Category Archives: Travel Photography

See the World | Travel Photography | Death Valley National Park

A few weeks ago I heard Death Valley National Park was in the midst of a super bloom. And I pretty much had to go!

This is a pretty spectacular thing. You see, Death Valley is the hottest, driest place in North America. A few spring spring wildflowers will bloom among the dirt and rocks, but only every so often does the spring wildflower bloom become a super bloom. Actually, the last time was in 2005.

I’d never been to Death Valley. And I’d certainly never seen a super bloom there. Or anywhere, for that matter. So I figured, what the heck! I picked a day and drove out before sunrise. (Thank goodness because the super bloom drew TONS of visitors, and I missed most all of them by getting there super early!)

I highly recommend taking a road trip to Death Valley if you’re ever in the Vegas area. It’s a two hour drive from town, and the landscape — wildflowers or not — is pretty damn spectacular.

Anyhow, enough of the talking. Let’s look at some pics!

xo

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See the World | Travel Photography | Port Douglas, Australia

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The day before I arrived in Australia, there was a typhoon. I had followed it a bit, watching The Weather Channel website, hoping I wouldn’t end up in the middle of it. I got pretty damn lucky. I arrived at the airport in Cairns, the closest airport to my final destination, and the man at the rental car counter told me the typhoon had moved through just the day before. Seeing as how my flight landed in the middle of the night, I literally missed it by hours! I had a hotel for the night and planned to drive to Cape Tribulation in the morning. He informed me that probably wasn’t going to happen due to road closures and a stuck ferry. I smiled, ignored his advice, and decided I was trying in the morning anyway (’cause that’s how I roll, peeps).

Leaving that airport was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Let me tell you about Australia. There are about a gazillion roundabouts, and they drive on the wrong side of the road! And, OMG, the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car. (Yes, I totally realize this is a rather biased opinion.) I knew all this, and I did all I could to mentally prepare myself for driving on the left. But, man, when it’s nearly 2am in another country, you’re jet-lagged, your brain is operating at low function, and you NEVER use roundabouts at home — well, that shit is difficult. So when I say leaving the airport was hard, I MEAN it! Literally. ūüėČ

It took me a good 20 minutes, but I finally figured out how to maneuver the roundabouts from the other side of the road. I felt totally ridiculous. I’m fairly sure there was a laughing fit involved. And a complete and total fear that I was most definitely getting into an accident. I didn’t. I probably drove like your 95-year-old neighbor. But I didn’t.

Oh…and then the debacle at the hotel! First, no one answered the call line to give me access to the lock box to get my room key (odd, but that was how this hotel did it in the middle of the night). I called. And called. And called. Finally, after a good 20 minute wait, standing outside in the dark, hoping I wasn’t in a bad neighborhood, someone answered. I got my key. I went to my room. I walked in, and something seemed off. At which point, I realized the room was dirty. It hadn’t been cleaned since the last occupant. I was so tired and disoriented, I nearly decided I didn’t care. But then there were wet towels on the floor and clearly dirty sheets and a couple other disgusting sights that quickly changed my mind. I hiked my ass back downstairs to return to the unending ring of the outdoor phone. Guess what? The whole damn thing happened again. No joke. I don’t even know what time it was when I finally arrived in a room…one that was clean.

By the time morning came, I was rested, feeling better, and ready to take on the road trip up north. Woohoo!! I could feel it was going to be a good day! I gave myself a pep talk about the driving situation, and I headed out.

I was right. It was a gorgeous day. The coast was stunning. I stopped for pictures and to smell the fresh ocean air. I stopped for lunch and lingered a bit, reading my book. I was a little nervous about those potential road closures, but I was determined to at least try.

No road closures! Totally stoked. Until there was no road anymore. Just a ferry that carried cars across the bay. At which point, I was informed a sand bar had been pushed to the middle of the bay, and the ferry couldn’t cross. It would be closed most of the week. Is there any other way to get to Cape Tribulation? No. I was told to turn around. The closest town was Port Douglas.

Disappointed, I did as instructed. And then wondered how I would find a hotel in Port Douglas. I had no internet access. I didn’t know where the hotels were. I hoped it would be obvious.

It turned out that Port Douglas was a vacation town. It was full of hotels, and with the help of a friend back home (no internet, but I was able to get a text message across), I booked one with good reviews. I still hoped for a miracle ferry opening the next day, so I only booked for the night, but I checked in, got cleaned up, and got ready to explore.

