I've been thinking lately about escaping. Not forever, just fleeting moments that I can capture in photographs to look back over whenever I'm feeling suffocated. As much as I'd love to flee on long-term travels, I have a boyfriend and a dog and a house and a job - I can't run away from regular life (although I do shun a nine-to-five in favour of my writing work). Small escapes make all of the difference, however. Whether that's an afternoon walking in the Peaks, a long weekend camping on the Pembrokeshire coast or a two week adventure in the Azores. These escapes from everyday life are what I crave.
Scrolling through my 'saved' feed on Instagram, I've noticed a pattern. All of the images that I like feature carefree women in the wilderness. Driving down an empty road, perched atop a cliff, strolling on a desolate beach, climbing a mountain, wandering through a forest. When I seek to escape, this is what I'm craving. Remote, rugged yet beautiful landscapes. I want to feel free.
I feel like I'm always planning to get away. My calendar for the next six months looks a little like this:
April - The Peaks
May - Lisbon / Azores
June - Pembrokeshire
July - Mallorca
August - Camping somewhere by the coast
Partially, I can't bear to spend an entire month in the suburbs, choking on my grey and gloomy surroundings. Partially, I crave fresh air and dramatic landscapes. And, yes, partially I plan my escapes around photo opportunities. I've realised that however much I love photography, I don't take enough pictures and I don't take the best pictures that I know I can take. This year, I'm going to concentrate on revitalising my love of film photography and getting to grips with creating analogue images that I'm proud to share. I'm also going to take a leap of faith and shrug off my DSLR in favour of my new little Canon that's easier to lug around - in the hope that I'll capture more moments if my camera is always by my side.
I'm definitely not a city girl, but I couldn't tell you if I prefer mountains, forests or the coast. My ideal location would be a fusion of the three; somewhere with towering cliffs leading down to secluded rocky coves, mountains rising in the distance, a forest scattered between. Destinations such as New Zealand, Canada and Norway immediately spring to mind, all places that rank highly on my wishlist.
Closer to home; Scotland, Wales, the Lakes and the Peaks have more to be discovered. I'm always itching to get out, see more, drive down roads I've never driven down, and photograph everything that I see.