My other half has a newfound obsession: photo editing. After dinner last night, I told him to download GIMP, a free, easy-to-use graphics software which he can use to edit photos. Not in a “I want to be skinny, liquify 50 pounds out of me” kind of way but easy, breezy, effortless cover girl type of photo editing. You know, change the colors, crop, resize pictures to make them smaller, etc. The internet connection in our gorgeous hotel is a nightmare and it’s stressful, not to mention emotionally draining, to upload files on teh interwebs.

Bryanboy outside Taj Mahal, Agra India

Sunglasses from Miu Miu, Fall 2011 lurex sweater from Prada, shorts from Elizabeth & James

I was sitting beside him when he emailed a selection of personal photos (both wonderful and depressing) to his friends and I couldn’t stop myself from asking, what is it with white people’s westerners’ obsession in photographing (and sharing) the other side of reality? You know what I’m talking about — the grim part of human reality. They like to travel far and wide, especially to the exotic, to deliberately photograph poverty, the sick, the disabled, dead dogs, unsanitary conditions, etc. He says he likes to photograph them because he thought it was shocking, out of the norm and of course, extraordinary. “This just doesn’t exist in Sweden,” he says.

Click click click!

I, on the other hand, well, before going to India, many have said to prepare myself from this so-called ‘culture shock’. I wasn’t shocked at all. In fact, there’s this element of familiarity with what I saw. I have plenty of this so-called ‘reality’ in my own backyard! Hello, Philippines? Very little was unusual.

Most of my photographs on the other hand are completely the opposite than his. I love experiencing and photographing the grand, the beautiful, the lush vegetation, the amazing food, the spectacular sights, wonderful colours, textures, etc — things I find completely different from what I’m accustomed to back home. I’m not gonna email or blog pictures of people sleeping on the side of the road just inches away from getting ran over by passing vehicles for entertainment purposes. Gloating on other people’s misfortune or misery is no longer my cup of tea.

The point of going on a vacation is to temporarily detach ourselves from our usual environment to get pleasure from experiencing something different. While many go on holidays to learn more about others — culture, environments, etc.,  some go to learn more about themselves or to make themselves feel better — they see what’s out there in the world and then they develop a much better sense of appreciation with what they have back home.

Am I digging too deep?

My bf resigned and said, “well, I went to India for no other reasons but love.”

Me too, my dear readers, me too.

By the way, it’s a bitch wearing that fall 2011 Prada emerald green lurex sweater when I went to the Taj Mahal earlier this morning but I had to do  it. Heat? What heat? What sweat? I was gonna do four outfit changes but I left two outfits in the car. Boo hoo!