Tag: Travcoa

Looking Ahead at 2011

I usually finish up a year with a look back to see where I’d been. In a nutshell, my travels in 2010 took me internationally to England (twice), Mexico, Ireland, Brazil, Argentina and Chile; and domestically to Seattle, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles (too many times to count). I invested a great deal of time and focus on learning new things and expanding my skills. I saw the efforts of shooting my first documentary come to fruition, and while that was deeply rewarding, I still have footage that is meant to be seen, stories meant to be told, pictures waiting to be shared, and journeys yet to complete. Many of these projects are long-term, take commitment and dedication, and are still in process. Sometimes I fear they will never see the light of day, get lost in the shuffle, or slip off into they abyss of “someday…”. I’m in a constant state of self-forgiveness, realizing I am just one person and can only do so much. I need an assistant, a staff, a crew, a team, a village. But right now, all I have is me, and a trusting relationship with the universe that continues to propel me forward through doors of opportunity in this fantastic journey of life as a freelancer. So looking ahead instead of back, here’s what’s on the schedule for 2011 as of now.

This month (year) began with a major Press Release announcing Travcoa’s President’s Journey Grand Safari which I will be leading, and an online travel webinar that I created and presented about it. Within days the journey sold out and has a waitlist enough for a second group departure! So things are off to a good start already in 2011!

Working as a Travel Director, I will be taking a small group to Egypt for one of Travcoa’s most popular journeys – The Nile Revealed, including a luxury cruise and flights to Aswan and Abu Simbel. When I think back to my first travels to Egypt 25 years ago, the circumstances were quite different. The journal and photos from that experience will soon make their way into the digital realm and will be published on this blog. Meanwhile, you can check out this gallery from a more recent trip to Egypt. Oh, and there’s still space for more on this February 20 departure if you’d like to join me!

This month I will be heading back to one of my favorite regions in the world – the Himalayas, on an itinerary that includes Darjeeling and Sikkim in India, and a journey through the fascinating Kingdom of Bhutan. I am working out logistics to add a few days in Kathmandu, Nepal to collect more footage for my continuing documentary work, and to visit my wonderful family of nieces and nephews at the orphanage of Loving Arms Mission.

Other than a few more travel webinars on the schedule to create and present, I’m open at this point for travel and/or photography gigs. (Please don’t everyone call at once though – December was crazy!) As long as nothing conflicts with my good friend’s wedding in July. You see, the wedding ceremony plans involve surfing and acting, and I’ve got a really great part to play, and it’s not “wedding photographer”! I’m so excited, happy, and honored to be part of what is sure to be a spectacular event.

SAFARI SAFARI SAFARI!! This month I’m headed to Kenya and Tanzania to lead the small group luxury photographic safari (mentioned above). With the August 20 departure already sold out and wait-listed, plans are underway for an additional date in September. This is prime MIGRATION season by the way!

Do you think I’m not going to save a few surprises? Yes, there will be more travels in the fall, most likely in Europe and/or South America. I’ll keep you posted!

I really hope to blog more this year too. For the record, my blog is (obviously) not a commercialized source of income (when I’m paid to write, I’m paid well and write well); rather, the purpose of this blog is simply a creative outlet to share my passions: 1) Photography – I started this blog in 2006 as a place to share some stories behind the images I create. 2) Travel – it is also where I share travel experiences. Sometimes there are more images than words, and sometimes there are just words. But there’s always passion for photography and travel. And this year I hope to re-format this blog so content can be more readily accessed by destination, theme, etc. Meanwhile, thank you for stopping by to see what I’m all about; thank you for comments which remind me that people actually do read; and a big huge thank you to my followers. I really appreciate you, and look forward to holding your interest in 2011!

Tea & Geishas

I love my job. No really, I love my jobs! When I’m not behind the camera, I am in front of some pretty fantastic people. And I make a living traveling the world with them. And doing it in grand style. And staying in the best hotels. And dining out in the very best restaurants. And meeting the local people. And having cultural encounters that only a lucky few ever experience in their travels. Yep, you guessed it, I’m a Travcoa Travel Director.

In Japan, that means a lot of things. I get to stay at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. I get to ride the First Class Bullet Trains. And I get invited into a Japanese home for a traditional Tea Ceremony.

And what of Geishas, you ask? While others pound the pavements of Kyoto frantically hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Geishas, I managed to place myself and my travel companions in the exclusive company of not one, but three Geishas for an entire evening.

They served, we ate.

They danced, we applauded.

They entertained us in traditional drinking games, and we obliged.

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