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what was learned from the last time

If I recall correctly, I brought two suitcases, a carry-on and a backpack with me to Iceland.

All bags were stuffed on arrival.

What shoes would I wear?

What clothes?

I brought school books.

Camera equipment.

Chargers. Cords. Charging banks.

Towels.

I purchased a sleeping bag the first day, and wandered about in a daze in Reykjavik before finally shaking it all off.

I’m not really sure how it all spiraled out of control. I’d done the research, taken the advice, and still managed to pack an unnecessarily large wardrobe, too many shoes, and there was no room for souvenirs.

I think an understanding fear took place. This was THE. FIRST. INTERNATIONAL. TRIP.

Time to make it or break it.

If this doesn’t work out – I’m a total failure on a traveling level. Failed writer. Failed photographer.

And I went alone.  WHAT IF I NEEDED ALL THIS SHIT?!

I somehow felt the need to schlepp it all with me, and dignified reasons behind all the choices, and when I arrived, I ended up wearing a select few shirts and pants based on weather and the activities I engaged in.  Nearly everything I wore and used was in tune with what I had read online from different travel bloggers before going.

There was a huge lesson in trust to be had here.  Ultimately there is going to be anxiety surrounding the first trip, certainly doing so alone, and being in another country where you cannot easily access known faces.

I didn’t trust in experienced travelers to give accurate advice.

Even worse, I didn’t trust in myself to handle new experiences and situations.

What if you’re robbed in Iceland?

Welp – what would you do back home?

Call the police…

Bingo!

I almost needed to recalibrate myself.

As my travels have continued on after that first Icelandic adventure, I’ve learned to bring less stuff.  I carry a backpack containing my camera equipment, laptop, and other electronic necessities, and a small suit case that can fit in the overhead compartment on planes and has exactly what I’ll be wearing.  If it’s a longer excursion, I do bring two pairs of shoes in case one gets soaked.  Been there, and it’s really shitty to not have dry shoes to wear.

Going to Iceland again, I feel incredibly prepared to bring a lot less shit.  But, the other nice thing in this particular situation is since I’m not going alone, there are shared necessities we can share carrying and it suddenly lightens the load a little bit from what I’m used to.

I assure you I don’t suddenly feel this is an invitation to bring more stuff than usual – it just feels nice to not worry about keeping track of everything on my own.

I’m excited to go back to Iceland, without a doubt.  I recommend visiting the country to anyone I can.

I feel even more excited to be going as a more experienced traveler, writer, and photographer.  It makes me feel like there has been some kind of progress in this strange mess of a journey to become a full-time traveler.

It’s incredibly hopeful.

Photo taken with Canon EOS Rebel T6s of Seljalandsfoss in Iceland 2016. 

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I don’t post about specific buildings too often. The Montréal Tower is pretty cool. It was built for the 1976 Olympics and is now just abandoned space. The pool is still in use for locals and you can go to the top of the tower. 
The view is fantastic from the top, you can see all of Montréal and then some. 
I also enjoyed walking around the deserted Olympian stadium. It’s weird to see all that effort to go in to constructing a space and now it just sits except for a small piece. 
Canon 5D MarkIV, 35mm on a 24-70mm lens, f/10, 1/400 seconds, ISO 100 *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #montreal #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #photography #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #canada #worldnomads #femmetravel #quebec Enjoying the canon B&W theme this week. Here’s the last one I’ll post! 
Taken recently in Quebec City, Canada. 
Canon 5D MarkIV, 24 mm on a 24-70mm lens, f/5.6, 1/160 seconds, ISO 100 *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #quebeccity #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #photography #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #canada #worldnomads #femmetravel #quebec Having some fun with the B&W challenge from Canon. 
This is one of my favorite photos from the Grand Canyon. 
Taken with my Canon Rebel T6s, 18mm, f/11.0, 1/125 seconds, ISO 100 *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #nationalpark #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #photography #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #grandcanyon #worldnomads #femmetravel #arizona Old Port in Montréal is a blast. A lot of the pictures I took begged to be in black and white, especially the nighttime photos. The bright lights really helped the night pop. 
Taken with my Canon 5D Mark IV, 24-70mm, f/11.0, 1/40 seconds, ISO 32000. *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #montreal #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #photography #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #canada #worldnomads #femmetravel #quebec This is part of the Japanese Garden at Montréal’s Botanical Gardens. 
We bought a double ticket - one to visit the gardens and the other to see the Montréal Tower across the street. I thought I’d spend hours at the garden considering what they have on their site and what I’ve seen others post online, and I figured only a moment at the tower. 
The gardens were under construction and several paths and areas were closed with detour signs. It was incredibly hard to navigate and at one point we had to exit the gardens on one side and re-enter on another to attempt to see some more. Because of getting frustrated, we left and headed to the tower. 
The tower was a fantastic and pleasant surprise. Super neat and enjoyable. I’ll post more about it. *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #montreal #ourplanetdaily #discoverearth #photography #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #canada #worldnomads #femmetravel #quebec This post got away from me, and it’s wordy enough that it’s been cut off. Please see my comments for the rest. 
I took this photo almost two years ago now.  Instantly, I am critical. How I could have done the lighting better, held the camera a different way, changed settings to freeze the waterfall in the moment better or to give it better movement. Why didn’t I just wait two more minutes and no people would be in the shot? It was daylight for another 20 hours anyway, etc. 
I found a picture of myself from three years ago. A quick shot on a point-and-shoot in a crappy hotel during a work trip. My hair was super long and healthy, I was in good shape and eating well, and my immediate reaction was “I look really good here. Why was I so hard on myself?” When I took the photo in Iceland, I was so happy. I was so proud I had brought myself to that very moment. No one got me there but me; I drove through Iceland on my own and trusted whatever came my way during my stay. And when I got to Kirkjufell, a place I had seen online and in books so many times, I was grinning ear-to-ear. I was standing in a spot that women have stood who inspired me to travel. Photographers I look up to. Locals. Sheep. The northern lights have danced above this very piece of earth, and two years later I criticize the poor photography instantly before remembering how happy I was at that moment. 
When I took the photo at the hotel three years ago, I wanted to be skinnier. I wanted to look prettier. I stood in front of the mirror there for almost an hour tearing myself apart for not meeting the ridiculous standard I kept changing. And three years later I’d give anything to look like me in that photo again. *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #selflove #ourplanetdaily #discoverearth #photography #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #iceland #worldnomads #femmetravel
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