Thoughts On the Canon AE-1 Program so far…

Hey guys,

This is the Canon Ae-1 Program I picked up last week from Facebook Marketplace.

Alot of people recommended this camera when I was researching what film camera to buy. I wanted something simple, affordable and easy to take with me.

Continue reading “Thoughts On the Canon AE-1 Program so far…”

My Phone’s Camera Roll Photos #2

Hey guys, I hope you’re doing well out there!

For this photoblog I scrolled through my phones camera roll and picked out 8 photos I wanted to share with you today. These photos aren’t necessarily my favorite, or best capture, but they’e meaningful to me and I think you’ll like them!

Camera roll stories


I took this photo while walking around downtown Bristol, RI. It’s actually composed of two photos. I used a picture I took of a blue cloudy sky to frame the group of friends watching sunset. I then used a white border to bring it all together. I’ve been finding it interesting all the ways you can compliment a photo using borders and frames.
This is the canon ae-1 program I picked up last week. For those of you who don’t know, the canon ae-1 was a popular film SLR back in the 80’s. When I did my research for what camera I should buy a lot of people recommended I start with the ae-1 for its price and simplicity. I’ve only shot with it a handful of times but so far I’m having so much fun with it.
Another example of how I’ve been experimenting with borders lately. I took both photos a few years back in Pico, Azores and I used a shot of the ocean to frame my subject throwing up a peace sign. The ocean picture alone is boring, but when paired with the second I think it really brings out a cool aesthetic.
The sign reads, “Wall of Lost Soles”
I stayed at a cottage over the weekend down near Cape Cod, MA and our neighbor had a wall full of lost &found sandals, flip flops, crocs, and swim shoes. On my last day there, I lost my own slides trying to cross over to the beach. I hope they too end up on the Wall of Lost Soles one day.
I took this photo on a camping trip to upstate New York this past summer. Pictured is my Uncle and Auntie overlooking Lake George from one of the many viewpoints at Prospect Mountain.
When I was staying in Buzzards Bay, MA, the cape cod canal was perfect to walk and get good exercise. A lot of the times I’d bring my camera with me and take pictures along the way. There’s always a bunch of people camping, fishing and doing outdoor activities which makes for awesome scenes to photograph.
A few more:

# 7

I took this photo while I was visiting my brother in North Dakota. I found Minot beautiful in its own empty way. On my walks I would get to a certain point where for miles and miles all I could see was fields and winding hills.

Another shot at sunset:

#8

For the last photo I picked this one of me waiting at the airport. Long layovers are the worst.

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August Memories from Buzzard’s Bay, MA

Photos taken early August, 2020

Buzzards Bay

Massachusetts


Nikon one-touch 100

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May Memories on Cape Cod’s Canal

In the month of May I spent two weeks in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts with family & friends. During this time we made it a priority to walk along the canal at least once a day, although usually it ended up being two or three thanks to how scenic it was during the spring. As of […]

6 Principles For Life and Travel

If you love traveling and your enthusiasm for foreign cultures prompts you to buy a one-way ticket, chances are you follow a certain set of unspoken rules that I call: The Avid Traveler’s Code of Conduct

The stark differences between travelers and tourists: Which One are You?

Hey guys,

It occurred to me how many different ways people like to travel, but for the purpose of this article I’m categorizing them within two main categories:

Travelers and tourists.

Both travelers and tourists love visiting foreign countries, however, their approach to traveling widely differs and there are distinct qualities that separate the two.

Every traveler is a tourist, but not every tourist is a traveler.

See if you identify closer with one of the two as you read!

Travel Itinerary

A tourist visits a country for a week or two on vacation.
A traveler visits a country for an extended period of time.

Tourists book their vacation a year or two in advance to get away from the everyday hustle. They want a holiday escape to unwind, relax, and take time off from their responsibilities.

Travelers go to a country on an expedition of sorts where the purpose is to learn something about the world. They want to stay for as long as possible or until they achieve what they originally set out to do.

Packing, luggage & belongings

A tourist packs 2-3 suitcases.
A traveler packs just what he needs.

Tourists ALWAYS overpack. They think they need way more than they actually do. Instead of packing for 1-2 weeks, they pack a few months supply of clothes, accessories, and personal items. They end up only using a fraction of what they packed.

Travelers understand the less the better. They know overpacking means excess weight that becomes a hassle to bring around everywhere. Less stuff means less worry and more attention towards the trip itself.

Lodging & Accommodation

A tourist stays in resorts and hotels.
A traveler hostel-hops, couch-surfs , and sets up camp.

Tourists value comfort, convenience, and cost. Most of them want a private, up-scale, fully accommodated room with professional service a phone call away. They want a king-sized bed, a main lobby with a rec centre, swimming pool and a downstairs restaurant & bar. The price needs be fair and reflect high value for the amount payed.

Travelers value experience, immersion, and cost. They want to be surrounded by like-minded people who share their stories and insight. Many of them lean towards hostels since they’re economic and provide a central hub for other travelers with similar objectives. If a local invites a traveler to stay with them for a few nights, the opportunity for immersion far out weighs the comfort and convienence of a standard hotel/hostel room.

To-do list

A tourist joins tour groups and purchases sight-seeing packages from travel agencies.
A traveler meets people who show him around and give recommendations for free.

Tourists rigorously plan and schedule their 7-14 day vacation. They want every hour of every day to be something to do and somewhere to go. Travel agencies mark their calenders and suggest everything from where to eat, to places you should and should not go.

