Archive for 'Travels'

May 08
|

The last time I was in Thailand, in 2010, the country was going through a quasi civil war.

Thailand was in turmoil with the city of Bangkok practically in hiatus, a country wide curfew & little to no tourism for a solid 2 months.

Turn the page 2 years, and it’s like April, 2010 never even happened. The immigration line more crowded than the 4 Train during rush hour.

A much more peaceful & harmonious country than my previous experience. With the exception of Khaosan Road in Bangkok & Haad Rin in Koh Phangan, which still acts as a war zone between alcohol and the human liver.

 

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A replica of Angkor Wat in the Grand Palace in Bangkok. 2nd attempt to make it to Cambodia. Fail.

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I feel like the older monks are much more expressive than the younger lads.

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That's a man with swag - Floating Market.

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There's street food and then there's river food. Literally.

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Karra & I were loving the "River" food.

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Thai Tacos. The Thai's knows how to present their food well.

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Things I do on my free time...

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Don't try this at home...or anywhere else for that matter.

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Love Tiger Temple.

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That's the patented guilty Chubby face

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Haha. The fella isn't fighting fair.

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Playtime mixed with aerial assaults.

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Note to self, if ever in a jungle with Tigers...they are great climbers. Tiger temple is here to assure that there still will be Tigers in Jungles for our children.

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The beautiful Karra with me on this trip. Reunited from Vietnam 2009(10).

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This is what happens when one mistaken the brake for the throttle and conveniently there is a solid concrete pole around to ride up on.

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And I was just being an idiot.

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Barracuda hunting. Quite a sight to witness.

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A species of angel fish...I think. =/

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Can you spot the cute fella?

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Reminds of me Nemo's home.

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Koh Tao had far too many people in the water at the same time. Otherwise, an amazing dive site.

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The best place to stay in Koh Phangan.

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Nom, the nicest guy on the island of Koh Phangan, sleeping on the deck of Munchies. He kinda runs the joint. No pun intended...

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Nom's pup. Dogs in Thailand are extremely territorial. Some fights can get pretty ugly...

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He waits for low tide when the smaller fish gets trapped in pools via the sand bars...

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You could practically walk half the way to Koh Samui from here because the shore is so shallow for so long.

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A morning's hard work.

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The morning of a Moonset (Wish I had my camera with me!) & a Rainbow.

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From my Trapeze lessons. =)

 

April 13
|

Where do I start with Myanmar…

Firstly, it is, by far, THE safest country I’ve ever had the pleasure of setting foot on. Though tourism isn’t as vibrant there as say..neighboring Thailand (which I personally take as a good thing), and their infrastructure would put fear in a MetLife/Time Share vacationer’s comfort zone…it is an amazingly gorgeous country.

PS: Excuse the ripples in the sky on a lot of these images. The downsized files for downloading efficiency has it’s cons.

 

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Some major sweeping going on in Shewdagon Pagoda, Yangon.

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The main stupa at Shewdagon is covered completely in gold with the top part blinged out with 2,000 carats of diamonds.

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Shewdagon is regarded as the most sacred pagoda in all of Myanmar...

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My buddy Kyaw Kyaw. If anyone's going to Bagan anytime soon, please let me know. I promised to bring him flashlights. There's no light by where he & his family lives.

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Kyaw Kyaw's son & nephews.

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Kyaw Kyaw's lovely neighbor.

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Perhaps we can make this hair wrap this a new trend in New York? =)

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Kyaw Kyaw's wife grinding up the root of a sandalwood tree to use on...

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...On mini Kyaw. It's a natural sun block that is used in Myanmar. BTW, do pack sun protection if going to Myanmar, it's almost impossible to find western sunblock. I found out the hard way.

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Thatbyinnyu is a pretty bad ass temple.

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Maybe it's just me, but I LOVE the way the elderly looks. To me, every wrinkle has a story or a wise tale behind it.

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Swag

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Happy Wrinkles

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This is as dangerous as it gets in Bagan...

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The shepherd

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Young monks taking a stroll in Bagan.

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Yeah...it's a pretty magical place.

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I want to stay at a monastery for a bit. No worries, I won't become a monk anytime soon.

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Joined them in their morning food route the following morning. Their route must've been at least 5 miles. In bare feet...kudos.

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Doing what I do best...stalking.

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I'll be honest, I don't remember which temple this was...There were over 2,000 of them in a land no larger than Manhattan.

