“To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen
I’ve just gotten back from another one of my Omo Valley tours with 3 ORYX clients where this quote played in the back of my mind day in and day out as we travelled the dust roads on either side of the Omo River, visiting the magnificent Surma, Hamar, Karo and Mursi tribes.
From a photographic perspective, our Omo Valley tour ticked all the boxes – memory cards were filled with the unsurpassed beauty of the people we met and their unique display of beauty and culture.
But what made this Ethiopian photo tour one to remember were the clients. And it was a massive reminder to me why I love teaching photography in all its forms – whether it is to complete beginners, or in this case, simply guiding skilled practitioners in their own right and helping along people with a creative flair and eye for detail and light.
Enthusiasm is infectious. And the joie de vive that Jean-Anne Gardner, Frank McDonald and Giovanna Aryafara embraced each day left me with a smile on my face when the sun set every night and we were literally forced to put our camera’s down. (And then of course salute the setting sun with a beer and toast the beauty of the day passed and dissect the images we’d taken and plan for the next day). And the enthusiasm wasn’t just photo related – it was more than that. Each person brings their own unique background, histories and ideas to the table on an intimate tour like this – and I’m inspired by their kindness for others, love for travel (even when you have to rough it and all that is available is a squatty-potty), incredible sense of humour and how each day is embraced as an adventure.
A two week photography tour like this one – as rewarding as it is photographically – can leave you feeling exhausted. This time I feel rejuvenated. And roaring to get out there and do the best at whatever I choose to do.
Shoo – the power of an ORYX tour! Photography – but so much more!