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Today I spent the day at two seminars run by Wanderlust magazine at the Adventure Travel Show at Kensington Olympia.

I actually signed up for the travel writing seminar first, not because I want to do travel writing per se, but I thought I’d get some ideas about including setting and landscape, people and local flavour into some books I’m writing later this year. Then I signed up for the photography seminars because I love photography and I want to have some photos and videos on this ‘ere site once I go on my research adventures, partly so readers know what I’m up to and get interested in my new books, and partly so my family knows I’m still alive.

As it turned out, I really enjoyed the photography seminar. I’m not very techie when I comes to photography and I seriously need to work on my camera skills but I loved seeing the competition entries, learning about how they judge it, understanding what makes a winning photo and then seeing the amazing photos of Paul Harris and Martin Hartley. They are I-think-my-soul-has-just-flown-out-of-me breathtaking. I’m actually going to drool over their sites after I finish writing this and stay staring at them until I fall asleep.

My main stumbling blocks are a) I’ve got a serious condition called T.S.T.S. (Too Shy to Shoot) whereby I can’t pull my camera out when I’m travelling because it makes me feel like a rich, intrusive tourist, which I just have to get over, and b) I suffer from another condition called T.L.T.S. (Too Lazy To Shoot) because YOU HAVE TO WAIT AROUND FOR HOURS IN FREEZING/ UNCOMFORTABLE/DANGEROUS PLACES TO GET GOOD SHOTS and I’d much rather be reading or writing somewhere warm and comfortable, preferably with a cocktail. I’m not cut out for hours and hours of waiting around: I think I have some kind of hyperactive disorder. Just sitting in that auditorium all day nearly killed me. But I definitely want to produce better photos so I’m going to have to learn some patience, some technical skills, buy some more kit and get over my two conditions. Then I intend to sign up for future Wanderlust assignments and/or do a photography workshop because seriously, this is my life now and forevermore. They have inspired me. I am reborn. Just without the Christian bit.


The writing seminar was excellent too, it was just that some of it I knew already or it wasn’t really relevant to my needs. But it was so much fun sitting there pretending I was them and I had their jobs. They have utterly amazing jobs. Lyn Hughes, Phoebe Smith, Nick Boulos and Dave Cornthwaite all mention about thirty countries in one sentence, and that’s just where they’ve been in the last year.

I travelled for years and years and did my fair share of weird stuff. I juggled under cherry blossoms in Japan and juggled fire in Australia. I had to wade out of caves I’d camped down in when the tide came in in the middle of the night. I had a baby in the Indian Himalayas and lived there until another baby turned up. I lived in a fair few places and I got lost in the desert of Tibet for seven days and should rightly have died, but next to them, I felt like a lightweight.

I have it. Wanderlustfulness. Photolustfulness. Writingaboutaforeignlandlustfulness. Ahh, it feels so good.

What a great day. Thank you Wanderlust.


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