In 2 days time, I will be on my way to Patagonia. It's a special place for me, a home from home if you like, and a place where I have had so many special experiences. For example, once I found photography, Patagonia was the first place abroad that I was drawn to go to. It is also the first place that I conducted a photography tour/workshop in my photography career.
Despite Bruce Chatwin's 'In Patagonia' book being largely a work of fiction, and not an auto-biography as he tried to suggest, his book still conjures up for me the essence of what I think Patagonia is all about. In his book, he describes a place where people go to disappear, where there is a wild climate and so much space that people can reinvent themselves.
As much as I see that aspect of Patagonia, it's lure for me is different. Instead, what I see are similarities with my homeland of Scotland. Both have similar (inclement & windy) weather and both have a lot of empty spaces. When I am in Patagonia I find my mind saying 'I know this'.
But the more I travel, the more I see other correlations between landscapes that are separated by great distances. Although Patagonia reminds me of parts of the Scottish Highlands, such as Torridon & Assynt specifically, I also see similarities between itself and Iceland.
With its expansive pampas and arid deserts of bush and scrub-land that go on for hundreds of miles, as well as the black beaches in the Torres del Paine national park of Chile, I see similarities between Patagonia and the wild interior of Iceland. They are to some degree in my mind, inseparable.
I guess I just love wild empty places :-)
It seems that the more I travel, the more I see similarities between the special places that I have become acquainted with. Through these similarities the world has become a smaller, more intimate place. It has become a place that I now call 'home'. And I'm fully aware that knowing this, is a rare and beautiful position to be in :-)