Oh Canada!

I had a business event in Vancouver recently and decided to add in a weekend for the trip – why not! So I brought my gear along and took a few photos from Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler. Really a wonderful part of the world! Vancouver is a lovely city, which reminds me a little of Brisbane in Australia. The scenery is much better though!!

I must have walked about 25km around Vancouver and Stanley park, but it was awesome. I was also lucky with the weather.I highly recommend a trip and will certainly need to go back again.

So anyways, these were quick and dirty shots on a business trip, and the light was very harsh, so don’t expect perfection but here are my favorites!

Top of Sea to Sky Gondola. Squamish, Canada. 5D Mark III | Zeiss 18mm 2.8 | Polariser

 

Downtown Vancouver Canada. 5D Mark III | 35mm 1.4 Art

 

Scenic flights. Vancouver, Canada. 5D Mark III | 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II

 

Whistler, Canada. 5D Mark III | 18mm 2.8 Carl Zeiss Milvus.

 

Whistler, Canada. 5D Mark III | 18mm 2.8 Carl Zeiss Milvus.

 

Whistler, Canada. 5D Mark III | 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II

 

Check out the full gallery here:

Full Gallery

 

 

The gift of travel

Apologizing for the heavy load, Saigon, Vietnam

What travel gives – in its purest form.

What is it that travel actually gives us? Just a chance to unwind with a holiday to the beach? Or something deeper, and much more important?

Is there a modern Travel craze? – Perhaps to some.

It seems that a lot of people particularly the 18-35 year old age bracket are really getting out there and doing some traveling. Its like it’s the cool thing to do. Personally I think this is great! Tour groups like Contiki and other have helped younger people feel more at ease with traveling alone. It also seems that there are a lot of people who want to travel to places remote, and different to their countries of origin. I have met tons of Australians in Vietnam and Cambodia, tons of Koreans in Europe and tons of Germans in Shanghai. So that’s the deal?

What do I know about travel?

Well, travel has been a big part of my life, and it will always be. Originally born in Denmark, my family moved to Indonesia when I was 9 years old. We stayed more than 3 years in Indonesia, before returning back to Denmark.

Although we were well settled in Denmark, it only took us 11 months to decide that it wasn’t for us, and when my father got an opportunity to relocate to South Korea, we took it right away. Although we were Danish, and lived in our home country, there was just something that had changed us, and we didn’t have much care of the first world troubles of the typical Danish people.

Unfortunately the Asian financial crisis hit South Korea shortly after our arrival, and we ended up leaving just 12 months after we arrived. From South Korea, we headed to Sydney, Australia. I ended up staying in Australia for some 17 years, living all over the east coast and the northern territory. During my university study where I was based in Brisbane Australia, I did an exchange semester in Norway – for good measure. I was there for 8 months.

An old friend in Germany asked if I would take a job in Bavaria in early 2016. How could I say no? It was a chance to get back in touch with Europe, return to my seemingly ancient roots. I had wondered if I had drifted so far from Europe that I could never return… having spent 2/3 of my life on the other side of the planet. Evidently not.

My wife (Vietnamese, met in Australia) and I are now happily settled in a small village in Bavaria. Its time to enjoy the smaller things in life, rather than large seething masses in big world cities.

There is a difference between going for a 2 week holiday somewhere, and actually living in the place for an extended time. Throughout my life, there have been plenty of travel and plenty of holidays here and there. I have been to probably 20-25 countries at least and I expect this to increase… still much to see!

Interesting snack in Tokyo, Japan.

The gift of travel – As I see it

The gift of travel is very simple in my mind. It challenges your perspective, broadens your mind, opens your eyes, excites the soul, and increases your creativity.

You become more patient, you listen to alternative ideas for longer, you start to think about good and bad in a more holistic way. You do not jump to conclusions, but analyze whether something is good or bad for longer. After some time, this brings you to say: “it depends..”

You will also be better off financially, you will be open minded to see new business ideas, or you might want to bring a clever idea to a new place. You might be able to bring a trusted service or product to a place of chaos or disorder.

