As travel photographers, we are always on the lookout to discover something beautiful and relatively untouched. Summer is fast approaching and my feet are getting itchy. How about you?
So, it is time to publish my travel list and get some adventures in the calendar. As I am flying between Europe and New Zealand around once a year I am able to break up the trip with some time in interesting places along the way.
My aim in preparing a travel list is to shoot for the stars, that way if you miss you'll hit the moon. I figure that the moon is still pretty cool looking. That being said here are the top places on my 2017/2018 travel list:
Patagonia has it all. Mountains, greenery, snow, glaciers, wildlife, and deserts all in the one location. If it isn't already, it should be at the top of your travel bucket list. For those not familiar, it encompasses the southern-most tip of the South American continent and spans across Chile and Argentina. Top travel photography destinations in Patagonia include Valdés Peninsula, Ushuaia, Perito Moreno glacier, and Torres Del Paine National Park.
Cuba has gone through 60 years of difficult times, but the culture remains rich and upbeat. Squeaky white sand beaches are beautifully contrasted with colourful semi-derelict buildings and beautiful vintage cars. Visiting Cuba is a lot like travelling back to time. However, I fear that this magic could change. Cuba is now allowing more capitalism into what was a strictly communist regime. Cuba is a street photographers paradise. If this is your thing Old Havana is a must visit.
Northern Norway is home to countless fjords, which take coastal hiking and ocean views to a whole new level. Imagine watching the sunset from the peak of a 1300m deep Fjord. Norway is deep in the arctic circle, therefore has a long dark winter and a bright summer. Both seasons are popular but many visitors come in Winter to see the aurora. I have always enjoyed Arctic regions in late Summer/early Autumn as this gives the snow a chance to melt as the daylight hours return to "normal". This also allows plenty of darkness to view the Aurora. Just don't plan on getting much sleep.
This one is a longshot, but longshots are always the best when they are successful! When it comes to discovering untouched natural beauty, you can't help but find it in Antarctica. The Antarctic Peninsula is the most accessible and safe area of Antarctica, as a result, there are a number of tour ships that travel there. As with Norway, you need to visit in the Southern Hemisphere's summer (or the shoulder seasons) when the days are long. The landscape and animal photography here in Antarctica is some of the best in the world.
Southern Italy has some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. You can pick up a flight to Naples from London for around £100. From here you want to rent a car to get the best out of the region. Make sure to visit Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Sassi di Matera, Tropea, and Alberobello. Once you get down to the southern most tip of "the boot" you can take a boat over to the island of Sicily. Top spots to visit here are Catania, SIracusa, Ragusa, Noto and of course Mt Etna.
Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over a thousand years. Stepping out of this limelight it has settled into becoming one of the most historically rich cities in the country. It is full of Buddhist temples, classic wooden houses and Shinto shrines. The style of construction and architecture is absolutely unique to Japan. Couple this with the calm nature of the culture and you are bound to let go of your concerns and melt into some captivating photography. Visit in autumn or spring to either catch the blossoms or the change of colour in the leaves for an extra addition to your shots.
The Scottish Highlands are in the north-west region of Scotland and are comprised of marvellous mountains, captivating valleys and the Loch Ness Monster. You can get lost in Isle of Skye, Portree, Eilean Donan Castle, and the vast Edinburg. It is also the home of Ben Nevis the tallest mountain in the UK at 1345m. Just make sure you have your wet weather gear. The highlands offer some of the best landscape photography in the UK.
As I have to travel to NZ at least once over the period that can cover Patagonia and Kyoto on a single round-the-world trip. These cost a little more than your typical return ticket but are much cheaper than buying each trip individually. Scotland, Norway and Italy are all short flights from London so don't require much time. Cuba will be tied in with a trip to Texas for a wedding. I figure they're close enough together, right?
But the elephant in the room is Antarctica is a notoriously difficult one as you need to be somewhere close to go via boat and I fear it may slip, again. But I am far too stubborn to remove it. If anyone is going or has been to Antarctica can you please get in touch to give me any advice possible?
So what does your travel list look like? Post it in the comments below and let's help inspire each other to get out there and see more of this crazy blue marble we inhabit.
As I move closer to departing on these journeys I will publish my itineraries in the Journal every month. As usual, when I get back I will publish a set of vlogs, photos and a run down of what happened. You can sign up using the form below or head over to the Journal page. Basically, every month I put out an additional piece of content with some smaller articles, tips, news and a free monthly Lightroom preset. The journal always inspires some great email correspondence and is a fantastic way to keep in touch!
Thanks for reading, have a great day!
Ben - Cultured Kiwi Photography