Well the updates have been on the low side recently (even by my standards) and if you’re not on my Facebook page, Google+ page, or Twitter, you might have even thought I’ve disappeared. Fear not, I’m still making my way around the globe, I’ve just been a little busy. Here’s a little catch up (working backwards).
I’m in Burma (Myanmar)!
Two years later than planned, but I’ve made it, and it’s as awesome as everyone has told me. I’ll save the details for later, but I’m only a week in and it has already been full of smiles, mountains, festivals, and many new friends. I haven’t shot so many photos in one place since I was in Antarctica in late 2010.
Lonely Planet Best Travel Adventure Photography Winner
A couple of weeks ago it was announced that I won Lonely Planet’s Best Travel Adventure Photography contest for a photo from my 2010 climb of Mt Kinabalu on the world’s highest Via Ferrata. Along with the honour, first prize was a new Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone! Look for a review on Too Many Adapters later this summer.
Hostelbookers Best Photography Travel Blog of 2011
I received a nice surprise when I was named the Best Travel Photography Blog of the Year by Hostelbookers in late December. Unexpected, but highly appreciated. There were many excellent bloggers and photographers among the list of winners and runners up, and I am very honoured to be mentioned along side of them.
Chiang Mai Life
I set up camp in Chiang Mai in late October 2011 until mid February 2012. The plan was to do a complete overhaul on Skinny Backpacker, launch a Travel Technology website, work on getting my photography to the next level, and streamline my work duties. Chiang Mai is the sort of place that attracts really interesting people, and it made for great networking, meeting new friends, and for testing the waters living abroad.
Launched Too Many Adapters
After nearly 2 years of chatting about it around the globe, Dave and I launched Too Many Adapters In January 2012. TMA is a website that is all about “Technology for Travelers” and where we talk about all the sorts of gadgets, issues, news, and opinions that make up the current world of travel tech. From smartphones to kindles, tips & tricks, reviews and even the odd rant now and then, we’re hoping it becomes the resource for travelers and their gear. Don’t fret if you’re not a nerd though, we have a little bit for everyone.
I Hosted Both My Mom & Dad in Asia
My father made a quick 1 day detour to Chiang Mai as I arrived in late October, and we celebrated with the Yi Peng festival just outside of the city. It was a fantastic experience, but unfortunately he was off to Canada the next day. This marked the 6th continent my Dad and I have traveled to together. I’m still one up on him as he hasn’t been to Australia yet...
My Mom made me proud by coming all the way to Asia to meet me in February. After a missed flight added 18 hours to her flight itinerary, she bounced back and enjoyed her first trip outside North America as we enjoyed the sights, sounds, and tastes of Chiang Mai. After enjoying laid back Chiang Mai for 10 days, we flew to Hanoi for some of it’s trademark moto-chaos (pictured below). Part of the inspiration of this trip was my photos from northern Vietnam from mid 2010, and we set out on side trips to Sapa and Halong Bay so she could experience them for herself before sending her off back in Canada. My friends called her a “baddass” and a “Super Mom” for making the long trip over which was well out of her comfort zone.
So What’s to Come?
Great question! Well after I leave Burma (Myanmar) in a month or so, I plan to set up a base for a month or so to work on projects and my mass of photos before making on last side journey (maybe Penang, Mt Kinabalu or East Timor) before heading to North America for the summer.
In June, I’ll be at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. I missed it last year when I already had a trip to the Faroe Islands booked, but my friends raved about it so much I’ll be there this year.
In July I may be at TBEX (Travel Blogger conference). I attended last year in Vancouver, but this year is still up in the air.
Otherwise, this summer I am hoping to make it back to one of my favourite spots in the Canadian Rockies, Mt Robson. Loose plans are for this to come together in late June with my Dad and brother. I may also try to convince a good friend to trek to Top of the World Provincial Park in British Columbia again. We’ve done it 10 years ago, and 5 years ago, so as far as I’m concerned, we’re due. We have a history of things going wrong when there (one blown out tire on a forestry truck road, one time lost where we thought we would have to sleep in the forest), but it always makes for good stories. Hopefully I don’t fall off a cliff this year.
I’ve been testing a new blogging platform, so maybe we’ll see that rolling in May for Skinny Backpacker.
I’ve had a few offers for my photography being published, but I just haven’t been up to it. I take photos for myself, so I haven’t really thought of my work to be on the next level. It’s a bit of a mental hurdle I’m working on jumping. Thanks to the support of my friends and fans, I’ll be making this a priority from now on. Here’s to letting no more opportunities pass me by.
Thanks to everyone for your support. I have much to share, and not enough time. Back in a month-ish.