While global travel is on pause, we’re reflecting on some of the most indelible memories from our past journeys. We asked our World Nomads community to share some of their favorite photos with us. These images are more than just pretty snapshots of scenic places – they capture something essential about the journey, the people, or even the world itself.
“Of the millions of photos we've taken, we both really like this one of us kayaking in Antarctica. It's not the most technical or beautiful shot we have in our portfolio, but for us it sums up everything we love in one shot – beautiful landscapes, unique destinations, and adventure.” – Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem, Directors, NOMADasaurus and Van Life Theory
“My favorite photo is of me jumping off a yacht my husband and I charted in Australia. We had it all to ourselves and spent our days plotting our course and sailing to new coves and empty beaches. Every evening, we would drop the anchor and jump and swim off the boat, cook on the bbq bolted to the stern, and sleep on deck under the stars at night. In this photo, I am four months pregnant with my first daughter, and I love how it expresses how free and happy I felt.” – Kate Duthie, Managing Editor, World Nomads
“In February 2020, a magazine sent me to Afghanistan to write about how skiing and snow sports have blossomed in this remote valley of the central highlands. My photographer and I skied down into a tiny hamlet, where we sat on a sunny rock and waited. Soon all of these kids starting coming out of their mud brick houses with their own skis and snowboards that they’d fashioned out of plastic Iranian cooking oil jugs, old barn doors, and wire bucket handles. This shot reminds me how poverty, war, and general misery is no match for that universal, youthful desire to create and make your own fun by playing with what’s around you.” – Tim Neville, travel writer and World Nomads Travel Writing Scholarship Mentor
“On a trip to Antarctica with my dad last year, I had oodles of time to photograph endlessly fascinating penguins – each a one-of-a-kind character, each one majestic without even trying.” – Jo Tovia, Editorial Producer, World Nomads
“This picture of me and two of my friends – Peter from USA and Lorenzo from Italy – atop Lion's Head mountain in Cape Town in our matching boxers is the last photo I got before flying back home due to COVID. We were meant to be together on a six-months trip around 10 countries with YourBestLife, but the day before, we found out that our plans were obstructed. We were quite upset but decided to make the best of our last 24 hours. We went to a local artisan market, bought these boxers, asked some strangers if they wanted to hike with us – to which they agreed – and stripped down to our boxers as we summited, grateful for the six weeks that we did have together traveling to Peru and Costa Rica.” – Jigar Ganatra, filmmaker
“This is one of my favorites because it defies so many of my expectations about polar bears. The fact that it’s stranded there on a island with these rock formations – it’s just stunning and it was amazing to see so much life in the Russian north.” – Kiliii Yüyan, photographer
“I don’t know if this is a travel photo per se, but I took it while traveling. It’s probably my most iconic image. It was in National Geographic and on the cover of the magazine and the book celebrating 125 years of National Geographic. In 1/60 of a second I felt I was able to capture the resiliency, tenacity and a bit of the sadness of the demise of the Tibetan culture.” - Alison Wright, photographer
“This Patagonia photo is now blown up to a huge picture on our wall at home. At that time, I snapped a photo and put my camera away, not thinking it was anything special. We still had hours of hiking ahead of us, and I was experiencing some serious back pain. Looking back at that photo, I can really appreciate the scenery now – but at the time I was wishing I wasn’t there.” – Milly Brady, Editorial Producer, World Nomads
“I was trying to find an Airbnb in Dubai a few years back. The slightly dodgy host canceled the original booking but steered me to another place that he managed. I was desperate and it was late, so against my better judgement, I accepted.
“The room was what they call a partition – simply a big room divided into two smaller rooms by a few bookcases and tarps. I had a less than impressive room to myself. There were three other tiny partitioned rooms, each with eight people living in them. I'd happened upon an improvised migrant worker dormitory. All the men were from the Phillipines and the girls were mostly from Africa, all working in service jobs. There was an awesome vibe in the building and everyone was very inclusive and warm.
“I took a photo of some of the guys having a laugh in the tiny kitchen. It reminds me to keep a perspective on things.” – Miles Rowland, filmmaker
“South Island, New Zealand – my husband Steve’s homeland and my adopted homeland. Such beautiful, wild country, with amazing fresh air. Every time we visit, it’s magical.” – Emily Willis, Head of Content, World Nomads
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Content producer in World Nomads' North America office, manager of the Stories and Explore sections, and resident bird nerd.
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The NOMADASAURUS photo with its description gave me goose bumps! Thanks for the great start to the week. :)