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Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
A trip around the world has always been on my bucket list. I still can’t believe that Jeff and I finally did it. We’ve just returned home to our sunny island home of Phuket, Thailand and finally have a moment to look back on our amazing journey around the world.
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Before we started this trip, I knew that we wouldn’t have the space in our luggage for souvenirs as we were going to nearly 30 different countries. Even though we have been told we packed light, I can assure you that our bags were anything but light. This inspired me to think a little outside the box for souvenir ideas.
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My favorite part about traveling is looking back on my photos long after the trip. It is a great way to put you right back to where you were and bring back memories you had long forgotten about. I wanted to do something fun and different with my photos. So I thought, “Why not bring a chalkboard?” I decided to have a photo taken of myself  holding a chalkboard with the name of the country I was in. I wanted a way to visually see each country while having a reminder of myself in that place during that time. Even if I may have been up all night, had not showered in days or was only in a country for a few hours, I wanted to remember all of it.
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Now, 28 images later, I have a fun collection of pictures that for me, sums up our 159 day, 32,281 mile trip around the world!
Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
CANADA:
Even though Canada isn’t too far from my home county, it was still really exciting to go visit! Two days in Vancouver and I was in love! Canada is a great country and Vancouver is a beautiful city!
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Chalkboard around the world
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ENGLAND:
Since we only had two rainy days in London, and as it was my first time to England I knew I wanted the cliché photo with a red phone booth!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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BELGIUM:
Brussels was a beautiful city and I was surprised at how modern of a city it was. We had one of our favorite meals of the entire trip in Brussels, an absolutely amazing beef stew. This photo was taken at the bus station before we boarded to Amsterdam.
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Chalkboard around the world
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ISRAEL:
With so much history in Israel, I had a hard time deciding where would be best to take a photo here. While we were driving with a guide through the desert we went to this cliff where you could see a beautiful monastery in the hillside. I thought that this would be a great reflection of this historical importance of Israel.

 

Chalkboard around the world
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IRELAND:
Green! I knew I wanted this photo to be green, but I struck it rich when we just happened to get some sunshine since it was gloomy and raining during most of our stay. Ireland may have been our first stop, but it was also one of our favorites. Read our “Complete Guide to Ireland” for our best recommendations!
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Chalkboard around the world

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MOROCCO:
Oh Morocco! We were here for just a few hours while stopping during a cruise we took early in the year. I had always imaged Morocco as a colorful place, however Casablanca was not what I imaged. This is at the Hassan II Mosque which is the 7th largest mosque in the world.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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AUSTRIA:
Innsbruck, Austria is a beautiful little ski town nestled in the mountains. We were lucky enough to stay with some wonderful friends here for 2 weeks!
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Chalkboard around the world

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SPAIN:
We were lucky enough to be in Barcelona on my birthday in January! Once again, this was a quick stop during our cruise so I can’t wait to get back to explore more!
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Chalkboard around the world

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CZECH REPUBLIC:
We met some great friends in Prague and had an amazing time exploring this beautiful old city. While Europe has some of the best beer in the world, I’d bet most of it can be found in Prague, and at a cheap price too!
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Chalkboard around the world

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EGYPT:
Egypt just may have been my favorite place on this trip! Not only did I fulfill a childhood dream of visiting the pyramids, but we also got to spend great time with some new friends!
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Chalkboard around the world

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HUNGARY:
Budapest is one of the most enchanting cities in Europe. It is a great city where history meets a modern twist. I would live here in a heartbeat! This was the first time we have used AirBNB and found ourselves in this old apartment complex trying to find which apartment was ours!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:
Even though we spent most of our time in Dubai, we were still able to get out and see the beautiful desert! Jeff and I were both really impressed with Dubai and can’t wait to get back to explore more.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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ESTONIA:
Tallinn, Estonia is a quant little old city and has so much culture and lots to see. We were only here for one night but enjoyed walking around the old town watching the snow fall.
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Chalkboard around the world

