Help Yourself to Faster Airport Security this Summer
Jun01

Help Yourself to Faster Airport Security this Summer

It’s summer, you’ve been planning your big vacation for a while, and all you can think about is getting to the lake/beach/mountain (select dream location here). But with your mind’s eye fixed on your destination it’s easy to forget about the journey, particularly security screening at the airport. The good news is that being prepared can help you breeze through the screening checkpoint, leaving you more time to shop, eat or just relax before your flight. The first step is doing your homework so you know what goes in your carry-on and what goes in your checked baggage. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has some handy tools on its website, including a searchable “What can I bring” list that lets you know where to pack your items and what can and can’t fly. It also has a travel-checklist generator (insert reminder to water plants here), and tips for all sorts of challenges – from what to do with large sports equipment and medical supplies to travelling with pets. According to CATSA, one of the biggest hold-ups at security is having too many liquids, aerosols and gels. Containers over 100 ml and 1 litre bags that are overstuffed with smaller containers (no seal; no deal) will need to be checked. As for that cup of java or water bottle in your hand – if it’s over 100 ml, be prepared to chug. There are some exceptions, like liquids for kids under two years old and medication. You can check out more here. In all cases, the containers should be taken out of your carry-on bag and ready to present to the screening officer for inspection. Once you hit the front of the line, it helps to have your boarding pass ready to show to the screening officer. You can also speed things up if you put any loose change, keys and small electronics (smart phones, cameras, tablets) in your carry-on bag so you can just drop it in the bin. If you’re travelling with a laptop or other large electronics (gaming console, DVD player) you’ll need to put them in a separate bin. For more information on what you can put in the bins at the checkpoint, you can find it here. If you’re still wondering what to do with an item or want more information about security screening, you can always send questions to CATSA on Twitter or Facebook. Lastly, travel is all about being mobile, so you should definitely download CATSA’s free mobile app. It’s available on Android, iOS and Blackberry, and can help you with all this and more, including wait times for security at...

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Bariloche is All Kinds of Beautiful
May03

Bariloche is All Kinds of Beautiful

I’m a big fan of returning to places I’ve been before; especially if I wasn’t really feeling them the first time I visited them. I know, it seems backwards. Most people re-visit the places they loved. But, I’m more likely to re-visit places I didn’t feel like I gave my best attention to the first time. For one, I don’t want re-visit places I loved too often, because I don’t want my warm memories spoiled. But, I’m all for giving destinations second chances, as was the case in Bariloche. After feeling a bit under-whelmed the first time, I returned to the popular Argentinean mountain town to find out that it is all kinds of beautiful. I was in a different place when I first visited Bariloche. It was about 7 years ago. I had just finished my year working as a tour leader in South America. I had started this blog about a month before, and just broken things off with a long term girlfriend a couple weeks earlier. When I got to Barlioche, I didn’t want to explore. I wanted to let loose. I wanted taste a bit of freedom I hadn’t felt in years since being tied down by a job and girlfriend. So, I did. I got a bit crazy. I didn’t take a picture the whole time I was in town, and didn’t explore much of the area aside from the local bars. As a result, my first visit to the city wasn’t exactly the greatest travel experience I ever had. Moreover, I don’t even really remember the mountains. What I remember is heavy wind, waves on the lake so tall it looked like the sea, and that my hostel had a decent view of it all. I didn’t go hiking, I didn’t go on excursions, and I hardly saw anything during the daylight hours. But, with all the hype Barlioche gets as a tourism destination, I’ve long thought of it as a place I need to get back to. A place I need to give more effort to. I’m so glad I did. Greg (the intern) and I made the long 25 hour bus journey from Buenos Aires to Barlioche a day earlier than expected. I’m glad we did. Our first morning along the lake was just spectacular. In fact, it was then, on our first shoot of a 3 week project, that we got the best light of the whole trip. Fog on the lake, beautiful colours hitting the clouds. Some alpen glow on the mountains. It really couldn’t have been better. During our time in Barlioche, we were put up by a...

