Tips for Photographing Cinque Terre, Italy

Riomaggiore Italy

Benjamin Mourot is a french photographer who has captured fantastic and unique images along the rugged Italian Riviera. "The Five Lands" or Cinque Terre as it's known around the world, is comprised of five coastal villages in the Liguria region which is on many travelers bucket lists. Here Benjamin shares his advice about the most difficult aspects of landscape photography in Cinque Terre and the nearby fishing village of Read More

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai Hotels_affordable luxury

With a whopping 32,000 hotel rooms in this northern Thailand city, where do you even begin? The truth is, many travelers who pass through Chiang Mai just rent a room from a guest house for weeks at a time because it's so inexpensive and there is plenty to explore. Some of us, however, are just visiting for a few days and are in search of more comfortable, but still affordable accommodations full of Thai charm and that's Read More

Descanso Gardens

Arched bridge at the Japanese Garden

Tucked away in Los Angeles is the dreamy 150-acre public botanical garden known as Descanso Gardens. Their famed Camellia collection is the largest in North America and the gardens are also home to the remainder of a magical oak tree forest that once consumed the entire region. This spring their Japanese Garden offered cherry trees in full bloom and a sprawling lilac garden with amazingly fragrant blooms. I thought you'd enjoy Read More

Spring on California’s Blossom Trail

Spring on the Blossom Trail 03_sq

I recently visited the San Joaquin Valley in Central California (near Fresno) to photograph the hundreds of acres dedicated to fruit orchards known as "The Blossom Trail". Other than a small pack of adorable little 'watch dogs', the only company I had was the chirping birds and industrious bees. It was one of the prettiest mornings I can remember... the fragrance of honey in the air and flower petals covering the floor. Not to Read More

Puppy Patrol

Playful Puppy in Peach Tree Orchard

I recently visited fruit orchards in central California to photograph their annual spring blooms, and as it turned out, the highlight of my trip had nothing to do with flowers.... The local tourism office encourages visitors to drive the "Blossom Trail" with a provided map and you can pull over for photo ops at various orchards. So I did, paying attention to avoid the places with 'keep out' or 'no trespassing' signs. I came Read More

Embracing Flaws: Film Photography in France

seaside mediterranean hotel

I had traveled 7 countries and 8 US states having shot about a dozen rolls of 120 film with my Holga camera, a lightweight plastic film camera from the 1980s. The whole idea of film photography with a Holga is what some people call a "low-fidelity aesthetic" where flaws such as light leaks, blurry edges and other distortions are the norm. Well, if flaws are what you seek, then I have a doozy for you. When I got home Read More

Spices of the World

traveler gifts_spices of the world

As we visit other cultures on our travels we become inspired by the intense flavors and unique traditions. Even those of us who have zero experience in the kitchen sometimes find ourselves feeling bold enough to attempt a Moroccan or Indian recipe. In a way, the flavors bring back memories of our travels and celebrate those cultures. It's always fun, but not necessarily easy to find the spices you need—and when you do find Read More

An Entire Dog Mall in Tokyo, Japan

adorable dog mall tokyo

It is no secret that many of Tokyo's 13 million inhabitants love animals. Animal cafés across the city allow apartment dwellers an opportunity to give and receive love from an animal and thus help relieve stress in their lives. As an animal lover, this is a concept I can totally appreciate. Despite having a list of dog cafés to visit on my trip to Tokyo, I couldn't locate a single one! I found navigating the city overwhelming, Read More

Why Trek in Chiang Mai, Thailand

group of trekkers in Chiang Mai

If you've spent any time in Chiang Mai, your visit was undoubtedly memorable. Though the city has an incredible amount of things to see and do, trekking is the number one thing that draws visitors. You'll find tour companies on almost every corner who offer multi-day trekking tours into the mountains of northern Thailand for a chance to experience authentic hill tribe cultures. There are some things I wish I had done Read More