The Colour of Travel

Maroc Tetouan M'diq 
What is it that draws us out of our comfort zones to venture far afield in search of – whatever?

Portugal Obidos 
While a sense of adventure and a desire for a frisson of danger from the unknown may first set some of us out on that course, others may plan travel only in order to lie back and relax in a comfortable environment well away from the stress of their work.

Rockingham Beach Perth WA 
But I have a theory that binds us all:

Portugal Lagos coastal walk 
I believe that, subconsciously, it is COLOUR we seek.

Portugal Castro Marim 
We usually plan our travel with little or no conscious regard for any of our five senses.

Caligraphy Shop - Assilah Morocco 
Subconsciously though, we yearn for a new swatch of colourful palettes and patterns that are mostly absent in our daily lives and that we know will be present when we take that journey.

Maroc Chefchaouen 
We will look for them, and they will be the font of most memories we retain.

Spain Bilbao Sopelana 
We absorb colour through our retinas.

Esperance Western Australia Southern Coast 
It pleases our aesthetic sense of order: light, contrast and warmth, shadow, clarity and balance.

Sicily Giarre Riposto Mt Etna 
Pleasurable harmony.

Albany Coastline Western Australia 
It is not to be found only in nature however.

Maroc - sheep grazing 
But also in architecture and design.

Scallop Shell Emblem Northern Spain 
Which we encounter while travelling.

Spain Bilbao museum 
The colours of such cleverly constructed and juxtaposed edifices will often morph with the passing of the day. Their colourful and contrasting images linger in our memory.

Spain Seville - la seta 
Ancient or modern, these incredible feats of design, engineering, masonry and such draw our eyes.

Italy Rome church art 
It has us doubly pondering the brilliance of artistic vision and monumental labour involved in their construction.

Buckingham Church UK 
Some people are drawn by the appeal of a change of climate, and this is understandable but relates not only to the change in ambient temperature but in improved ambient light; a light that emphasises contrasting colours.

Esperance Western Australia 
This, once again, is a visual appeal.

Portugal Evora 
It is a well-established fact that light can be spiritually uplifting.

Caceres Spain 
I would suggest the olfactory appeal of travel is not a major drawcard. When travelling, smells can be wildly diverse, from strongly offensive to seductive, but the memory doesn’t store them like it does colour.

Sri Lanka food market 
However, the visual appeal of the less offensive endures.

Maroc Tetouan - market butcher 
The sense of taste would come as a strong second in the travel appeal stakes as far as I am concerned. I do love my food and the best place to taste flavours from abroad will, in my mind, always be in their country of origin.

Barbeque Fish Portugalete 
But taste is harder to recall than colour.

Italy Naples - Mount Vesuvius Pizza 
The aural appeal of travel can linger and impact heavily on one’s memory too, from pleasant to downright annoying. Yet many of these aural impacts are accompanied by rich, colourful visuals:

The clip clop of donkeys’ hooves

Maroc Tetouan - rural folk 
A goatherd’s sing-song calls and whistles to his mountain flock with their clonking bells

Sicily Caltabellotta - shepherd 
The drumming of torrential rain

Spain Bilbao Festival 
The omnipresent din of motor vehicles in overcrowded towns

Sri Lanka Colombo traffic 
A festive and noisy village wedding ceremony

Pre-wedding Street Celebrations Tangier Maroc 
A bellowing beast being brought to its ritual festive sacrifice

Maroc Tanger - pre wedding celebration 
The early morning peal of bells from a cathedral too near to your bedroom

Portugal Caldas de Reinha 
The crack, boom, wiz and whistle of a celebratory fireworks display

Spain Bilbao Fireworks Festival 
And let us not forget the cheerful babbling of a stony brook

The gentle lapping of wavelets on a sun-dappled, palm-rimmed white sandy beach

The rhythmic yet sinister pounding of waves on a coral island’s outer reef

A village water seller’s bell announcing his presence

The baker’s chant as he does his morning deliveries

The town’s noisy rubbish collection in the middle of the night

A muezzin’s monotonal call to the first prayer of the day


Largely though, time and again my past (and future) travel speaks to me through its primary colours.

Portugal Elvas - fort

2 thoughts on “The Colour of Travel

  1. Lovely, Cedric. Great photos. Hey, when you go away this time, don’t forget to photograph your meals. It may seem a strange thing to do but last time I found it fascinating.

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