And let me tell you — As much as I would have loved to stay in Cape Tribulation the whole time (I did eventually get there for one day), I fell in love with Port Douglas. It’s the kind of town I could see myself living in. There was something about the air that made my skin feel oh so amazing. It was humid. Really humid. But not hot. And not cold. The air was so still. And the birds. Oh the birds! Parrots everywhere. Singing. Harmonizing. (Squawking.)

After finding dinner, I made my way to the beach. I had heard of a beach called Four Mile Beach, and it seemed to be a draw. I decided to check it out. My first night on the beach in Australia was just after a typhoon passed through. I’ve never heard of the calm “after” the storm, but if there is such a thing, I was certainly in it. It was perfection. It’s difficult to explain just how calm, relaxing, and still it was. But it was as if the earth was apologizing for the uproar of the last few days by delivering an evening filled to the brim with perfection.

I took the shots in this post while walking along the beach, watching the sunset. The air felt so warm, I could have slept right there in the sand. I had never felt that before. I’ve never felt it since. But I promise you, that moment in time will stay in my mind until the end.

xo

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See The World | Travel Photography | Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Every country I’ve visited has at least one magical place that rests in my heart and makes me smile when I think of it.¬†And even though Nicaragua wasn’t my favorite country, it wasn’t without those magical places.

A little piece of wild coast on Little Corn, a tiny island in the Caribbean, was one of them.

The day before venturing out to find this piece of coast, I stared at this beach, seas sick on a boat, wishing I were exploring the sand rather than wanting to lose my lunch over the edge. So when I woke up that morning, I decided to ditch all my plans. I threw on my bikini and went in search of sand and seclusion.

The walk to the beach was nearly as beautiful as the beach itself. Hibiscus growing wild, tall grasses, plants galore. I walked slow and soaked in every moment. I sat in the shade and listened to the trees. I chatted with the few locals walking by.

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I wondered if it would be hard to find the area I spotted from the boat. But then, on an island only a few miles around, I imagine nothing’s too hard to find.

After walking for about twenty minutes, I reached a clearing in the trees, and I began to see that signature peak of blue across the horizon. I had arrived at the ocean. And not a soul was in sight.

It was glorious.

I did yoga poses for my camera. I read Lord of the Rings while nestled in the sand. I swam laps in the water. I fell asleep in the shade. I took pictures. Lots of pictures. And just as morning turned into afternoon, and the sun felt a bit too steamy, a few dotted clouds overhead opened up and started drizzling on the sand, just enough to erase the stifling heat.

I hope you enjoy a few of the pictures from that day. They certainly make me smile. 

xo

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See The World | Travel Photography | Nicaraguan Nightmares

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Thursdays are normally yoga days in which I talk about something at least related to yoga. But I returned a few days ago from a trip to Nicaragua that lasted almost three weeks. I’ve been spending the week recouping and catching up on missed sleep (it is HARD to sleep in the intense heat with roosters crowing at 4am). There are a million things on my mind about my trip. Lots of memories that make me laugh, and unfortunately, a few memories that make me cringe.

I’ve decided today I will share.

I always talk about being honest about my travels — I share the good stuff and the bad stuff. I don’t like to sugarcoat things or make it all sound perfect. Because it’s not. Some things are amazing, and inevitably, some things are less so.

I returned from my trip a few days earlier than planned. Nicaragua’s a rough country at times. It’s hot. There is a noticeable lack of air conditioning (expected, but still rough at times). The humidity is stifling (I live in a desert. Humidity? What’s humidity?!?). I found myself constantly dehydrated and not feeling so well. Food seemed to upset my stomach on the regular. Nausea. Dizziness. No fun!

I still did have lots of fun though! I did some awesome things and saw some beautiful places. I met some really great people.

But what I’m going to share with you today is the crap stuff. I feel like getting it off my mind. Not to mention, people keep asking me why I came home early.

So here goes.

What ended up being our last full day in Nicaragua was a nightmare. We were in Leon. Our hotel was in a quiet place just outside the city. When we arrived, we were in heaven. The first day, we didn’t leave the confines of our hotel. We had a sweet bungalow, the food was great, and the pool was such a welcome respite! The second day, we decided to venture into Leon. I’d heard a lot about the city — the colonial architecture and the markets. We planned to walk around, take pictures, and maybe buy a couple things. We took the bus into town without any problems, and we took the bus back. The bust stop was a short walk to our hotel. Less than a quarter mile. Likely much less…I’m terrible with estimating distance.