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I wasn't kidding when I said 2,000...

 

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Only time in my life where I saw the sun rise & set 4 days straight. Worth every cup of coffee.

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Spent 4 days climbing the largest temples...I took a fall on one of them...but that's a story for another post.

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Typical visitors of Myanmar: Middle aged French & German couples. Would make for an AWESOME honeymoon my American brides!

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I tried desperately to get on the balloons. Got cancelled on twice because of the wind.

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Betel, a popular "chew" product in Myanmar. Kinda numbs your mouth a bit. It's said to caffeinate a person, as well as remove hunger.

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I love going to local markets. As Anthony Bourdain has always said: "Go to the local market to find out what their cuisine specialties are"

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The local "floating" market was a bit dry...

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Why..."Hello" to you too!

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Nga Pha Kyaung Monastery, Inle Lake.

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The famous single legged rowing fishermen in Inle Lake, Myanmar.

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Like the Scottish, the Burmese also wear skirts. New trend 2013?

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Spent half the day fishing in a lake FULL of fish...ended up needing to buy fish from the local fishermen. I just have the worst luck with fishing.

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Brought the fish back to Maung Lay's (my boat driver) place and his mom cooked us a feast!

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Maung Lay was crazy enough to let me take his boat for a spin...he had NO idea what was coming to him.

 

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Spent a good time in Muang Lay's village and realized how happy everyone is in this country.

 

January 10
|

Heading back to Mexico today…there will be no picture taking in this trip…exclusively diving but here’s a quick recap of our previous trip across the country.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

New York —>New Orleans—>Texas—>Arizona—>Utah—>Vegas—>Cabos San Lucas—>San Diego—>Home.

 

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Is it just me, or does the Rice a Roni song run through you head too when you see a trolley like this?

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Bourbon street...it wasn't kind to us.

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My kinda town.

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From New Orleans to Arizona, this is pretty much what it looks like the entire way through...

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Boys & Toys. See the grin on Jack's face?

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This is how men change tires. We don't need a stinkin jack!

 

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Rather dusty...hahaha.

 

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This is how we like to skip. It's an Asian thing...

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I didn't have proper hiking gear...not advised to hike in board shorts...

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The landscape in Arizona & Utah is AMAZING!

 

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That harness was wedgie central.

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Took him a while...

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Jack's a natural...until you creep up under him.

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Define little...cause I see nothing.

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Oh our way to Zion, taking a break to view the landscape.

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Our first boy band picture.

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It was one of those...emo kinda trips.

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Skipping again.

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I LOVE UTAH!

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Where's Waldo?

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Hikers used rocks as a navigational tool...

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I heart Utah, part 2.

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Joe & Dave in their natural states. Feminine & Emo. Respectively.

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Me in my natural state, stuck between a rock & a fall...

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It was very relaxing up there...

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Skipping...one more time

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Our official album cover. Our agent Daniel gave us the name - Broke Back Canyon.

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Got hit by a freak snowstorm out of nowhere...in ARIZONA?!

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Something about cactus & snow...doesn't seem right to me.

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Trying to find our way to Coyote Butte.

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Look north towards Utah, and it looks like this.

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Look south towards Arizona, and it looks like this!

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After an insane hike through the canyon, we finally found Coyote Butte, and boy was it awesome! I can't imagine doing this in 120 degree heat.

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This is "The Wave"

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My happy face...

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Great view from up top. Couldn't make it to the peak on the left...=(

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Couldn't leave such a beautiful place without doing a photoshoot. This will be the album cover for my solo career. PS, this was also my Christmas Card to some. =) ...now...where did that hat go? =P

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Boy band reunited. Broke Back Canyon minus one.

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After a grueling night in Vegas, we came to Cabo.

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It was suppose to be an epic fishing trip...except the only thing epic about it was the distance we were shooting with our barf.

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Even the birds were disappointed in us...

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But took the last of our bait anyways.

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The sea lion needed a ride back to the beach, so he tagged along. We didn't have much to give him, but our remaining bait.

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They weren't happy that we were in their side of the water...even snapped at us a couple of times.

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Jacques-Yves Cousteau said white tip sharks are the most dangerous to divers...I learned that after the fact.

