“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
– Mark Twain
I've always loved that quote From Mr. Twain. Anthony Bourdain has simplified it and given it some attitude with his "Be a traveler, not a tourist" line. I guess that's what I love most about travel. Seeing how others live, work, and play. It affords you the opportunity to, if not truly understand the world a bit better, at least bare witness to it. If I could, I'd always be traveling with a camera swinging off my hip.
As much as I love travel, I love photography. Not just shooting, I love the gear as well. I have had an appreciation for the equipment all of my life. Mostly old metal bodied classic SLRs & rangefinders. They have lots of little dials and knurled edges, of beautiful chrome and craftsmanship, emphatically NOT the stuff of modern plastic cameras. Nothing compares to the cold feel in the hand of a rock solid brass Leica, and the mechanical whirr of the shutter of a classic camera. To me they are functional pieces of art.
I have owned and shot with all the usual suspects: Nikon film and digital, Leica, Hasselblad, and some oddities like a 1956 Rolleiflex, and a beautiful Widelux F8 swing lens panoramic. They are all stunning pieces of equipment, each with their own unique character and personality.
Very recently I purged all of my classic equipment for a Leica M and a Leica film M3 from the 1960's. Mostly because I aspire to the Henri Cartier-Bresson philosophy of being in the "decisive moment." Nothing staged, natural light, just me and a camera and 1/200th of a second. I'm still, and always will be learning – but loving every moment of it.