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.

Check out my other articles on travel and photography!

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

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.

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!

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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 […]

On Geographical Cure: The Benefits, Misconceptions, and How to be Happy Anywhere

If only you were able to get away, start over, and live how you actually want to live.

This is what the geographical cure promises.

The geographical cure is the idea that by moving somewhere, or changing locations you can rid yourself of your problems and finally live a fulfilling life.

At the core, the idea of geographical cure deals with happiness and well-being which is why it’s worth discussing in detail. In this article I want to go over the benefits, misconceptions, and how it relates to our everyday lives.

Identify the problem before prescribing the cure

At one point or another we’ve all tried to get away from our problems, to create space in order to clear our mind and deal with them better emotionally equipped. This is the essential idea behind geographical cure and depending on the type of problem it may, or may not be beneficial.

At first glance the geographical cure seems like a logical method to problem solving:

Out of sight out of mind.

But that would like a doctor prescribing a drug without identifying the issue first. Get out of here, the doctor says, you aren’t my responsibility anymore.

There’s supposed to be a set procedure. A series of questions and tests to identify the problem. Then the doctor prescribes the correct medicine for your diagnosis.

We must know two things before trying to fix a problem:

  1. What’s bothering you, and
  2. Where does it originate from?

We must know what the problem is and where it originates before prescribing anything.

The general rule of thumb with geographical cure is… It works if your problem’s origin isn’t internally driven.

Let me give you an example,

Example 1:

Jim is an alcoholic. He believes that his environment is responsible for his alcohol abuse. He complains that If he were in a new place he could reinvent himself and start anew. He wouldn’t have his group of friends and aquantiances influencing and/or urging him to drink. Without his social circle and daily routine, he thinks his alcohol problem would subside.

What Jim fails to confront is his internal struggle with substance dependancy. Instead, he passes the blame and therefore responsibility to external places and people. What Jim doesn’t understand is that no matter where he goes in the world he will always struggle if he doesn’t deal with his personal demons, so to speak.

In this example, the geographical cure is a form of escapism. In fact, Alcohol Anonymous members are warned about this concept since it’s widely common among addicts to idealize a place. As the saying goes however, “Wherever you go, there you are.” In other words, people bring their problems with them.

When, if ever, is the geographical cure beneficial?

In certain contexts I think relocating yourself is the right decision. Moving out and/or leaving a toxic, unhealthy, dangerous environment is not escapism. It’s self preservation.

Unlike someone struggling with substance dependency, a person who’s life is in danger because of their surroundings should leave. There’s no sense in taking unnecessary risk. Let’s look at another example.

Example 2:

Maria is married to Jim, a low-functioning alcoholic. They’ve been together for 10 years but unfortunately the last half of the decade Jim has increasingly become abusive. He wasn’t always like this. She loves the person she married all those years ago, but can’t do it anymore. He yells at her like a drunkard, curses and throws things across the room. Maria has tried to keep the marriage afloat, but nothing she does works and it’s only getting worse.

He hit her the other night after driving home drunk. Maria always gave Jim the benefit of the doubt, he’ll change his ways, but no. Not anymore. She told herself that if it ever became physical she would leave. Emotionally traumatised and genuinely afraid for her well-being, Maria packs her bags and moves to another state.

In this example, the geographical cure is a sound solution. Now, it isn’t perfect but it works. It works because Maria’s problem was Jim- an external factor rather than something internally driven like the first example.

In less extreme contexts the geographical cure can be beneficial as well. If you have a problem that’s troubling you it can help to change your surroundings. I personally like driving somewhere calm and peaceful. Wherever I can think clearly and come up with the right solution. I know that when I go back I can face whatever my problem may be.

You can see how the geographical cure entirely depends on whether or not you confront and deal with your problem.

If you go somewhere for avoidance then it would be considered escapism. Conversely if you go somewhere to clear your mind, reset and take action then it is your responsibility to do so.

Returning to the first example, If Jim felt compelled to get out of town for awhile I would argue that even though it isn’t the perfect solution- definitely not a cure- getting away might be a positive thing to do. The newness of a place evokes excitement and curiosity.

A break from the everyday norm might be what someone like Jim needs. Being in a new place allows for what psychologists call “pattern interruption” which is a technique used to change a particular behaviour.

Within that brief interruption Jim has the opportunity to see his life from an outside perspective, reflect on his toxic dependency, relationships, and life choices. An internal change can happen here as long as he doesn’t cling to the idea of geographical cure. He must understand that the newness of a place fades and old habits/ behavioural patterns will eventually reemerge.

What are misconceptions about the geographical cure?

A common misconception about geographical cure is that the beneficial effects are permanent.

In the examples above we can see how the geographical cure is not an all-in-one solution. If anything, it’s a single step in the problem-solving process. Even Maria who is better off in a different state still faces residual damage from her relationship with Jim. Although she’s safe from his abuse, she now deals with depression and emotional trauma.

For Jim, if he doesn’t take responsibility, correct his behaviour and get his shit together- for lack of a better term- then going somewhere to “reinvent” himself is foolish and delusional. Even the most serene white-sand paradise in the world can’t cure addiction. Problems must be internally resolved before reality mirrors change.