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Ok, Let’s Catch Up – My Month in Buenos Aires
Apr30

Ok, Let’s Catch Up – My Month in Buenos Aires

It’s almost comical how far I get behind on this blog. Even when I only update it once a destination, I just get way behind. It’s not even that I have an excuse, I just completely forget it exists, to be honest. But, I know that some of you like to read it as a bit of a round-up for the things that I’ve been up to. So, I’m sorry I’ve gotten way behind again. I’d promise you that I’m going to get better, but I don’t like breaking promises. So, instead, I’ll tell you that I’ll try. The month of March, after ITB in Berlin, I decided that I should try domestic living for a bit. I rented an apartment in Buenos Aires and kind of just holed up there for the month. The idea was that I wanted to give myself some time to catch up on projects and almost force myself into a bored state where I had to work. The only problem is that when I’m bored I’m not productive. Instead of spending 6-7 hours a day working and a couple hours out photographing the city, I kind of just fell into a cave and stayed there for the month. I love Buenos Aires, but it was not the right place for me to spend a month. I learned a lot about myself, and my needs as a “base” in the month I spent in Buenos Aires, though. I learned that I need a bit of nature in my life as well as the city. I felt like it was really hard to escape the concrete jungle of the city when I was there. And though I liked my apartment, my neighbourhood, and especially my rooftop views of Buenos Aires, I felt uninspired. It was a bit of a struggle. I also learned that I need to surround myself with other creators. I have friends in Buenos Aires, but they all have real jobs, and very different lives. I really need to have other people to “play” with when I’m living somewhere. I need them to drive me to do fun things, and to be a part of the creative process. I need to have people around me that want to be in the videos, and want to go out and photograph locations. I could have done that, but I somehow got Buenos Aires in my head and couldn’t shake it. Finally, Buenos Aires taught me how great it is to have a community. And, not a community of ultra-close friends, or people online, but just people who know in your neighbourhood. Though I was...

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Finding Work as a Travel Photographer: ITB Round Up
Mar28

Finding Work as a Travel Photographer: ITB Round Up

I left The Philippines – quite sadly, I might add – and headed toward Berlin.  I had a conference in the city called ITB.  It’s essentially the biggest travel conference and trade fair on the planet.  It’s massive. Like, overwhelmingly massive.  And, it’s a great place to try to make contacts and for finding work as a travel photographer.  It’s also a great place to network and hang out with some industry friends. So, I was actually pretty stoked about ITB this year.  I had a lot of good meetings planned, and some parties with some old friends and colleagues.  This is basically how it went. Meeting Old Friends One of my favourite parts of ITB in Berlin is that it’s like an annual meet up of old friends.  In this industry, most of our friends are scattered around the world. So, conferences like this are where we kind of all come together once a year.  Some of the others in the travel industry see each other a lot. But, since I travel so much, I tend to miss out on seeing most of them. So, after arriving to Berlin, I headed out to a Travel Massive party and had some drinks with old friends. Selfies and Business Meetings One of the things I love about daily vlogging is that it kind of forces me to do something creative each and every day.  Like, in the vlog below, I was at a conference in business meetings all day, and it should have been a boring day.  But, since I was forced to create something for the vlog, I had to come up with an idea for something fun to do.  So, I grabbed Greg and Dave and we went around the conference halls taking selfies with all the people dressed up in their country’s outfits. It was a lot of fun. Of course, the fun was also mixed in with the business meetings.  My early meetings went pretty well. Some Insight into Finding Work as a Travel Photographer Finding work as a travel photographer almost seems like a bit of a dream.  And, the question I get asked all the time by people is “but, who is giving you the work?”  And, the truth is, there is almost an unlimited number of people who can look to hire travel photographers. Tourism Boards Travel Companies Websites and Blogs Magazines and Newspapers Clothing Brands Etc. The truth is, almost any company in the world might benefit from having a travel angle to their imagery. And, while a lot of people are talking about travel photography being a dying art, I think...

