2014 By the Numbers

It isn’t every year one can say that they’ve been around the world.

Well, 2014 was a unique year for me. I made my way around the world, with a couple extra crossings of the Atlantic Ocean and Equator thrown in for good measure. Many photos were taken (around 50k) and the passport never got cold. Here is a bit of a round-up in numbers and superlatives.

Colorful time zone map of the world

Countries visited: 18 (In order of appearance….Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, England, Denmark, Sweden, Ecuador, France, Spain, Costa Rica, and Mexico.)

Number of airplane take offs and, thank goodness, landings: 45

Trains taken: 8

First class Mexican buses taken: 1

Favorite modes of alternative transport: horse, tuk tuk, Indian houseboat, Burmese bicycle taxi, zodiac boat, cable car

Miles sailed with Semester at Sea: 23,379.5 nautical miles

Number of days spent living on a ship: 143 (115 on the MV Explorer and 28 on the National Geographic Endeavour)

Amount of college students stuck on a ship with me (and me with them): over 500

Time zones crossed: all of them

Most interesting geographic coordinate: zero degrees longitude and zero degrees latitude in the Gulf of Guinea (yes, there is a buoy out there)

As I write this from Paris, I already know 2015 will be filled with more travels and many more photos. Stay tuned for adventures from France, Spain, South Africa, Ecuador, and who knows where else. Happy 2015!

Hong Kong skyline viewed from ship.

Jumping Ships

I’ve spent the majority of my time this year on a ship and I’m about to get onto another.

I recently returned from my assignment with Semester at Sea as photographer for the Spring 2014 Voyage’s communications team. While on board the MV Explorer, we circumnavigated the globe, traveling 23,379 nautical miles west from Ensenada, Mexico, to Southampton, England.

To see all of my posts for Semester at Sea, click here. And head to my personal travel blog (which is still catching up!) for even more photos and reflections. My personal highlights were exploring Yangon, Myanmar, on a serendipitous day of travel, marveling at life and death along the Ganges River in India, and wandering through the temples of Kyoto, Japan. I was lucky enough to get to tag along with a few classes while in port as well. I received at crash course in South African cinema while visiting the University of Cape Town. And I’m now well-versed in the art of Burmese puppetry and have a better grasp on evolution after visiting the botanic gardens and zoo in Singapore.

And this weekend I’m getting onto another ship, the National Geographic Endeavor, to teach photography for National Geographic and Lindblad in the Galápagos Islands off of Ecuador. Follow along through Lindblad Expeditions’ Instagram feed here.

My subject matter is quickly going to change from globe-trotting college students to slow-moving tortoises and happy sea lions, but before that happens, below is a collection of my favorite photos of student life from the Spring 2014 Semester at Sea voyage. Click on any thumbnail to view larger in gallery mode.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

My, what a year 2013 was. An update is long overdue. In 2013 I made my annual pilgrimage to New Orleans to don not one, not two, but four costumes and photograph one of the greatest festivals on earth, Mardi Gras. My San Francisco feature story photos hit the press and came out in the April issue of National Geographic Traveler. I worked with Dan Westergren and Mark Thiessen teaching weekend photo workshops in DC and explored the city through the eyes of curious photography students. I was inspired and rejuvenated at the annual National Geographic Magazine Photo Seminar in January and at the Look3 festival in June. In August I bid adieu to my office and colleagues at National Geographic Traveler after seven wonderful years of photo editing. I packed up my DC apartment and hopped a plane to Africa to explore eight different countries. I survived a hippo-riddled canoe ride on the Zambezi River, marvels at the wonder of Victoria Falls, and fell in love with leopards. I spent an entire month in the gorgeous city of Cape Town before heading back to my home state of Oregon. Thousands of photos later, it is 2014 and I’ve repacked my bags for the next big thing. Today I’m boarding a ship which I’ll call home for 114 days while working as photographer for the Institute for Shipboard Education’s program, Semester at Sea. Follow along at my travel blog or through the Spring 2014 voyage blog where I’ll be contributing. Then in June and October I’ll be on a ship again, cruising through the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions as a photography Expert and instructor. With almost a third of 2014 being spent on a ship, I best find my sea legs. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite photos from Africa in 2013.