A Little Photoessay… Water Runs Through Every Place I’ve Visited

Water runs through all of us, and all over the world. It’s impossible to fully grasp the importance of water on our lives. In honor of the importance of water, I offer up this photo essay on the importance of water to my travels. It’s a piece that looks at the most beautiful places I have visited. The people affected by water and how it impacts their.

Call it an ode to water.

World Water Facts

  • We drink between 2-3 litres of water per day, but we use 3,000 litres per day when considering water used in food production.
  • Meat production is a huge culprit for hidden water waste. 1 kilogram of beef takes 15,000 litres.
  • Reducing the amount of food you waste and throw away is one of the easier ways to reduce your water consumption.
Two women use their longyi to protect their modesty as they bath on Inle Lake, Burma (Myanmar).

Cleansing water: two women on Inle Lake in Myanmar bath right on the canal thoroughfare, taking not only food from the river, but the mechanics of daily life as well.

Small Mountain Hut

Mountain Waters: High in the Himalayan Mountain range, the clear, gushing streams harness energy, help process foods, and offer life to the communities living off the land in rural parts of Nepal.

Boy Swimming and fishing

Life-giving water: a Tharu boy from southern Nepal fishes for food, or maybe just for fun, in the placid river.

On the road in Croatia

Stark Waters: The dry, barren earth and gray mountain range stand in contrast to the deep river I viewed out my bus window when making my way through rural Croatia.

monk temple luang prabang, loas

Convenient water: glancing over the low wall around the temple compound, I spotted this young monk filling buckets as monks cleaned and washed all the white temple walls.

Connor Pass, Dingle, Ireland

Epic Waters: Clouds shadows create a vast, open and almost lonely space from Connor Pass, on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. The turbulent Atlantic waters in the distant are a severe contrast to the serene valley and peaceful lakes.

Sikh Holy Golden Temple

Sacred Water: The Harmandir Sahib, also called the Golden Temple, houses the most holy text in Sikhism. The temple complex and water dominate the center of Amritsar, India. All religions are welcome to come worship God in the temple, and many people take a dip in the shallow, cleansing waters around the holy temple.

The Harbor

Busy Water: Sydney Harbor in Australia bustles with activity as boats, both large and small, zip right by the Sydney Opera House. The boats are likely rushing to avoid the storm that rolled in 10 minutes later and let leash a torrential downpour of rain.

That's my Nessie face!

Mythical Waters: Pretending I am Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, I strike a ridiculous pose in Fort Augustus, Scotland. Part of me secretly hoped I’d see Nessie in this photo when I looked at the image ;-)

The Dead Sea from Jordan

Salty Water: The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth. Life cannot flourish in the water and when standing on the shores, earth’s lowest spot on land, pretty white salt crystals cover the rocks and tint the water an impossible shade of aqua-green as it laps at the knobby rock surface.

View along the way!

Misty Water: Morning dew sits over the tree canopy in the Bokeo Nature Reserve in Northern Laos, the sun is just rising and hasn’t yet burned off the water so the forest looks mystical, like the setting for a fairy tale.

Snorkelers in Key West, Florida

Fun Water: Snorkelers in Key West Florida float over the shallow reefs, seeking out coral fans and colorful reef fish in the variegated coastal waters.

12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road in Australia.

Pretty Waters: Australia’s Great Ocean Road is a slowly changing seascape of beauty. As the strong Southern Ocean waves erode the limestone stacks, the views  will continuously change as time passes; my pretty views back in 2009 will be long forgotten by 2509.

Stari Most at Sunset

Historical Water: The Neretva river flowing under Stari Most, a bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has witnessed history and tragedy unfold. Stari Most stood in Mostar for 427 years before it was bombed and destroyed in the Croat-Bosniak War in the early 1990s. After the war ended, UNESCO and international organizations worked with the government to accurately build and reconstruct the bridge that stands today.

Soup in China!

Food & Water = Life. Without water, we have no food.

It wasn’t until I left the confines of the United States that I began to witness the wealth and resource disparity present on our planet. And by disparities, I mean disparities in all terms of wealth. After traveling, I began to appreciate my education more because I saw how hard so many others worked for theirs. My food was plentiful, and I never knew hunger. I had a shower every night, and clean tap water flowing out of my faucet. I spent summers running through my sprinklers, then cooling off with a glass of lemonade flavored Kool-Aid.

I never knew how much I had at my disposal. Water is a shared resource, and though renewable, clean water is increasingly taxed out by our usage.

Thank you for reading this far about the waters I’ve seen throughout my years of traveling. As a part of World Water Day 2012, I’d like to end by noting that the two easiest ways to help the global water shortages are to conserve water usage and eliminate food waste. Ana and I are working on being particularly conscious of our food and water use this week as we consider how our personal choices affect the planet as a whole :)

Cheers,

~S

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18 Responses to A Little Photoessay… Water Runs Through Every Place I’ve Visited

  1. John April 26, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Hi Shannon, Can you please post some more pics..These are fantastic…

  2. San jose limo April 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Really fantastic List of pics and story is outstanding i appreciate your work dear keep it up

  3. Angel Keppis April 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Beautiful post Shannon!

  4. Kate - TripLogic April 2, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    What a beautiful series of photos Shannon!  There is something really amazing in seeing the continuity of life through water, it humbles me.

    • ShannonOD April 2, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      Thank you Kate, it calms me to think of that commonality linking all of us in the world, no mater time and place. :)

  5. Nomadic Samuel April 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Love these shots Shannon!

  6. Vic Philpott March 30, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Wow, amazing photos Shannon! Can’t believe we use 3,000 litres of water a day each! 

    • ShannonOD March 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      I was pretty shocked myself when I looked at how all the figures add up for what we consume, and how much it takes for meat!

  7. Hilary March 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Shannon,
    Beautiful photos…what a great way to celebrate.  I’ve been to the bridge in Mostar-tragic and beautiful.  Safe travels…Hilary

    • ShannonOD March 28, 2012 at 7:03 am #

      For me, Mostar was such a haunting reminder of how recent the war was…all of the damage on the buildings, and the rebuilt bridge… safe travels to you as well! ~S :)

  8. Joanne March 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    You said, ”
    1 kilo of beef takes…” what? What? don’t leave me hanging!! Inquiring minds want to know!! Love you! Love the post – we were talking about it as well this week! It is also National Wildlife week – we are planting two apple trees! Woo Hoo!

    • ShannonOD March 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

      Whoops!!! It’s 15,000 litres. 1,500 litres for 1 kilo of wheat, and 15,000 for beef!  Here’s a nice video the kiddos might like: 

      Didn’t know it was National Wildlife week, now I have to step up the pace and teach something for that!  :)

  9. Andi Perullo March 23, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Wow this is such a thoughtful post, loved it! Definitely an important topic that needs to be discussed more in the travel blogging world. Amazing pics!!!

    • ShannonOD March 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      Thank you Andi, it’s easy to get involved in our stories and lives and forget our impact on the planet! :)

  10. Margo Millure March 23, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    I think I DO see Nessie about to break the surface over there at about 10 o’clock. Love the pics and topic!

    • ShannonOD March 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      Oooh, I see it Margo! Excellent spot, now that silly pose is totally justified  ;-)

  11. Khandilee March 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Great photo essay!

  12. Khandilee March 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Great photo essay!

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