October 12
|

Took a trip down to the Yucatan this past July/August for the purpose of finding whale sharks (We tried & failed in Honduras in April) with my awesome friend & ex roommate Schern. The search was much easier than what we had anticipated so we both soon realized that we’ll quickly get bored of Mexico…and purely out of spontaneity, we booked a trip to Havana and the rest…well…take a look for yourself:

If you’re only interested in the Cuban pictures only, SCROLL DOWN!

 

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Yeah...he almost whacked me with his tail...

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" Under the sea, under the sea, Darlin’ it’s better, Down where it’s wetter, Take it from me!" - Sebastian

 

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Did you know that I had a phobia of being in water a year ago? =D

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Can I get a collective "Arriba!!!"?

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GoPro's comes in handy on trips like this...I might leave my SLR at home entirely from now on...

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There are more fish in this one shot than I saw in ALL of the Bay Islands in Honduras in 10 days...

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We're in deep thought...

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Our many failed attempts at spelling Mexico...

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Ricky made the most AMAZING Pitas in the world! I mean...he did use to be Sous Chef @ Jean Georges. That $5 Pita sounds like a steal doesn't it?

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The man doesn't need much to make magic

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Isla Mujeres, I've confessed my love to you many times. I just hope you never turn into your big brother, Cozumel

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Mara's awesome ink

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Sunset with the best pita, awesome sunset, great company and bad beer. That's what Mexico is all about

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The earth is round

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Our daily routine at dusk

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It was fun while it lasted...

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Fernando (On the left) operated the nicest & chicest hostel I've ever been to

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Stine on her way down

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I wasn't allowed to skydive because I had did a water dive earlier that day...

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Life is hard

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I gotta get one of those helmets.

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Eva coming in

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There were SOOO many mosquitoes by the conotes that the first thing we did as soon as we got out the car was put on full length wet suits

 

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Getting ready to go in

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The dude was carrying 4 tanks...crazy...

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It was pretty much pitch black...but you get the jiff.

 

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My paper roses from the girls, miss you guys a bunch!

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Our house Mom Rosa & GrandMa.

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The kids were crafting a skateboard like object...view below for it's purpose.

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Looks like fun, no?

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The entire city of Havana is full of charm.

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Literally like stepping back in time

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If Jay Leno had his ways...

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Yes, I purposely used this color tone to make it look older...

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F-ING GORGEOUS!

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Cuban soldier on duty. This was right by a huge monument next to the capital building that supposedly Raul Castro works out of...

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Che Guevara is the biggest icon & figure in Cuba and a lot of other Latin American countries...

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Historic Downtown Havana

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This was built as an exact replica to the US Senate building...it was built by the same architect. Go figure...

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My favorite car in Havana

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Can't be in Havana without having a Mojito

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I wonder what the locals thought of me...=P

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A Santeria woman in the town square

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Ernest Hemingway's favorite bar. Of course, I had to have a mojito & cigar

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Their little buggy cabs

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If they ever lift the embargo, it'll never be the same

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Haha!

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Maybe this should be Chubby's Halloween costume

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They robbed us. hahaha!

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All the buildings looks & feels like if they were going to collapse any week now...

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People in Havana just hangs out in the streets all day...

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Che's Favorite

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Did what the locals did, smoke my lungs out...I'm still trying to clear out all the smoke

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Concrete jungle!

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Construction workers...someone doesn't belong...hahaha!

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Like I said...people just hang out in the street...this old man had a whole lot of swag

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Our neighbor. He had a very distinctive face...

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We got around Havana is all forms of transportation...

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A) They looked a bit too young to be a firefighters & B) DON'T POSE, GO PUT THE FIRE OUT!

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I went into Cuba looking for this lady (On the right)...she's apparently very popular but I don't really know why...

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But she is adorable!

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The next few frames is what I like to call..."Hipster Heaven"

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See what I mean?

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There's a square in Havana that sells all the "unwanted" items from abandoned homes...these "unwanted" items are all collectibles back in the US

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Got Havana in my crosshair from a cannon that was literally 500 years old

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Planking was still kool back in Aug...right?

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This was a fort that was used to protect Havana from pirates such as Blackbeard & Morgan

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Havana towards twilight...

 

August 17
|

So since I’m “blogging” now, I figured I’d put together a post of my recent travels. Work travels are not included neither is Vegas…for obvious reasons. =D
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel with the frequency that I do and to meet some of the warmest people in this world…

As I was putting this together, I bawled like a little baby going through the pictures of Vietnam… Vietnam was the trip that changed my entire world around. That was my very first trip that I had gone solo on, my first international non-profit, and many more other “firsts” but it was Vietnam & the orphanage that put things into perspective and made me feel like I have lucked out in life.

