I’ve always thought it would be cool to work for National Geographic. I have always had wanderlust and like other lusts it usually gets unfulfilled. Still, I think about how exciting it would be to travel to places rich and poor and document the daily lives of the various indigenous people of the world. Unlike other forms of journalism, you don’t have to rely on breaking news to fulfill an assignment. You get an assignment, go to the location, take pictures, write copy, and turn in your assignment. What happens in between will give memories to last a lifetime.
Now, I never made much inquiry on what it takes to get work through National Geographic, and in keeping with the spirit of this fantasy, I rather not get into the dry details. Now, this would normally be a lonely pursuit so my fantasy involves a female partner, a woman who compliments my skills with hers in getting to know the unfamiliar locale.
I once dated someone who was a pretty good photographer. Early in our relationship, she inspired my fantasy of going to an exotic and isolated location to do a story on an interesting village of people on the edge of civilization. I would do sketches and write down my thoughts with prose that was very, very, very, very............good.
It would take a long bit of travel by plane, train, and an all-terrain jeep to arrive at our locale. We take a few days getting familiar with the local customs, the food, and the weather. This would allow us to be confident enough to take pictures and provide a solid story background in this unfamiliar area. Much of the modern world is absent from this locale so we would not have distractions from finishing the assignment. The foliage is very exotic, unlike any that I have ever seen. The animals are weird, colorful and are of species I have not even seen in the zoo. The scary thing about the wildlife is the danger. Since, I am rather reckless with my exploration I was not prepared to deal with animals I was not familiar with, but wait, my local guide will show me the way. He will show this ugly American how to respect the natural ways of the land.
Days go by and things are moving along smoothly. We take turns taking pictures and writing down our interpretations. Our guide has left, feeling confident that we know what we are doing. Since we are a couple, we allow the moments to take us to places we had only dreamed about. The stunning colors of the flowering plants, the cool cascading water of the falls hidden in the middle of the dense forest serve as a backdrop to our quite unprofessional passions. Since this is a fantasy, any dangerous and annoying animals leave us in peace. The temperature is perfect , the water cool. We have never experienced passion like this before nor do I expect to do so again. All our 5 senses are stimulated and fulfilled.
The experience inspires me to write wonderfully indebted prose (Thanks to a Thesaurus) and my companion to take great pictures. It is time to wrap things up but not before I sketch the local scene, people and landscape. We say our good-byes and head to our next assignment.
Like I said this is a fantasy. I don’t speculate whether or not a woman can endure going to these locales and dealing with me. But, I know that I would need a partner to work with in order to make a good piece. Anyway, even though I’ll never do this for a living, I thought I might create a serial story about a couple who does this for a living. I just need to come up with good stories. Who knows, you may read the "Further Adventures of Frank and Fiona"
Robert James Scanlon