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El Nido is Next Level Beautiful
Mar21

El Nido is Next Level Beautiful

El Nido, on Palawan Island, is the place I was most excited about seeing on my Philippines trip.  I first learned of the area back when I still had my travel magazine, and an article on this “off-the-beaten-path” but “up-and-coming” destination was submitted.  Of course, these days it’s far from off the tourist trail, and instead a mainstay on the backpacker trail in The Philippines.  And, for very good reason.  El Nido is next level beautiful. I spent almost a full week exploring El Nido and area and it blew my mind almost daily. Here’s what I got up to. A Chill Day in El Nido After some pretty hard travel over the past month, I needed a day to kind of chill out and organize things a bit in El Nido when I arrived.  So, I hung out, ate some good food, and enjoyed the beach views.  Of course, I also got the drone up in the air. One of the things I love about the drone is how it gives you a bird’s eye view of a location even if there’s no mountain to climb to get it.  I think the drone footage really shows how spectacular this place is. El Nido Tour A Honestly, my tour A journey got off to a bit of a rough start.  I’m almost positive that my crew was hungover, or still a bit drunk from the night before.  The captain showed up to the boat an hour late, and that pretty much set the tone for the day. Tour A was so busy that it was hard to get the boat parked in places we were meant to visit.  So, we spent a lot of time waiting around.  On top of it, because we were so far from the places we were meant to visit we were told we had to rent kayaks to get to them, something no one told us before the trip started.  Of course, if your boat was parked close, you could just jump out and enjoy the location. That said, the places we visited on Tour A were spectacular.  The limestone landscape and the clear waters are simply incredible. I do have to say something negative again, though.  To get to “the secret lagoon” we were told to walk over the coral.  The coral in that spot were all dying as a result.  That’s something that can’t happen.  You can’t have tourists walking over corals, killing corals, just to get to a lagoon.  The government needs to build an apparatus to get tourists over the corals safely, or stop allowing tourists to visit there. At...

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Siquijor: Chilled Out and Adventurous
Mar03

Siquijor: Chilled Out and Adventurous

If you’ve been following along with my adventures here in The Philippines so far you’ll know that I didn’t really plan the trip out. On the way to the airport in Madrid I opened a Lonely Planet and quickly sketched a trip based on a couple cool sights I wanted to photograph.  One of those places was a waterfall on Siquijor Island.  Like all the other places I have visited on the trip so far, I knew nothing about Siquijor aside from the presence of this waterfall. I’d soon find out, however, that Siquijor Island is an absolute gem. And the almost perfect combination of chill and adventure. Siquijor Island Cliff Jumping I heard of a little place on the island called Salagdoong Beach where there’s an old waterpark built onto an island. And while they aren’t using the waterpark anymore, they’ve turned a couple of the platforms into places to do cliff jumping.  And, if you know me, there’s nothing I like more than a little bit of adventure.  So, I headed out to this Siquijor cliff jumping spot. The places is set on this nice little cove of calm water.  There’s a little beach, and a bridge going out to the island with the cliff jumping spots.  There was a group of Chinese tourists standing on the spot, most way too scared to jump.  But, a couple did, and I managed to fly the drone as people jumped a bit. Still cut up from my motorcycle crash on Bohol, I probably shouldn’t have been cliff jumping. But, I couldn’t resist. So, I took a couple jumps myself.  The cliff jumps on Siquijor Island are 8m and 10m high. So, they’re not crazy. Just a good enough height to get some adrenaline flowing, but also a fairly safe height. I was also surprised that there was a lifeguard on duty. Well done Salagdoong Beach. Cambugahay Falls The other top spot on Siquijor Island is a set of waterfalls called Cambugahay Falls.  They are just this brilliant bit of bright blue water tumbling through the jungle near the town of Lazi. The falls are a popular spot, so they’re quite busy. But, they are spread out enough that you can still get away a little bit.  There’s a little bit of adventure to be had at the waterfalls too.  There’s a place to go cliff jumping (it’s about 5m high) right off one of the waterfalls.  There’s also a rope swing into the falls. When I was at Cambugahay Falls there was a crew shooting a travel show, so it was a little bit busy, but luckily everyone kind...

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