Travelers don’t want a pre-decided plan. They act spontaneously and instinctively. Most of the time they meet friendly locals who want to show them around their city. Instead of adhering to a rigid plan, they have a general idea of what they want to do and where they want to go for the day.

Where to go and what to see

A tourist wants to see the main attractions.
A traveler wants to see through the locals’ eyes.

If you’ve ever been to a popular major city like Paris, or Rome I’m sure you’ve seen the groups of tourists with selfie-sticks taking photos in front of the historical monuments.

Tourists want to see historical significance as long as they’re able to share it with their friends and family on social media.

Travelers and tourists alike want to visit world famous monuments, buildings, and museums, but the only difference is a traveler tends to see the main attractions as a “tourist trap.” Travelers want to experience Paris and Rome as a local does, not as the tourism industry advertises.

Language learning

A tourist doesn’t spend time learning a new language.
A traveler finds it important to communicate with the locals.

A tourist at most remembers a few words from foreign language class. Maybe they use important words and phrases like, “please, thank you, & where is the bathroom?” Beyond that, the places they go are most likely accustomed to English-speaking tourists so there’s no need (or want) to actually learn the local language.

Travelers, on the other hand, make a genuine effort to speak and learn the language of the country they’re visiting. They want to talk with a native speaker who doesn’t speak English as a second language. A travelers goal is to be able to order food, ask for directions, make small talk, and immerse themselves as much as possible in the culture.

Comfort and Novelty

A tourist acts within their comfort zone.
A traveler seeks to explore the unknown.

To a certain extent, when a tourist visits a foreign country it is acting outside of their comfort zone. For the most part, however, a tourist adheres to the pre-planned itinerary and doesn’t sway too off schedule. Tourists tend to stick with what’s familiar and not too far off from their cultural norm.

When a traveler visits a foreign country, he/she wants to experience something other. A lot of times they’re on personal quests of self discovery, meaning, and existential order. Travelers seek adventure and discovery. They want to experience all the ups and downs that comes with venturing outside of their comfort zone.

Blending in and Standing out

A tourist always walks looking up, down & around.
A traveler walks with direciton.

A tourist stands out.
A traveler blends in.

You can spot a tourist right away. They stand out like neon colors. The tourist starter pack includes a camera, oversized backpack, souvenir shirt, selfie stick, and a local map.

Travelers try to blend in as much as possible. They want to look and act like the local population to not draw unnecessary attention.

Bonus*
A tourist walks into an Italian cafe and makes sure to order Italian coffee and Italian cookies
A traveler walks into an Italian cafe and orders coffee and cookies.


So, which one are you, traveler or tourist? Comment below & and Share with your friends!

Read my other posts!

6 Principles For Life and Travel

If you love traveling and your enthusiasm for foreign cultures prompts you to buy a one-way ticket, chances are you follow a certain set of unspoken rules that I call: The Avid Traveler’s Code of Conduct

Street Photography in Downtown Bristol

Photos taken August 12, 2020

Downtown Bristol, Rhode Island


One of my favourite photography exercises is going somewhere you’ve been many times before and trying to find shots you haven’t taken. I find there’s always something new to shoot if you consciously look for it.

My favourite time to do this is right before golden hour so that I can follow the light as it shifts and casts shadows on potential subjects.

Not to mention, its also therapeutic. When you force yourself to look at a familiar place in a new way I think it makes you appreciate your surroundings more. On top of that, you get plenty of exercise!

Walking home alone at night

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Bristol, Rhode Island

Like all of you, I spent both the winter season and spring cooped up at home social distancing, self-quarantining and losing partial sanity.

On Photography Gear & What I’ve Learned In the Past 4 years (Read Before Making Your Purchase!)

I started photography when I got back from my trip to the Azores in 2016.

That trip inspired me to invest in my first camera as soon as I got back home to Florida.

I went to Best Buy, bought a Canon Rebel T5i which came with a 18-55mm f/5.6 kit lens. I spent around $600.

Here are a few raw shots
(june, 2016)
Photos straight out of camera. No edits or adjustments.

A few months later I bought a new lens: the 50mm f/1.8
Price: $96

This lens introduced me more to the technical side of photography. I looked into portraiture because I started to understand more about aperture, bokeh and compositional elements.

A year later I realised a wider angle lens suited my photography interests better. I loved taking wide-open landscape shots at the beach, and creating a better sense of place in my images.

A birthday gift that year was the Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/5.6 ($200)

here are some raw photos

A few months into photography and the original kit lens for my Canon Rebel T5i drowned in an unfortunate canoe expedition! By this time I mostly used the 10-18mm anyway, so it wasn’t a huge loss.

For me, the 10-18mm and 50mm were a practical combination. It was the perfect focal-length range to use for a variety of circumstances. I used the wider lens for landscapes and the prime lens to get up close in detail.

During this time I followed a bunch of photographers on Instagram to see what they were using to get the final results they posted on their feed. Most of them used a Canon 5d Mark iii with a 24-70 f/2.8 lens. This gear setup cost over $2,500 at the time and was far off my budget.

Summer was approaching and with it, a family trip to the Azores! This was my chance, I thought, to take my photography to the next level. I couldn’t afford the lens along with the camera body, so I opted for the Canon 6D (used- $950.) I didn’t realize beforehand that my wide angle lens couldn’t be mounted on a full-frame camera.

The summer of 2017 I bought the Canon 6D and attached the nifty 50 lens to the Azores with me.

2017 Azores summer (Canon 6D, 50mm f/1.8)

To this day I still use this same exact setup.

My most recent purchase was the Yongnuo 35mm f/2.0 lens ($90) which, for me, is a preferable focal length for on-the-go travel photography. I brought this combo with me to the Azores, South America, and New England. It’s perfect for what I like to do.

