Traveling is pleasure for me. I take traveling as an opportunity to learn and observe different forms of nature, how people live in different places and what do they eat. My experience has taught me 3 most important things to consider while traveling in Pakistan.
1. Respect The Culture
When you are traveling in Pakistan, be it the town of Bhit Shah in Sindh or the Valley of Kalash in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, you have to respect the culture of the place. You should learn about their culture, few phrases from their language, know about their dress and try not to wear cloths which might happen to be offensive to them.
When it comes to culture, it means their values and traditions. Ask for the permission before taking photograph of people, especially women and senior citizens. If they do not allow, DO NOT take the picture. It’s easy to take picture and run away but that will be then totally unprofessional and you will not be able to make a long term relationship. I usually dress up in Shalwar Kameez during my travels to interior places of Pakistan like in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It feels good and comfortable.
That way, you won’t become a point of attention and a stranger to locals.
Since you have learnt few phrases from their language, it shows that you want to be a part of their family. Talk to them. Do not take picture at once. Hang around. Visit Bazaars. Visit the market, have few conversation with the locals. Introduce yourself and then shoot next day. They will then know who actually is wandering around.
I stayed in Kalash Valley last year and learnt few phrases from the Kalasha Language. I used to greet them every day with “Ishpata” which is a greeting in their language. They loved me taking their photographs. I didn’t shoot at the very first day. I talked to them and visited their houses and then shot whole next 2 days.
Talking to the locals and communicating will give you the real charm of traveling. You will make good memories when you get back to your routine life.
3. Be rough & Tough
When it comes to traveling, forget all your luxuries. Pack up with your equipments, water bottle, clothing, pair of shoes and a nice book to read because that’s what I do during my travels. You’ll have to face difficulties, things would go unplanned, but those difficulties are an important part of your traveling in order to bring back good memories home. Remember, traveling is when you buy a one way ticket to a place you have never been to, rest is all unplanned.
Go on, take the initiative. Take you camera out and shoot the people, the environment and everything around. Bring lots of memories back home.
There are obviously other things as well to consider while traveling but being a travel photographer i have concluded the above 3 things as important to travel in Pakistan.
What about you? what do you consider the most while traveling in Pakistan?