Believe it or not, in some parts of the country winter is the prime season for a bit of white-sand beach camping and watersports. Especially in South Florida’s Ten Thousands Islands, which is actually the outer edge of the Everglades. Come here any other time of year and you’ll be bombarded by unbearable masses of bugs, but the relative cool of winter takes the mosquitos down quite a few notches.
Sure the name is a numerical exaggeration, but when you find yourself at boat level, winding through the watery maze of the Ten Thousand Islands, it feels about right.
The Ten Thousand Islands chain comprises the northwestern edge of Everglades National Park, and it includes hundreds of sandy cays, mangrove hammocks and oyster-bed reefs stretched along the Gulf Coast between Marco Island and Chokoloskee.
This estuarine tangle is where the interior swamps of the Everglades spill into the Gulf of Mexico—a rugged and untamed place that boasts a dearth of civilization and flurry of wildlife. As a matter of course, you catch watch osprey alight from their seaside nests and snatch dinner from the shallow mud flats, or paddle alongside groups of dolphins and sharks roilin...Read More
I’ve never been much for city living. Over the years, I’ve called many places home—all over the world—but they always had one thing in common: small towns with easy access to oceans, forests or mountains. I’ve long prefered walking over driving, the trickle of a creek over the hum a crowd. So this whole move to Los Angeles marked a fairly profound shift in lifestyle. All of sudden I have to drive EVERYWHERE. It seems like no matter what time of day or night it is, the grocery stores are a mob scene, the Post Office has a line, and the sheer sprawl of humanity feels poised to sweep me away like waves in a storm.
Given all that, it doesn’t take too long for me to go a little stir crazy and start looking for a dirt road to nowhere. Luckily it turns out my new home has those too. Despite highways as far as the eye can see, LA sits astride a string of mountains riddled with deep canyons and creek beds, which makes hiking Los Angeles a surpsingly easy proposition, even within the city limits.
Thus it was that I found myself on a Wednesday afternoon, expressing my frustration to GG about a string of rejections from various...Read More
There’s an important piece of the travel photography puzzle that often gets overlooked in all the buzz about cameras and destinations. I’m talking about the tools and the software we use to actually manage our photos after the shooting day is over. And travel photographers have special needs in this department. While most photographers have a high-powered computer setup at home with ample storage and processing power, travel photogs need to do at least some of their initial uploading, sorting and editing work on the road where streamlined workflow is vital.
For this reason, my go-to photo management software has long been Adobe Lightroom. Whether I’m traveling for work or pleasure, its Swiss-army-knife-like functionality makes it the best photo software for me. I’ve stuck with LR through many iterations, and I’ve been pleasantly suprised as each new software release comes with an ever expanding set of features. Over the years, Lightroom has gone from essentially a library tool to a full-fledged photo processing center that I can use to upload, explore, edit and publish all of my images.
So I experienced a certain amount of nerdy joy wh...Read More
As my last couple of posts have pointed out, this has been a busy summer on the personal front, for myself, my new wife GG and our two dogs. We kicked off the summer with an epic month-long road trip that took us out to Oregon to get married. Much to our joy and surprise, we also learned mere days before hitting the road that we’ve got a child en route—which we call the belly bean (or BB for short). At the risk of just piling on the excitement, we also decided this would be our moment to reboot our new life in a different location.
And so, now we’re neck deep in the process of moving the home base from our beloved Savannah to the ethereal shores of Los Angeles. It’s proving quite the adventure already. I drove GG out ahead of time so she could house sit for a friend and get a jump start on the house hunt. In the meantime, I flew back to tie up loose ends here in Georgia, and should make the permanent leap by the end of September.
All of that is the long way of saying that Point Shoot Travel has received only sporadic attention over the last few months. Equally negelected have been my on-assignment travels, which are the source of many of my storie...Read More
If you follow my travels on this blog, you may have noticed a certain tourist attraction from a trip I took to St. Kitts last December: the Carib Fertility Rock of St Kitts, which supposedly bestows children upon those who touch it. In fact it was number 6 on my list of 10 Reasons St Kitts is More Than Just a Cruise Ship Stop.
Now, I’m not a superstitious type, and I don’t actually believe that inanimate objects can be imbued with the power to cause babies, curses or anything else. But I will say this. I touched that dang rock in December, and within 5 months GG and I were expecting our first child. Quite a coincidence!
While I was there, my guide told us about other travel writers who had also found themselves pregnant within a year of touching the rock. Probably just a case of wishful thinking. At any rate, rock or not, I’ve got the fabulous joy of having a child on the way. So this blog may soon need to change tack into “traveling with kids” territory.
So, if you’re trying to have a kid and need an excuse to go down to the Caribbean for a little extra baby mojo, there’s no reason not to go check out St. K...Read More
One of the unfortunate facts of being a travel writer is that my travels are all too often for work, and all too rarely do I get to hit the road for pleasure. That’s not to say the work trips aren’t fun, but often they are tightly scheduled affairs, when my ideal trip would include no small amount of leisurely uncertainty, unencumbered by flight schedules or activities operators. Call me old fashioned, but I have a particular fondness for the all-American road trip. There’s nothing quite like hitting the backroads with nothing but 10,000 miles worth of waypoints that may or may not get reached.
I should mention that GG and I have long had it in mind to do a proper cross-country adventure. Her being from Israel means she had never seen much of America beyond the East Coast, as evidenced in part by her seriously misguided opinions on what constitutes a “mountain” (in Israel they call any old hill a mountain, so I figure she ought to get to know the real thing). A couple months ago, we had the opportunity to take a test run when we drove from Savannah to San Antonio for a cousin’s wedding. Thus it was that we found ourselves headed westwar...Read More