I took photographs every day and somehow, without the weeklong cram session I dreamt of, I became modestly pleased with my photography by the time I reached Chile.
Unfortunately, once I put more focus on my photography, the more pressure I put on myself to improve it. Photography was no longer just something I happened to do, but something I aspired to perfect.
I yearned for better gear. Everything I read online talked about the newest cameras taking sharper photos faster and how I could achieve an utterly dreamy bokeh if only I drop three thousand dollars on a lens.
I thought I was only an upgraded kit away from being the photographer I dreamt of and I wanted to satisfy that desire immediately.
But the very nature of my walk around the world hamstrung my desire. Not only was shipping camera equipment to me a logistical nightmare, but every piece of equipment added more weight I’d need to carry over mountains and across deserts.
So instead of better equipment, I turned to productivity podcasts for answers. If I couldn’t have better gear I’d have to find ways to become successful faster and with less effort than everyone else. An endless array of podcasts promised new ways to shave a few more shreds of inefficiency out of my day. But the more I listened, the more unhappy I became. Each moment not stuffed with an active attempt at personal development was a moment wasted.
My photography was improving, as was my writing, but not fast enough, never fast enough. I felt guilty listening to comedy podcasts or sitting too long without reading.