Everything Everywhere Travel Blog

Gary is currently in Miami, FL (Apr 23rd, 2015)
 

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Announcing My 2015 Travel Photography Tour – The Galapagos Islands

2015 Travel Photography Tour

For the last few months I’ve had dozens of people asking me about where and when my 2015 travel photography tour was going to take place. After working with G Adventures for the last few months, I’m finally ready to make the announcement.

This year’s travel photography tour will be heading to South America and will be in the GALAPAGOS ISLANDS!
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OnTravel Interview in San Clemente, California

Photo I took of Shannon in Cape Town, South Africa last year

Last week I was in San Diego when I drove up to San Clemente with my friend Shannon O’Donnell to meet with Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman. We met for dinner at South of Nick’s, a local Mexican restaurant and then did an impromptu interview outside the restaurant on the street.

An Open Response To the Society of American Travel Writers For Having Stripped Me of My Travel Photography Awards

This morning I was notified by the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) that I have been stripped of all travel journalism awards given by the organization and its foundation for the use of performance enhancing drugs. In particular I have been stripped of the following awards:

Moreover, I have been notified that my membership has been suspended pending a review by the special committee looking into the use of performance enhancing drugs by writers and photographers.

I take these accusations very seriously as this is a major attack on my reputation. This action was taken without any hearing, or ability for me to plead my case. Given that I was not given the chance to defend myself, I’ll will use the only platform I have available to me to answer these charges.


Every year after the SATW awards ceremony, winners are required to submit a urine sample for testing of various regulated compounds. For the last 3 years I’ve dutifully submitted my sample at a certified facilities wherever I happened to be in the world. The processing of the samples are done out of pocket and every year I have passed with flying colors. I’ve often had to go far out of my way to visit certified testing facilities in various countries. I remember having gone far out of my way in both Thailand and in the United Kingdom.

My most recent test came back in February testing positive for several banned substances. In particular Foolazine, a drug manufactured by the Pfizer Corporation which provides stability, strength and speed to your right index finger, and Anselize, a drug used by former East German photographers which supposedly improves image composition. (although this has never been proven!)

I want to categorically state for the record I have not, am not, or ever will use any performance enhancing drugs to improve my photography.

The results from my most recent test had to have been a false positive, as I have never taken any such drugs. Moreover, the fact that SATW took such drastic action, which besmirched my good name, without any advanced notification is reckless and without precedent. The fallout from their announcement was immediate. I have already lost my staff position with Newsweek Magazine and my spot in BlogHouse Detroit.

It isn’t often discussed publicly, but photographers are aware of the illicit market in photography enhancing drugs. Like many other travel photographers, I’ve been approached by underground photodrug dealers all over the world. However, I have never given in to the temptation. I have always believed in an all natural approach to my photography and have never taken anything more than herbal-photo supplements.

Also, why does SATW crack down on performance enhancing drugs, but turns a blind eye to extensor truncation surgery, aka “Bob Holmes Surgery” which provides almost all the same benefits to the index finger???

Moreover, I’m saddened that SATW has chosen to target photographers as the focus of their witch hunt, when everyone knows that travel writers are more apt to use performance enhancing drugs to overcome writers block.

I have spoken to my attorney Roy Dewitt, and we will be filing an injunction against SATW to reverse these actions and seek a formal investigation.

I know there are a lot of bloggers, writers and photographers who will use this as an opportunity to attack me and try to bring me down. Do not believe what they are saying.

I have full faith that I will see this wrong righted, and that my name will be cleared. Thank you all for your support during this troubled time.

April 2015 Desktop Wallpaper

April 2015 Desktop Wallpaper

This month’s image is of a hillside in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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Fear, Risk and Travel

Last week 17 tourists were killed by gunmen in Tunisia. You probably heard about it as it was all over the news.

You probably remember the case of Natalee Holloway who disappeared in 2005 in Aruba. You remember it because it was all over the news.

Every year there are one or two news stories about some British or Australian citizen facing execution in a Southeast Asian country for smuggling drugs. When this happens it is all over the news.

Certainly everyone can remember the Malaysia Air flight 370 which disappeared, or more recently the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525.

Tourist tragedy has become one of the go to stories for any cable news outlet. Travel tragedy can fill up days or even weeks of a 24-hour news cycle. When these travel related stories aren’t in the news, there is usually some other catastrophe which is playing out in the media. ISIS, ebola, fighting in Ukraine, are just some of the most recent examples of the media feeding fears about the rest of the world.

When I was recently in Haiti, I asked many people what they knew about Haiti and they didn’t know much beyond natural disasters and civil strife.

“Have a safe trip” has replaced “Have a nice trip” or “Bon Voyage” in our lexicon when someone leaves on a trip.
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This Week In Travel – Episode 185

This week’s guests are Dave Bouskill & Deb Corbeil from ThePlanetD.com.

News

Picks

This Week in Travel – Episode 184

This week Jen, and Chris and I are joined by Emily Westbrooks the author of Delightful Dublin.


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This Week’s News:

Picks of the week:

March 2015 Desktop Wallpaper

March 2015 Desktop Wallpaper

This month’s image was taken at the Palace of Sans Souci, Haiti.

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2560×1600 (MacBook Retina 13″) | 2880×1800 (MacBook Retina 15″)

The How’s and Why’s of Travel Insurance

Four years ago I wrote a post titled “9 Ways I Break Conventional Travel Wisdom”. One of the items (which I wasn’t proud of at the time) was that I traveled for a significant time without travel insurance. I got lucky that nothing serious happened to me while I was traveling without insurance. I have several friends who have had serious accidents while they were on the road, some of which required evacuation.

For the last 3 years I’ve been traveling fully insured. Given how much I travel, I get an annual policy which covers all of my trips for a given year. I now make sure that my policy gets renewed at the beginning of every year and that not a day goes by where I don’t have coverage.

Many people are confused by travel insurance. What I hope to do here is a give a brief overview of what travel insurance usually covers and what it does not.
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Black is the New Mediterranean: Discovering Hidden Treasures along Bulgaria’s Less Traveled Sea Coast

I first visited Bulgaria in 2011 as part of a G Adventures trip from Budapest to Istanbul. I was able to visit cities like Belogradchik, Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo. However, I never got to the Black Sea. My agent Stephen Hanselman (who took the photos for this post) and his wife Julia Serebrinsky recently visited the Black Sea and came away with a newfound respect for the country and the region. Here Julia’s story about what she discovered in Bulgaria and why it is not what people expect.


In the aspirational world of international travel, Bulgaria is not a country that gets much respect, not even from its neighbors. In Moscow, where I spent my early childhood, a popular proverb about the former Soviet satellite went something like this: “As a hen is not a bird, Bulgaria is not abroad.”

In other words, lower your expectations prior to landing.

Some things never change. In 2013, when my husband booked a three week summer vacation in Burgas, a port city along the Black Sea Coast of Southeastern Bulgaria, book-ending it with stays in Dublin and Istanbul, I found the reaction of our incredulous American friends tinged with familiar dismissiveness:

“Why Bulgaria?” they asked, picking it out as the oddity on our itinerary.
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This Week in Travel – Episode 183

This week Jen, Chris and I are joined by this week’s guest, Wendy Perrin from WendyPerrin.com and TripAdvisor.


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