There’s a main road on which the bus drives, and a turn off onto a dirt road where our hotel was. We turned onto the dirt road and began to walk “home.” There were three guys walking near us. I had noticed them, but I didn’t think much of it. My friend was a bit ahead of me. The guys were off to the side, a bit ahead of me also. For a brief second, I wondered where the guys were going. Then a guy that I hadn’t seen came up from behind me. He held a machete above my head, threatening me with it, with his finger to his lips to be quiet as he glanced over at the guys in the front. They didn’t seem to notice him.

I froze.

What the fuck do you do when a guy threatens you with a machete? I still don’t know the answer to that question. But I…I froze.

For a brief second I was very confused about what was happening. I looked to the guys ahead of me, still walking, thinking this guy with the machete was planning to do something to one of them.

I don’t know why I thought that, but it was the first thing that came to mind.

I quickly realized this had nothing to do with them at all. This had to do with me and my friend.

The three guys ahead suddenly surrounded my friend. They started grabbing at her things. She was struggling with them, unwilling to let go. She had her phone in her hand. I saw them grabbing at that. All the while, the guy with the machete stood near me, holding the knife up.

All I could think was, this guy has a big fucking knife.

The three guys ahead got what they wanted and began to run off. The guy with the machete saw my friend attempt to run after them. He ran over to her, pulling the knife back, threatening to hit her with it. She fell to the ground. He threatened her further. She continued to try to get up, to fight him off. I suspected she hadn’t seen this guy to begin with. I suspected she didn’t realize this man had a knife over her. A big one. I shouted, “He has a machete!” At which point, she looked up, saw the knife, and froze. She stayed on the ground.

When he realized she wasn’t going to move, he ran off too. They weren’t far from us, and there was no one around. I ran up to my friend, she got up, and we started to run. We reached the front of the hotel, which of course was locked. All the hotels in Leon seem to keep locked. You have to knock, and they have to see you before they will allow you in. We banged on the gate shouting to be let in.

And that’s how the day started. We got mugged.

We talked for a bit at the hotel, and we decided we didn’t feel safe staying there. We certainly weren’t going to walk around again, as we didn’t feel safe on that empty dirt road out front. And we weren’t comfortable sleeping there. The four guys knew we were staying there, and they knew we had expensive things. The bungalows on the property also weren’t completely enclosed. Each of the bathrooms attached to the bungalows were open to the outdoors, meaning anyone could walk in through the bathroom. Plus, the door didn’t close all the way, thus you couldn’t lock it. It was a cool feature when we checked in, yet a rather uncool feature when we started worrying about our safety.

It was only two days until our scheduled departure. We decided to simply leave early and head to Managua (where the airport is). 

We settled the bill with the hotel. They made us pay for all the days of our intended stay, even the days we did not stay. I’ve got to tell you, I was ridiculously unimpressed by this. Two women are mugged in front of your hotel, they choose to leave because of safety concerns, and you force them to pay for unused nights? I could understand this under different circumstances, but in these circumstances? Um. Yeah. You’re an ass.¬†But we didn’t argue. We just wanted to leave.

We asked the hotel to arrange for a taxi to Managua. They had done so on our way in, and we thought it would be safest to take a taxi they knew was trustworthy. They said the taxi would be there to pick us up in an hour. We packed our things and got ready to leave. The woman that owned the hotel then came into our room and told us she was going to personally take us. I thought this was exceptionally generous of her and felt less annoyed about paying for unused nights.

In a few minutes we were loaded into her SUV, and headed out of Leon. At least we thought we were. 

Suddenly, the woman stopped at a bus station. We looked at her, confused. “We thought we were getting a taxi to Managua,” my friend said. “Oh, well, you can get a bus or a shuttle from here to the airport,” the woman replied.

Here’s the thing. We weren’t going to the airport. We were going to a hotel 20-30 minutes from the airport. We didn’t want a bus to take us to the airport. We wanted a taxi to take us directly to our hotel. We explained this to her. She shrugged and told us we could find a taxi here too. And she dropped us off and left.

Great. Now we had to find a taxi to take us to an obscure residential neighborhood in Managua that they may very well not be familiar with (Managua is two hours from Leon). 

