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Travel Consciously

Travel more consciously: why I now collect moments instead of photos

The sun is just setting behind the mountains. I'm trying to capture the last rays with my camera, the wonderful light on the snowy peaks throw. At the same time, I quickly filmed a video with my cell phone. Zack. And then it's already gone, the sun. That was pretty quick now. As I stow my camera in my backpack, I realize that I only experienced this sunset through the lens or the screen. I didn't really enjoy it.

Not an isolated case. In recent years, it often happened to me that when I travel, I focus on capturing everything that is happening around me. I always had the camera in my hand, snapped the same motif for the tenth time because the angle wasn't quite right or the ISO was set too low, and I often said to my companion, "Please take another picture of me, this time but further from the left". Always thinking “Cool, I can post that on Instagram” in the back of my mind. What I only realized much later: the moments I experienced were completely lost, and spoiler: they won't come back either.

I enjoy looking at these captured memories and I also enjoy the photography and the creativity that goes into it.

I don't want to say that photos and videos of experiences are not beautiful. On the contrary, I enjoy looking at these captured memories and that too Photograph and the creativity that goes into it gives me joy. So it's not about the 'what', but the 'how'. And that just wasn't right for me anymore. I have therefore started to capture my travels differently. In a way that doesn't take away the precious moments, but makes me feel them even more intensely and captures them much more genuinely than an Instagram reel could ever do.

What does that mean specifically? Instead of my cell phone and DSLR, I now have my Polaroid camera in my luggage. Because this camera doesn't force me to think about little things and try to capture the subject even more perfectly with every shot. She captures every moment exactly as it is. Sometimes out of focus, sometimes too dark, but real. It's the same with my diary, which I now always have with me. Here I write down my thoughts unfiltered, take the time to enjoy, analyze and internalize a situation.

travel consciously

Rules? I don't have any when writing. I don't believe in fixed journaling processes and poetically formulated sentence constructions. I write down what I see. what i feel What best describes the moment I'm experiencing right now. Do these words always make sense? No, but that's not the point. It's about pausing, about consciously perceiving the situation and maybe even processing it. Sometimes I also draw something, a booklet and pen are included. Or I stick in the ticket from the museum or the ferry ride – just like I used to do as a teenager with cinema tickets and festival wristbands. These approaches are by no means new or overly creative, but they work. At least for me.

Traveling more consciously is not only well received by me

When I tell my followers on Instagram that I won't be sharing as much in the future and would like to enjoy my trips offline, I receive praise and encouragement. I am told that this is a bold step. But is that really him? Does the step towards more mindfulness and a more conscious experience really have something to do with courage, or are we just so stuck in this fast-moving world in which we hold on to everything, share everything that the decision not to do exactly that is already courageous?

What do you think about that? Do you capture everything while traveling or do you prefer to enjoy offline? Or maybe you even found a different solution than I did that makes both possible? I look forward to feedback, suggestions or questions - feel free to leave a comment or send an email directly to [email protected]

Photos: Nadine Pinezits

Nadine is a freelance editor and copywriter. She lives in Austria and commutes between Salzburg, Styria and Vienna. She is therefore either in the mountains or in the urban jungle, but at the same time tries to spend as much time as possible in her heart country Portugal.


  • Kai

    Wow! That's exactly how I feel! When I'm in new places, I load 40-50 photos in the cloud every day! And exactly, you don't enjoy anything anymore! Then I got really stressed! I will now try to take only 2-3 pictures per day. As a child, I even got by with 24 pictures and you only knew the result after 1-2 weeks. It was kind of exciting!

    • Nadine Pinezits
      Nadine Pinezits

      Dear Kai,

      Thanks a lot for your comment!

      Yes, I had exactly the same stress - until I thought "That's enough". After all, traveling should enrich us, ground us and not stress us. I think your project is great and I wish you the best of luck!

      And you say it: Not knowing what you photographed and being surprised afterwards is also super nice and exciting.

      I wish you many great offline moments for your next trip!

      Best regards,

  • Suse

    Dear Nadine,

    when I'm on vacation I switch my phone to airplane mode and enjoy the moments I see and perceive with my eyes and ears. And only then do I photograph this moment when it is important to me. Because not every moment and moment is reproduced by pictures as one perceives it. Only when my vacation is over do I switch off the airplane mode again. Because in the past, only postcards were written and later met with friends or family to share the holiday with pictures and memories. This is no longer the case today because everything is always shared immediately on Instagram, in the status or on Facebook. You have nothing more to tell each other. I like your story and your experiences. One should concentrate more on the moment and not on what others want and think.

    • Nadine Pinezits
      Nadine Pinezits

      Dear Susann,

      Thank you very much for your message!

      You are absolutely right, not every moment can be captured in pictures as it actually is. I just had a moment like this yesterday on my way home from Budapest: a beautiful sunset, that happy mood you get after a journey and the soft rattle of the coach on the bumpy roads. I just enjoyed it because a photo or video could never have captured it.

      Regarding your point about “there is nothing more to talk about”: I see it that way too. You already know a lot from the stories and status updates that you don't have so much to talk about when you meet. I still send postcards to selected people and vice versa I'm always happy when I get some!

      In any case, I wish you a nice offline time on your next trip - wherever it may go.

      Best regards,

  • Wave

    I am feeling the same. 🙂 I'm now trying to use my camera or cell phone as an "amplifier". To consciously deal with the subject. But still enjoy the moment. And then (just) take a photo or two. I have family and friends that I don't see often. And it's always nice to share moments like this anyway. But not 1.000, but a few special ones. That's the plan. 😀

    • Nadine Pinezits
      Nadine Pinezits

      I still think it's important and nice to capture certain moments and share them with loved ones, I agree with you. But as you say, one should make it more conscious and share selected things. I think it's like everything in life: the dose makes the poison 🙂

      Have fun on your future travels!

      Best regards,


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