Exploring the world

one journey at a time.

One Planet, One Life - Dolomites Tour

Updated: May 18, 2021

This post marks the exit point of the project. Up to this point, I have travelled to 3 bucket list locations, the Dolomites makes it 4, ticking off Isle of Skye, Iceland and Norway along the way. I have also met new people and visited old friends and family. This trip is different to all the others because I was meeting a group of strangers and travelling with them for a week in a country I have never visited before. When I was a child growing up, this was exactly the kind of thing my parents warned me NOT to do!


It all started with an Instagram conversation and before I knew it I had joined a Facebook Group specifically for this trip and was booking a flight to Munich. Obviously, I had run this past my husband, because yet again I was swanning off on another trip and leaving him home with the kids. Fast forward and I'm meeting the majority of the group for the first time at the gate in Copenhagen airport.

On arrival in Munich, we all jump in our rented van and drive for a few hours to northern Italy, just past the Austrian border, here is where I now meet the last person of the group for the first time as she opens up the door to our shared room at 4 am in her underpants and a t-shirt.


You can imagine we were all a bit tired the next morning but all excited to see the wonders of the Dolomites. So let me show you some images that came out of that first day.

This is by no means a travel blog post so I won't go into all the locations or the route we took, it is a photography blog focused on the care of our planet and ourselves. So without further ado, I will share a little about the time I spent with this group but mostly the images that came out of the trip.

It felt like a long day, probably because we were all a bit tired from the travelling the day before so you can imagine how nice it was to get a full nights sleep ready for day two. Because I live in a flat country, there is something magical about looking out the window when you get up and seeing mountains. It certainly filled me with energy ready to explore the terrain and get the kind of pictures I long for on a daily basis.

Images like these are merely a dream come true to a flatland living adventurer like me and it was hard to stop myself from feeling overwhelmed with the beauty of the land and how to truly capture it. I could feel my photographers eye working overtime as I tried to find the best lines, details and light.

The weather was a bit temperamental most of the time and the best days we experienced were the first ones, from that point on we were forced to endure low visibility and lots of rain. Sometimes this was beneficial to the landscape and made some amazing moody images. It was mesmerizing to watch the clouds change shape as they curved around the edges of mountains, trees and rocks.

When you are on a photography trip the last thing you want is to wake up to thick cloud surrounding your hotel or hostel to the point of zero visibility. We experienced this whilst overnighting at one of the mountain refuges and we literally had to drive down the mountain, under the cloud line, just to see anything.

Lago Di Braies which is normally responsible for those beautiful Instagram influencer images, you know the ones, where some hottie is sitting in a brown boat on a clear turquoise lake, was not quite displaying its ideal Instacolours and glam weather for us. I had seen images of this place before arriving and I was really excited to get some reflection shots in the water and take in the beauty of the mountains. As you can see though, it was somewhat different on the day we arrived. I wasn't going to be put off though and I persisted to take as many images of the lake as my heart desired.

We had a lot of fun though regardless of the weather and photographic conditions. I must say, hats off to all the members of the group for keeping high spirits and pushing through. We found beauty amongst the raindrops, laughter amongst the clouds and knew that we deserved a spa hotel in Austria, on the way back to the airport, as a reward for our efforts. That is one of the best things about exploring nature, you understand the importance of laughing at most situations and appreciate the luxuries in life.

Something I wasn't expecting on this trip was to break through some personal social barriers, learn to let go, learn to embrace whatever came my way and learn to not let the rain bother me. This journey took us from Germany, through Austria and into Northern Italy, a journey I recommend everyone to take because the nature is a delight for the eyes, the sounds are a pleasure to the ears and the sheer size of those mountains remind you how small you are in comparison to millions of years worth of rock.


And so it is, the end of 'One Planet One Life', a project that took me most of 2019 to complete and had me visiting countries that were on my bucket list for years. Thank you to all the people that helped to make this project come true. The athletes, hobbyists, enthusiasts, my family and most of all to Mother Nature, whom without her I could never have captured these beautiful images and experienced her many wonders.


Thank you to everyone who has followed this project and watched it unfold location by location. It has taken a long time to finally document it all on the blog and feels like I'm saying goodbye to a child I have nurtured for the past few years. The memories and experiences will live on forever though and I'm happy to have pushed myself to continue this journey.


I dedicate this entire project to my mother 'Gill Lloyd' who passed away in 2017 and who was the catalyst for getting me off my arse, being my authentic self and chasing my dreams to travel and live life as one big adventure. I carry her with me in my heart on every journey. She sits with me on every mountain top and enjoys the view. She gave me her gypsy blood and I will find her in the afterlife so we can talk about the adventures she inspired me to take.


May we all take care of nature so it can take care of us.


Natasha

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