Burning Man is like nothing I’ve ever experienced

Burning Man is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve attend EDC, an annual 110k person party in Las Vegas. I’ve traveled to Belgium to rage at Tomorrowland, a 15 stage global music festival. I’ve partied in the wild streets of Bangkok, Thailand. I’ve shuffled at club Amnesia in Ibiza, Spain…. … yet still, none of these events compare to Burning Man. Burning Man is everything you want it to be and more. You create the experience. You choose which activity to join, or which art piece to interact with, or whom to mingle with. The book of activities are vast and creative to say the least, ranging from morning yoga lessons to afternoon tantric sex methodology sessions. The playa is decorated with interactive art installations – there is more art there than you can fathom! There are streets lined with endless bars less than 100 feet from each other. Your cup can always be filled, your stomach always full! No one goes thirsty nor hungry in this place. Burning Man operates on a gifting economy, which is often confused with a “bartering” system. A gift doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive, a genuine hug can be exchanged as means of gifting gratitude. I carried a Polaroid camera and gifted instant photos to whomever I crossed paths with. Friends gifted: wine, brownies, gemstones, lavender scented potpourri bags, candy, and more. The only items that require money in this community are ice and coffee, everything else is essentially gifted and free of charge. Burning Man is 100% judgment free, The best part about Burning Man is that it’s filled with 70k like-minded people who all journey into the middle of the desert to create a city that is unlike any other. They travel from all over the world to end up in Black Rock City, Nevada and endure the harshest weather conditions the desert provides. This art “festival” isn’t something you attend to simply observe as a viewer. Everyone is encouraged to participate through their self expression, but nothing is required of course. Participation includes: wearing funky... View More »

She said YES!

“Are you busy this weekend, I might need to hire you for something huge!” was the message I received a week ago. A close friend of mine Nick decided it was time to tie the knot between his girlfriend Lindsay and him. He had just about everything planned out to surprise her with the big question. Wine tasting at a few different locations with my camera and I hidden in the bushes ready to capture the moment. I did a great job of staying hidden, both Lindsay and Nick didn’t see me until I walked out from behind the curtain. Here is their special... View More »

Guraidhoo, Maldives

Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean made up of over 2,000 small islands clustered together in circular shapes called atolls, surrounded by reef. The only way from the main airport on Male to any other islands is by boat or sea plane. Lucky for us we were able to get an all inclusive deal with Surf In Maldives which included our ride to the Guraidhoo island. An alternative method of transportation other than a ferry is a speed boat, which runs you $180 for a “quick” 1-hour ride to your destination. Prices vary depending on distance. Here is Rob and some locals. The locals were going to take a speedboat to the nearby island to camp for the night. A typical street on a non-resort island Here are a few photos of boats in the harbor on the little island of Guraidhoo, which is home to only 1,200 people. More sunset photos from our roof top terrace. Activities of our surf camp included two boat transfers per day to your desired location to enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and of course surfing. Rob and I were excited to catch some waves, so we took advantage of the short paddle from the boat. San Francisco, aerial photography San Francisco San Francisco The new bay bridge San Francisco Giants stadium San Francisco aerial photography Metal Print with Black Shadow Frame Metal Print with Frame Metal Print with Hanger Metal Print Only Metal Print Only Our guide for the trip had a great telephoto lens that he was nice enough to let me use. It allowed me to capture much closer photos than the wide angle lens I have been carrying. We were unaware that the islands are mostly Islamic influenced which meant that we were unable to drink alcohol, and Jessica couldn’t wear her bikini’s on the local beaches. Because of this I treated Jessica to a fancy five... View More »