Another misconception about the geographical cure is that the further away you go the better. If you’ve read up until now (I thank you) it’s obvious that this isn’t true. I would recommend reading the article Travel Is No Cure for the Mind to understand how no matter where you go in the world, a far-off foreign country or Caribbean island, eventually you fall back into the same routine with all the same redundancies that made you move in the first place.

Conclusion

The geographical cure promises an all-in-one solution to our problems, but at closer examination we can see that isn’t the case.

What we realise is the fact that no matter where we are and where we go our problems are not dependant on location, but instead on our ability to resolve them.

How can you and I be happy anywhere in the world?

By not relying on somewhere out there to change our state of mind. By reflecting, identifying, and resolving our problems here and now.

This is the real cure:

To fundamentally understand no matter where you go, here you are.

What do you guys think about the geographical cure? Do you know anyone who’s benefited from moving away or is it generally a form of escapism?

Double Exposure Film Photography: Merging Two Homes Into One

“Double exposure is caused by taking two pictures on the same piece of film.” – Fujifilm Troubleshooting

That’s the notice I received when I opened the envelope to see my developed film.

Most cameras are designed to prevent double exposure, but my Nikon one-touch 100 was not.

Nikon One Touch 100 and my film selects

This past summer I brought two rolls of film with me to the Açores. It wasn’t until two weeks ago that I got them developed.

Before getting them developed, I had bought two new rolls of Fujicolor 200 that I planned on using to take pictures around Rhode Island.

At some point I mixed up the four rolls and loaded my Açores film a second time thinking it was a new roll of film.

The outcome of these photos were surprising to me. At first glance I didn’t even recognise what I was looking at.

I found an even light, turned the photos multiple ways, and looked closer to see which photos of mine merged during the development process.

Some of the images came out odd, the others I found intriguingly abstract and peculiar in a good way. I didn’t intentionally make these images, but overall I’m happy with how different they are than my normal digital photos.

After looking over the 76 photos or so, I selected these 10 Images that I want to share with you today!

Photos taken:

Pico, Azores in July, 2019

Rhode Island in February, 2020

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.


Although It would’ve been nice to see the original photos I took (especially from the Açores) I can’t complain with the outcome. These photos are unlike anything I’ve taken before and part of what makes me like them so much is how my two homes found a way to merge into one.

Cheers to that.

If anyones had a similar experience I’d love to hear about it! Tell me your story and whether you liked the outcome or not!

Check out some of my previous articles from New England and of course, the Açores.

Photowalk at Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA

Photos taken March 1, 2020

Battleship Cove

Fall River, Massachusetts

-Ryan Q

Check out my other photoblogs from New England!

Afternoon Photography at Fort Taber Park, New Bedford

Photos taken January 30, 2020

Fort Taber Park

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Honoring the Women in Military Service
Fort Taber Park Pier
Overlooked details
Fort Rodman was built during the civil war era. It now acts as a military museum with various historical artifacts.
New England’s Evening Glow from Fort Taber’s Pier
Colourful view by the rocks

-Ryan Q

Por Caminho: Salão, Cedros, and The Road to Praia do Norte

From Praia Do Almoxarife I hiked 10.6km(6.5 miles) to Salão.

If you plan on backpacking Faial I recommend stopping here. I stayed at the campsite which had fireplace cabana and a direct path to a natural swimming pool.

This set of photos is part of a larger collection named Por Caminho that I created during my backpacking trip around Faial Island.

Photos taken mid November, 2019

I reached Ribeirinha mid-day with enough sunlight and energy to continue hiking towards Salão
The Islands in the distance from left to right are São Jorge and Pico
One thing I noted on my backpacking trip were how colourful and vibrant some of the houses were.
From Horta to Salão- 15.7 km or 9.7 miles
Parque de Campismo (campsite)
Fireplace Cabana at Salão’s camp site (parque de campismo.) Although I was here alone in November, I could imagine sitting around the fire with friends during the summer. It’s a perfect location day and night.
The boardwalk leading down to the natural swimming pool
São Jorge in the distance.

I woke up the next morning to wind dashing against my tent. Water droplets dotted the roof and one by one scurried off the side. After a few minutes more laying there watching the raindrops race each other, a warm glow cloaked the tent. I unzipped the door, flung my feet onto the wet grass, and laid there a while longer.

Nothing ever lasts. Grey clouds were gathering in the distance. I packed up camp and headed out. As soon as I turned onto the main road it started to rain. Luckily, there was a Casa do Povo which is a sort of gathering hall/cafe for locals. I waited out the rain there, having breakfast and making small talk with the older gentleman behind the bar. When the clouds cleared, I took my chances.

Xavier Cafe- Modern restaurant and cafe in Cedros where I stopped for a meia de leite
I took this photo right outside Ribeira Funda, 9.7 km (6miles) away from Salão. Fortunately for me, it didn’t end up raining even though the entire day was dark and cold. What was challenging however, was the slight incline of the roads. Each turn seemed to be steeper than the last This actually worked in my favour since it increased my body temperature.
3 miles out
From Horta to Praia do Norte: 29 km (18 miles)

There wasn’t much to look at as I passed Ribeira Funda and not three miles away was the next major town: Praia Do Norte.

That’s where I would set up camp.

I was determined to make it there.

In the distance I could see large mountains hiding behind a screen of mist. I knew I just had to keep walking and I’d eventually make it there.