And…I’m Off

2014 was an incredible year. I worked my tail off last year so that I could do a bit of travel for the duration of the winter. So with that…I am off! Over the next two months I will be visiting Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, Korea and Japan. It is my first time visiting Korea and Japan and I am really excited to experience these cultures first-hand. I’m also excited to see my family and friends scattered across these five countries.

What’s in My Bag

I’ve been thinking way too much about what gear to bring the past few weeks. Like all photographers with too much gear, I had a tough time narrowing down what specific camera combinations to take with me. After much deliberation, I finally settled on the X100S as my main camera with the Canon 5D MK III (with 16-35mm and 85mm lenses). I am also bringing a cheapo Yongnuo flash for the Canon as well as my ND filter and travel tripod. I really wanted to get as close to “one-camera, one-lens” as possible so my hope is to shoot primarily with the X100S.

Because I am hoping to post some photos while I’m away, I will also be bringing my Surface Pro 3 and a couple of external hard drives for back up. Everything will fit nicely into my Timbuk2 bag with a padded camera insert.

What I am Working On

I only really have one photo project in mind during the two months I am away. My only other real goal is to not be as lazy as I typically am when I am on vacation. In addition to not being lazy, I’ll be joining the Rotary Wheels for Learning team in Cambodia to help distribute bikes to needy kids in rural areas near Battambang. It is the one charity I feel really passionate about – one that allows every donor to make a significant and tangible impact in one person’s life. The idea is that with each $50 donation, the charity provides one child with a bike – a bike that empowers them by being the vehicle they need to get to school. This is often the difference between getting an education and not getting an education.

Here are photos of kids that benefited from my charitable donations last here:

If you would like to help a child (and get a photo of whose life you have changed), you can make donations through their website (Paypal link at the top right area). I would also like to disclose that I will be volunteering my services on my own dime, and none of the money donated will go to funding people like me to be there! It goes directly to a kid!

Aside from this important volunteer work, I plan to do a lot of street photography while exploring some other off-the-beaten-path areas. I’m going to make a concerted effort to go out for walks during golden hour, as well as wake up a bit earlier in the mornings to capture the early morning hustle and bustle of the city streets. Of course it is likely that I will end up in an abandoned building or two and may even get up on a rooftop somewhere. It is kind of inevitable.

Are there any attractions, places to photograph, things to eat, shady areas to visit, etc. that I should see? I would be happy to hear any recommendations you might have.

More than anything, I am looking forward to the break. I’ve been operating a bit above my capacity the last year and I am truthfully a little bit burnt out. Not to worry though, I’ll be back at the end of March rejuvenated! Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr to keep updated with my trip.

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