While I was driving home today (queue Chris Rhea), I was wondering why I was in such a foul mood the last week. I was grumpy, agitated and moody for no apparent reason. Earlier tonight I cried a little when I told my parents I sold my most valuable (price wise) possession. Partly I was grumpy that I needed the money and had a hard time saying goodbye to a “thing” but mostly I was sad for saying goodbye to a lifestyle. To the opportunities that “thing” represented and it was now gone. I sold it. Goodbye. Gone.
As I was parking in front of my house I realized I closed a chapter of my life but it’s not the end of the book at all. The main focus has always been travel and this thing enabled loads and loads of fantastic travels. Now it was time for different kinds of travel and a different purpose to travel. I realized travel has always been my main priority and it always will be. Luckily, this spin on my mind set made me feel better immediately.
So what am I all talking about? I’ll make it more concise for you all, so you can follow what I am talking about.
My Passion for Ice Speed Skating
I’m a huge ice speed skating fan. I am Dutch, Dutchies are good at it, it is everywhere around us and as soon as winter comes, everyone wants to skate on frozen water and be outside. Dutchies skate fast in circles and broadcast it live on television. Not just during the Olympics, but all the freakin’ time. That’s probably why the person who inspires me in life and travel the most, is a speed skater.
And I love it. Or should I say loved it? Anyways, I am a huge ice speed skating fan and for many years, I went to all the competitions I could go to. First only the main events in the Netherlands, later also abroad. Then came Junior competitions, regional competitions, marathon competitions and even short track speed skating. As long as it involves ice and going fast, I was there. And I made pictures. Hundreds and hundreds of them. And I sold them. To magazines, newspapers and online publications and published them online at my website Passion for Skating.
Travel to Speed Skating Events
I travelled to Heerenveen, the Netherlands but also to Berlin, Erfurt and Inzell in Germany. The Italian Alps for outdoor rinks. I went to Poland, Norway and Budapest to watch and photograph speed skating events. I found myself with -22 degrees Celsius at an outdoor rink in lovely Seinajöki Finland for Junior World Championships and I went to World Sprints at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Canada. My biggest event were the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
After my first camera with tele lens, I bought some more serious gear. My Canon 7D Mark II is the fastest camera around, paired with my Canon 70-200 F 2.8 zoom lens it was a golden combination (in my price range). A flutter of excitement steers in my tummy when I hear the mirror snap in burst mode.
For many years I travelled around to all these events. Of course I went to the competitions and was online editing pictures till late at night, but I usually planned a day before and after to explore more of the surround area. I’ve seen quite a bit of Berlin, explored Krakow and Zakopane in Poland and went to Banff on my 5 day trip to Calgary Canada! All thanks to speed skating and my photography.
Giving up my one hobby for another
But I sold my lens this week. It was my most expensive possession (besides my house, but the bank owes most of that). It wasn’t because I urgently needed the money, it was mostly because the lens sat idle at the bottom shelf of my book case and I maybe have booked a bit too much travel for my bank account balance to handle. It just sat there, silently mocking me and asking me when we would go out and play.
But there is not much fun to be had when you have the lug around a 2.5kg lens all day without a clear purpose to photograph something. That thing is heavy!! And when not used at a sporting event, it drawn in a lot of unwanted attention from other people, which I have a hard time handling. I also noticed my focus has switched a lot towards other destinations and other types of travel that just do not co-exist well with travel to speed skating events.
Prioritize one kind of travel over the other
It was my dream to travel to South America, but if you keep spending money on smaller speed skating trips, you’ll never make it across the pound. So I stopped with the speed skating trips and I went to South America last year! How exciting. That trip really reinforced my need and desire to travel more.
In all fairness, I did lose a bit of interest in the whole sport of ice speed skating. You need to be really into it to see the true beauty of the sport. Being away from it all for a year didn’t make things easier to go back at all. And my ambition to make some decent money from the photography burst, when I saw how ruthless some photographer are to get that one shot and it is just not worth to me. I love the sport too much to only focus on the main events of interest. (It is so boring to do what everyone else is doing!).
Why I sold my passion to pursue my big love
And therefore, I sold the lens. I didn’t use it for over 3 years and didn’t miss it. The lens represented quite some value (in cold hard cash) and you’ll never know when Canon will release a new lens which instantely drops the value of my lens.
I don’t value posessions a lot. I don’t own a lot of expensive stuff. I never know what to ask for Christmas or birthdays, because I don’t need stuff and get by with so little. I just want to travel and make new memories.
It is not that I needed the money really badly (otherwise I would have sold the lens sooner), but it was rather conveniant and now was the time to do it. I got a fair price and only lost 300€ on it from purchase 6 years ago till today. Good investment I think!
The framework to guide my travels
So maybe I wasn’t all that grumpy for selling my lens but mostly for closing a chapter of my life. The chapter of travel to speed skating events to photograph speed skaters is now officially over. But I came to realize, the speed skating and photography was more of an added bonus. A frame work to choose my next travel destination. It doesn’t matter the lens is now gone, the most important thing will always be travel. Now I travel and blog about it here, maybe I grow tired of that too in a few years, who knows. It seems I need to have some sort of purpose or framework to guide my travels.
But I know I’ll always have
Paris travel. And now I am fully indulging into that. So… no regrets! The cash from the lens will be well spend on my next travels to Iran for sure!
Did you ever give up something so you could travel more? Let me know what you think in the comment section below!