Getting the Most from Your Travel Experiences

There is a saying that travel is its own reward, but there are obviously other reasons for making the decision to travel to different places. Whether for vacation, adventure, a change of scenery, or a trip of a lifetime, people travel to a variety of places every day. For the most part, people are hoping to gain something from their travels, after all it is often quite expensive. We aren’t any different, we also get something in return for traveling to all of the places that we visit. For us, it is learning about the culture, meeting the people, and experimenting with local flavors that are our rewards. We aren’t cultural anthropologists, but we do use many of those concepts when we are on a trip to a foreign country.

When Our Raft Flipped on the River
Embera Village
Hiking in the Andes Mountains

We certainly understand the adventure travelers who travel the world looking for different thrills. Whether diving off a reef in the Caribbean, climbing to the top of some of the worlds largest mountains, or trekking through dense forests, there are many different pulse pounding ways to spend your time when traveling. We have definitely had our share of adventures from staying in the Amazon, going down Death Road in Bolivia, climbing to the top of Colorado mountains, white-water rafting, skiing, and ziplining in different jungles. However, for us, it was visiting the indigenous villages and meeting the people that call these places home that have made the most lasting memories.

Learning About the Ancient Temples in Mahabalipuram
Our First Ziplining Adventure
Walking the Streets of Old Town Cairo

No one can blame people who choose to travel for relaxation. There is nothing like sitting on a beach or a mountain resort and not doing much of anything. We take several trips throughout the year and at least one of those is usually just to unwind and let the day-to-day stresses melt away. Just because we are relaxing, though, doesn’t mean that we don’t take time to meet the locals and taste the local foods. Whether in Mexico or on the Spanish Riviera, we like to learn about the people who live near the resorts and make their living by pampering all of the tourists who come to their locations. Often times, many of them have moved from their home towns to earn money and send it back to their families.

Indigenous Tribe in Napo, Ecuador
Climbing in Bolivia
Death Road

Whether traveling to a country where the citizens look similar to yourself or traveling to a place where you stand out amongst the crowds, there is so much to learn from the places that you visit. As much as the world has become smaller with the internet, television, and social media, there is no substitute for spending time in a culture that is different than your own and taking time to understand the people that live there. One of the things that constantly amazes us is when we see tourists in a different country that don’t take time to actually talk to the people who live there, but just wander through taking pictures and acting like it is an exhibit for them to see. In our opinion, those people are missing out on the best part of traveling, absorbing as much about the culture as possible. What is it that drives you to take the time and spend the money to travel to places that are foreign to you?

Helicopter Landing at the Base of the Mountains
Joining in on the Warrior Dance in Kenya
Getting a Sense of the Scale of Aphrodisias in Turkey

We Have Arrived at Our New Headquarters

We have been silent for the past several weeks as we embarked on changing our location from Colorado to Maryland. We have finally moved into our new place in Baltimore and are starting to settle in. We still have a lot to do over the coming weeks in order get fully moved in, but we are looking forward to starting new adventures in the area and getting overseas as well. There are so many opportunities for us and we are truly excited about what will discover in the coming weeks and months.

Views of Baltimore
Interesting Architecture

Moving across the country is definitely a daunting experience and even as organized as we are, it is still very overwhelming. We can hardly wait to share our stories as we explore our own backyard in the city of Baltimore. We may have a few more days of being quiet, but should be back to “normal” in the near future.

We are Blocks from the Water
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Area

Taking Photographs of Animals can be a Tricky Proposition

We have seen many different animals throughout our travels, some of them more interesting than others. As we prepare for our safari, we know that we will come home with many more animal photographs than what we even have today. We are always on the lookout for motion in the trees that surround us, the rustling of bushes, or even shadows moving across the ground so that we don’t miss out on a possible animal sighting. Many of the animals are cute and adorable, some colorful, and others perhaps a little strange or even dangerous. Taking photographs of animals can be tricky at times and sometimes it all comes down to a little bit of luck.

Llama in Bolivia
Barbary Monkey in Gibraltar
Anteater in a Tree in Panama
Big Horn Sheep in Colorado
Monkey on the Rocks of Halong Bay, Vietnam
Three-Toed Tree Sloth
Poisonous Frog in the Amazon

It obviously helps to have a telephoto lens, but that also comes with its own set of challenges. It can be difficult to go from the naked eye to the camera and get it to the location where you just sighted the animal. Another interesting thing that we found from several of our trips now is the trick of using binoculars and a cell phone to capture a photograph. The binocular acts as a telephoto lens for the camera on your phone and the images are often as good as those captured with a digital camera.

Agouti in Panama
Friendly Donkey in South Dakota
Turkey in the Bolivian Jungle
Camel at the Pyramids in Egypt
Up Close and Personal with Monkeys in Panama
Colorful Wire-Tailed Manakin in Ecuador

One thing that is clear is that you don’t have to go to exotic locations to captures photographs of animals in the wild. There are obviously birds of all different kinds wherever you travel, but it isn’t surprising to see snakes, lizards and other creatures as well. There are also places that have allowed the animals to remain in the wild at certain tourist locations like the monkeys in Gibraltar or even the wild donkeys in South Dakota. All it takes is a little patience and a willingness to take several photographs so that you just might get the one that you were looking for. Do you take photographs of animals in the wild?

Lizard Standing on a Rock in Utah
Tarantula Crawling Out of a Tree
Bird Along the Trail to the Top of Gellért Hill in Budapest
Colorful Details of a Hummingbird Moth in Our Backyard