This year in June, I will mark my 70th birthday, a landmark year, and also marks 24 years since the loss of my husband.
After I retired, I found myself with lots of time and a desire to fulfill the ambition my husband had to travel the world. Of course, the sadness of not having my husband to enjoy these travel with, still daunts me.
The quest to travel near and far, took a new twist with the addition of interest in ‘serious’ photography. My camera is now my ‘constant companion’ and I travel with a added purpose. Yes, age has its limitations and so does the fact, that I am a woman.
I decided to give it a chance and took my first solo trip to New England to enjoy the fall colors. It was a 7-day road trip that took me through New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. It was a great success and I was emboldened.
My next few trips took me to Niagara Falls and Upstate New York and even to India, to the state of Kerala. Please see my earlier travel blog here: https://kamalavenkatesh.com/me-unleashed/
In 2016, I bought a new camera and planned my next overseas trip, this time to the Netherlands. I decided to get serious about photography, and towards the end of my trip in The Netherlands, I took a class in Amsterdam from a local photographer. That propelled my interest in photography and my interest in travel to Europe.
Then just a few months later, I added another camera, this time a full-frame Nikon and a variety of lenses. My interest in photography had grown exponentially as had my skills and knowledge.
So getting back to the title of this blog…
There is a certain confidence that comes with age. A sense of new adventure and ‘throw caution to the wind’ attitude. And I mean this in a good way; of course, always be safe and know your surroundings. I thoroughly enjoy the planning process, almost as much as the travel itself. In todays world, we have so much information at our fingertips…starting with the travel section of your local auto club for personal service, internet sites like Travel Advisory, many hotel and car rental sites, etc. Being retired also gives the flexibility to travel during off-peak months. The advantage of traveling solo, also gives the choice of hotels, places to visit, and for a photographer, stopping any where when there’s a good photo-op. I enjoy driving through countries, such an opportunity to see off and on the road and the freedom to stop and explore.
I do enjoy travel with a friend or two and have done so in Canada and the Southwest. These friends have given me the freedom to photograph extensively…and that is very important to me.
My trips have included two tours of Portland and Washington; Canada-all the way from Seattle through the Yoho National Park to Banff and north to Jasper; Southwest trip through Arizona, Colorado and Utah, and international travel to Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands-all by road. It is amazing how easy it is to rent a car and drive through Europe.
Of course, photography takes me to places in my own state of California. So much to see and such diverse landscapes-from the coast to the deserts of California. A recent trip I took to the Eastern Sierras, opened my eyes and mind to such beauty-the snow-capped Sierra Nevada (home of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, Mount Whitney, with an elevation of 14,505 feet; fall colors…yes, California has fall colors!; the beautiful lakes of Mammoth Mountains, and the jewel in Californias crown-the majestic Yosemite National Park.
Back to photography, I have photographed the night skies-the Milky Way, in the middle of the night, in remote places like Joshua Tree National Park, Anza Borrego Desert Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Arches National Park, etc. Many a times, I am by myself photographing in the night. But the solitude and the beauty of the dark sky is quite addicting!
Please look on the Photography tab on the main page and the drop down menu will take you to photographs from my various trips. Or click here: https://kamalavenkatesh.com/photography/
Thank you for visiting my page, and if so inclined, please do leave me a message.