We started talking to taxi drivers, giving them the address of where we were headed. A taxi offered to take us, and we were off. When we reached the outskirts of Managua, the driver started looking at his watch. He attempted to explain something to us. Our Spanish isn’t great, but we do understand some things. It had been enough to get us around. I listened to what the man was saying, and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. I decided I must be misunderstanding. Because what I thought he was saying was that he didn’t want to take us to our hotel anymore because there was too much traffic. So he just wanted to drop us off here, in the middle of this random highway. No. He couldn’t possibly be saying that. I must be misunderstanding. And then he he stopped the car, and I could no longer be in denial. I looked around. The sun was going down. We were on the outskirts of Managua. We were not in a safe area. And we were rather frazzled, as we’d just been mugged. We argued with the man while sitting in the taxi. We attempted to appeal to his personal side. What if someone did this to your daughters? Dropped them off in the middle of some random highway, lost, without a way to get anywhere? He didn’t give a shit. At which point, I lost my cool. I started screaming at the man, got my luggage, and told him to go fuck himself. I’m fairly sure all of Managua heard this little white girl arguing with her taxi driver.

We stomped off down the road. After a minute of walking, my friend and I looked at each other. Without stopping, we said, “What are we going to do?” “I don’t know. Keep walking. We’ll ask someone for help.”

And so we walked until we found a gas station. There was a taxi at the gas station. The only location we felt sure we could convey was the airport (as our hotel was a small hotel in a residential neighborhood we weren’t familiar with). So we asked the man to take us to the airport.

It was dark by the time we managed that second taxi ride. We were both on edge and ridiculously alert. He started driving through random residential neighborhoods, and I could tell we were both concerned. At one point, the taxi driver pulled to the side of the road and stopped the car. He didn’t say anything. We glanced at each other and started watching everything around us intently. Great. We’re going to get mugged again, aren’t we?¬†We didn’t. He soon continued the drive. I started seeing familiar landmarks. A wave of relief washed over me. We arrived at the airport, paid the driver, and decided to head across the street.

When I first arrived in Nicaragua, I stayed at a hotel directly across the street from the airport. It was a Best Western, it was safe, and the staff spoke English. That’s all we needed — a safe place to rest for the night. We reached the lobby, and it was filled with a large group on a mission trip. That was not a good sign. As suspected, when we reached the lady at the front desk, she informed us the hotel was sold out.¬†

And this was where my breakdown ensued. “I have had the worst travel day of my life. Can you please help us?” My eyes filled with tears. My friend joined me, adding, “We were mugged by four guys and threatened with a machete, and then our taxi driver dropped us off in the middle of the highway and wouldn’t take us to our hotel, and we just need a safe place to stay.” We were both half crying at this point.

The woman at the desk was wide-eyed, and her mouth dropped open. She asked us to wait a moment and went to talk with a manager. She came back offering us a box of tissues and asked us to wait a moment more. She came back again, telling us she couldn’t get us a room there and all the hotels near the airport were booked, but she could get us a room at a hotel 20 minutes away. She then suggested we have dinner there, as the hotel she found did not have a restaurant (and I’m fairly sure she had a sneaking suspicion we really didn’t want to leave). We had dinner and came back to have her arrange for another dreaded taxi ride. When we came to the desk, she informed us that they were able to “find” a room for us in the Best Western. We were so excited, we nearly jumped across the front desk and hugged her!

Turned out, they really did have to find a room. They found a staff room for us. It wasn’t one of the hotel rooms, and it had one double bed, ants, and small holes in the walls. We didn’t care one bit. We were just happy we didn’t have to leave. We took our cold showers in the dim bathroom and got ready for a restless night of no sleep.

And that, my friends, was my last full day in Nicaragua.

It was a travel nightmare. It sent me home early. And it made me exceptionally grateful for the lovely life I’ve built at home.

…And I promise. My next story about Nicaragua will be about something fun!

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See The World | Travel Photography | Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala

These photos are from a perfect evening spent cruising Lake Peten Itza by boat in Flores, Guatemala. My friend and I chartered a local fisherman to give us a tour of the area by boat. The fisherman’s name was Carlos. He knew we were from the U.S., and he wore his U.S.A. t-shirt. Although he spoke broken English, he talked with us the entire time, working hard to understand our broken Spanish. We had dinner with him that night and met his wife and daughter. He invited us into his home without a second thought. He was the sweetest man, and made the biggest impact on my trip to Guatemala. I truly believe some of the best experiences are had when you branch out from the tourist areas and meet with the locals. They change your perspective of the world (not to mention, they know the best places to see).

