We feature some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community through our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, Daniel Durazo (@danieldurazo) shares his photography experiences across four continents.


Being in the Sultanate of Oman reminded me that history can move very quickly. Oman lives in two worlds at once: a new world of glass, metal, and plastic, and an old world of dust, dates, and goats. It’s fascinating to see how these two collide, and how the country’s old and new generations see these worlds very differently despite their dependence on one another. The older must pass on tradition and wisdom to the younger, and the younger must remind the older of the hope and optimism of youth.


Traveling to Jordan reminded me that even small countries can be very big. Looking at a map, one would be forgiven for mistaking Jordan for a small country. But across its vast deserts, among the towering ruins of former civilizations, the Hashemite Kingdom looms large. Seeing the sites of this country felt as though I was looking at a vast ocean or the endless sky: tiny, humbled, yet somehow connected to something bigger — something more important.


Whenever I return to Mexico, I’m reminded of how every place is complex in unexpected ways. Most people associate Mexico with flavorful food, joyous people, and dazzling colors. But it also has a more subtle and reflective side. It’s a place where people make processions and profess their individual faiths, where people think solemnly about those they have left behind. It is a place where people grow old together, where people think, feel, and believe deeply. It’s a country that should not be overlooked.


Traveling to Zanzibar reminded me of how, no matter what, people make the best of what they have. Most of the Zanzibaris I met were of modest means. Most of them probably make in a year what the average American might earn in a month. And yet, they smiled so often. While selling fruit on the side of the road, they smiled. While leading tourists around their homeland, they smiled. While steering rickety, handmade boats, they smiled. And when they smiled, they smiled bigger than many of the folks I know who have everything they could possibly want. I think there’s something to be learned here.


Visiting Portugal taught me just how much a country can change. The Portuguese empire once stretched across the globe. You can even see remnants of its imperial past scattered across its capital and countryside: ornate churches, imposing castles, broad streets, and boulevards. The gears of history have since humbled this relatively small nation on the Atlantic, from which many of the world’s most renowned explorers and conquerors once set sail. Yet despite the change in Portugal’s fortunes, the Portuguese people seem to maintain a reverence for their past and a hope for their future.