Featured Images Event, Sunday, 10 August.

Dear fellow TravelBloggers and Travelers! Are you looking for an opportunity to show off your new Travel Photography?
If so, take part in our Featured Images Event on August, 10.

What’s the Featured Images Event?
Every two weeks on a Sunday, we will feature six travel-related photographs in our slider on the front page of TravelBloggers.on.WordPress, and introduce each photographer in a short post.
You can see some of our Featured Images either on our front page or here.

If you want to see one of your photographs on our front page, go here and read everything you need to know about how to participate and what kind of pictures we are looking for.

Use the opportunity to share your Travel Photography with our growing community of TravelBloggers and Travelers.

You can send in your pictures until and including Friday, 8 August.
We are looking forward to see them!

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Project Camino: Part 3- Music

If there’s one thing I like about the walking, it’s the music. Climbing to the summit of that mountain can be made so much better, in my eyes, with the correct music track. Maybe some epic orchestral movement, or some amazing electric guitar, or Justin Bieber…if that’s what you’re in to.

I like being able to lose myself, be that through my thoughts, my writing or my music. I don’t follow one particular person religiously, but when a specific track comes on, and I like it, I’ll stick to it. Play it millions of times until my brain finally takes a step back and tells me of the mistake I’m making, and that I can no longer listen to it because it is ‘ruined’. Walking the Camino was an opportunity for me to explore this escapism through music, discovering exactly what I like, and if it’s possible to like other things with more subjection to it.

On the other hand, other people seem to cope better without any background music, just their thoughts. This I can understand, it makes it easier to contemplate whatever it is you’re meant to be contemplating. My dad, for instance, rarely listened to music but still came away with more or less the same experience I did.
The other fallback, I found, was the pressure to pick ‘good music’. I never understood why, because someone hadn’t heard of who I was listening to, it was bad. There are a million different types of music, and billions of tracks, but because you haven’t heard of this particular one, it’s bad. Music is a very personal preference, doubly so in this environment. It becomes more of an extension of yourself, of your thoughts, permitting you to connect to yourself, and your environment, with greater ease, depending on your presence of music or no music.

In my opinion, I find that music serves to intensify a specific emotion that you’re experiencing. Amplifying your thoughts with greater clarity. This can be why many people have different favourite songs dependent on ‘what mood they’re in’. The anger and rage you feel becomes clearer with that heavy metal track, or why, when you’re in a romantic setting, the perfect romantic ballad can help ‘woo’ your date. This is why it is so easy to connect with those special lyrics, because they perfectly sum up all of you’re emotions and thoughts when listening to it.

Lyrics become embedded into memory, stuffing themselves into the cracks of your mind, never forgotten, a snapshot of your current state whilst listening to the perfect song.

-Elliot

Featured Images Event: Taking a break.

Dear travel-blogging friends,  I’ve recently had to deal with two nasty incidents that both led to my temporary absence in the blogosphere.  The first was a painful problem with joints of my cervical spine, clearly due to too much time spent in front of a computer screen.
Yet the second incident was a  classic: I spilt coffee all over my laptop and this caused it to crash. And I honestly didn’t feel like blogging from a cellphone while working on my photographs with a magnifying glass.

So, to cut a long story short: My laptop is in good health again and back home, but I have to organize my time on-screen in a more efficient way.
That’s why I’m going to suspend the Featured Images Event for a while.  Yet I’ve had a lot of fun doing it, and I’ve really enjoyed to get in touch with other TravelBloggers, so I’m not shutting it down completely. But I need a little break.

I hope to keep in touch with you, either here or on my own blog KleesButterfly.

Let’s stay connected! :-)

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Project Camino: Part 2- Confidence.

It takes a lot of confidence to try new things. I’m not saying that before I wasn’t confident, because I was. I wasn’t afraid to talk to people or try something new, however there is a difference in getting that weird sounding plate of food from wagamamas and walking 260km through Spain.
On my travels, it was hard, especially at the start, to walk up to other walkers to engage in conversation. This is a bit of a problem when you’re on your own for two weeks with nothing to do.

I have met some incredible people as I let my confidence grow. For me, it takes time, it takes time for everyone to adapt, yet they are all on the same walk as you are. Confidence takes time. You need time to grow but, once you realise that it doesn’t matter, it’s easy.
One of the many purposes of the trip was to allow myself to try new things. Jumping off of bridges into rivers, eating octopus tentacles, a cheeky splash of wine and even going to church. For me, that’s big.

