Florence with my Trusty Companion

One of my sure-fire solo travel recommendations is to tap into the growing market of ‘experiences’ available in any given tourist location. These excursions run from the traditional – history walks, guided tours in art galleries and food tours – to a new wave of exciting options, all based on what I’ll call the ‘learning economy’.

I have a friend who spent a week in a French chateau with her sister, on a knitting adventure. I was salivating at the thought of spending a week in such a beautiful spot, with like-minded artisans, partaking in the sights, tastes and sounds of the French culture. Sign me up! Oops, I don’t knit. 

There are similar opportunities across the globe. Hop on a cruise ship for a week with your favourite authors, musicians, or thought leaders. Move into a gorgeous Italian villa with your favourite painter or food guru. Many of the river cruise companies that slowly glide across Europe offer deals for single travellers. My to-go list is very long! 

I’ve always been a point-and-shoot photographer, with a deep admiration for and desire to be a real photographer. My trusty Nikon (ok, my son’s) was my travel companion on this trip. I must tell you that seeing a new place through the eyes of a camera is a very different experience. Instead of looking at the grandeur of a gorgeous city, I started to see details. It also allows you to be a bit bolder … in that ‘you aren’t really supposed to stare at people like this’ kind of way.

I was pretty excited to find a private photography tour in Florence. Here we are – our instructor Nathan and a fellow student – ready to head out on a lovely tour of Florence, from tip to toe.   

  

We meandered through squares, streets, and strange little places. We learned about composition, focal lengths, exposure, and all the funny little things that photographers know and love. Except it was in Florence!   

  

     

We hopped into a cab and travelled up to the Piazza Michelangelo, for a stunning view of the city. It was in the middle of a heat wave, so the skies were hazy. (I’ll need to go back in the off season to retake this!)    

 

My eye naturally travels to people and details.

     

        

It was a great day. Learned a pile of new things. Already wondering what I will do next! 

Carry On!

 

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