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I recently traveled to Puerto Rico for a short summer vacation before starting the fall semester.  The U.S. owned Caribbean island is seen as a somewhat more affordable destination than the other islands, but we quickly realized that the price of expenses was quite steep.  Towards the end of my trip I was hoping to get a souvenir to remember the beautiful experiences I had there, but everything seemed overpriced and too cliché.  I was disappointed to be leaving empty handed until I realized I wasn’t going to be at all.

Since Christmas of 2010 I’ve owned my trusty Olympus Pen E-PL1 (a more compact DSLR in laymen’s terms.)  I take it wherever I travel, so you can imagine how much face time it got during my semester abroad in Prague last fall.  It had been a long time since I used it between Europe and Puerto Rico, so I had forgotten how important it is to me.  Taking photos helps me capture and remember beautiful views, objects, foods and memories.  The hobby forces me to see the world, literally all different cities and countries, through an artistic lens (pun intended.)  Through my photos, I get to share those memories I have to those who weren’t with me.

Many people see me using my camera in public.  Friends, and possibly strangers, have varied opinions any of which can range from “It’s nice that she wants to record her experiences with a quality camera” to “Look at that pretentious hipster taking pictures of ‘artsy’ things” to “She should be on that blog Asians Taking Pictures of Asians Taking Pictures of Food.”  (Hopefully some give me credit for not having a true DSLR like a real hipster would own.)  Honestly, I think all of these impressions are accurate to a certain extent.  Bottom line: I just want to remember experiences I deem out-of-the-ordinary.  My visual memory isn’t as sharp as I’d like it to be, so my Pen picks up the slack.  It always tops all of the souvenirs I get.

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