Can you experience something in its truest form when you are surrounded by crowds of people? Are you really seeing what’s in front of you when you are viewing it through the lens of your camera and not with your own eyes?
Arizona is known for housing the Grand Canyon National Park. The huge hole in the ground draws almost six million people every year. When I visited the state, the Canyon was on my itinerary. Although the site itself was breathtaking, I saw much more than what the views offered.
Swarms of people filled the park, and lines formed for photographs at all the viewpoints. I did not visit the Grand Canyon for the sole purpose of photographing it and myself in it. Through my experience, I saw so many people who were lost in their camera lens, forgetting to allow themselves to actually see where they were.
You can call me a cynic, but my visit to this park reminded me that the world we live in is out of touch. We are unable to experience something without documenting it by taking hundreds of photographs. We are removed from where we are physically because of our society’s obsession with a virtual online presence.
I can only imagine how much different the experience must have been for those who first discovered the Grand Canyon. Before it was turned into a national park, it must have been more beautiful than we’ll ever know.
My advice: If you are looking for solitude, peace, or an organic experience, the Grand Canyon is probably not the right place to visit.