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See The World | Travel Photography | The Great Smoky Mountains

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These photos are from the Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains. I couldn’t resist visiting. The descriptions promised elk, and the valley was called the Cataloochee! I mean, the name was a fun enough reason alone to visit.

Here’s an excerpt from my travel journal that day:

So I kinda figured since I was visiting a valley, I’d just drive right in. Someone should really mention the one-lane dirt road up and down the side of the mountain that accomodates two-lane traffic required to get there! I somehow managed to drive in without driving off the side of the mountain or having a heart attack. How do I always end up on roads like this?!?! But I digress. Because I found my trailhead, and I was off! Oh, how freaking gorgeous this place is!¬†And although every trail guide told me this trail would be busy, I didn’t see another soul (not one all day).

About a half mile in, the trail stopped at a river. I looked across the river and saw the trail picked up on the other side. There was no way to cross but to go in. Well, it wasn’t that deep and the current didn’t look that strong. So I did what anyone would do. I took off my shoes and rolled my pants over my knees. I had a couple thousand dollars worth of camera equipment in one hand, shoes and socks in the other, and my full pack on my back. I got in.

Well, the current was stronger than I thought, the water was deeper than it looked, and the rocks were slippery. And…I fell in. Save the camera at all costs! I let out a screech, used my shoes to fall on and held my left hand straight in the air. Saved! And then my Coach sunglasses fell off my head and into the river. Of course. (Mind you, I’ve never owned a pair of nice sunglasses before in my life! I was not losing them now.) I ran everything to the other side as fast as I could, took my pack off, and went after the sunglasses.¬†Also…saved! By the time I got to the other side with all items accounted for I was soaked and laughing hysterically. And greeted by hundreds of purple butterflies (not even exaggerating).

Let me tell you — the Smokies are some of the most beautiful mountains ever! I wandered for miles up into the mountains. Until, of course, I realized I somehow wandered off trail and was feeling kinda lost at the top of some mountain. Was I even on a trail? When was the last time someone was up here? There are so many damn leaves on the ground. Anything that might have been a trail at one time was disguised by fallen leaves.¬†Was this an animal trail or a people trail? Ahhhh. I’m so damn good at getting lost. It was 5pm, I was at the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, I hadn’t seen another living soul all day, but at least I was pretty sure I could figure out how to survive overnight. Good times. Eventually, I did find my way back. And then I found some wild elk hanging out in a meadow.

This place. Freaking gorgeous.

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Creativity Sparks | San Antonio Photo Walk

In a previous post, I talked about photo walks and how they can be a great way to recharge your creativity, get yourself out of a creative rut, and push your comfort zone as a photographer. You can read that post here, along with tips for planning and questions to ask yourself before you take your photo walk.

Here’s an example of another photo walk I took when visiting San Antonio, Texas. This was the second time I had been to San Antonio, and I adored the city! My favorite part was the river walk (I’m sure a favorite of many visitors). I walked for miles along the river, imagining how much I would love living in a place where I could walk along a river such as that every day.

This particular river walk was special because of the trees and plants (lots of green!), the ducks (I just love those little guys), and the awesome restaurants (freaking yum — seriously!).

I took this walk on my last day in San Antonio. My theme was “green.” I wanted to capture different aspects of things that were green. I love giving myself a theme or some sort of purpose for my photos whenever I do a walk like this. It makes me look at my surroundings in a different way and take note of things I might not otherwise see.

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See the World | Travel Photography | Flores, Guatemala

This next set of photos is probably my favorite set of travel photos to date. I took these in a tiny town called San Miguel, just across the lake from Flores, Guatemala. My friend and I stayed at Chaltunha Hostel, which is actually an adorable set of cabins on a beautiful hillside property with a to-die-for view of Flores.

I had on my bucket list “eat empanadas from a street vendor” (yes, I actually have a written-out bucket list). It was a random item I put on the list one night while at home, dreaming of traveling the world.

So one evening while sitting at a table with Neil, the owner of Chaltunha, my friend and I mentioned that I had this item on my list. We asked Neil if he knew where we could get good street food. And he did! Neil took us down to the vendor himself and introduced us. We attempted to use our broken Spanish, ordered a ton of food (including these empanadas), and asked if we could take pictures of the cooking process. They were happy to let us.

