of our group were returning Light & Land participants, and knew others from the group as soon as we all came together. It may be some time, though, before I can do another U.K. tour, or at least one that is based in GBP currency; so much depends on what Brexit will do to the British pound next year and how our Canadian dollar will fare internationally.
As I write this I am exactly halfway between the coasts of Ireland and Newfoundland, cruising at an altitude of 35,000 feet. I am physically and mentally exhausted, my body hurts, my knees are killing me, my feet and head pound and I ache for a lengthy, sound sleep but, right now, I couldn’t be happier and it’s all good – very good, actually.
I mentioned in my very first blog posting that doing this photo trip of Cornwall has been on my life goals and bucket list for many years. To finally “live the dream”, as it were, and have everything go so well in the process feels incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
Thank you, Cornwall. I will never forget you.