2011 was our most travel photography rich year ever! With lecturing assignments on Oceania Cruise Lines, Regent Seven Seas and Holland America Lines we visited 5 continents and independently visited New York City, Washington DC and Honolulu. Some of our favourite travel images of 2011 are in this post.
Our motto is “Smile and the world just might smile back at you!” The only reason we come home now is to change clothes and visit our 5 grand children
Our inspiration to travel internationally came from our teen years when high school or family trips took each to Europe and by developing friendships with world travelers at home. Experiencing foreign countries and ethnic cultures and photographing local people is our love and breaks down all of our preconceived (and totally wrong!) notions of other other races, religions and cultures. Visiting Muslim countries, the jungles of Panama and remote villages in northern Thailand will be some of our lifelong memories. Photographing AND sharing images with our subjects is an instant ice-breaker for us. See a prior post on photography of people you don’t know.
A successful travel photography lifestyle as a couple requires extreme patience with each other and the rest of the world. When either of us finds a world-beating photo or amazing cultural arts shopping opportunity the other accommodates the other and always. Respecting the others passion makes frequent world travel fun. If you don’t get along at home, you will definitely not get along while travelling. We see so many couples ruin a trip by not understanding how important a fellow travellers’ needs are.
“You must trust and let people you meet, whether locals and other travellers, guide and help you along. Sure escorted tours are easy but independent travel enables you to meet locals and smell the local roses spices. Be sure to research destinations, places to stay and do, travel videos and photo opportunities before arriving” states David enthusiastically.”
Peace of mind increases by having a safety net that includes extra copies of all documents, important phone numbers, credit card information and do not write down but memorize PINS. Carry valuables in a money belt when visiting busy cities and popular travel destinations, pickpockets abound. We each use a money belt for passports, tickets, cash and credit cards in all crowded tourist destinations without exception as we have met many travellers who have had their travels and plans ruined by a pickpocket. A backup camera, lots of memory cards, batteries and charger and several different cash accounts at different banks to thwart ATM issues are mandatory for us.
Our favorite destination is always our last one. However our many trips to the Greek Islands (there is no “bad” Greek island) and anywhere in Italy indicate European favorites and we intend in returning to Thailand soon to savor Thai food, people and stunning beauty. Believe it or not, Muslim countries like Morocco, Egypt and Jordan are also in our travel future, having nothing but great experiences there recently.
An evening gondola ride in Venice with an opera singers tenor voice and mandolin echoing off the canal walls, beach massages on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand and dining Brazilian style at the Porcão restaurant in Rio de Janiero are just some of their memories we cherish.
The best part of world travel is the travelers and local people you meet along the way. Eclectic Wayne and Pat Dunlap (their Blog: Unhooked Now; their amazing and brand new how-to book: Plan Your Escape! ) are a great inspiration to unhook from routine life and go for it; Effervescent Irini and her family, proprietors of the Hotel Hellas in Santorini for their love and enthusiasm anytime we visit there; and the lovely Zeena of Sydney Australia for keeping us travel energized with her phone calls, emails and Sydney tours after meeting her in Rhodes 6 years ago. The lovely hospitable Lisa who willingly hosted us in New York City near Central Park neighbors Federico and Cristina from Colombia who encourage us to go travel crazy and many others are just some people David and Anna have had the fortune to meet. Our friendships and travel tales can literally fill a book, which they will do someday.
We use www.tripadvisor.com frequently to research places to stay and what others say about an activity or location. They can easily select a quality level and budget for each destination then contact properties directly online or by phone to confirm details and current prices. With today’s weak world travel economy direct phone contact can save lots of money versus published online rates. We prefer 3 star family run hotels versus luxury chain hotels not just to save money but to meet locals and experience family life and ethic culture. They will splurge on fine dining in view restaurants but share a main course.
A mini laptop with WIFI and Skype permits free video calls to other Skype users and very inexpensive land line calls. It is faster, easier and cheaper to find a WIFI hot spot and make computer calls than to seek phone cards and figure out how to use them in foreign lands. Besides, Skype video calls lets their grand children remember what they look like.
As frequent cruise ship passenger enrichment lecturers and workshop leaders, we plan on continuing their world travels for the foreseeable future and explore the foreign lands thoroughly after disembarking the ships.
The Smith’s are addicted to world travel. Visit their Interface Images web site (www.interfaceimages.com ) and follow them on their Blog Images – Connecting the World to see why. They are truly dream travellers capturing the world one smiling face at a time.
More Travel Tips from Anna:
Watch out for the faux guides in Morocco and North Africa, they have many ways of manipulating their stories for you to become their friends only to find it will cost you big time at the end of the day. Watch out for photocopied money in Buenos Aires, we were at the Sunday market and were given some only to find out the next day at the deli they could tell it was fake from across the counter. Take taxis when there is limited time it is so worth it, perhaps share a cab makes for a fun filled day – local buses are easy and people are so willing to help you get to your destination.
Please remember to be courteous even if you don’t understand it only takes a smile and a nod of the head to try and communicate kindly. Try to learn a few words before you go. Take lots of small denomination bills for tipping, it can make the world of difference to someone and not hurt you in the least. Buy local handmade crafts (avoid the middleman) wherever you go – there is always a story behind every piece of artwork. Take pins or small souvenirs from your hometown to give away – make someone’s day extra special. Discover Japan and possibly other destinations using the local Good Host Guide program, what a remarkable rewarding experience and you make new friends.
Finally, Make your Bucket List and Just Go For It – Remember Life is not a dress rehearsal – we go this way once!
Photo Workshops/Public Speaking
David Smith leads digital photography classes and digital camera workshops for beginner, enthusiast and professional levels in the metro Vancouver, BC regions and guest lectures on cruise ships and conventions worldwide. For more visit David Smith Workshops/Photography Training
Anna Smith leads textile arts and cultural handicraft workshops and speaks on exotic fabrics of the world. Visit Anna Smith public speaking and workshops
- Open For Bookings: Nearly All-Inclusive, Viking Ocean Cruises’ New Viking Star
- Photo Tour & Five Things I Like About Europa 2
- Pre/Post Cruise Hotel: The Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour
- Seven Reasons Why Europa 2 Can Command The Luxury Cruise Segment’s Highest Prices — For Now
- Photo Tour: EUROPA 2 Restaurants
Idyllic Polynesia – a 5 min. video. Relax & Enjoy!
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