Tucson and The Travel Narrative

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

For as long as I can remember, traveling has brought me tremendous joy and excitement. As I get older, long flights are harder on my back and jet lag has become especially difficult, but that will never stop me from wanting to see the world.

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and a discussion on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

During college semester breaks, my friends and I would hop in a car and drive around the country, making our way from Maryland down to Louisiana, through Texas over to California and then back through the Dakotas. My young, sturdy back could still handle 10+ hours in the car without the stiffness or pain that developed after many years at a desk job. I was able to visit Europe several times while my father was working in London. Profound life altering moments have happened abroad. I discovered my love of pineapple pizza while stoned in Amsterdam (shut up, it’s amazing with crushed red peppers. Totally life altering. Go eat your bland pizza). Just after college, I visited a market in Barcelona- La Boqueria. I was overwhelmed by the smells, noises and rainbows of color coming from every direction. There were stands as far as I could see filled with produce, fresh and cured meats, seafood, breads, pastas, spices, candy and flowers. It got me excited about food in a new way. My obsession was born. Several years later, when Jeff and I began dating, that sense of wanderlust was renewed as we explored Scandinavia and Japan together. Over the years, I contemplated several travel-oriented careers, but have no regrets about my ultimate choice to work in the food industry. When I first began food blogging, I hoped that someday I might be able to incorporate my love of traveling. That dream is finally starting to become more of a reality. However… it has dawned on me that I’m not very good at travel blogging. My recent visit to Tucson, AZ put things into better perspective.

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Between running around and some family drama, I barely took out my camera during the first half of our weeklong trip. On one of the last days in Arizona, Jeff took me to Saguaro National Park where I was finally able to relax with my camera and take in the scenery. After almost 10 years of visiting Tucson, this was my first Spring visit, and I couldn’t get over how beautiful everything was. It was purple and yellow and red… all that’s missing are little fluffy clouds.

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net
Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

But these photos aren’t telling a story. There’s no travel narrative. We did so many other things in Tucson, and I’m shy about pulling out my camera constantly. There are rarely any people in the pictures because I don’t want to impose. Also… this sounds stupid but I often simply forget to take any photos. When I’m setting up a recipe shoot, it’s all very deliberate. The ingredients themselves are usually where the narrative begins. These photos don’t tell the story of all of the Mexican restaurants we visited, the used bookstores, or the interesting locals. Or about how we went dancing at The Surly Wench Pub on Goth Night (we fit right in). They don’t tell the story about how laid back Tucson is in comparison with DC, which I always find impressive. I don’t think I got honked at once while driving. Not even a middle finger. Not even if I used the fast lane for 10 seconds to pass someone. I guess people aren’t in as much of a hurry.

I did remember to get some photos of 4th Avenue right before we left. It tells a quick story on the way out about a quirky little town that holds a special place in my heart.

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net
Photos from a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona and Saguaro National Park, and thoughts on the travel narrative in blogging. SavorySimple.net

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  • I am often too embarrassed to pull my camera out as well, it’s something I want to improve on. When I read some of these travel/food blogs I am envious of their gorgeous photography. Your photos of AZ are gorgeous, some spring I would love to visit!

  • Ahhhh, this post gives me so many feelings. I’m from Arizona and now also live outside of DC. It’s really *amazing* how different the feel can be. Things just feel less hectic, harried, and stressful out there. But I’m sure I just have rosy glasses on looking at my past, because I grew up there and my working life has all been here in the DC area… In any case, these photos were truly gorgeous and make me miss home!

    • Thank you! I think I did a good job telling a photo story about our day at the national park. I guess I just mean I was unsuccessful at telling the overall narrative of the trip from start to finish, and that’s where I’m trying to improve. I feel like the best travel bloggers really make you feel like you’re there for most of journey. I am just too shy with my camera in public! Grr.

  • Gah! I tell ya, my love of travel is hampered by my meager budget. If I could afford it, I’d go all over the place. But then again, the infrequency of my trips makes them that much more special. I’m reserved for the most part, but have no qualms about pulling out the camera when I am traveling. I don’t care if people stare or laugh at me–My compulsion to document everything outweighs any embarrassment I might feel. Also, I’m highly jealous of you attending Goth Night. I went through a goth phase when I was a teen, and it holds a special place in my heart. :)

  • I kinda love that you didn’t take pictures of everything. It means you were having such a good time, you forgot to take pictures. Living in the moment. How often do we do that (I know I struggle)?

    What you have shared are some beautiful images and memories. Thank you for that!