Varanasi Street Photography Vs Botox.
(And other thoughts when 50 is looming.)
It’s January 2019.
This is the year I hit 50, albeit the very end of the year. I’m sat at my desk wondering what to do to mark the occasion. Three options cross my mind.
1. Retreat into a darkened room to become a crazy cat lady.
2. Treat fading looks and unfading wrinkles to a course of botox.
3. Think positive and do something for myself.
Mulling these over takes a little time. I actually really don’t like cats much, they make me wheezy. Therefore plan number 1 is out of the question.
On to plan number 2 then. I wouldn’t class myself a vain person, but wouldn’t be honest not to admit to wanting my 20 year old skin back. 50 years takes their toll you know! Pondering how to blur those “character lines” leaves me having nightmares about frozen face and trout pout. What if no one recognised me?!
So, that leaves plan number 3. Do something for myself.
I’ve Fancied doing a Little Street Photography for a While Now.
What did I want to do? I started to look for ideas, what did I love doing? What inspired me? Should I step out of my comfort zone completely?
Many years ago I had a dream. Wanderlust and full of hope I travelled, visiting places far and wide. However, I never made it to India. And then came kids…India stayed on the back burner.
You know how it is when you start that Goggle search? One thing leads to another…photography, photography course, street photography course, street photography courses off the beaten track. I was in, I was hooked, I was booking.
Varanasi Street Photography, India.
And that was when it happened. I stopped feeling 50 and instantly felt like a kid again. I was off to Varanasi in India for a weeks street photography course. Just me. The first thing I’d done for just me since having kids.That’s 21 years by the way, just to put this into context 🙂
Now, I’m one for research. They say a little knowledge goes a long way and I have to agree. I scoured the internet for blogs on Varanasi, hungry for information. Many warned that Varanasi shouldn’t be your first stop in India. Too much of a culture shock, too busy, too noisy , too late for me to take that advice! If you want to see for yourself, I found this blog great for info and tips. As a female solo traveller I did feel the need to be prepared.
Finally, November comes around and I’m on my way to Varanasi to meet up with 6 other course mates and our course leader Mark Seymour. Thankfully, I get there in one piece and everyone seems great.
I’m happy to report that Varanasi didn’t disappoint. Yes, it was loud and crazy like you could never imagine. It’s super busy, dirty and smelly. But it’s magical with its own unique flow. The colours are vibrant, the early morning light enchanting and yes, the culture shock is beautifully full on. The perfect location for a street photography course.
The days that followed were spent wandering, exploring, photographing and learning. Totally in my element, I enjoyed every moment. Grateful that I chose to learn and explore this incredible city instead of turning into crazy cat lady with a frozen face! I felt alive. Big cliche there I know, but true none the less.
So, Varanasi Street Photography or Botox?
So my conclusion here really is, take yourself out of your comfort zone once in a while.
Try something new.
It’s really good for the soul. (Not so great for the wrinkles, and the jet lag doesn’t help that either.)
However, I realise for sure now that there’s so much more to life than that. There’s adventure and knowledge and new experiences. I hope I’m never too old to make new memories and take a few risks.( Including another trip this year too…I have the bug!)
I’m thankful I have memories of an enchanting city now so close to my heart. The place where I remembered that I wasn’t just “mum”. The place that I remembered that I AM ME and that is enough.
Sod the wrinkles.
Here are a few favourite shots from my Varanasi street photography course, I hope you enjoy!
And if you’d like to see what else I’ve been shooting you can visit my blog here.
Most days I’m a Hertfordshire wedding photographer, you can see a little of that here.