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FINLAND:
Finland is also on the top of my favorite places we’ve been to this year! Helsinki is a great design oriented town that is hip and embraces its rich history, although I had to take this photo while up in Lapland exploring the arctic circle and seeing snow fall for the first time in my life!
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Chalkboard around the world
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ITALY:
We went to many places in Italy, but it was in Venice during Carnival that I wanted to take this photo. Carnival was such a unique and beautiful way to explore all that Venice has to offer.
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Chalkboard around the world
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NORTHERN IRELAND:
While in Dublin, we decided why not take the 3 hour drive with some friends up to Northern Ireland to see the Giant’s Causeway and while we got there right after sunset we were able to catch some light for this photo!
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Chalkboard around the world
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GERMANY:
Germany has always been on the top of my list of places to visit in Europe and this year it finally happened! Although we only had 2 days in Berlin, it was great to learn more about Germany’s vast history and how the city has transformed to a modern city with tons of artistic expression.
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Chalkboard around the world
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HOLLAND:
I didn’t know if I should write Holland or The Netherlands but in the end it didn’t matter since we had such a great time in Amsterdam exploring the canals!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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PORTUGAL:
This photo is in Lisbon near the port while it was pouring rain. We had to be quick since the rain just kept washing the chalk off the board, but it made for a fun experience!
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Chalkboard around the world

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TURKEY:
Although Istanbul has so much history and culture, it was this pop of color while walking around that caught my eye. I wanted to show a different side to such an old city.
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Chalkboard around the world

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SWEDEN:
Since we spent an entire night at the airport in Stockholm we though it would be fun to take photos in the nearly abandoned airport at 2 in the morning.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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VATICAN:
The Vatican is such a beautiful place and it was very surreal to see all the paintings and murals in the museum, but it was here that meant the most to me. It really is amazing to stand here and thing about all the people that come here to see the pope.
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Chalkboard around the world

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MALDIVES:
Holy blue ocean! The Maldives are such a beautiful place. There are 1,190 different islands so it is hard to pick just one. We stayed in Maafushi which is a local island, but as you can see we still had a resort like beach to spend our time.
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Chalkboard around the world
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FRANCE:
Paris is a place that every girl longs to go to at least once in her life and I was no exception, I absolutely fell in love with Paris. We had an amazing 5 days here with a good friend who was kind enough to show us around this memorizing city. I can’t wait to get back and eat some more macaroons!

Chalkboard around the world

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SINGAPORE:
While it was not my first time in Singapore, it was great to be back and see how much this city has grown. Singapore is a beautiful city which great people and beautiful architecture.
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Thailand
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THAILAND:
Phuket will always be a second home to me and it is where we began and ended our around the world trip. Living here has really opened my eyes and taking this photo was really important. This photo was taken in a little lagoon in Koh Phi Phi Ley near where the majestic beach from the movie The Beach was filmed. You can see another hidden beach in the background that we could swim to. Taking a long tail boat out to this preserved island and spending the day snorkeling and soaking up the sun is my favorite thing to do in Thailand.
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MEXICO:
Growing up, my family always spent at least once if not twice a year in Mexico. This year I was fortunate enough to get the change to travel to a new place in Baja called Loreto. It is a great little fishing town located right on the Sea of Cortez.
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SRI LANKA:
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation located just southeast of India and visiting was a great treat for me. There are many elephants, beautiful landscapes and beaches. If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful country, take it!
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Bio Photo Marina 150x150 My First Time: Taking a Cruise Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

Airline Review: Wizzair

Airline Review: Wizz Air

Budapest had been on our list of cities in Europe to visit, but it wasn’t until this year that we found ourselves close enough to pay the city a visit. And while we have flown on some of the most popular budget airlines in Europe this year, we also hadn’t heard of Hungarian’s most popular budget airline, Wizz Air, until this year either. Easily the cheapest option to and from Budapest from countless cities, we chose to book our outbound travel from Budapest to Istanbul with Wizz Air.

We found a super cheap one way flight, however we made the mistake of waiting to purchase the seats and although they went up in price a bit they were still the cheapest option. As with any budget airline, the single most important thing to a problem free journey is making sure you sign up for every available add on you will need on your flight. We always travel light so we opted to check one small suitcase each as well as each paying a little extra for a large in-cabin backpack.

