Lost City, Found Self

View over the ruins of Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu mountain in the background
Machu Picchu – Lost City, Found Self | Photo Credit: Shari Tucker

Photography is a unique opportunity to see the world through another person’s eyes.  It gives you the ability to see exactly what the other person saw, through their lens. This often extends further to understanding the photographer’s emotion as they captured a particular moment or scene.

It is no secret that travel inspires me. Getting out of the relatively ordinary routine of my life in Nova Scotia and exploring other cultures, meeting new people and facing challenges head-on, fill me with energy and wonderment. When I am surrounded by new people, new places and new energy, I feel alive, free and inspired.

This combination of love for travel and passion for telling stories through photography led me to begin a beautiful journey starting in Peru.

As I embarked on the incredible inaugural journey leading nine photo enthusiasts on a Peruvian adventure, I knew I would be challenged and inspired. I was excited to see Peru not only from my perspective but through the lens of nine others. Imagine my amazement when I truly discovered how beautiful the world is through nine sets of eyes!

I assisted and watched these photographers learn new skills, try new techniques, step out of their ‘automatic’ comfort zone and truly begin to allow creativity and emotion to be part of their photography expression.

One of the main draws for the trip to Peru was our visit to Machu Picchu. Visiting Machu Picchu is a profound experience. My image titled “Lost city, Found self” is an expression of the overwhelming clarity I felt while sitting in silence at six am in the beautiful, peaceful city of Machu Picchu.

I can only explain it as an experience of clarity. As I sat in silence amidst one of the seven wonders of the new world, listening to the silence, breathing the fresh mountain air, watching the fog roll in and out around the sacred mountains, my head and my heart cleared. If only for that 30 minutes of silence and reflection, my head was not congested with overwhelming thoughts of what had to be done, what to do next and what others were thinking. It was just a big, free-flowing, inspired way of hearing my own thoughts.

I closed my eyes, shed a few tears and opened my eyes to the fog that had completely covered the entire Incan city. I was disappointed as I could no longer see the beautiful view that I had travelled so far for.

The ruins of Machu Picchu in the fog
Photo Credit: Shari Tucker

I closed my eyes again, let the tears fall, and when I opened them minutes later, the fog had rolled by and opened up a beautiful view of the lost city and mountains.

It was at that moment that I realized that I needed to let all of the fog in my life, roll on by so that I could get to the magical view of the rest of my life.

Lost city, found self.

This adventure was an eye-opening experience in so many ways, including how to clear the fog and see the beauty in the diversity of our world. It was also the pivotal point in my life where I decided it was time to change careers. I didn’t know what I wanted to be at that point, but I knew life as a photographer was about to change.

Whether you are religious or spiritual, or neither, it makes no difference. Many people who have visited Machu Picchu over the years have felt a strange, mystical pull or ‘magic’ of being there. Personally, I think it is the combination of Pacha Mama’s power (Mother earth) and taking time to sit with your own thoughts in such an iconic, breathtaking place … giving the mind room to breathe.

I’ve visited Machu Picchu three times, in three seasons (both weather-wise, seasons of my life). Although I only had that magical, spiritual connection the first time, the other two visits were incredible in different and unique ways.

That first trip to Machu Picchu changed my life. Later that same year, I embarked on a new journey as a travel agent. The world works in mysterious ways.

7 thoughts on “Lost City, Found Self”

Leave a Comment

What Adventure Should You Take Next?

Take the quiz to find out what style of adventure travel is perfect for you!