take a spring break

I embody multiple daydreamer cliches – the student gazing out the window, the girl staring at the clouds, the classmate doodling in the margins, and the hiker gazing over the tree tops.  The daydreaming comes with a bit of absent-mindedness here and there, but I’m owning it with pride.  Thing is, daydreamers have also have a propensity for creativity, empathy and — this one is all my own — taking pictures.
The New Yorker expounds on the Virtues of Daydreaming for creatives, and the current issue of Psychology Today examines the direct relationship between daydreaming and empathy.  And the connection between photography and daydreaming? Well, that’s all my own – feel free to credit yours truly.
During graduate school, I used to leave the library and study alongside the shores of Lake Michigan.  I would read and write until I lost focus and started daydreaming about this that and the other.  The daydream almost always ended with a tourist tapping my back and asking me to take their picture.  
Before long, I found myself intentionally breaking to ask people if they wanted their photograph taken.  Have you ever asked a couple if they wanted a picture?  Or a family?  It’s a surefire way to make someone smile, and the question is almost always answered with an eager “yes yes – thank you!”
I didn’t take many photographs of myself back then– I’m not sure why, but I had this feeling that my moment was coming soon — it wasn’t here yet, but it would arrive before long.  Does that make sense?
We hiked a number of waterfalls this weekend, and each time we reached the peak I looked around for someone to take our picture.  I asked hikers and bystanders and doodlers if they would break for a moment and snap a photograph.  And you know what? It made me smile each time I did- it felt like whatever I’d been waiting for had finally arrived.

17 thoughts on “take a spring break

  1. Haha, I always feel so silly when I ask people to take a picture of us. But I always love to take pictures of others when they come to ask for it.
    Gorgeous photographs! I hope you’ve had a lovely time!

  2. I love taking photos for other people. And living in Cologne with nothing to do all day, I’d often find myself at the Cathedral wandering around and inevitably taking photos for people.
    As for daydreaming, your study methods sound just like mine… finding an idyllic setting to study and actually end up just daydreaming.

  3. I’ve heard that the act of prepping and researching and fantasizing about a holiday can actually be as, if not more, relaxing than the actual holiday! so, I take that as a cue 😉 I love taking photos of people who don’t speak my languages, so there’s an added game of charades that makes it more animated and fun!

  4. How sweet! Such beautiful shots of your hike. And I’m allllll about taking family photos. It’s so nice to have someone ask if you want a family picture, rather than feeling like you’re “burdening” them with your request. And studying along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan? Sounds like a dream! 🙂

  5. Daydreaming has become a magical activity for me lately. Those moments when you truly get lost within yourself is like a dream from which you do not wish to wake. It’s like diving into an imaginary world, a place where anything is possible, nothing is too far-fetched. It makes me smile just thinking about it 😉

  6. Ohhhh, I love this so much! Thank you for linking to those articles! After my own daydreamy post, I am super interested to read what the science has to say 🙂 and I completely agree with you on the connection between photography and daydreaming. So true for me, too.

  7. I am a total daydreamer too (though I can rarely remember my dreams at night–weird, right?). I love that you started taking breaks to ask people if they want their photos taken! It always feels a little awkward to ask but I’m always glad that I do 🙂

  8. absolutely in love with your photos!
    and i am definitely the type of person to ask “hey do you want your picture taken” i live in one of the top tourist cities in america (womp wompppp) so i sometimes get told “no thanks” but most of the time people are happy!

  9. I often ask couples and families if they want their picture taken, and you’re right. They are always so excited! I consider that paying it forward.

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