There are a lot of great ideas and examples above. My wife and I are certainly fans of what we define as “Slow Photography”. We love enjoying the experience of being in a photogenic location. We love waiting for the light to get “better”. While this is a landscape discussion, we are driven nuts by photographers who insist on shooting a moose, polar bear or other critter at 10 frames per second rather than observing the critter, learning the behavior and anticipating “the moment”, shooting perhaps one or two images at a time. It’s quieter and I believe more accurate in getting the right image and leads to a lot less time culling thousands of images later on.
I try to practice slowing down, and I find I can only do it when I am alone or with other photographers whom I do not know well. I think I’m just too self-conscious, or maybe it’s other-conscious, when I am hiking with friends, trying to do photography on a trip to a national park, etc. Some of my best work was done when I had a wealth of time (leader says, “we’re gonna be here for a couple of hours” in a workshop setting) or nobody else around (spending a day in the Wallowas or Painted Hills, Smith Rock in Central Oregon looking for something other than the obvious to shoot).
I too have had the cycle of anticipation followed by frustration, and it does seem to happen when I have had few outings and unfortunate conditions: a )hideous trip the the Eastern Sierra in the rainiest February in CA history, b) Yosemite, planned 10 months in advance, only to find smokey skies with the faintest shadows of El Cap and Half Dome). I had a run of these high stakes, low results trips that kind of put me in a funk for the last three years. I do think the main antidote is getting out more and not investing any one outing with too much expectation.