Thursday, November 21, 2013
Travel photography and what it brings to the world.
I had a great time at the Cairns Pechakucha Night last night. There was about 100 people there and some really inspirational speakers covering all sorts of topics from cleaning up beaches of rubbish, advising the Rwandan government on how to transition their education system from French to English, to a skateboarder trying to benefit the world through his passion for his sport.
And then there was me. I spoke about one of my passions - the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Mine was a rather light-hearted affair. Being the last one up I got to watch all the other presenters do their thing. There were some amazing talks of people really changing the world. And here I was selling a destination. I felt a bit light weight I have to admit.
But after a night to think about it I'm not so sure. Yes there are lots of pressing problems that need to be solved, many of their environmental. And travel might not seem to be such an important thing in the grand scheme of things, after all it's just people enjoying themselves.
But is that all there is to it? I really believe that conflicts, racism and a lot of our misunderstandings about other people and cultures come about because we don't take the time to get to know other people. To see where they live, how they interact with each other and how their lives are not so different from ours.
My job is to help break down the doors between different cultures. To show people who might not otherwise get the opportunity, that for all our differences we all basically want the same things. That the world is full of decent, friendly people that you would have a lot in common with if you just had a chance to sit down and talk to them.
So whilst I might not be saving the world, or even a part of it, I believe I'm helping make it a better place.