Design Your Life

The Best Subjects: People

By Travel Noire

Share

Being a black traveler means that most times, people are staring at you. Some people might hate that, and on occasion, so do I. However, there are times where it has allowed me to capture some amazing photographs. My name is Afiya and I’m a professional people watcher.

Every time I return home from a trip, the first thing I do after taking a hot shower is upload the photos from my camera to my laptop. I usually return with over 1,000 pictures and at least two hours of video but I started noticing an interesting trend: the subject of most of my pictures were people. Whenever I’m planning my itinerary, I always aim to discover all aspects of what makes the country I’m visiting unique; food, eco-tourism, architecture, fashion etc. But I always add a park or a nice street cafe to the list so that I can take time out to de-stress from the hustle and bustle and of course people watch.

People watching isn’t about being nosey. It’s simply allowing yourself to be engulfed in the energy of the people and capturing it if you can. It is observing the group of Buddhist monks in Thailand chatting as they cross the street, or watching a young Thai boy sit between his parents on a motorbike whizzing through traffic. It can even be watching a group of mature Indian women sit and chat with each other or a young Japanese couple indulge in each other in a photo booth in Tokyo. But the most interesting thing to notice is how they notice you. I sometimes snap without even looking at my camera or in the direction it’s facing. Since I’m working with a point and shoot camera, I’m very unassuming. It’s always interesting to see the pictures that I’ve taken because I’m always surprised to notice that most times my subject is looking at me. Smiles, expressions of confusion, curiosity and disgust, are usually the expressions that I see in the photos that I’ve taken.

People are beautiful creatures. We express ourselves freely without even knowing. Our body language and facial expressions can express a plethora of emotions. Our culture shines through us in how we greet others, celebrate, mourn and go about our daily activities. On your next trip, take some time to sit down and people watch. Take in the noise, the emotion, and facial expressions. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about a location by means of its people in just a few minutes.

This story was curated by Afiya Francis.

Share
Travel Noire

Travel Noire

A platform of cultivated insights from a global community of black travelers.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Milwaukee’s Airport Is The First To Offer Coat Check To Travelers Flying Somewhere Warm This Winter

Milwaukee’s Airport Is The First To Offer Coat Check To Travelers Flying Somewhere Warm This Winter

I think we’ve all experienced traveling to a warm location during the winter and having the struggle of traveling with our bulky winter coats. Sure, it’s great staying warm at the airport but once you land in the hot country, having to carry the coat becomes a hassle.  Fortunately, Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport has come […]

Kelsey Marie

You Can Now Travel Around The U.S. For Less Than $1,000 With This Trusted Train Service

You Can Now Travel Around The U.S. For Less Than $1,000 With This Trusted Train Service

If you’ve ever wanted to travel around the U.S. in one go but thought it would be too expensive, we have good news! Wanderu, a travel booking platform, has planned a trip around the country for less than $1,000.  That’s right, you can travel around 6,586 miles, venture through 27 states and experience different Amtrak […]

Kelsey Marie

Traveling Soon? Here Are 5 Ways To Avoid Getting The Coronavirus While Flying

Traveling Soon? Here Are 5 Ways To Avoid Getting The Coronavirus While Flying

As the Coronavirus continues to be a concern for many travelers and the public in general, it’s vital that we stay healthy and informed. In metropolitan areas like NYC, people are wearing masks and commuting with disinfectants in hand. The virus has killed hundreds of people with tens of thousands being infected across the world.  […]

Kelsey Marie