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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

She looks huggable - she is not!

The word “safari,” in Swahili, means “journey”; it has nothing to do with animals. Someone “on safari” is just away.  Unobtainable and out of touch.

It's incredible what you will see

Out of touch in Africa is sometimes where I want to be. The wish to disappear sends many travelers away. If you are sick of being kept waiting at home or at work, travel is perfect: let other people wait for a change.

Travel in the African bush can also be a sort of revenge on cell phones, emails, Facebook and the Internet. Go into the African bush to simply disappear, in the spirit of discovery.

Not everyone on facebook knows I am really a zebra

That's right, just walk away

Being available in an accessible world can at times be pure horror. People begin to impose deadlines on you, and smartphones means people can reach you anytime. Sometimes you just need to escape.

I know I mentioned that a safari has nothing to do with animals, but growing up, going to the game reserves was (and still is) our journey. Due to the preservation efforts of the parks, Internet connection is non-existent and cell phone signal is almost never higher than one bar (if it exists at all). The beauty is in the escape, the appreciation of majestic animals up close and personal.

Watch out for those thorns!

How I sometimes feel as a sleep deprived college student

I have been right next to a rhino, staring at its horn wondering what would happen to the car if he swung his head around towards me. I love being close enough to an elephant to see its wrinkles. I have been caught on the road between an elephant crossing and was scared a little when a mother elephant charged at the strange metal creature creeping up on her baby. I have seen a leopard lazing in a tree, a lion eating its prey and a giraffe spreading its long legs to catch a drink from the waterhole.

Baby elephant seeking refuge

See - Wrinkles!

What are you looking at?

It is on these trips, with those friends or family that you love, you get to take a breather. When you get back, there will still be deadlines, phone calls, emails and news. Go on, escape. I dare you.

Lionesses Conference

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Packed and ready?

I recently saw a TED talk on the disparity between memory and experience. The speaker argued that we live in our memories. Our present consists of our past memories, and our future is anticipated memories. We rarely live simply in our experiences.

I think we tend to travel like this, too. A lot of people travel to make memories instead of traveling to have an experience. The problem with this is you will come back from a trip with tons of photos and stories of things you did and saw, but no real experience of the culture, no real change of character, because your purpose at the start was not conducive to the serendipity that comes with travel.

Jiankou Great Wall

Of course, some people wonder…why travel at all?
 
 
I came across a poem by Elizabeth Bishop called “Questions of Travel:”

Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theaters?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework…

 We can give generic reasons here. It’s easy to ramble on about “oh, there’s so much to see,” and “oh, there’s so much to do,” but that’s equating travel with distraction, not purpose. It’s creating memories, not experiences.

Mursi Man, Ethiopia

Camel Seller, India

 

Why do I travel? What is my purpose? Well, I travel because I love learning. The world is a big place, and the thought of staying in one place for the rest of my life is agonizing. I travel to try new things, to explore new foods. Travel just tastes good.
 
Finally, I travel to experience the world! My photos and stories of places can only go so far. But my purpose will (I hope) enable travel to change me for the better.

A fisherman casting his net in Indonesia

Anyone want to give this a try?

Scenario: Imagine your next travel destination. Now what if I were to tell you that you would not be able to keep any of your photos, and you will have an “amnesia episode” to this trip. Would you still travel to the same location? Where is it and why? Why do you travel?

St. Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Here’s to discovering what’s on the other pages …

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Yes, I know, when people hear Greece today they think of everything that is wrong with the country: the Eurozone Crisis, possible deflects on loans, re-capitalization of the banks, high unemployment…the list endures.

But if you remove the economic crisis, you are left with, in my opinion, one of the best places on earth. Greece allows you to travel and experience its country without the necessity of a busy schedule crammed with a tight itinerary. You are implored to enjoy the journey.

Sunrise in Santorini

Chania Harbor

 

I have only been to Greece twice, which is not nearly enough. I spent my time on the island of Crete, where my family lives. My granddad lived in the small village of Μάλεμε (Maleme), just a 20-minute bus ride from the main city Chania. My typical day went like this:
 
Wake up around 9 a.m. and have some Greek yogurt and honey for breakfast; walk to the beach (three minutes) to read/swim for several hours; go to my aunt’s house for an exquisite gourmet lunch; go back to the beach to read/swim; go home and relax some more; get ready around 10 p.m. to go into the city or attend an event; get home in the early hours of the morning, sleep, and repeat.

Crete undisturbed

 
 
Must See:

1. Symi: The long, narrow harbor surrounded by a amphitheater of Greek houses. For a moment, classical Greece is here, and you have arrived in the middle of it.

Symi Dodecanese Islands Greece

 
 
 

2. Santorini: The ancient island of Thira exploded in 1500 B.C., leaving a broken rim of a now-extinct volcano. The town of Fira sits on the top of the rim looking west, with an almost sheer drop to a very deep blue sea. This is the familiar and idyllic Greek scene.
 
 

Santorini

Santorini

Santorini House


 

 
 

 
 
3. Athens
: No one’s trip to Greece can be complete without a visit to the Acropolis, crowned with Athens sacred temple, the Parthenon.
 

Parthenon, Athens


 
 

4. Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon: Overlooking the Aegean Sea, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion served to appease the somewhat moody disposition of the sea-god. This temple is a beautiful example of 5th century Doric architecture, and its backdrop, especially at sunset, is magical.
 
 

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion in sunset light


 

Minoan Palace of Knossos

6. The Minoan Palace of Knossos: The ruins at Knossos are not dramatic like pyramids nor as well preserved as the temples at Agrigento, but they are remarkable for revealing a multitude of activity—political, religious, commercial and domestic—that took place within one structure. John McEnroe, a Minoan architectural specialist, described it as “encompassing the breadth and depth of its culture more eloquently than any other single building in the history of European architecture.”

 

Truth is Stranger than Fiction, but Myths are Stranger than just about Everything

More Photos!

Windmills in Greece

Zakinthos Ionian Islands

Ios Sunset

I hope you enjoyed the photography. If you want to travel here, where would you go first?

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French Polynesia: Islands beyond the Ordinary

Tahiti Bay

Every so often we stumble across a location that are so enticing and so seductive that to clumsily call it “beauty” seems vague and superficial. This week, I clumsily called beautiful the French Polynesia.

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Travel spot: Iceland

“I am bored, I am bored, I am bored,” said Gustave Flaubert of Rouen in 17th century France. The banality of the city, of everyday life, of taxes, road improvements and neighbors were suffocating him.

There are times when I echo this sentiment. The desire to escape the noise: traffic, people, social media, buildings, politics and economies can be overwhelming. It is times like this when traveling to an exotic location occupies my day. Where can I go to escape this? What will being relief?

Iceland, Lómagnúpur, south east coast of Iceland. The water in the rivers comes from Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe, situated nearby

 

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