Isolation leads to narrow mindedness. Cultural understanding leads to trust and acceptance.

If you never ever go, you never ever know. But many people pretend to know, although actually, they know nothing. Its human nature to fear the unknown, but its today’s norm to never show fear. So instead to we pretend we know everything, and put up a shield to protect us from the unknown. We convince ourselves that what we know is the best way, or the only proper way.

The funny thing is that all that fear and energy spent pretending, soon vanishes when we realize that the person across the hedge, border, or ocean isn’t so bad. Once we understand the person or cultural, we soon realize that tradition, beliefs or upbringing have led to simple differences in culture and conduct. Soon, we start to lose our ignorance, fear, doubt, arrogance, and start to trust and accept and even be intrigued.

A group shot with the local business entrepreneurs, Cambodia.

We are making quite a mess of the world. Lots of arguing, and we are all just the same.

There is more racial tension today than in a very long time. The war on terrorism has had many side effects, some of which we are only just finding out about. With the Middle East so destabilized, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced – and where do they go? To the west of course, in search of a better life. This seems to have been a major surprise to a lot of people in the west.

All there is to report in the news today is basically, negativity. Who blew up who, who killed who, who’s territory is threatened, who has the most money, and who stole from who. When you look at it this way, we all just kids in a kindergarten. I thought that being the most intelligent species on earth, we would be a little more grown up.

The silly thing is that as you experience travel, and learn different cultures, you see more and more that despite how different we seem, we are all just the same. We all have aspirations, we all love our families, we all need a place to sleep at night, we all need something to eat, and we all want to find a mate. Our faces may change, and our foods may change, and even what we feel is normal or acceptable changes, but when it boils down to it, we are all just the same.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.

This is really my favorite quote. I think it is very true, and something everyone (who can read) can appreciate. A great, fulfilling book is never just one page. Usually, a great ‘read’ or a great story, or journey is experienced by reading many pages. The world is the same. There are something like 195 pages in this ‘world’ book. I’ve read enough pages to work out what the book is about, how many pages have you read?

Family lunch, Vietnam style. Vinh Vietnam.

One man’s reality is merely one path. One man’s lectures are merely a point of view.

We often get stuck with this. People decide on an idea, or convention, or perhaps they didn’t decide, but were brought up to believe that. Maybe that idea is shared by a whole county, a religion, or region or even a whole country.

This idea, or a way of doing might come naturally, and perhaps you can’t think of a single alternative way which could be acceptable – but remember, that’s your view, and is not necessarily shared by other people. Your way, is just your way, no matter how popular a way it may be.

Through all the experiences we gain in our lives, we may think that our way is best – but that is simply just our point of view.

The essence of what travel does to a person – demonstrated

By far the best ‘thing’ I have seen which really shows how a person is changed, or how a person grows by traveling is the mini-series ‘The Long Way Round’. Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman go on a motorbike ride around the world, riding through 12 counties in 115 days. Ewan and Charlie decided to film their adventure with the help of a cameraman and their own video diaries. It is clear that many basic emotions are felt in this great adventure along the way, as they experience; hardship, pain, fear, loneliness, vulnerability, love, excitement, happiness, discovery, serenity, simplicity, fulfillment and achievement.

While well-educated and open-minded, the two come across as spoiled, arrogant, naive, ignorant and obnoxious in the beginning. These traits are challenged as the journey goes on, and this transformation can really be seen in the films. I think that they have become more rounded people, more patient people, and more giving people as a result of their travel adventures.

Anyone who has a love of travel should ensure they watch this great, down to earth documentary. Highly recommended! The video below is the trailer for the series. The full DVD or book is only 15 bucks on Amazon!

Reflecting on Travel

Hi all! I decided to make a fun photo and use it as a new featured photo in my travel albums landing page. I thought it would be cool if it was a pile of old maps and travel stuff…

My travel junk… or is it memories?

