Matthew from Expert Vagabond tagged us to continue this… what do you call it? A meme? A tag-you’re-it chain blog post?
The idea is to find photos that fit the following 7 categories among your personal travel photos. We’ll then nominate 5 other travel bloggers to do the same.
Anyway, I told him ‘yes’ then continued to forget about it almost immediately (eek!). Until today. It’s fun going back through old pictures and reliving some of the memories. It’s hard to believe that we’re lucky enough to experience all of the things we did.
And now, for the winning picture of category #1…
1: Takes My Breath Away – Erta Ale, Ethiopia
Easy. Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia took my breath away. Literally (both the view and the stink of the sulfur). The sight of a pool of bubbling, exploding lava is seared forever in my mind. It was simply the most mesmerizing thing I’d ever seen.
2: Makes Me Laugh/Smile
When I saw the category, I thought of this bus in Myanmar held together by a brown packing tape (the funniest thing ever, but you gotta be there!) – but I didn’t have the time to get my camera. It was speeding away from me even as I was thinking “I can’t believe that bus actually runs!”
So this picture is second best. Myanmar is the place where buses go to die. But even after their death, people will find some sort of use for it.
This is how the locals get around in Bagan – in a bastard child of a tuk-tuk and a tractor, driven by what looks like a lawnmower. And of course, just when you think it can’t possibly carry anymore people, they found a place for a family of 5.
See the smiling woman? I bet she knew why I was giggling as I took the picture.
3: Makes Me Dream
This is Machu Picchu as seen from (almost) the top of Wayna Picchu.
I remember seeing pictures of Machu Picchu – many, many years ago – and I remember thinking how much I’d like to make it there. Photos of world famous landmarks always make me dream about our future travel destinations.
4: Makes Me Think – Afar Salt Mine, Ethiopia
These people are from the Afar tribe in northern Ethiopia. They’re salt miners – which means everyday – they go out to the salt pan and crack the thick layer of salt that covers the plain with a pickaxe. Then together they lift the salt blocks using wooden poles and cut them into pieces. These are to be transported by camels to the nearest town.
Backbreaking work if there’s one. I’ve tried to lift a brick size of salt – not only was it heavy, but it was so coarse it cut the skin of my hands. Oh, did I mention that this area holds the record as the hottest place on earth?
Seeing these people made me think of my own relatively luxurious life – and how grateful I should feel.
5: Makes My Mouth Water – Thai Food
Hmmmm, Thai food. This particular dish is called Khao Soi – a curry based noodle soup served with lime and pickled vegetable. It’s one of the signature dishes of Chiang Mai. So far, I have yet to find it in Thai restaurants in the States.
6: Tells a Story – Preparing San Pedro Cactus in Peru
We’ve learned so much about hallucinogenic drug while we were in Peru. Ayahuasca and San Pedro cactus are easily obtainable in Peru and many tourists would participate in ceremonies involving them. We helped prepare the concoction when we were in Hatun Machay, Northern Peru.
We didn’t partake, but we did leave knowing more about these chemicals than we’d ever care to know and with plenty of stories to tell.
7: Most Proud Of (aka My National Geographic Shot)
When I was in Burma I forced myself to ask people for their photos at least twice a day – luckily Burma is as good of place to do this. Myanmar (Burma) has some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met and it made it tons easier.
So naturally, most of the pictures I’m most proud of, even though it might not be a Nat Geo quality, are the ones with people in them. Here’s the complete story behind the photo.