Reflections: A 2012 Travel Photo Essay

I’ve always found that travelling offers so many opportunities to reflect, to re-evaluate the direction of my life. Unlike the routine churn of home life, travelling allows time and space, a new angle from which to view the world, new experiences to teach you, and different challenges to remind you that there is always more to learn.

Me, Nic Freeman, in Pamplona, Spain

Encountering other people and cultures around world is, in many ways, like turning a mirror on your own lifestyle and behaviours; it prompts you to compare, to realise potential and acknowledge that we are all essentially the same. It also illuminates parts of history, faces of humanity, stories of community, that can inform decisions, stabilise values and crystallise opinions.

This year, with five months of travelling already under my belt, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to reflect. I’ve realised and re-realised many of those clichéd movie themes that sound so sturdy, but are slippery in reality: life is short, people are generally good, love is the answer, the world is wonderful, you can be your own best friend and own worst enemy, and, dreams come true…

I’ve also stumbled across a growing gratitude for the person that I am, for the family that loves and supports me, for my health, and for the honour and ability to explore this delightfully complex sphere of ours.

So, with a young but grateful heart, I offer you a photo essay of physical reflections in some of the amazing places I’ve seen this year during my travels. This is my little way of recognising the value in the not-so-physical reflections that deepen the joy of both travel and life.

Brisbane airport, 1 January 2012 dawn

Watching the new year rise over the airport and our  travel adventure journey from Brisbane, Australia.

Snow in Tromso, Norway

Driving in a mini blizzard in Tromso, Norway while hunting the Northern Lights.

Oslo Opera House, NorwayFrognerparken Oslo Norway

Exploring the architecture and art in Oslo, Norway.

Selma in Stockholm, Sweden

Eating Semlas on an icy day in Stockholm, Sweden.

Cathedral in Uppsala, SwedenTopkapi Palace, Istabul, TurkeyRoman Baths, Bath, England UK

Walking the halls of Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden, the passages of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey and the edges of the Roman baths in Bath, England.

London Eye, Westminster, Big Ben and London lights, England UK

Seeing the famous lights of London reflect from the River Thames, England.

Beach in Mumbles, WalesHadrian's Wall, England, UK

Enjoying the afternoon sun in Mumbles, Wales and the rising dawn at Hadrian’s Wall, England.

Hot Salt Beef, Brick Lane, London, England, UK

Taking in the sights, sounds, smells of Brick Lane Markets, London, England.

Swan on the avon, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, UKPeace walls, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Admiring a passing swan in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England and the vibrant street art along the peace walls of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Cooking in a camper van, UK

Laughing with my fella as we learn to cook in a campervan in winter in the United Kingdom.

Lake District, England, UKLoch Lomond, Scotland, UK

Taking time to breathe in the Lake District, England and at Loch Lomond, Scotland.

Westport, Ireland

Being inspired by the scenic calm at Westport, Ireland.

Trinity College, Dublin, IrelandSpring park birds, Dublin, Ireland

Appreciating a sunny spring day in Dublin, Ireland.

Lights over Bosphorus Straigh in Istanbul, Turkey

Being overwhelmed by the size of Istanbul, Turkey.

Walking el Camino de Santiago, Spain

Learning to just keep on walking along the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

To read more about my adventures through Europe this year, have a look through the monthly archive in the site footer. You’ll find recent stories about Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Bulgaria, Turkey and Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Croatia and Slovenia, plus many more about my earlier travels through Germany, Croatia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Also, stay tuned here and at for updates about my one month walk across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.


Published by Nic Freeman

I feel most like myself when I'm travelling, and enjoy sharing experiences and photography with fellow globe adventurers. Find me on Instagram for regular travel snaps @nicfreemanlife

8 thoughts on “Reflections: A 2012 Travel Photo Essay

  1. I loved reading your reflection on traveling. Where are you headed after Camino de Santiago? I’m impressed that you chose to begin your journey in Scandanavia in the dead of winter.

    1. Thanks Karen. After Santiago I’m meeting a couple of Australian friends to spend a few more weeks in Spain before heading down to Morocco. After that, it will be a couple of months in the Mediterranean I think.

      Yes, starting in Norway in winter was actually decided by the date of my dear friends’ wedding but I am so glad we did it that way. Although I really must go back and see Scandinavia in summer, I loved the white beauty and novelty of snow, cold, ice.

      As always, thanks for reading.

  2. Really love this post… day by day your posts inspire me to always try spending time for traveling and learn many things from this. Although i have a physical disability, but I’m always confident to go anywhere the destiny will take me.. 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing….

    1. Hi Vati,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I am happy to share whatever travelling joys and inspirations I can and am glad to know that there are people out there, like you, who appreciate my words and images.

      Although I am sure a physical disability would make travelling that much more challenging, I have no doubt that the stimulation of travel, of a changed scenery and new experience, is a welcome tonic for the mind and spirit.

      Thank you for reading. All the best. Nic

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