When traveling solo, I refuse to stay in big hotels. I find people there are much more isolated and guarded. Some of the best and most interesting people that I’ve met have been at hostels, homestays or small local hotels (By 3rd world country standards). How is one supposed to experience another’s culture when you’re being pampered? It’s certainly not the local’s way of life, that’s for sure. Besides, I have a great life back home…I don’t travel to escape from my life, I travel to appreciate everything I have.

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Partying in Hong Kong

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China's fear of being dark...in a nutshell.

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Sunsets in Boracay are some of the best in the world.

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Street food intestines in the Philippines....questionable at best but we survived.

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The beautiful waters of Boracay...still my favorite island in the world...though Isla Mujeres is fast approaching that label.

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Found this in a "department store" in Tokyo....we found some crazy stuff in that place from food to pets to luxury bags and well...adult toys.

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Snake wine in Vietnam...Took a bit of convincing but it wasn't too bad. Conceptually, it's disgusting.

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The head monk in the orphanage playing with kids in Nam...I miss those kids...

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Geoffrey soon found out shortly after this that sand...gets...everywhere...

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Beautiful family on the side of the road selling us goods

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The fisherman in the small Nam' town of Mui Ne packing it up for the evening

 

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Qui's a sweet heart. Single & ready to mingle but shy and pees a lot...like...a lot...

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Sau's the beautiful queen and the laughing princess at the orphanage.

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The beautiful Karra & my baby boy.

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I called him Jingles (But I think his real name was Jai) when I was there cause he would sing "Jingle Bell" He used me as a human roller coaster ride...

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Alcatraz from Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco

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Only city prettier than SF is NYC. Can I get an Amen?!

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First day with UBECI

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Silhouette in the Amazon...scariest experience in my life and it wasn't because of the animals

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Don't let this serene picture fool you, these waters are filled with nasty creatures...so I decided to go swimming & almost drowned.

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He wasn't happy when I took the baby bottle away from him...he's too damn big for a bottle anyways.

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Don't let my smile fool you, the neck of that tiger smelled like urine after this picture...I'M KIDDING!

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The monks in the tiger sanctuary are crazy! Keep in mind, that ink was put on the traditional way.

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Kaoshan Rd (One of the busiest streets in Thailand) at 10 PM during the Thailand protests (I booked a last minute flight there to photograph the events unfolding but got in one day too late)

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The aftermath in central Bangkok the following morning...all I remember that morning was the smell of burnt metal (from the bombs & blown buildings) & something really sour (I didn't want to know)

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Elephants became my favorite land animals in the world after this trip

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Scary to some...but peaceful to me.

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Yeah...I'm a bit insane...

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The long neck village, unfortunately they've turned the ones in Thailand to a bit of a tourist attraction. I'm going to find them in their native home in Burma. Mark my words!

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This is local but too memorable to not put up.

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Also local but can't believe it's almost been 10 years...

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Okay, I'll admit...this picture wouldn't be up here if it wasn't for that...that....beautiful.....wave. - Costa Rica

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Pura Vida! I'll also admit, I'm a terrible surfer.

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Driving a Wrangler in Big Island, Hawaii made me want to invest in the American automotive industry.

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Um...that's my brother in law...explains it..no?

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I love seeing dolphins in the wild. I would free all the dolphins in the world if I had the power...

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The red rocks clashing against the Turquoise ocean with the blue sky on top...Big Island is my favorite Hawaiian Island

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The lava formations are insane! The rocks were so fresh that it was still hot!

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Ill advised to drive on lava rocks as the surface can buckle...but when was the last time I actually listened to advice? =P

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My 2nd time around in Ecuador with UBECI.

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Please, get involved and spread the word about this wonderful organization. She's giving you a preemptive "Gracias" http://www.ubeci.org/

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Annie's a year older and exponentially cuter.

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I'm been traveling so much that I'm starting to call this "futbal"

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If I ever had a home somewhere else, this was it.

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They love NY! ......well....maybe not that little one on the bottom. hahah

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The Bay Islands of Honduras...nice for a short trip or a dive license...but questionable for an extended stay...

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I'm an import go kart model....

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This is us asking: "Where the FUCK are the whale sharks!" More on that soon.