Canon 6D & Yongnuo 35mm f/2.0

What I’ve learned in the past four years

In total I’ve spent somewhere around $1,900 dollars on photography gear these past four years. Considering how expensive equipment is, let alone new equipment, that price isn’t bad.

The truth is, after everything, I didn’t need to spend that much money. I wanted to.

If you’re just getting into photography, you don’t need to make a huge purchase right off the bat. Even the Canon Rebel I bought was steep to begin with.

I easily could’ve found a cheaper camera, in fact my nana gave me her old point-and-shoot that she had stored away in a closet. It introduced me to film and the fact that I can make meaningful images with whatever you put in my hands.

That’s the moral here. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, or any at all to get your first camera. There’s a good chance someone in your family has one tucked away in their closet. If not, theres plenty of affordable cameras online.

Do your due research, but don’t feel pressured into spending a month’s pay check. There’s actually a lot of influential photographers on Youtube that talk about this same thing: Gear doesn’t matter, practice does.

With the camera you have, go out and take photos. Practice until you like the images you make. Practice until you get a firm understanding about how your camera works. Practice until you think to yourself, “how could’ve I made this photo better?” Naturally, the creative direction you choose to pursue will be clearer. At a certain point, you’ll know what you’re interested in photographing and what setup best supports that.

Even when you feel the only way to get better is to buy a new, expensive camera keep practicing with what you have.

With that said, buying a camera is an important investment in yourself. It means you want to pursue creativity and grow as a photographer. However, that shouldn’t be confused with thinking,

“the more money I spend the better my photos will be.”

That statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you’re ready, make the investment. But not a moment before.

As a photographer the quality of your images is not defined by low aperture lenses or a high number of megapixels.

As a photographer your unique vision and perspective, your experience and technique is what creates better, more meaningful photos.

Don’t forget that.


Hey guys, If you have any questions about this article, camera equipment or photography in general, please let me know in the comments below!

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Memories Within Photographs from this Past Winter

Time: Photos taken between February & early April

Place: Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Gear: Canon 6d w/ Yongnuo 35mm f.2


Winter in New England passed seamlessly into Spring and Summer. Now in the heart of August, I reflect back on some of my favourite photographs during those colder months. Down below I compiled 10 photos that bring me right back.

The photos here are part of larger collections. If you like what you see, follow the link to view the full set!


Mt Hope Bridge connects Bristol and Portsmouth.

Though for me, crossing over this bridge symbolises reuniting with family.

I took this photo on a photography walk, a creative exercise I like to do anytime I’m feeling uninspired.

The Ten Mile River Greenway is a scenic route that goes right through Slater Park and a few other recreational spaces. I remember looking through my camera roll and feeling re-inspired to get out and create more!

This photo is part of a double exposure collection that merged my summer photos in the Azores with winter photos around New England.

Pictured here is my cousin Amelia outside our family home in Pawtucket, RI. At the bottom you can see a palm tree and a building both taken from scenes in Lajes do Pico.

  • photo taken with my point and shoot Nikon one-touch 100

This is my cousin little Kailee.

Kailee is this little brown eyed, dark haired, mischief-in-her-voice girl who calls out my name and says, “I’m gonna getchyu Ryaan”

She’s utterly adorable.

Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is about waking yourself up and enriching your everyday experiences. It’s about living with excitement and genuine curiosity.”

Views from the shoreline

Mt. Hope Farm back in late February.

In all my years of coming to Bristol, I never explored the walking trails of Mt Hope Farm. I came to this pictured point and stayed for awhile.

clearing in the woods, Mt. Hope in the distance.

Photo taken with a Nikon one touch-100. Recently I’ve been using this camera way more than usual. I love the pictures I get from it and the fact I have to wait for the rolls to be processed builds alot of excitement that I get to experience when I see them for the first time.
Colt State Park

see full collections here & here


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Thoughts On the Canon AE-1 Program so far…

My thoughts on the Canon Ae-1 Program I picked up the other week! This article isn’t a review, or guide. It’s just some initial observations I had as I took this camera out for the first few times.

My Phone’s Camera Roll Photos #2

Hey guys, I hope you’re doing well out there! For this photoblog I scrolled through my phones camera roll and picked out 8 photos I wanted to share with you today. These photos aren’t necessarily my favorite, or best capture, but they’e meaningful to me and I think you’ll like them! Camera roll stories # […]

Finding Forgotten Memories: My Phone’s Camera Roll Photos #1

Hey guys, I hope all is well.

For this photo article I scrolled through my phone’s camera roll and selected 10 random photos I wanted to show and give context to. These photos aren’t necessarily my favourite, or best capture, but they’re meaningful to me.

I thought this would be a cool opportunity to tell you a few stories using images lost on my phone. I’m sure you scroll through your camera roll from time to time and find images that jog back a collection of clear memories.

It would be really cool for this article to receive comments with your guys’ own photos and stories, wouldn’t it?

That’s our goal for this article today. I’ll share 10 of mine and you share one of yours!

Deal?

Let’s do it.


