Top 10 Travel Photos – 2014 #2

2014 was my most traveled year yet.  I had the good fortune to bring in the New Year in the Philippines before returning to my job in South Korea.  Summer vacation was spent backpacking Vietnam and Chuseok (Korean thanksgiving) brought me to Japan.  I ventured to Shanghai before heading back to America for the end of the year holidays and all along these crazy adventures my camera followed me.  Tens of thousands of pictures were narrowed down to roughly 30 finalists before I selected my top 10 travel photos of 2014!

#2 shows the picturesque sunsets of Boracay in the Philippines.  Boracay is a magical island full of tuktuks & tourists.  Its where Filipinos go on vacation and I was fortunate enough to meet some locals through my good friends Josh & Christine.  We had a blast relaxing on White Beach with some of the most elaborate natural colors on Earth and I was lucky enough to capture this moment in the first days of 2014.  I love this photo so much that I commissioned my artist friend & future roommate, Brian, to paint it for me and can’t wait to hang it in the new apartment!  As an aside I enjoyed watching my watermark evolve throughout the year and am looking at this old one has inspired me to come up with another new one for 2015.

I think its time I add to my travel bucket list. Where is your favorite sunset?

Stay tuned for #1!

_DSC8872

Check out #1 here!
Check out #3 here!

 

Sunsets, Sunrises and a new watermark

Over the last few months I’ve had a ton of great criticism about my photos.  Most people love them and are jealous of my travels but I do get a few complaints.  Other than my mom telling me to take less pictures of scenery and more of myself the biggest complaint has been my “distracting watermark.”   Well I listened to you all and set to work designing a new one!

After a little Google-research I decided to leave a vertical signature absent of color.  To debut this “thing which took way too many hours to design” I’ve decided to revisit some of my favorite sunsets and sunrises from around the world.

Let me know what you think!  Is it still too distracting, too big or is it just right?

Masada Sunrise over the Dead Sea

Masada Sunrise over the Dead Sea

Sunset Boracay, Philippines

Sunset Boracay, Philippines

Sunset over Seoul 1

Sunset over Seoul 1

Sunset in Bukhansan

Sunset in Bukhansan

Boracay boats before sunset

Boracay boats before sunset

Crow flying into a setting Bukhansan sun

Crow flying into a setting Bukhansan sun

Hawaiian Sunset 1

Hawaiian Sunset 1

South Korean Sunrise

South Korean Sunrise

Sunrise enroute to Saryangdo

Sunrise enroute to Saryangdo

Adventure’s in Boracay, Philippines – New Years Eve

Boracay Fireworks

One of the main reasons I decided on New Years Eve on the Filipino island of Boracay was to meet my best friend Josh and his wife, Christine.  They had been traveling islands in the Philippines for a few weeks with her family & friends (who happen to be Filipino).  Our reunion began in the afternoon of December 31st and promised to lead to a fun-filled week of reminiscing and making new memories.

We grabbed my bags from the hostel and dropped them off at our hotel before wandering down to the beach.  Christine’s brother Adrian joined us as we caught up while strolling through my mini island tour.  The main event was tonight and we quickly went back to the hotel to change for New Years Eve dinner!

We dressed in slightly above “beach attire” and went to the White House Hotel to check out the buffet and drinks.  There I was introduced to Tito Francis, Tito Rei, Tita Susan and Tita Anali.  They were highschool friend’s of Christine’s parents (Nancy & Rudy) who still lived in the Philippines.  Lucky for me that meant I was sure to get the authentic Filipino experience!

White House Hotel and the other resorts we visited were managed and owned by their old friends so we got VIP treatment.  Or perhaps it was just that they spoke Tagalog so the waitstaff didn’t inflate prices for us white-folk.  But enough of that, lets skip ahead to what we’ve all been waiting for.  FOOD!

CAM01647 CAM01649

Continue reading

Adventures in Boracay, Philippines – Bulabog Beach & Mt. Luho

Zipping down the road in a flimsy yellow tricycle was just one of many great adventures in Boracay, the party island of the Philippines.  After a red-eye flight, a holiday family Skype session and a few measly hours of sleep I found myself on the island of Caticlan Sunday morning.  It was a short taxi (all the taxis here are tricycles aka trikes) to the port where I waited for a boat to take me to Boracay.

CAM01596 CAM01601

The ferry across only was in the open water for about 10 minutes but takes nearly an hour with all the congestion at either port.  The wooden ferries look like converted fishing boats with bamboo outriggers lashed on either side.  These overcrowded vessels have local sailors on bow and stern toting what 30 foot bamboo poles.  There adept punting skills with those push poles successfully maneuvered us at both harbors before I disembarked and jumped into anther trike.

CAM01603

The 2-way road was full of sidecar motorcycles converted into taxi-trikes.  After combing through a residential neighborhood my driver finally located MNL Boracay Beach Hostel; my home for the next 2 days.  I checked in, was excited to find a great view from our roof and went off to explore the beach.

Continue reading

Boracay, Philippines – A sneak peek

I’ve been busy beating this virus I brought back from the Philippines and dealing with ‘complications’ at work aka no pay & the CEO stealing our pensions.  The good news is I’m almost finished sorting through my pictures and editing the first narrative from Boracay; not to mention I’ve still got everything from my Christmas hike to get through too!  I can’t wait to share the full story with you but thought I’d start with a sneak peak of this fantastic sunset at White Beach, Boracay!

_DSC8872