To be honest, I could have done a better job technically, and used some flashes and stuff, its a bit unevenly lit.. but anyway. I have a heap of travel books, maps and old stuff lying around which I got from my many travels. It turned out to be more about reflection on travel experiences than anything else! You can click on the image to make it larger. Some of the stuff in there includes:

  • My collection of travel books… I currently have 40+ Lonely Planet books. I just ordered another one, ‘Great Britain’. Although my favorite which I use for inspiration is Lonely Planet’s ‘The Travel Book’, its super cool and has a couple of pages for every country in the world. Lonely Planet
  • Some Polish money which I got from a friend while on university exchange in Norway… Never actually been to Poland yet. Although I’m told I’m going this summer :s.
  • A gangster style roll of Vietnamese money. We have been there so many times, and always have lots of notes left over. Due to inflation the roll is worth about 4 bucks… and not worth stealing.
  • Some iron-on patches. About 10 years ago I thought it would be cool to have patches from all the places I visited all over my bag.. never happened, and now I don’t like the idea.. Anyone want some patches?
  • The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek flyer. This is from Cambodia, where we visited the sights of Pol Pot’s regime. Very chilling, and worth a visit. Thousands of people were murdered here with primitive tools, include women, children and babies. See here for more information. We also went to s21, the school that was converted to an execution processing center. See here for more information.
  • Some boarding passes for an Etihad flight. Not a huge fan of Etihad, but its who we used to relocate to Germany from Australia just over a year ago now.
  • A trail map of ‘Mueller Hut Route’ in New Zealand. Many years ago, my friend and I hiked up to the Mueller Hut, in the Mt Cook region of New Zealand. We camped on the snow at around 2000m. Interestingly, 30mins from the hut lies Mt Oliver. This was the first peak that Sir Edmund Hillery ever climbed. He would later be the first to scale Mt. Everest in 1953. See here for more info.
  • Fraser island map. Fraser Islands has world heritage listing and is one of the biggest sand islands in the world. Located just off the coast of Harvey Bay in Australia, its a magnet for holiday makers, and 4WD enthusiasts. Its great for camping and the interior lakes are crystal clear and incredible for swimming. Info
  • Da Lat city map. Da Lat is one of my favorite places in Vietnam. This mountainous village is nice and cool, and has great markets. Its famous for its flowers and fruits, and there are also a number of waterfalls to see in the region. Best way to see it is by renting a motorbike. Info
  • Japan rail card. No visit to Japan is complete without experiencing the bullet trains. The train system in Japan is among the best in the world. Its quite expensive, but get a JR rail pass when you visit to have access to anywhere in the country. Info
  • My trusty GPS. This is an older one now, but you can still load all kinds of maps to it. Great for exploring. I bought this tax free on board M/S Norröna while in international waters, headed for Iceland. Info
  • Faroe Islands bus schedule. Public transport is pretty efficient in Denmark. Even on its extreme territories, there is good public transport. The Faroe Islands has a population of just 25,000 people, and yet taking the bus was a good way of getting around. Info

So whats next?

Well I certainly plan to continue my travels long into the future! There are so many places still to see and experience! This summer I plan to get some short trips in around central Europe. We also plan to visit the UK this summer for a couple of weeks. I really want to see Scotland. In autumn, I have no idea… but I know we are hosting Christmas this year in Bavaria.. Something about a visit to Vietnam in February for Tet, lets see what happens. Here is my ultimate bucket list for the next 3-5 years!

  1. A visit to Greenland – min 4 weeks
  2. A visit to Iceland – minimum 2 weeks
  3. A visit to Borneo – min 2 weeks
  4. Take the Trans-Siberian railway to Beijing
  5. A visit to the Pacific Islands – min. 4 weeks
  6. A visit to Burma – 2-3 weeks
  7. Visit the Falkland Islands and South Georgia
  8. Visit North Africa, including Tunisia and Morocco.
  9. A visit to St. Petersburg
  10. A visit to Croatia and Greece.
  11. A visit to Costa Rica
  12. A visit to Patagonia.

Looks like I’ll be busy! Happy shooting and hope you enjoyed my memories!

Oh yes, nearly forgot! Here is where I used the photo! Travel Photography