Capturing USA Through My Camera

Most of you perhaps know by now that I am currently experiencing my longest time away from home so far. I will finish almost 3 months in the USA, come January. While it all looks hunky dory from the outside, I will let you in on some secrets. It’s not all a bed of roses. The joy of setting foot in America soon fades into oblivion as you get on with life and see the country with a different pair of eyes – not those of a tourist, but those of an insider (read – When A Traveller Takes A Holiday).

Fleeing From Philly

Philly's skyscrapers peep over the Schuylkill River.

Philly’s skyscrapers peep over the Schuylkill River.

For months, I had nestled a dream of exploring Pennsylvania and the rest of the East Coast like a slow traveller. My first few days in Philadelphia were interesting – it’s a colourful place with plenty of water bodies and parks to keep you going. There’s also a little bit of history that the art museums and monuments try to remind you of. I explored different pockets of Philly each day – China Town, Penn’s Landing, Ben-Franklin Parkway, and one day, the UPenn Campus (my favourite). My tummy explored just as my eyes and feet did. But a week in this city, and I was restless. The greens and the blues started to fade away, leaving just a bunch of tall, grey buildings in my head. I wanted to leave. I was longing for a place more natural.

Wayfaring In The West

Millerton Lake is surrounded by hills which are dry now in the winter.

Millerton Lake is surrounded by hills which are dry now in the winter.

I made the sudden decision to fly to San Fransisco and explore the West Coast for some relief. Of course, SF is a big city again, so my place had to be something else – removed from the bustle of San Frisco or Los Angeles, yet easily accessible from both. I decided to stay in Fresno – the gateway to Yosemite. I haven’t hiked (read – Forsyth Trail – A Hike through Satpura’s Core Tiger Zone) there yet (and I doubt I will be able to in this winter, now that most hiking trails are closed), but I have had the chance to chance upon a couple of lakes near this city.

Running Alone – Yet Again!

I see the Yosemite Range inviting me to explore it.

I see the Yosemite Range inviting me to explore it.

During my early days in Fresno, I would question my decision of leaving the East Coast so early. I had the New York City Marathon to finish. But impulsive as I am, I flew back to the East (but to New York this time) to run my first full marathon in The States. The run up to the D-day saw me do practice laps around my house in Fresno each morning. It wasn’t the same as in Philly (which has a huge running and cycling population). I would always be the only pedestrian (let alone runner) on the streets. Despite the missing endorphins, I decided to perk up and capture the bitter-sweet memories of my longest trip ever through my lenses. Check out this video:-

Taking pictures and videos, editing them and sharing the stories on social media has managed to keep me sane for the most part. I have been using VEGAS Movie Studio 14 to edit my memories and add a lot of fun to them. This software lets me add multiple video and audio tracks, in addition to rendering my text overlays in a number of stylized ways. I have been experimenting with their transitions and FX effects too. Looks like my YouTube account will now see more action from me! 🙂 Why don’t you give VEGAS a shot! They are giving away 40% off on all of their versions until 31st Jan 2018.

Be Still, And Know

I find my calm by a lake in Woodward Park.

I find my calm by a lake in Woodward Park.

The more I travel, the more I realize the value of stillness. Maybe I’m being pensive, but I have learnt more of my surroundings and the world when I am still. That’s also how I recharge my batteries! 😉 Where else do you think I get all that energy to run marathons?

What is the longest time you’ve spent away from home?

How do you get creative when you’re down?

Write your comments below! 🙂

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When A Traveller Takes A Holiday

Holidays, to most people, often mean a trip to a new place or to family. But if all you do for a living is travel, what do you do on a holiday? With my new life as a full-time travel writer (read – …Because Travelers Have Responsibilities Too!), I have begun to wonder what a holiday is to me. I am always in a new place, eating new things, meeting new people. What if I had to take a vacation from all of that?

One Sunset After Another

The sun sets over Lithuania's capital - Vilnius

The sun sets over Lithuania’s capital – Vilnius

I had been waking up to different views on most mornings – an old church spire outside my bedroom’s window (read – The Romance of Riga), a babbler in my balcony (read – Why The Serai Bandipur Is Every Birdwatcher’s Paradise) or a group of giggly girls in my dorm (read – How Stops Hostel Is Making Delhi Feel Like A European City). One day, I thought that my vacation would be staying at home – just the opposite of the regular person’s idea of a vacation. But thankfully, I was wrong. I discovered my true break here in California, where I am embracing the spirit of slow-travel, by staying at one place (away from home) and yet seeing new things around.

Travelling Deeper

The streets of Budapest are fun to walk on.

The streets of Budapest are fun to walk on.

This is not the first time I’m travelling slow. I’ve done this before in Lleida (read – How I Started a New Life in Catalonia). But this time, things are different. I am immersing myself in the American life, learning how people get by, experimenting with new ingredients as I cook something interesting each day. And while I am doing all of this, I’m also on the search for new hills to hike on, new lakes to gaze at, and a new song to hum on my road trips.

Collecting Memories

Reading Terminal Market in Philly

Reading Terminal Market in Philly

I have been capturing every day through my camera, if not my words. But I search for things more tangible – something I can take back home with me. While I look through trinkets at quaint markets in old towns and busy squares, I am reminded that I can also shop online. I have been browsing through jClub lately, and am amazed by the discounts they have throughout their site! They also offer free shipping and free 30-day returns. When I told them I’d like my readers to have some discounts as well, they sent me an exclusive promo code for all of you! Use “OINDRILADE” when you use my referral link to shop on jClub for your holiday and daily needs.

More Holidays To Come

Christmas vibes are in the air already!

Christmas vibes are in the air already!

Last month, I saw the thrill of shopping on Black Friday. But the shopping season is not over yet, I am told. There will be Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year sales all through December. I can already see most of the houses in my neighbourhood decked up for the holidays. They hadn’t even begun removing the Halloween decor, and Christmas decor already had to be put up!

Making Exceptions

Winter trips are better when you have new things to wear.

Winter trips are better when you have new things to wear.

I’m not much of a shopper but I broke my own rule by buying a lot of things in America. It feels nice sometimes to wear something new. You are the same old person, gift-wrapped for a place that’s not so new anymore!

What do you take back with you from every trip?

Are you a shopaholic?

Write your comments below! 🙂

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