I recently sold the above image of a stack of old vintage suitcases, a well worn beloved book and a old Kodak box camera a few times as a tote bag. I realized that the theme of traveling, trips, destination and journey’s shows up in my work a lot.
Perhaps its because I grew up as an army brat always packing up and traveling to a new home every three years or so – Hawaii, New Jersey, Georgia, Kansas, Germany, Connecticut, even in college and beyond – Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire – with frequent trips to Europe, Canada, Montana and the western states and Florida.
Artwork showing suitcases, train tracks, automobiles and other forms of transportation is a frequent theme I like to explore in my fine art photography.
Travel is important to our well being because it challenges the mind with thing things. New places, new peopole, new ideas, new experiences. Science tells us that its ok to spend money on travel even if it feels like an expensive waste.
“One of our enemies of happiness is adaption,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who’s been researching the correlation between money and happiness for decades. “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed, but only for a little while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”
Think about it: Which had a greater impact on you — that video game you got as a kid, or the family vacation you took to Greece? You know, the trip with stories that can still make you and your siblings laugh when reminiscing.
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” said Gilovich in the study “A Wonderful Life: Experiential Consumption and the Pursuit of Happiness,” published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are a part of you. We’re the sum total of our experiences.”
Humans are highly social creatures, and meaningful social relationships contribute hugely in our happiness levels.
Travel and photography go hand in hand as its the photographs that help us remember our trips and share them with others.