One of the things I love about these pictures is how raw and real they are. San Miguel is a town of locals — it’s not a tourist destination like Flores. This vendor made food for people in the town and rarely interacted with tourists at all. They were incredibly sweet and were happy to meet us. They even showed us their home, just behind the shop. It’s moments like this while traveling¬†that I simply adore, the moments you get a real glimpse of life in another country. Tourist destinations are beautiful, as there’s a reason they become so popular. But moments with locals, experiencing different cultures, eating local food — those moments are priceless.

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See The World | Travel Photography | Northern Ireland Coast

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I look at this photo, and it makes me smile. (Don’t they all?) This one though — it’s special. This picture was taken on the last walking day of my holiday in Ireland with my dearest friend, Christy. Christy’s my partner in crime! For reals. She lives in Seattle, and I live in Las Vegas. We started traveling together a few years back, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such an awesome, inspired travel friend. She’s just crazy enough to want to go on all the crazy adventures I want to go on, too!

So, like I mentioned, this picture was on the last walking day of our vacation. We were in Northern Ireland at the time. The last day was freezing and windy, and the weather was starting to get to us. It was one of the longer walking days. I want to say it was 15 miles. But maybe it was only 12. You know how hindsight makes every walk seem miles longer? Yup.

We had just visited Dunluce Castle. Outside the castle was a little cafe. We stopped for hot chocolate because…well, because it’s hot chocolate. And it was cold. And who passes up hot chocolate at a little cafe outside an Irish castle? While sitting in front of the fireplace at the cafe, we met a couple that told us about a surfing competition up the coast a bit (I think they may actually have been in the competition, if I remember right). It just so happened that we were headed in that direction, and that beach was along our route.

Are there seriously people crazy enough to surf in this frigid weather? That was pretty much our conversation as we continued to walk.

Crazy fucking Irish. Yep, they were just nutty enough to hop in the ocean on such a glacial day.

But we loved it. We loved watching the trembling surfers as they stepped out of the ocean and into the ice-cold air. We suddenly felt rather warm in comparison to their dripping bodies.

We laughed. We smiled. We hurriedly walked to maintain our own warmth. And, of course, I stopped to take pictures about every five feet (which kind of negated the speed and what little warmth I had accumulated). It was a beautiful day. It was one of the most magical trips I’ve ever been on. And I would return to Ireland in a heartbeat (for reals!).

p.s. If you’re interested, I HIGHLY recommend the company that handled our trip. It’s a small company, and they provide lots of personal attention. It was a self-guided walking holiday. They provided maps, gave us all the details, booked the most awesome accommodations, suggested the best restaurants, and scheduled to have our luggage transported while we walked from town to town. Seriously. They’re amazing. Hillwalk Tours Ireland. I can’t say enough good things.

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See The World | Travel Photography | Whitsunday Island, Australia

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I took this picture at sunrise, sitting on the deck of an old sailboat — a tall ship. The ship was precisely as you would picture a pirate ship. And the setting was pretty much as picturesque as it gets. The sun’s rays skipped across the ripples of the water. Tongue Bay shone like a jewel. Whitsunday Island sat in front of me, taunting me to come hike it.

Everything about this moment sounds like perfection. But in typical HRM fashion, I’m going to tell you like it is. ‘Cause it wasn’t all perfect. I woke up early enough to see the sunrise simply because I couldn’t sleep. Oh man, that ship. Here’s something people don’t tell you about century old pirate ships: they’re super uncomfortable! The rooms are about as big as a packed cubicle. ¬†And the smell. Oh, the smell. The smell of old gym socks permeated every crevice of the sleeping quarters. And don’t get me started on the two-minute showers over the toilet. Haha!

I don’t mean to complain. The crew was fabulous. The food was fantastic. They really did everything they could to make our experience wonderful. I just learned a little something about boats, ships, and the like. And here’s what I learned: you should take a look at those damn things before you book. You might realize you prefer a more modern, comfortable ship over the nostalgia of the tall ships of the past. I now know I prefer a yacht. For reals!

Though, honestly, looking back, I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. The Whitsundays were beautiful. Pristine. Untouched. And I was fortunate enough to sail around them, scuba dive their reefs, hike their trails, and swim in their waters. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

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