I’ve taken four trips to Mexico in the last 18 months, which is the most travel I’ve ever done in Mexico.
That being said, I’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to exploring the country. I’ve been to every US state, all but one Canadian province and until recently I couldn’t even tell you how many Mexican states there were, let alone how many I’ve been to.
Like most Americans, I haven’t given Mexico the same degree of thought or attention as I had to other parts of the world. Due to differences in culture and language, many people in the US have serious misconceptions about Mexico even though we are next door neighbors (or perhaps because we are).
With the passing of Neil Armstrong today, I thought it appropriate to bring up an interesting question that I wrote about several years ago on my personal blog before I started traveling.
I was born on August 24, 1969. It was exactly 34 days after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon on July 20 of the same year. That means that I was one of the first people born into a world where there were footprints on the moon. I have never known a day in my life where I didn’t share the planet with someone who walked on the surface of the moon.
The question I’ve been wondering is: we will always live in a world where there are human beings who have walked on the moon?
Elephant Island, a tiny spec of land on the Palmer Peninsula, holds a special place in history of Antarctica exploration. This was the location where the men of the HMS Endurance, led by Sir Ernest Shackleton landed after more than a year stuck in the Antarctic pack ice. Shackleton set off from Elephant Island in a lifeboat to make the 800 mile journey to South Georgia Island to get help. He made it and managed to return to rescue the entire crew. A bust of Luis Pardo, captain of the Chilean vessel Yelcho, sits on Elephant Island today.
I visited Elephant Island in January of 2012 as part of the Spirit of Shackleton voyage on the M/S Expedition with G Adventures.
In 2011 I had the pleasure of visiting the Cinque Terre region on Italy as a stop on a cruise. Having seen photos of the five towns of Cinque Terre, it was high on my list of places to photograph. I managed to visit all of the villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) during my day in the region and came back with some photos that will help me remember my day there forever.
If I am ever in the Liguria region of Italy again, I will make it a point to return to Cinque Terre.
South Georgia Island is one of the most incredible places to view wildlife in the world. Period. There are few places where you can see such sheer numbers of animals assembled in one spot. I stood on a beach with over 150,000 penguins surrounding me. The penguins and fur seals have no fear of humans which make them extremely approachable.
Fewer than 5,000 people visit South Georgia in any given year. It is extremely expensive and difficult to get to. There is no airport and the only way to get there is several days of sailing over rough South Atlantic seas. For those who make the trip, the experience is unforgettable. The crew on the M/S Expedition, who have been to Antarctica dozens of times, viewed their annual visit to South Georgia as the highlight of their sailing season.
The photos I took from South Georgia are some of my all-time favorites. Enjoy!
In May 1916, Sir Ernest Shackleton climbed over the mountains of South Georgia island in at attempt to get help to rescue the men of the HMS Endurance who were stranded on Elephant Island in Antarctica. He climbed over the uncharted mountains of South Georgia on foot, reaching the Norwegian whaling station of Stromness.
In January 2012, I had the pleasure of retracing the steps of Shackleton, walking the last leg of his journey to Stromness on my G Adventures trip to Antarctica. A three-hour hike in the summer that took Shackleton half a day when the terrain was covered with snow and ice. We also visited his grave at the former whaling station at Grytviken, where he is buried next to his right-hand man, Frank Wild.
Being able to hike, for even a short distance, the same route as Shackleton was one of the highlights of the trip. Below are some of the images I captured from the journey.