Last September I dared an eight-year old to a race. Somewhere before the finish line I felt a painful overstretched pop in my right calf and soon after discovered that I had injured my Achilles tendon. In October, I took a running leap across a stream onto an island so that I could get a better image of a waterfall. The image turned out alright, but I hobbled around for weeks afterwards. Of course that didn’t stop me from driving nine hours to Chicago and walking all day for several days straight. What can I say? I’m a stubborn Hungarian and an eternal optimist.
Five re-injuries later I recently found myself in my doctor’s office being fitted for an air cast and being lectured on the high likelihood of surgery vs. my ability to do nothing for three solid weeks. A million thoughts ran through my head as the medical assistant droned on about how to adjust the cast. I’m the girl with poor impulse control. I’m not good at sloth. I’m good at long days at the office, long walks in the park, and spontaneous road trips. I live alone and do all the chores and errands myself. My independent streak runs to fierce. I hate to ask for help. As I left the exam room and tried walking down the hallway peg-legged-pirate fashion I realized that, unless I found something to keep my mind and imagination fully occupied and happy, the odds were in favor of me lasting less than 48 hours in the cast.
Three and a half weeks of enforced relaxation later I’m proud to say I made it! I’m now in physical therapy three times a week and walking mostly pain-free. Odd as it may sound, I have Pinterest to thank for my healing. Have you visited the Pinterest website yet? Regardless of your tastes and hobbies, it’s a whole lot of fun. People use Pinterest for a variety of reasons – recipes, fashion, cars, motivational quotes; you name it, you’ll find it on Pinterest. The concept is simple: users create boards and “pin” interesting articles, videos, recipes, products, images, etc. to their various boards. Each pin includes a link to the source website, so when you’re looking at other users boards you’re sure to discover new websites, blogs, and artists. It’s an excellent research tool and an efficient way to keep all of what interests you on the web in one spot.
If you’re reading this article then two of your hobbies are likely to be travel and photography. I can’t recommend Pinterest enough for us travel photography buffs. I use it as a one-stop research resource made up of excellent images that inspire and educate me. My travel-photography-specific board is called Best of Travel Photography – it’s a collection of images I find inspiring and that I use to better understand what makes an excellent travel image. For example, one image of a spice market in India is taken at a unique level and focuses all the attention on color. Another image is magical because of the early morning fog and near monochromatic dreaminess of the composition. Hundreds of images later I have built a research collection with the power to take my photography to the next level.
My other two photography-specific boards are similar: Photo Tips, Tricks, and Treasures (primarily links to photo tips articles and free Photoshop downloads) and Best of Photography (primarily portraits and other images I am inspired by and need to learn from). Collecting, studying, and revisiting these images and articles helps me to be a better photographer. I’ve also found it a useful way to interact with my readers and connect with other travel bloggers. It’s proven to be a great tool for researching my novel as well. Click on any of the links above to check it out. I think you’ll agree – it’s a lot of fun and practical too.