Weekly Photo Challenge: Comfort
“In picking a theme for this week’s photo challenge, I wanted to aim for something truly subjective in nature. As a long-term traveler, I’ve found it interesting to find myself looking for the familiar in a sea of newness, whether it means finding a routine in a city that I call my (temporary) home or seeking out the foods that bring me joy. For me, comfort is a steaming bowl of noodle soup from Asia.
I never liked soup growing up. Even when I got sick, I found myself grumbling when I was forced to eat it, wishing it was something else. But early on in my travels, as I crossed into China from Mongolia, I quickly realized how wonderful a bowl of soup could be. Gone were the anemic bowls of chicken and noodles from home, replaced by a seemingly infinite array of options. Thick rice noodles, vermicelli, hand-pulled flour threads from the tiny back alleys of Beijing or Xi’an, sometimes entangled with wontons bobbing near the surface – all were delicious, and I took it upon myself to try as many as possible. Continuing on from China, I moved into Southeast Asia and discovered the thick broths and steaming breakfasts of boiled chicken with fried garlic and chili, floating atop a curled pile of springy rice noodles. Entranced by the foods, I stayed in Southeast Asia longer than I ever anticipated – close to 2.5 years – and plan to return in early 2012. And what started it all was the lure of the perfect bowl of noodle soup.
So, I’ve chosen comfort for the photo challenge, because it’s a wider theme that allows for a very personal depiction of what calms you down inside. These bowls of soup became a routine for me, one of the first things I do in a new place. I dust myself off after a long bus or boat ride and head to the bustling markets, finding a busy street stall with a giant cauldron of bubbling broth, waiting to be discovered.
One of the things I most enjoy as I travel is to keep a subject album, much like the photo challenge. In taking photos of a similar topic but in a variety of ways, you are constantly moved to improve, to seek alternate, creative captures for something you’ve come to enjoy. In my case, I have an album of incense from temples throughout Asia, as well as an album for soup and for spices. In looking through the photos, I’m able to hone in on techniques I enjoy or want to improve on, as well as bring back all the wonderful memories from the destination.”
After working as a lawyer for 5 years to save up money for travel, Jodi Ettenberg quit her job and bought a one-way ticket to Chile. Over three years later and still traveling the world, she has no plans to stop anytime soon. Throughout, Jodi has blogged about her misadventures on her site, Legal Nomads, and she currently works as a freelance writer.
New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.
Here’s how the weekly photo challenge works:
1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.
2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use a “postaday2011″ or “postaweek2011″ tag.
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