This photo was taken back in late 2019 when my family moved from Florida to the Azores. We had just cleared out a 40 foot container filled with our stuff lugged into boxes. We didn’t want everything scattered about our living space so we stored them in the basement, and brought things up as we needed them. Needless to say it was chaotic for awhile trying to fully move in. The first morning we couldn’t find our coffee maker so we opted to use this percolator left behind by the owner of the house. Let me tell you, I made a strong, robust, delicious cup of coffee that morning. I sat out on the patio listening to the ocean with a satisfying morning brew. It was the first time using a percolator and has been my preferred method since.
“What am I trying to communicate?”
I started journaling after I graduated high school back in 2015. Before then I always felt mentally cluttered and one of my health teachers recommended I try it out to see if it helped. And it did. Not at first, but around the one month mark I had more than 30 of my thoughts written down. Each entry was my mind projected onto paper, that’s how I thought of it anyway. I could then analyse myself and reflect on how and why I wrote certain things down. It became a sort of meditation I didn’t have access to beforehand. Nowadays I ask the question, “What am I trying to communicate?” prior to putting pen to pad because I know the importance of clear, articulated thoughts for an uncluttered mind.
This is my Mom and Dad sitting together towards the end of the day at my Avó’s.(Portuguese for “Grandma”)
I don’t know the exact reason why I like this photo, but I have a feeling that years from now I’ll look at it with intense emotion. Maybe it’s the basic-ness of the photo, or maybe the lack of light on both of them, or the cigarette In my dad’s hand and the wine to my mom’s left. I took this photo and thought nothing of it. Now it seems significant. Is that strange?
Pictured here are sunspots on the sea that I took a photo of on my backpacking trip to São Jorge. I followed a farming trail to a clearing on the edge of this huge vegetated rock in the town of Velas. It was just me up there with no plans for the rest of the day. The sun-spots disappeared and reappeared with the shifting clouds above. There was a light show on the Atlantic Ocean and I had the best seat.
This is Mount Pico on the island of Pico in the Azores. The connection I have to this place is both ancestral and spiritual. I always heard my dad’s stories about climbing Pico when I was younger. It wasn’t until I finally visited that I fully understood what he was talking about. And when I stood at the peak and looked out theres no better way to put the feeling I had than I embodied my dad’s stories. For a few moments I felt what he must’ve felt. And then I imagined telling my kids one day how I climbed Pico.
Laguna De La Cocha, Pasto, Colombia (Summer 2018)
Pasto was the second to last town I visited before crossing the border into Ecuador. I was ecstatic to meet up with a friend I met In Bogota to explore the nearby lake. We took a day trip to a few different places but spend a lot of time at this fishing town where their known for their smoked trout. We took one of these boats around the lake to a few different view points. There was actually an island we hiked through before going back for a late lunch. I don’t know what they used to season the trout but however they did it was remarkable.
Ahhh, Cartagena. I love this place. I took this photo the first day of my last week in Colombia. It’s symbolic to me. I had already spent a week here before traveling to the other cities. When I arrived at the airport I knew where I was. I followed the coastal road outside the neighborhoods because I knew it would lead me to the beaches and then the old, walled city. By the time my feet hit the sand the sky was lit up in colors. It was so hot and humid that night but I felt so relaxed and chill.
The best sunsets I’ve ever seen I saw from Sarasota shorelines. I believe this photo was taken at Bird Key park in downtown. I picked this one for its representation of peaceful solitude. In general, solitude was a common theme I noticed in my photography regardless of the exact subject.
I have a few photos stored away on my phone from this three day hike to lake Quilotoa. I regret to tell you however, that I lost the majority of them a few months after getting back from South America. Regardless, I love this photograph. It reminds me to be adventurous, perseverant, and passionate about the world we live in. I snapped this one on the morning of our last dayhike before reaching our destination: Latacunga.
My sister Ray took this photo of me when I got back to my home in Florida. I posted it to instagram with this caption: In the summertime I used pesos instead of dollars, gracias instead of thank you, and I rolled my R’s instead of growling them. In the summertime my purpose was to live like we all do, nothing special except for the feeling it gave me. I was actually alive.
My heartbeat told me by how fast it drummed dealing with everyday situations. Buying bread, jumping on a bus, walking into a city, saying “ola, como estas?” to the pretty brown haired barrista. There were times of heartache too in those foreign city streets. I went a few days without talking to anyone including myself. Tears fell, the sun fell too and at night I looked out the hotel window at the sparkling lights reminding me I was here.
Summertime was both a dream and reality. I walked out the door every morning 6 inches above the ground with my mind firmly planted in my surroundings. Everything was something to see and observe, to experiment and know. When I didn’t know I was okay with that. I’d been here before in this unfamiliar state of mind which seems more recognizable each time I find myself here.

Thanks for reading you guys

Make sure to comment your camera roll photo story down below. I can’t wait to read them!

Theres plenty more here to read, check out my other blog posts.

5 Days at Lake George, New York

Photos taken on our family vacation trip to Lake George, New York July, 2020 Thank you for stopping by and scrolling through. Leave a comment and share with your friends! Make sure to check out my other blog posts

5 Days at Lake George, New York

Photos taken on our family vacation trip to Lake George, New York

July, 2020

Thank you for stopping by and scrolling through.



Leave a comment and share with your friends!

Make sure to check out my other blog posts

6 Principles For Life and Travel

If you love traveling and your enthusiasm for foreign cultures prompts you to buy a one-way ticket, chances are you follow a certain set of unspoken rules that I call: The Avid Traveler’s Code of Conduct

May Memories on Cape Cod’s Canal

In the month of May I spent two weeks in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts with family & friends. During this time we made it a priority to walk along the canal at least once a day, although usually it ended up being two or three thanks to how scenic it was during the spring. As of […]

6 Principles For Life and Travel

If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.”

Anthony Bourdain

If you love traveling and your enthusiasm for foreign cultures prompts you to buy a one-way ticket, chances are you follow a certain set of unspoken rules that I call,

The Avid Traveler’s Code of Conduct.

