Mine, like majority of the crowd’s decision of places to visit in a city is informed. I try to do extensive research on the place I am visiting looking around for good places to visit, and good food to eat.
One of my few travel escapades was my visit to Redmond, USA. It was my first visit to the States and I was scheduled to be there for 3–4 months. In this less time I wanted to see as much of the place as possible. I often spent my time between work in googling the best places to visit, or the must see places, or the popular spots of the town, then reading through the millions of suggestions, and surprisingly most of the recommendations were the same. Everyone wanted me to go to Pike Street Market, and the waterfront.
These places were indeed very nice places, beautiful, charming, and full of life. Pike Street Market intrigued me. I had never been to any Western farmer’s market, so the variety of objects available right from the fragrant Lavender products to the carved stones and wooden artifacts really intrigued me.
So, every weekend I would look for new places to visit, with hardly much recommendations. I hence visited the waterfront many times, the majestic Seattle tower and the artistic Chihuly glass museum many times, but then, these spots are actually meant to be visited once, maximum twice.
My search led me to almost nothing, though I did find a few forums recommending the roof of a tall building in downtown which gave a beautiful view of Seattle from the heaven. What I really wanted was to witness the life of Seattle, and the lives of the people who live there. I was stepping into the sphere of photography and all I wanted was to capture the essence of Seattle.
This thirst was not quenched by the searches in Google, or the millions of forums but by giving up and starting on my foot exploring the roads. I found out the small shop that sold customized T-shirts, and the beautiful artwork and painting gear. I found the small quaint coffee shop with the aroma escaping the physical bounds of brick and mortar.
And my most beautiful experience was while sitting with my cup of coffee and mini donuts on the bench of the busy street. I saw the boy teasing his sister, and the girl offering free hugs, the guy loading his bicycle on the bus, the girl pulling her mother into the toy shop, and many more sights. This was what the real place was. This was the essence of the place. I did not capture everything on my camera, but trust me they are well stored in the hard disk of my memory.
The beauty of a place is not in its monuments and architecture indicated by the million pf pages of Google, but in its people, their novel lifestyles and their unique style of doing things which Google will never ever be able to capture. This is why I do not want to trust internet with all my travel decisions.
You can relive some of the experiences through my photos here, and I could not resist sharing the below photo below!