#1 Photographer Travel Bucket List Destination Quito Ecuador

I’d happily stand on Las Ramblas in Barcelona and photograph the people there — natives and tourists alike — from dawn to dusk.

I would return to Belize in a heartbeat to eat more breadfruit and capture a few more howler monkeys in the wild eating banana chunks out of my youngest daughter’s shaky hand.

Travel Bucket List Destination: Howler Monkeys in Belize Eat Bananas Straight From Your Hand

I’m also ready to fly back to Norway to frame the fist-sized snowflakes falling in front of the famed Bergen wharf one more time.

But the destination that tops this photographer’s travel bucket list is the middle of the world, Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

photographer's travel bucket list Quito Ecuador

Quick aside, I had never heard of Quito before April of this year but now I hear the name of Ecuador’s capital a few times each week! This is because controversial football referee Byron Moreno is a native of Quito and in the build up to the 2018 World Cup, his bizarre, tragic tale is getting a lot of (re)play. It’s been like VAR for a ref himeself!

The upside of all this new coverage and discussion of Moreno’s, umm, performance in the Italy v. South Korea match during the 2002 tournament is that I know exactly how to pronounce Ecuador’s capital, so should I ever get to visit I’ll be almost fluent 😉

My Quito Ecuador photographer’s travel bucket list wish isn’t simply about the work I dream of doing with the camera in hand and a myriad of lenses strapped to my chest!

Oh no, my vision for time spent in the capital of Ecuador, the gateway to the Galapagos, the middle of the world, is also watching with wide open eyes and listening with equally wide open ears, to hear the sound of the beautiful people who call Quito home, the vibrant staccato of their voices cutting through the din of everyday life in Ecuador; cars honking, buses accelerating from a standstill with new passengers on board eager to get from point a to point b, children running off to school, birds calling out to each other high above the fray in the city and deep inside the magical Cloud Forest nearby.

There are stories waiting to be told, narratives of a way of life I wish to discover and share with my kids, with you, with the busy world back up here in the States. I also want to stand with one foot in the southern hemisphere and one in the northern at Latitude 0°0’0. Yes, that’s super geeky. Guilty as charged!

And that is all before I would fly to Darwin’s islands! There is a vast pool of Ecuadorian humanity I want to bathe in, smiles I long to exchange while fumbling to find the words to communicate. I’m obsessed with thoughts of visiting Quito Ecuador now and at some point I’m going to need to do something about it!

Then of course there’s the famed, mysterious Galapagos Islands, birthplace of Darwin’s of the theory of natural selection. While I wouldn’t take the HMS Beagle or anything similar as Charles Darwin did to arrive on Galapagos from the mainland, I must arrive there at some point in my life.

So that’s my #1 right now, Quito Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Where do you want to go, to photograph, to see and hear local life, to maybe tell some of your own stories? What’s at the top of your photographer’s travel bucket list right now?