It’s those special mornings on the road when you’re up before dawn in the early morning hours out chasing the light. Camera in hand, walking in the sand along a quiet beach are those extraordinary moments to be savored and remembered.
Late winter in Hainan, China’s most southern province, brings with it a dense morning fog that hangs in the air over land and sea well into midday. A thin, golden light dances on soft ripples gently lapping at the shore. There are no crashing waves here. Salty wisps of a fresh sea breeze touch the senses. Cool moisture in the dawning air makes the pilings weep and wet to the touch.
Making images in these conditions is a meditative process, especially in the quiet solitude. The beach is deserted, save for one or two other souls and me. The coastal city of Wenchang still sleeps. It’s in these delicate, unaccompanied slices of time, a certain magic exists.
Focusing on the present, peering through the viewfinder, and searching for a defining image connects one with the surroundings.
For a brief second, I lower the camera and remember my home that’s locked in winter’s cold embrace so far away. Looking east at the horizon, I consider the nature of things. For a moment, I ponder the vast emptiness of the open sea before me.
Our journey is one of unscripted travel, roaming grass and coconut palm-lined two-lane roads and gravel paths with just a cardinal direction to follow. Pedaling down worn gravel paths leading to lazy hamlets, or stopping at an idle fruit stand to sample a sweet mango or two, we wander in the hopes of an impromptu adventure. Perhaps we’ll meet someone who’ll show us the way.
Moving by bicycle from place to place, day by day, wandering waywardly along the island’s coast facing the South China Sea, we range along sandy shores to reach Sanya in a day or two. After which, we’ll rove through twisting mountain road on our way through the island’s central mountains back north eventually arriving Haikou.
Peregrinating land to land is an enriching way of life. Living a life of endless voyages to far away places. Deliberate wandering is a rewarding way of life. Seeking, searching for the sole purpose of discovery, my personal experience. An existence of exploring enchanting unfamiliar places. These moments are precious, never to be lived again. Make another image, capture the moment, just a little slice of life.