Besides governmental laws that citizens and tourists alike must follow, there isn’t a guide to how one should conduct themselves in a foreign place.

During my South American trip to Colombia I met this well-spoken hostel owner who told me that people who travel without a code of some sort tend to act like the stereotypical American tourist who, oblivious to their selfish behaviour, imposes their arrogance, ignorance and travel-magazine mentality upon the world.

None of us want to be that tourist.

Think of the following six rules I list in this article as a guide to cultural immersion.

Most of you reading this most likely already follow these rules intuitively and for those of you who don’t, I encourage you to adapt these principles before deciding to travel!

Without further ado, here are my six rules to the avid traveler’s code of conduct.

Treat others how you want to be treated

  1. Showing respect goes without saying. When you show up at someones home or, more broadly, a foreign place, your first responsibility is to be respectful.

    Right back to the basics of social interaction: Always say please and thank you.

    This also means following the established rules, guidelines, and cultural norms. As long as your heart is in the right place giving respect is second nature.

    We first saw this rule posted in big, vibrant colors on our elementary school’s classroom wall. It applies everywhere in life and especially as you travel to unknown places as a visitor.

    Be considerate. Don’t touch what’s not yours. Use your manners. Ask if you’re not certain.

    Simple enough, right?

Observe, Listen, Adapt

2. The second code of conduct for an avid traveler is to adapt to your host’s lifestyle and traditions.

This doesn’t mean to blindly follow, but instead to respect and understand a different and possibly new point of view.

This could mean waking up at the general time of whats expected, eating meals at a certain time or in a particular fashion, and following the “flow” of the household schedule.

Maybe your host practices prayer before and after a meal. Even if you aren’t religious it’s your responsibility as a guest to take part. To certain people, it would be considered highly disrespectful for someone to not follow tradition, especially in a foreign culture.

Observe how people go about their routines, practices, and traditions. Listen to what locals tell you about their beliefs and customs. And adapt to the new information you gain to make your travel experience richer and smoother.

Usually adapting simply means leaving behind your preconceived notions, which brings us to code number three:

Leave behind pre-conceived ideas about the world

3. Pre- conceived ideas and beliefs can be detrimental to your travel experience. They limit the depth of exploration.

If you go somewhere stubbornly set in your ways the chances are your trip will be limited to what you already know and are comfortable with; In that case, you should’ve stayed home in the first place.

Traveling requires an open mind. Only then can you thoroughly explore your surroundings.

Admittedly, most people who decide to travel are pre-supposed to alternative ways of being. In the light of new information open and receptive people often identify their own pre-conceived notions they weren’t aware of.

To expose and then correct a biased idea/belief is one of the many great virtues of traveling. Mark Twain is famously noted for writing,

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Be genuinely curious

4. Tagging along with code number three, an avid traveler must be genuinely curious to learn and understand.

Curiosity can take the shape of many forms and traveling is one of the best ways to express your thirst for knowledge. Perhaps you love history. What better opportunity is there to learn than being in the place of your interest? Maybe it’s your passion for food that drives you to a specific place, or something more nuanced like traditional culinary techniques.

Whatever your curiosity aims at, it is your obligation to seek out new information that broadens and deepens your overall understanding.

Additionally, as a guest in someone’s home it’s wise to get to know your host. Build a relationship with them by sitting down and engaging in conversation. You’ll find that your host will not only be a valuable resource of information, but also act as a compass directing you on your travels.

Too many people either forget or neglect to interact with the people assisting them on their trip. Remember everyone knows something you don’t so be genuinely curious to learn what they’re willing and able to teach you.

Lend a helping hand

5. A helping hand goes a long way which is why it’s absolutely vital to contribute either by helping with housework, cleaning, cooking, running errands or simply telling your stories.

However you choose to contribute, make sure you offer assistance for anything they may need.

Even if they don’t want or need your help, a gesture alone demonstrates your willingness, open personality and it’s even a good sign of your strong work ethic. People will always be willing or more reciprocative to you when you give respect, effort and an extended hand.

Speak the language

6. Our sixth and final code of conduct for the avid traveler is: Speak the language.

For travelers visiting another country, yes, you should learn the very basics of the culture’s language. At minimum learn the words for, “please,” “thank you,” and for your sake, “where is the bathroom?”

In my experience, giving a genuine effort when speaking a foreign language always wins respect from locals. You’re going to make a bunch of mistakes. But you need to try. When people see that you’re going out of your way to learn their language, despite how silly you may sound, they’ll not only teach you, but they’ll encourage you to keep learning.

For travelers visiting a place that shares a common language, this code still applies.

Language isn’t merely the words we use to represent things and actions. It’s also how we communicate using tone, body language, and social cues.

Speak the language means being agreeable or having the social awareness of someone’s possible intentions.You’re likely to come across a wide variety of personalities on your travels and it’s useful to know how to interact with people independent of where they land on that social spectrum.

It applies to bargaining prices, dealing with hustlers, meeting new people, creating opportunities, and making the best of your days with the people you’re with. This rule, which is partly a learned skill, decides whether or not your experiences are positive, immersive and novel.


So, there you have it.

  1. Treat others how you want to be treated
  2. Observe, listen, adapt
  3. Leave behind pre-conceived notions about the world
  4. Be genuinely curious
  5. Lend a helping hand
  6. Speak the language

What can we add to this list? I’m interested in hearing what you guys would add.

  • Leave your suggestions in the comments
  • Give this post a like, and
  • Make sure to share with your friends!

Check these out!

Finding Peace & Quiet at Hideaway Village

Photos taken May 30, 2020

Hideaway Village

Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts



hey guys, I’m Ryan 

I really appreciate you checking out this article! If you enjoyed scrolling though PLEASE share with your friends & family! 

