Travel gives us some of our best memories – and snapshots. Whether it’s a trip with family and friends, ticking off a bucket list destination or something unexpected, we’d love you to share your travel pics and the stories behind them.
Not sure where to start? Kay O’Sullivan offers some inspiration.
To me, this picture sums up why I travel. I look at it and I feel the joy, the amazement, the thrill of the new and even the frisson of fear I felt teetering on top of Jungfrau in Switzerland.
I can feel the bone-chilling cold of the white cloud enveloping the peak, the ferocity of the winds that swirled around me. I can see myself leaving the warmth of the mountaintop train station and edging over ice to take my first-ever selfie with a compact camera. (The trip took place a good few years before Steve Jobs invented the iPhone.) You might see only the big grin and lots of white but I can also see the meadows, flowers, streams and villages we passed as the train chugged up to the summit from the valley floor.
Photographs are the only souvenirs I bring home when I travel. The best of them I frame and hang in my house. The ones that have made the walls aren’t technically perfect – far from it – but they all mean something to me. They have touched me in some way or have a story attached to them. More than any item or piece of furniture my pictures, have transformed the house I occupy into my home.
Sure, some of them are travel clichés, like the one of the Grand Canal taken from Venice’s Rialto Bridge at dusk. Anyone who has been to Venice has its own version, but I will never tire of mine. How could anything so utterly beautiful become mundane?
Alongside Venice is a clutch of canoes framed by palms. It was taken two days before Cyclone Evan hit Samoa in 2012. The canoes did not survive the fury of the Category Three cyclone, nor did most of the resort that my son and I were staying in. My camera was ruined too so I have no physical reminder of the one of the greatest acts of kindness I have witnessed: A group of locals from the nearest village arrived at the ruined resort at first light to do whatever they could help. Within a couple of hours, they had cleared the fallen trees and debris around the resort and on the road leading to it so we could be rescued. Only afterwards did I learn that their village had been badly damaged and, tragically, they had lost one of their own. Every time I look at those canoes I give thanks for Fa’a Samoa, the guiding principles of Samoan life that values life and love above all else.
Another favourite image shows a group of school children, pretty in pink, swarming up the ancient steps of a temple at Angkor Wat. Their excitement at seeing this wonder of the world matched my own; the speed with which they clamoured up the rough-hewn steps was something I could only dream about.
These four pictures are fixtures in both my home and memory; I regularly rotate others that I treasure so that I never forget why I travel. Too many pictures, too many memories … It’s a dilemma I’m delighted to live with.
So, are you ready to share? Send us your favourite travel picture. It could be a selfie from somewhere you’d always dreamt of seeing. It might be a cityscape or a portrait of someone you befriended. Perhaps you ran into a celebrity at Disneyland or captured the perfect image of the sunrise over Uluru.
Add 300 words or fewer, about why this is one of your special moments and you’ll be in the running to win one of five $100 Flight Centre vouchers and other great prizes.
What are you waiting for? Send us your best travel image!
Kay O’Sullivan is no accidental tourist. More than a decade ago, she decided to combine two of her favourite things – journalism and travel – and become a travel writer. Since then, she has written about travel for numerous papers, magazines and on the internet, both here and internationally.