I often find myself pondering the “real” in life in this age of instant gratification and digital everything. As a photographer, I still find myself thinking that shooting on film is real while all these digital images we take are, well – less real. I learned to be a photographer by using 35mm film and developing it myself in a darkroom. When I encounter younger photographers who have never shot on a roll of film, I cry inwardly. I curse technology. Of course I try not to judge, as I happen to be in love with some of technology’s accomplishments like the “Hipstamatic” app on my iPhone.
A similar same mindset applies to my travels. I’m always searching for the path that is now [or has always been] least traveled, older, more authentic.
During my recent trip to Mexico, I was given with the opportunity to stay in the all-inclusive Hacienda Tres Rios. It was great – their property is really a sort of paradise. However, it’s gated and separate from the rest of the Riviera Maya and certainly from the towns inward from the ocean – on many levels it doesn’t strike me as being – The Real Mexico.
Perhaps it is racing through the jungle sitting on the back of what can only be described as the world’s-oldest-still-operational-dune-buggy.
Perhaps it’s a small pueblo where tourists don’t usually venture. Perhaps it is a group of women who manufacture their own soaps and bath products still mixing ingredients by hand. Perhaps it is a simple meal cooked by a woman who speaks no english on the side of a road under a thatch roof hut, not in a resort kitchen with all the modern conveniences of a 5-star restaurant in New York City.
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