Travel is a dream for all of us. Although I don't look like it here as I struggle to breathe in the rarified atmosphere of the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro - I'm loving it!
Not only is this my job, it's my passion. It was my love long before it was my profession. Before I even had half a thought of making it a living. If I had to give up either photography or travel I would chuck the cameras in the bin and keep that passport full of visa stamps! Actually I'd sell the cameras on eBay to pay for another trip. :)
Heresy on a photography blog I know. Having said that though, my photographs aren't just examples of what I did and saw, they are records of a fantastic time. They are pictures of wonderful experiences in my life - as are all of our travel photographs.
Where I'm going with this is....the other day my son's teacher's computer crashed. She lost all the images she'd taken of the children in their first year of school. Hundreds of pictures which are such an important record of the life of our kids. She was devastated. As would any of us be losing a hard drive of images.
Which begs the question, are you prepared for your computer crashing? Do you have a second copy of all of your pictures? Do you regularly back up your memories. If you lose all your pictures of Africa could you afford to go back and take them all again? Not if you make as much (little?) money as me!
So I am imploring you to not lose your precious photographs - both travel and otherwise. Have at least 3 copies of all your pictures. One on the hard drive of your computer, one on an external hard drive and one on a DVD. Send the DVDs to a trusted relative so that if your house burns down (these things do happen!) you will still have copies of all your pictures.
Computers can and do fail all the time. I lost 4 laptop hard drives in two years. If I hadn't had a backup I would have lost everything. Even though if I had to choose between photography and travel I would choose travel, the images I've already taken are my babies. Precious as images yes, but even more important as memories of the experiences I've had. Do everything you can to make sure you don't lose that.
If you're searching for a good way to categorise and keep track of your digital pictures I would highly recommend Peter Krogh's book DAM: Digital Asset Management for Photographers. It will change your life - literally. I have no affiliation with the guy, just loved the book.