Top Ten Things I Miss from Back Home while Traveling


It’s not often that I get to enjoy a nice, juicy steak.  But when I do, I savor it.

Why is this?  Because I have been living outside the U.S., home of the best porterhouse beef ribeyes this side of the moon, since 2009 and I have come to appreciate a good ol’ side of beef.

But a steak can still be bought in most places in the world.  Being picky about how it is cooked or where it’s from is at least something that restaurants do for us in the expat community to try and emulate what it must be like in restaurants throughout the U.S. or other like-fashioned eateries.

But what about the stuff that you just can’t get abroad, or what about the conveniences that are thoughtlessly enjoyed back home?

Well, I’ve chosen this particular list for my very first Travel Geek Top Ten video blog!

I’ll be doing a lot more of these as I get more ideas for top ten videos.  But for now, I thought I’d just put this video out and see if I could get the conversation started.

Watch below and let me know what your top ten would be, or tell me what would you add to my list.

One note about this video; I would also like to add two things to the list that I talk about in it:

  1. I miss being able to eat a meal with chicken in it (chicken salad, chicken soup, chicken parmesan, etc.) and not having to pick all the bones out while I’m eating.  In Asia, they really don’t think it’s rude to prepare a meal and just leave the bones in – even in expensive restaurants.  So just keep that in mind on your next date!  [You look so lovely tonight…. Oh wait, sorry, I have to pick this giant wing bone out of my mouth and look like a fool and leave you with this as your first impression of me…]
  2. Stick deodorant… THAT WORKS.  Buy it up before you travel kiddos.  You won’t like what you find in third-world countries.  It sticks to everything but the armpits, it smells worse than perspiration and it does absolutely nothing to thwart your body’s inclination to sweating.

Okay, that’s my list.  What’s yours?  Leave it in the comments section!

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New Photos from the Philippines, 2nd album


Okay, so here is the second album of recently edited photos.  This is the rough draft editing stage of the photos.  The final drafts will be edited all together in a batch process and then uploaded to the commercial website.  So you’re getting the sneak preview before the photography page gets updated.

In this album, the elderly people taken in HDR are from the hill tribes living in the mountains.  The beautiful lady trying to hide her face from the camera was so shy that her friends made her take the photograph.  She very reluctantly and uncomfortably sat as I snapped these shots of her.  I gave her a warm thanks and a fist full of cash afterward.  And they wounldn’t let me leave without getting a shot of the tattoos that she acquired in her time in the hills.  The tribes people decorated themselves back then and are strangely embarrassed of it now.  The older gentleman sat proudly and let me take this shot even though the youngsters around him were laughing and pointing.  He seemed not to mind.

Be sure to click the images and make them larger.  The detail that comes out in HDR when you’re looking at the larger image reveals much more detail than a thumbnail.  Tremendous range is exposed in this technique of photography — which is responsible for giving the photos that “dreamy” feel to them.  The mountain shots have so much old-worldy feel to them in these shots.  There are many more that will make it to the commercial site, but these will have to do to start.

Take a look and be sure to leave me comments on what you think!

The Many Masks of the Travel Geek


In this short film I discuss the mask collection that I have been putting together throughout my travels around the world. Most of the masks that I currently have, came from countries within Southeast Asia. However, a mask I bought in Hong Kong, was actually made and brought there for sale by a very nice lady from Kathmandu, Nepal. Hopefully I will continue to collect these masks as they do a great job of speaking to the history and culture from which they came. In a manner of speaking, they put a face to their cultural meaning.

Travel Geek Short: Speaking with Ben: An Interview in the Philippines


During my trip to the Philippines, I created a feature length film, Travel Geek: Documentary Philippines. While I had to keep the interviews to a brief, few minutes on the film, the actual footage of the interviews were much longer. And because of their telling and impactful insights they offer into the Filipino culture and daily life, I wanted to also release this footage.

Thanks, Ben for your informative and candid conversation.

documentary philippines: interview with bert


During my trip to the Philippines, I created a feature length film, Travel Geek: Documentary Philippines. While I had to keep the interviews to a brief, few minutes on the film, the actual footage of the interviews were much longer. And because of their telling and impactful insights they offer into the Filipino culture and daily life, I wanted to also release this footage.

Thanks, Bert, for your informative and candid conversation.

Documentary Philippines: Interview with Joe


During my trip to the Philippines, I created a feature length film, Travel Geek: Documentary Philippines. While I had to keep the interviews to a brief, few minutes on the film, the actual footage of the interviews were much longer. And because of their telling and impactful insights they offer into the Filipino culture and daily life, I wanted to also release this footage.

Thanks, Joe for your informative and candid conversation.