Starting at Astorga, I was immediately nervous, not sure where we were starting that night, wether or not we could have a bed, what we would be eating, wether it would rain, if my bag was too light, how was my stomach? In the end, I decided none of that mattered.
It doesn’t matter, in all honesty. I was prepared for it, but I was still choosing to make myself anxious. Why would I choose to make myself feel bad? Ultimately, I am in charge of how I feel and I am the only person in control with my emotions. Why waste my time bumming myself out.

A wise man told me something along the way that has stuck with me, as a kind of mantra.

The only thing that is important is you being happy.

I was fortunate enough to understand that along the way. Why would I waste my time caring what other people think? If I want to try something, yet somebody doesn’t want me to, should I let that influence my decision in anyway. Granted if it was jumping out of a plane without a parachute I may reconsider, but everyday things. Talking to people, learning about new things and experience amazing things. Seeing great sights and sounds ultimately made me realise the importance of being happy. If I wasn’t happy, why would I do it.

Confidence is, for me, an interesting issue. You can’t pick up a bag of confidence at your local supermarket (a cheap bottle of whiskey that does the same thing maybe). It’s purely mental. I view it the same way as I view fear. It is a mental subject that is entirely self inflicted that limits ones ability. If I’m not confident in myself, I may perform at a lower level. So why? Surely if I am in charge of my own emotions and mental state I can simply decide, we can all simply decide, to simply stop and be confident. Confidence is purely subjective, once you realise that, you will soon not care about it any more.

Elliot out.

Around the World in 1 week rekindling.

Yes yes I know it’s been a while, sorry if I was off on a pilgrimage. Before I left I announced the launch of an event called Around The World in One Week. The response was great and I felt like it was completely possible.

Then I went on a pilgrimage.

Now I’m back and able to restart it! Many people have already sent me emails with extracts from their times travelling around the world and I thank you for that, but, if you believe that you have any piece that is suitable for this challenge, please, get in touch with me. We need as many people as possible to cover as much ground as we can, but this is a community project! If you haven’t got a clue what i’m blabbering on about you can find all information on previous posts, but please, get involved!

This will only be as good as you make it!
Wow. Deep.

If you want to reach me, here’s my email: ejdawes@talktalk.net

-Elliot

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Project Camino: Part I of V

PART ONE: ORIGINS

All stories have origins. Wether or not they happen in a particularly epic manner or not is a different manner. For me, the start of my 260km trek through Spain didn’t start with a vision in a burning bush, or a visit from the ghost of Christmas past, or a paranormal entity crawling out of my TV, but walking out of a cinema, 99p Chicken Mayo burger in hand.

“I’m just saying, sometimes it’s better to not know where you’re going. When was the last time you went on an actual adventure?”
This was the kind of thing we usually talked about, my dad and I, when out together. His mundane collection of maps annoyed me. My mundane approach of adventure and wandering blindly annoyed him. What was planned there and then may, or may not have been to put these theories to the test. My Dad, who had remained silent now offered his thoughts. “Have you ever heard of the Camino?”

Well, me being a sixteen year old obviously hadn’t. I knew about the burger, and munched on it silently. What was a Camino? It sounded like a species of Piranha.
I did have the guts to Google it when we got home. “WHAT! THAT’S A WALK, A LONG ONE!”. I hadn’t really known much about how long walks usually were, as the average duration for me was fifteen minutes down to the local Tesco to get a jumbo chocolate croissant in the morning (85p, in case you’re wondering, i’d recommend).
260km would be our distance, restricted by time.
That and my fitness.
Oh, and the sleeping arrangements.

I didn’t know this at the time, but hostels are not that comfortable. I was given a description, but nothing could prepare me for the living conditions. In fact, nothing could have prepared me for any of it. The walking, early hours, coffee, massive sandwiches, annoying birds and snoring women. All of which I experienced. But I did try to prepare.

Climbing Mt Snowdon, the numerous hikes, early starts and aching all played their part in my year long training so I would simply be able to finish. I do live in England though, so I don’t have the heat. Scorched earth beating down on you without any shade for hours as your lips dry and water depletes. You wage a constant war with the equilibrium of energy and sleep.

But I like a challenge. I like seeing what I can actually do, how far I can push myself.

After all, how bad could it be?

-Elliot

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