Ayuthaya, Thailand

We got our first gimpse of elephants in Ayuthaya. These animals were trained very well. It was a bit intimidating for me to be around and so close to such large animals. I have only seen elephants and other large animals like this in a zoo. The elephants didn’t have much scarring, so I think they weren’t beaten or hurt too much while being tamed.         We saw quite a few different sized Buddhas… and temples. This big Buddha below is inside the beautiful temple above. I really liked how we were able to go up to the temples and physically climb up the staircases. In Rome, we could hardly get close to anything old, let alone touch or go onto any ruins. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd kings of Thailand are buried inside these large temples. Fun fact: If you didn’t know, Thailand’s current king is the longest standing king in the world. If you look closely, you can see Rob, Jeff and Jessica on the massive ruins! This temple kind of reminded me of the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, because it was leaning to the right. If you look closely, on the lower left you can see Jessica and Rob standing about 1/2 way up the temple with their hands in the air. On our tour we found a stray cat, cute little guy! I wasn’t much of a fan… Rob picked up some beautiful little trinkets from a street vender. If you receive one of these as a gift from him… sorry I spoiled the surprise! Jessica and the gigantic laying Buddha. Myself… Rob saying a few prayers. At another location we saw lots of beautiful ruins. Jessica and I decided to switch up our pose for this photo. Any suggestions on new poses? This photo will likely be printed onto a large canvas and hung on our wall. Rob does a... View More »

Bangkok, Thailand

The moment we landed in Thailand we went to the currency exchange booth and turned in our Euro for some Thai Baht. The exchange rates were finally in our favor and we were about to start living like kings for pennies.           A friend of mine, Rob who’s been traveling Thailand for over a month now, met us at the airport and started our journey through the streets of Bangkok. Last summer Rob, my brother, and I spent 3 weeks together traveling and surfing in Nicaragua so it was really nice to reconnect. Here is Rob and Jeff at our first meal together, we spent approximately $10 in total for us to feast on some traditional Thai food: Pad Thai, Kao Tom Gai, Tom Yum Gai. As you walk the streets of Bangkok you have tons and tons of little shops like this to purchase all sorts of things. Street vendors are everywhere and they are willing to negotiate and bargain their prices. Thai massages are cheap, and everywhere too! 30 – 45 minute massages cost about $3. After traveling for almost nearly a month with heavy backpacks, we all treated ourselves to a couple massages. Here we are walking down a crowded alley way with vendors, bars, restaurants, beauty shops, custom suit stores, and massage parlors. We were shocked that this motor bike was able to make its way through the street. We hopped onto a long-tail boat and got a tour through some of the canals and the main river. A 1 hour tour was less than $5 a person. As you can see, many Thai families don’t live the “lavish” life many Americans do. Seeing poverty like this really puts a perspective on my personal life and how I can sometimes take for granted how lucky I am to be an American and live in such a beautiful place.  The crazy thing about... View More »

Cinque Terre, Italy

We didn’t get much sleep in Venice due to the super fun street party we stumbled home from at 3 am. So we took turns getting some shut eye on our train ride to Cinque Terre, which is knows as “The Five Lands.” Its a series of 5 beach-like towns that reside on the Italian Riviera.         Jeff was so tired…that he decided to try the floor for a bit. I decided not to sleep to make sure we didn’t miss our stops for transfers. We were lucky enough to meet up with some friends from home. This is our good friend Danielle. She is doing a full time nanny job an hour away from Cinque Terre, and was able to take the day off to enjoy some fun in the sun with us. Hope we made it worth while DiDi! This is one of Jeff’s iPhone photos. He sure has learned to become quite the #iPhonePhotographer! Jessica got some much needed girl time with Danielle. The water was fantastically refreshing, so they enjoyed themselves knee deep most of the day. This is my friend Sean from home. He is in the US Army, stationed about 3 hours driving distance from Cinque Terre. We were able to all connect in this wonderful place. Then together we did a bit of cliff jumping. We hopped onto the train and headed back to the first of five towns, Riomaggiore, which is where our hostel was at. We made some amazing lunch and drank bottles of Prosecco, which is an Italian sparkling wine. This combination of goodies tasted better than anything we could have ordered in the local restaurants, and you couldn’t beat the cheap prices of the ingredients: pesto, mozzarella cheese, salty salami and fresh tomatoes created the ultimate combination. We could eat this forever. We admired the view from our hostel balcony and all agreed that we... View More »

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