If you want to see more of my travels feel free to check out my other blogs and articles as well. You can find my trips to South America, Florida, the Azores, and most recently New England.

Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers, among other popular Florida destinations, is known for its beaches, shopping centers, and fishing lifestyle. You and your loved ones can experience fun-outdoor activities whether that’d be swimming, kayaking, or sightseeing, dine at delicious ocean-side restaurants and wind down at the end of the day with a beautiful sunset view. If you plan […]

Travel Anecdotes from the Ocean State

Chapter 1 Arriving

Any foreign place that evokes wonder can eventually become familiar and indifferent. On a day like today, mostly grey, storm clouds hover right outside the kitchen window and the once green hillsides appear dark and distant beyond the white mist. If I take a breath and be for but a moment that traveler’s “wanderlust” returns which makes me believe it never truly left. And although I wish I could feel what I felt the first time I saw this place, I know I cannot.

Places echo the past. They hold our memories. Our minds filter novelty with everyday experiences and what was once imbued with awe is now… regular.

To travel is to express that deep residing curiosity, and to have traveled is to be familiar with what was once unknown and otherworldly.

Until I arrive in New England there’s plenty to focus on here. Like, rediscovering appreciation, practicing gratitude, and understanding that many people- most people actually- have never laid eyes on these Islands I have the pleasure to call home.

CHAPTER 2. Books

Picking up an interesting looking book, turning over the cover and reading the first few pages is always the hardest part.

Once I’m hooked though, reading is my preferred form of entertainment and education. With fiction novels theres something fundamentally satisfying about letting the author guide your imagination into a detail-rich world and then creating a bond between you and the characters.

On the other hand, there are certain non-fiction writers who eloquently bridge the gap from ignorance to awareness & understanding in the reader’s mind. They do this in such a way that you have to re-read to fully grasp the significance of the author’s words.

In both cases, how magnificent is it to be utterly absorbed by a body of text?

CHAPTER 3. What it feels like to buy a ticket home

For every adventure I embark on I feel I must bring something back home that either summarises or symbolises my trip. That something doesn’t have to be physical, in most cases it’s not. It’s usually knowledge of some sort, a new perspective that widens my overall awareness.

Buying a ticket home means that upon my arrival I’ll be able to share what it is ive found on my most recent trip. I’ve been on Pico Island the past eight months and despite this fact I worry that I wont have the words to describe everything happening thats changing me.

When my friends and family ask, so what have you been up to these past eight months, how was it, do you have any crazy stories you can tell- how will I respond?

Many of my friends and family haven’t seen me in years. They don’t know the half of it- only what I post on Facebook and Instagram which is minimal. How do I explain what happened, who I am, my goals and objectives. Do I have to at all or will they see it in my face, hear it in my words?

Buying a ticket home means leaving the home we’ve made here.

CHAPTER 4. At the Airport.

I’m sitting at gate 1 waiting for my flight to Ponta Delgada. How am I feeling? Heavy-eyed mostly. I guess you could say I’m calm. Everything went smoothly this morning. I packed what I needed, left the rest, gave my farewells to Mom, Ray, and the pups.

During the flight I questioned whether or not the farewell I gave to mom was good enough. I mean, If mom were to die while I’m in Rhode Island would I be content with what I last said to her?


“I love you.”

Yes, I would be. but I guess it doesn’t feel like enough. I struggle with the idea that the last conversation you share with someone happens without knowing it’ll be the final time. People always say, there was so much more I wanted to say, to ask and to know, but I’ll never get the chance again… they’re gone.

I know I’ll talk to her soon, but do I actually know? I assume I’ll talk to her but what if im not able to, what if something happens between now and then?

Chapter 5. Dual Citizenship

I called three or four places and each person I talked to lead me in the right direction.

First, I needed a long-form birth certificate with an original signature from whom issued it. I went to the vital records office in Providence at Federal Hill. Within 30-45 minutes I was in and out with said certificate and directions to the Secretary of State’s office.

I brought my long-form birth certificate and that’s where they certified it with an apostille.

I spent months in the Azores trying to do this same process but to no avail. I’m excited to finally see progress!








I handed all the required documents to the Portuguese consulate and the women running things told me it was now just a matter of time for all the information to be processed.

I don’t have anything physical to show besides a few receipts. Is it too soon to call myself a dual-citizen?

CHAPTER 6. 30 Days without a phone

Without a phone I realise how draining it can be to have both the real world and digital world competing for your attention. How can one be present for the people around them if they’re constantly checking notifications, updates, messages, texts, photos, articles, news, ect?

It is not possible to give your full undivided attention to the person you’re talking with if at the same time your phone beeps and cries for your time and attention.

Without a phone I’m constantly that person whose company is occupied elsewhere, somewhere in the digital space seeking SOS from the boredom that moment to moment experience entails.

Everyone looks like and exhibits qualities of a full blown addict. The only difference is that phone usage is sociably acceptable and encouraged.

CHAPTER 7. I won’t soon forget

One day I’ll wake up and be old.

I can see it now.

CHAPTER 8. On Boredom…

Where else but here and now is the perfect place and time to practice mindful awareness?

If boredom is what fills your day then let it be the object of your meditation. Watch for the unsettling feeling as thoughts and things compete for your attention.

Will you be compelled to look at your phone, or observe that feeling in stillness?


Instead of giving into your impulses, shake their hand and try to understand them. If you’re able to sit with boredom, are you even bored? If you’re able to sit with anger or any emotion for that matter, are you it (emotion)?