Unfortunately, we make the mistake of thinking Marina’s purse wouldn’t count as a cabin bag, and even though one small cabin bag is free, if you bring two, you’ll pay for both. Important note to remember, ALWAYS make sure to include your add ons when you purchase your ticket instead of showing up to the airport with an extra bag. Marina’s purse was going to cost an additional 70 euros, more than the flight itself, so we had to make room in our checked bag for it before completing the check in process. Note that the 70 euro price is a penalty price for adding a bag last minute, and not the normal rate if booked ahead of time.

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“We were happily surprised to find that Wizzair allows the most weight for checked bags of any budget airline…”

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TIP: If you are flying into Turkey as we were, remember to apply for and pay for your Turkish visa online before arrival. Starting April 1, you must buy your visa online prior to arrival. $20 US per person.

Speaking of checked bags, we have to admit that while the 70 euro additional fee price tag shocked us, we were happily surprised to find that Wizz Air allows the most weight for checked bags of any budget airline. Where RyanAir and easyJet only allow 15 and 20kg per checked bag, Wizz Air allows a massive feeling 32kg, which was more than enough for us, even after adding Marina’s purse.

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Airline Review: Wizzair

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Now, while we are not big fans of all the extra comfort charges budget airlines charge, the extra 4 euros for priority boarding is probably the one we would chose the most. Seeing as all flights have open seating, being the first one on and off is a huge plus and while worth the small fee. In addition, Wizz Air now offers their “Wizz Privilege Pass”, a concept which we have been wanting to see in the airline industry for a long time. The Wizz Pass offers frequent flyers a membership which allows one free cabin bag and priority boarding for only 99 euros a year, which can pay off very quickly, and while Wizz Air is based in Hungary, they offer a large variety of flights to many popular European destinations.

To our surprise Wizz Air boasts one of the best on time records in Europe and routinely scores higher than not only other budget airlines, but the big boys as well. Our flight as on time, the seats comfortable, the planes bright purple and impossible to miss and the in flight crew was helpful and accommodating.

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Airline Review: Wizzair

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

trips 4 photographers interview lat 34

Trips 4 Photographers, Why Taking One is Worth it!

Since Marina and I are both professional visual journalists, we are always keen to find new ways fellow travel photographers can come together, make pictures and see the world. And while many travel photographers are full time freelancers bouncing around the globe, many professional amateurs really love going on photo adventures with fellow enthusiasts and they can be a wonderful way to form community, see the world, gain confidence and most importantly take better photographs! “Our trips aren’t only for students, and amateurs, but true professionals as well”, says Meir Jacob, the founder of Trips 4 Photographers.

We recently caught up with Meir to pick his brain about the importance and power of group outings and how they can help photographers on every level. Here is our short interview with Meir, his passion and dedication to photography and culture is immediately apparent!

trips 4 photographers interview

Latitude 34: What do you think the most important lesson for young photographers to learn while traveling is?

Meir Jacob: I was born in Romania and read stuff until age of 7, then immigrated to Israel… after 40 years was invited back to the Romania where I was born to practice as consultant, and then I discovered for the first time ,in the deepest way the meaning of ‘culture’, difference of cultures, values… Coming from ‘two places at one time’ helped me to grasp the deep difference between our cultures and the different cultures they share among themselves. This is one of the most inspiring experiences I had, and this is one of the most important things I would love younger people to gain from these workshops “to recognize culture” to understand how different could people coming from different places see things yet never being wrong about what they perceive. Imagine coming from a chaotic country, built on entrepreneurship to a country trained for decades to obey… The point was not who or what is better, but rather to understand how deep culture sits and to what extent it influences our beliefs system and in fact our life and fate.

LAT34: Where was the first place you photographed while traveling and fell in love with?

