Travelers are always looking for that one perfect shot. The one defining picture that captures the essence of your journey. It’s the “See, I’ve been there” picture that proves you can chalk that destination off as another notch on your backpack. Every location has that one iconic vista. For London, it’s the tower of Big Ben. Paris, it’s the Eiffel tower, And for the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, it’s the majestic twin peaks of the Pitons.
That’s the romantic side of traveling. But anyone who has been at it a while can attest that sometimes traveling is decidedly unromantic. For all of the exotic locales and new exposure to exciting and different cultures, there’s also sleeping in the airport (or trying to), missing your family and blowing that one iconic photo-op.
When I went to Saint Lucia, I knew there was only one shot I could use for my photo album of that destination, the Pitons. Every brochure, every travel video, and every travel vlog featured them. They’re even on the national flag. So I was prepared. I had my day so pre-planned in my head it was as it had already happened. We would sail up the coast and once the twin peaks came into view I’d have my perfect picture. As I said before the romantic and the realistic side of travel often clash.
The day I arrived in Saint Lucia it was overcast. As we made our way down the coast, I just had this dumb belief everything would break when I got into range. It didn’t. The clouds refused to yield to my command. Imagine that. The best I could get is one and a half of the twin peaks.
Travel is a lot like marriage. They both can be amazing, fulfilling and rewarding, It can also be frustrating disappointing and be uncannily proficient and knock the smirk off of your illusions. Both states should be entered in to soberly with your unrealistic expectations left at the door.
So I didn’t get the shot. Big deal. I was there. I had the immense privilege and blessing of being somewhere I had only dreamed of being. That was enough. Let us fellow pilgrims never forget just how fortunate we truly are. So my friends on Facebook won’t get to see that great defining picture. My ego will survive.
Ok, but damn, I wish I had gotten that shot.