Jason Newton
Oct 24, 2018 · 2 min read
Photo by 16 Degree on Unsplash

We are all familiar with the stereotype of eager tourists taking photographs of everything they feel that they ‘should’ see on a visit to a famous place. Buckingham Palace. Tick.! The White House. Tick! The Champs Elysees. Tick!

But isn’t a photograph simply a ‘spark’ to reconnect with the original experience and not the experience itself?

Some time ago in London, I noticed a tourist who unlike his group wasn’t snapping and then walking away having ‘done’ it. It looked like he was standing contemplating everything in Trafalgar Square. Instead of a quick pic of Nelson’s Column, he was just absorbing the atmosphere, the architecture, almost drinking in the moment. Maybe he’d been drinking a few other things apart from the moment too, however, either way I loved the idea of this man in calm contemplation in a sea of rushing tourists in a rather crowded city centre, contrary to his stereotypical peers.

Ian Brown from legendary English band, the Stone Roses

Being the music fan that I am, it also reminded me of a comment by Ian Brown of the Stone Roses on stage at one of their comeback gigs a few years ago. He was getting annoyed with audience members filming the gig with their phones and not actually watching it when it was actually happening and said:

You have a memory there of something you’ve never lived. If you put your cameras down you might be able to live in the moment.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

In a society full of constant technology, it is perhaps important to consider that although having ‘sparks’ to help you remember important moments in the past can be a lovely thing, experiencing the moment at the time you have it is surely the most wonderful thing, isn’t it?


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Jason Newton

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I write about life, travelling, living in Spain as a foreigner music and poetry.


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