What does boredom entail, what does it consist of, and how long will it last as a fleeting state of mind?

I can see no reason as to why we should succumb to boredom with such an opportunity to be present.

CHAPTER 9. March 29, 2020

I dreamt of Colombia last night. I woke up and went for a long run.

Cars lined the streets on both sides bumper to bumper. A few people were out but I couldn’t see much in front of me as the grey mist shrouded downtown. Sunday morning church bells broke the silence, birds chirping, shoes shuffling. An old-fashioned-pipe-smoking man waves me good morning.

“Good morning”, I said. Yes indeed it is a good morning.



I’m sitting inside now drinking black silk and writing under a dim light.

In trying to find time to sit in silence. I feel unearthed, unable to grasp ground with my roots. Wherever I go life is happening, wherever I go I find myself looking back at where I’ve been.

I suppose this is my silence- pen to paper- and I shouldn’t look further for solace.

CHAPTER 10. Nana’s Grocery list

  1. Soap
  2. Hand soap
  3. Face wash
  4. Waste basket
  5. Mop
  6. Wet dog food
  7. Ketchup
  8. Mustard
  9. Toilet Paper
  10. Lysol
  11. Night light

CHAPTER 11. Belonging

I feel like I don’t belong to any one place.

Here I am in Rhode Island thinking back to my roots. They extend from little ol’ Rehoboth to Pico Island.

All that happened is somehow with me, a recollection of events I recall in my playlists of songs. I remember a powerful sun who’s warmth I carried both in my smile and in my chest, beating to a mid- summer thunderstorm.

I would sit outside on the entrance steps watching our dog Bo sit cross-legged waiting for mom’s arrival like an honourable companion.

I think back to late September after my South-American summer. Six months passed in shadows and then there I was again walking the same shorelines I came to know so well.

Now I’m here, but so much of myself is scattered elsewhere.













CHAPTER 11. Tacks on a Map

I’m not sure what I think or believe until I either say it aloud, or write it in ink.

If nothing else, this journal is a psychological expedition into the unknown parts of my mind.

CHAPTER 12. Quarantined…

-you know you’re regressing as a person when you start eating pop-tarts in bed.

I did not expect my Spring to be spent cooped up inside waiting for Summer’s arrival and a deadly virus’s departure.

My days are spent thinking about what I should do and then doing something else entirely. Why write when I can play, why read when I can watch?

All this social media optimism pisses me off. As much as I respect and appreciate an optimistic perspective amidst a shitty situation, why can’t anyone be a realist for a second?

Yes, with new-found time we can focus on passion projects and things we usually don’t have time for, but people are dying by the thousands everyday.

And to be honest,(maybe this is pessimism) as imperfect, habit engrained, stubborn creatures we’re likely to become depressed and anxiety-ridden rather than creatively productive.


Speak for yourself, you might say.

I see you, though. For fuck-sake we are not these optimally functioning, highly productive, creative saints. We gorge ourselves with food and media. We obsess over pop-culture trends and political headlines. We want so desperately approval and confirmation from our peers that we pretend, or over-emphasise our productive behaviour.

Despite my clear frustrations, I do throw my hands up to those taking advantage of their time.

I just feel like the idea that the majority of people suddenly turned a new leaf and left their self-destructive habits behind is bogus.

CHAPTER 13. No-Man Mentality

Saying “no” to bad decisions gives you more time and energy for good decisions.

When you make a bad decision it’s usually because one of two things: lack of impulse control or bad habit. Or maybe you find it much more difficult to say no than to say yes.

Think of it in terms of opportunity cost.


Usually a bad decision has immediate and temporary benefits whereas a good decision has delayed and lasting benefits.

Thinking in terms of opportunity cost is a great way to measure your choices and therefore the value of the decisions you make.

Chapter 14. Buzzards Bay, MA

Water glistens like summer eyes. 
Blossoming spring, birds chirp the theme 
and the sound of woodwork beyond the pond centres me

CHAPTER 15. To North Dakota, I go

I have nowhere to be, no particular place to go. This is the traveler’s freedom and burden alike.

I feel content right where I am and wherever I go.

North Dakota- I didn’t think I’d be going there anytime in my forseeable future and now I’m set to stay for the summer.

I arrived in Minot, North Dakota last night after a full day of waiting in airports. Right now I’m with my brother Kegan and his wife Mariah who I haven’t seen in almost two years! I didn’t realize how much I missed them. I didn’t realize how fast these last 24 months went by. I never thought I’d go to North Dakota in my life, you know what I mean? It wasn’t exactly in my travel itinerary. Here I am though with family living life and creating moments, memories that I won’t soon forget. Oh, how could I? I do feel like I’m the middle of nowhere but I’m with my bro and that alone makes happy to be here.

Minot, North Dakota

I bought a flight to North Dakota with the purpose of reconnecting with my brother who I hadn’t seen in almost two years.

After basic and technical training in Texas, the Airforce assigned Kegan to the antonym of things-to-do Minot, North Dakota where if you look out into the distance all you see is land stretched out like a limber body.

I mean for miles and miles theres nothing but land.

The Great Plains is what they call it: Three-hundred-forty miles from east to west, 240 miles north to south for a total of a shit ton of nutrient-rich grasslands which farmers and migrating buffalo love(d) alike.

Here in Minot there isn’t much to do, or see for that matter especially for Airmen who request to be stationed in picturesque Colorado. Unfortunately location requests don’t hold weight when certain places have a higher need for particular jobs- that’s what my brother told me anyway.

