I’m going to be in Spain for about 2-3 weeks at the end of April and the beginning of May. Spain is one of those countries that is packed full of things to see. It has the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites after Italy at 41. I’ve never been to Spain before …
Over the last three years I’ve taken somewhere around 60,000 photos. I’ve taken photos from the air, from the inside of caves, in deserts, in jungles, on islands and on mountains. I even spent one memorable day on the Great Barrier Reef as an underwater photographer.
Until last week, however, I had never found myself in the middle of a real honest to goodness news story. For four very exciting hours last week, I found myself between thousands of Thai political protesters and hundreds of Bangkok riot police. I was shoulder to shoulder with seasoned pros from Associated Press and Agence France Presse. The difference was that they had an audience of millions spread across hundreds of news outlets and I’m just a guy with a blog.
As I have previously written, I’m not a big fan of travel guidebooks. That does not, however, mean I am not a fan of books. I am a voracious reader and during my almost three years on the road I have consumed so many books that carrying them around became a serious issue for me on several occasions. It is why I’m such a big fan of the iPad. The idea of having global access to an English language bookstore that doesn’t require me to lug around an ever expanding collection of paper fills me with glee.
I am not here to talk about guidebooks. However, I do believe you should be reading prior to and during your trip. In particular you should be reading history books.
The first question you are probably asking yourself is “what is a video of Donald Rumsfeld doing at the top of this blog post?” Go ahead and click on it and watch the video. It is only 21 seconds.
I’ve seen a lot of people make fun of Rumsfeld for this quote, and honestly, I think he has a point. There are things we don’t even know that we don’t know. Most of you probably are aware of something called quantum physics, and most of you probably have never taken a class on the subject. You are aware that you are ignorant about quantum physics. That would qualify as a known unknown.
Just last week in Singapore, I was being taken around the city by a Singaporean traveler by the name of May. She took me to get Peranakan food. What is Peranakan food you ask? It is the cuisine of the Peranakan culture in Malaysia. What is the Peranakan culture you ask? They are the descendants of 15th and 16th-century Chinese merchants who settled in Malaysia and took local Malay wives.
This is just a quick update, because I don’t have time to do a full write up. Yesterday I attended the political protests in Bangkok. I spent several hours walking around the protesters with my camera. Everything was peaceful. Not only was it not an angry mob, it had the atmosphere of a festival more …
On March 13, 2007 I sat in the offices of Edina Realty near my home in Minnesota and signed the documents which transferred ownership of my house to the family which purchased it. I handed them the keys and from that moment, I was a man without a home. That is the moment I mark as the beginning of my adventure.
Fast forward 1097 days later and I’m in a pub in Bangkok, Thailand writing my 1,550th blog post on the second laptop I’ve gone through since I’ve started. Someone reading this will probably leave the 7,402nd comment to be left on my blog. 1,250,000 have taken a look at my site and tens of thousands have bothered to follow long on various social networks. I’ve been to over 70 countries, 110 World Heritage Sites, and I can’t even count the distance I’ve traveled. A helluva lot has happened in three years.