MJ: I loved photographing Turkey – one of the most fascinating countries. Practicing as a consultant for a huge beverage firm in Romania, and since I was working with sales, I had the opportunity to visit more than 80% of what the local people get to see during their life – I love shooting Romania, excellent place for anything ‘forgotten in time’ – beautiful landscape – people of the friendliest kind… I was born there so… there must be some Slibovitz in my blood (that’s the stiff plums local drink)

trips 4 photographers interview

LAT34: What made you decide to start photography tours? Was it you love of travel or photography?

MJ: I’m not sure what came first, my love to travel (I have practiced as Tour Leader and guide for one of our biggest firms here during the 90’s) and I traveled lots as TL and with my wife…. or my love for Photography. I guess it comes from a third place – from my love for project management and from my love for the experience of mentoring. I LOVE seeing people around me explore, discover, get insights… If I can facilitate any of that I’m happy. In a way I call it my new form of art… Creating a meaningful experience for people with cameras.

LAT34: What is one country you have yet to visit that you must photograph?

MJ: Regretfully, I can’t count one country only. I would love to go back to Romania, Turkey (and I will), I started a collaboration with some people in Andalucia Spain, I want to explore the Hardcore Flamenco country – going all the way to those little villages where Flamenco runs with mothers’ milk. Bhutan is just behind the corner (have a trip planned for March 2014..) So there’s plenty to look forward to.

LAT34: What is your favorite travel image you have shot and what does it mean to you?

MJ: I’m not sure I can mention ONE travel image, there are quite a few. There are various ways I can find an image gratifying: The unique composition, light I managed to capture… a magical moment with a ‘model’ I met in the market place… There is always the dilemma – the absolute photographic quality of a photo versus the sentiments invested in it… it’s never easy to please the ‘internal client’, the ‘internal curator’.

Meir and Trips 4 Photographers currently offers wonderful photo trips through such amazing places as Bhutan, Istanbul, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia Herzegovina and Iceland. In addition to their planned trips for professional and semi professional photographers, they are shortly announcing trips just for students with special mentors, collaborations and lectures to maximize the potential learning experiences for all.

trips 4 photographers interview

Their flagship tour takes place every winter in Istanbul and sounds incredible! Read their description and 6 reasons why it will be the trip of a lifetime!

Istanbul is beautiful all the year around. This year we decided to offer a series of workshops, each dedicated to a season. 
The first one is Winter Workshop for Photographs. A unique opportunity to capture a dreamy snowy Istanbul!
Unveiling the secrets of Istanbul – Cultures, People, Places…
A Byzantine Capital for a whole millennium, an Ottoman Capital for almost 600 years, a bridge between East and West, the only city built on two continents – all of that and more in a tour designed by and for Photographers. 
A 5 days trip to one of the most fascinating cities on this planet.
Here are 6 reasons why this is going to be a wonderful experience and a Photographer’s must:
1. Intimacy – the group is limited to maximum 16 Photographers (minimum 8), which will allow us a real workshop atmosphere.
2. Careful design and planning of the itinerary, down to the minutest detail from a photographer’s angle: Themes X Venues X Timing X Light X Logistics
3. Emphasis on practicing and improving progressive Photography techniques: 
– HDR mini-workshops 
– Long exposure, Night shots
– Silhouettes
4. The added value of Mindful photography:
– Introduction to Visual Anthropology – exploring a culture through our camera lens
– Introduction to Muslim Art, identifying the aesthetic values, elements and motifs
5. Impeccable logistics: An excellent local support team. Any problem thought off – solved ahead: Camera passes, Professional guides, Transportation… 
6. Last but by all means not least: The love we have for the place, it’s attractions and stories that was invested in the planning of this workshop. This is a love we are convinced will be shared by anyone to take part in this workshop.

trips 4 photographers interview

We were thrilled to speak with Meir and sincerely hope we can join an expedition with Trips 4 Photographers in the near future! Special thanks to Meir for introducing us to his passion and the wonderful experiences he helps to offer. Check out the official Trips 4 Photographers Website, and follow them at on their Trips4Photographers Facebook Page as well as on twitter @trips4photo 

Keep up to date with them , like them, follow them and look out for new and exciting trip announcements coming soon!

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jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to forget them all.

A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh.

Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!


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