Military Police, for example, are in much greater demand in Minot due to the nature of the base’s responsibilities which I have been reminded is classified, though a quick google search gives the general idea.

Minot, The Magic City

Nicknamed “The Magic City” for its relatively quick expansion in a short amount of time, Minot is not what is conventionally considered “magic.”

However, that doesn’t mean the magic city doesn’t cast a charm. It does in its own rural way.

While taking a walk I followed a dirt road that lead me to fields of yellow flowers. I came back later for sunset and found myself smiling at the scenery you see here in the photo. I stayed put for a while longer. I stayed until the sunset faded into a dark twilight.

I’ve been here since June 15th and although this place is in the middle of nowhere with not much going on I can’t bring myself to complain. I’m with my brother who’s life unfolds here for the next few years and I have the opportunity to be part of it again.

On the flight from Minneapolis, the woman I sat next to told me what to expect. She didn’t tell me much. Searching for adequate words she paused, looked at me and said ” It’s a great place for peace and quiet. Definitely good for reflecting.”

She was right.

In the week or so I’ve been here my brother and his wife showed me around town. One of the first days they brought me to a Vietnamese restaurant where they served delicious shrimp pho. Afterwards we went to a game shop and stopped for coffee. On the way home they told me I just saw 75% of Minot!

Since then I’d say I’ve seen another 10% or so as we walked around Scandinavian Heritage Park. To my surprise a large percentage of the local population is from Scandinavian countries and they showcase replica buildings from that area.

Beyond that, there’s not much to it. The airforce is the largest employer in Minot so you have mostly military folk and their spouses living in a place they don’t prefer and/or plan on staying in for any amount of time longer than required.

Coming up on two weeks that I’ve been here I have had time to reflect. I’m greatful for this. I see Minot as a buffer between the first and second halves of 2020.

I know by the time I leave North Dakota I’ll be well-rested, re-focused and ready to execute the rest of my plans for this yea

A strong gust of wind lifts hundreds of wispy dandelions into open air, under the bluest of blue skies.

Dakota Sky
Taken June 21, 2020
Minot, North Dakota

Bristol, Rhode Island

Like all of you, I spent both the winter season and spring cooped up at home social distancing, self-quarantining and losing partial sanity.

During the three months of lockdown I went through the same stages as you probably did. First, in-denial: I couldn’t believe all the new rules and precautions we were demanded to follow. Then, obsession: I watched the news and relentlessly scrolled through social media becoming even more flabbergasted. Thirdly, acceptance: I realised there’s nothing I could do except make the best of my time.

So I did (or tried to)

Realistically I wasn’t as productive, or well-balanced as I care to admit. However, looking back I had so many honest and enlightening conversations with my family that I was O.K with slack in my physical, financial, and creative pursuits.

That isn’t to say I gave up on those pursuits all together, instead they took on a different feel.

My time in Rhode Island proved to be nothing like I expected it to be. Instead it was completely spontaneous granted the circumstance the entire world found itself in.

Down below is a full collection that documents my time in Bristol, Rhode Island

Full Collections:

  1. Mt. Hope Farm & Church Cove
  2. Portra 400 Film Selects
  3. Track on Chestnut Street
  4. Rainy afternoon walk at Colt State
  5. Breath of Fresh Air
  6. A walk down the block

Photos taken between March and May of 2020.


Photos taken right before public parks closed in Bristol, RI.
Mount Hope Bridge through the clearing. To see full collection click here
Portra 400 film select. Click here to see all selects from February/ March
The Track On Chestnut Street
Rainy Afternoon Walk at Colt State. See full collection here
A Walk Down the Block. Full collection here

hey guys, I’m Ryan

I really appreciate you checking out this article! If you enjoyed scrolling though PLEASE share with your friends & family! 

If you want to see more of my travels feel free to check out my other blogs and articles as well. You can find my trips to South America, Florida, the Azores, and most recently New England.

May Memories on Cape Cod’s Canal

In the month of May I spent two weeks in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts with family & friends. During this time we made it a priority to walk along the canal at least once a day, although usually it ended up being two or three thanks to how scenic it was during the spring. As of […]

May Memories on Cape Cod’s Canal

In the month of May I spent two weeks in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts with family & friends.

During this time we made it a priority to walk along the canal at least once a day, although usually it ended up being two or three thanks to how scenic it was during the spring.

As of now I’m in North Dakota looking back on New England’s coast. My five month trip has come to an end and now I’m left with photographs and travel-journal entries that glimpse into my experiences. My time there brought back an unquestionable bond I have with my home state and for that I’m happy to share this with you!

Buzzard’s Bay home– May 13,2020

Water glistens like summer eyes.
Blossoming spring, birds chirp the theme
and the sound of woodwork beyond the pond centres me.


The Cape Cod Canal spans 7 miles from the northern Cape Cod Bay to Buzzard’s Bay in the south. From dawn till dusk I saw people exercising, fishing, roller blading, dog walking, and having a picnic.
Bourne Bridge at golden hour
Sunset fishing at the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge.
Buzzards Bay, MA
Warmth in the evening

hey guys, I’m Ryan

I really appreciate you checking out this article! If you enjoyed scrolling though PLEASE share with your friends & family!

If you want to see more of my travels feel free to check out my other blogs and articles as well. You can find my trips to South America, Florida, the Azores, and most recently New England.

Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers, among other popular Florida destinations, is known for its beaches, shopping centers, and fishing lifestyle. You and your loved ones can experience fun-outdoor activities whether that’d be swimming, kayaking, or sightseeing, dine at delicious ocean-side restaurants and wind down at the end of the day with a beautiful sunset view. If you plan […]