Saturday, June 23, 2012

Brief Pictorial Essay (Part Two)

The first trip I took overseas was in 1980.  The photographs I have are unspectacular, but do capture the memories.  The same can be said for many trips I took prior to obtaining my first digital camera.  A common theme with the pre-digital photos I notice is how even when I was younger I tended to photograph people, not just monuments, and scenery.  Some pictures I used to represent a country in this essay are similar to those posted in the prior one insofar they do not depict monuments, or landmarks, but rather people in their environment.  Again, I did include several scenic pictures, and this time added photographs of myself.  I did so not for vanity, but rather the availability of pictures for some destinations in my library are rather minimal except for a few with me shown center stage.  One must make difficult decisions in such situations.

This post is entitled Part Two, and it will also be the final Pictorial Essay.  I have one more presentation of countries & territories to post to complete the 'Birth to Present' listing of destinations visited.  The next posting will be entitled Destinations Visited...So Far, and will end this preview series of postings.

The plan going forward will be the Blog itself.  My intention is to begin to tell the story of my travels beginning with that first trip I took in 1980, and go from there.  It should be quite a ride, as I have lots of stories I have been recalling.  I have been pondering whether some details should be left untold, or not.  I guess it will have to depend on how I feel, and perhaps if anyone out there is reading this.  For those of you who are, I do hope you are finding it enjoyable!

More to come...


Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain


Dublin, Ireland

Georgetown, Penang Island, Malaysia

Kasbah, Ouarzazate, Morocco

Mykonos, Greece

Nassau, Bahamas

Old City, Jerusalem, Israel

Orange River, Namibia

Paris, France

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Stockholm, Sweden

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Brief Pictorial Essay (Part One)

Harvey Golub, former CEO of American Express, once said in a town hall meeting to fellow employees, "Perfection is the enemy of good".  Each time I find myself attempting to put out the perfect project, the best creative endeavor 'du jour, I try to recall those words I heard him say in the late 90's.

I started this Blog without an outline, or a plan.  Since the first posting, I have floated many ideas in my mind.  I have practically envisioned an entire sequence of posts.  A bit much for a newbie.  To keep a reader's attention, there needs to be activity.  I have been lapse in that area, and want to start with letting you know what you have to look forward to if you decide to stick around.

You know an interest in travel runs in my family, I've covered that topic.  I share my passion for travel with my sister, who has spent her lifetime working in the travel industry.  Her travels are extensive, and impressive as well.  She can write her own Blog.

What I wish to do is get on with the task of sharing my travel stories, and photos with you.  The challenge has been gathering the photos from the pre-digital era.  There are also quite a few destinations for which I have no photographs, but only memories.  When I go to write about a particular experience, I had hoped to have some type of artwork to display.  Alas, the perfectionism coming out in me.  Well the imagery will simply have to be in the words, unless I find something.

My rough outline, which I have now formulated (I knew unstructured wasn't going to last very long for me), is going to be a chronological perspective of my traveling adventures.  I'll spare you mundane tales of family reunions, and holiday vacations to Florida.  This Blog will focus on the more adventurous aspects of my travel life, i.e. separating from my group at the age of 16 with my Eurailpass to head off to Switzerland leaving them behind on the French Riviera.  This was when I learned the first lesson of how effective it is to apologize afterwards, as opposed to asking for permission first.  If you do not believe I did this, both my mother, and the group leader can attest to the fact I did.  Not only did I do this, but I did it twice.  The second time resulted in a police search party looking for me in Venice.  My apologies to the group leader if she is reading this.  It was all a misunderstanding of course, (between a 16 year old group participant, and a 25 year old group leader), right?

What I have for you now is a collection of photographs, each one a single representation from a country, or territory I have visited.  This is Part One, because I still have quite a few photographs to scan.  For those destinations which I have no photographs I will need to come up with some other type of artwork to use as a marker.  For now, I give you twenty-five views of the world through my eyes.  Many are pictures of people, as opposed to monuments, or city streets.  As I mentioned, I am drawn to travel for the connection with people, and their cultures, as opposed to just the destination.  For me, I will say it over, and over again, the journey is the destination!


Salt Flats, Andes Mountains, Salta, Argentina (Local Artists)

Kings Canyon, Australia

Angkor, Seam Reap, Cambodia

Lesser Three Gorges, Yangtze River, PR China (Tour Boat)

Dubai, UAE (ski resort inside shopping mall)

Saqqara, Egypt

Cologne, Germany

Antigua, Guatemala

Lantau Island, Hong Kong, SAR PR China

Devaraja Market, Mysore, India

Bali, Indonesia

Petra, Jordan

Rue Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon

Inle Lake, Myanmar (Burma)

Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal

South Island, New Zealand

Machu Picchu, Peru

St. Basil's Cathedral & Red Square, Moscow, Russia

Souq Al Medina, Aleppo, Syria


Lhasa, Tibet, SAR PR China

Cappadocia, Turkey

London, England, UK

Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Hue, Vietnam

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Family of Travel Enthusiasts

Having been born under the sign of Sagittarius, I always attributed my zest for travel as an innate characteristic of my personality.  However, perusing old photographs going back as far as the 1930's, I can see that travel has played a role in my family's heritage long before I was ever conceived.  I had known my grandparents to enjoy taking cruises in their retirement, but I didn't know the extent to which they traveled when they were younger.  I came across two photographs of interest.  One depicts my mother's parents walking along the boardwalk in Atlantic City in front of the Traymore Hotel on what appears to be an early spring, or autumn day.  The other photograph, is of my grandfather taken in 1957.  My mother tells me he traveled frequently on American Airlines, and had reached the milestone of having flown a million miles.  Having reached this goal, when the airline introduced the first transcontinental service between Boston and Los Angeles, my grandfather was invited to fly on the inaugural flight.

Edward Grocer
American Airlines Mercury Service
Inaugural Flight 1957
Boston-Los Angeles, Non-Stop

Ida & Edward Grocer
Traymore Hotel
Boardwalk, Atlantic City

The desire to travel was passed on to the next generation with my mother, her twin sister, and their best friend who later became my aunt by marrying the twins' brother.  In 1954 the three of them sailed to Europe for the summer, and visited the major sights. Later in 1957 my mother returned to Paris, this time by air.  I remember her telling the story of flying from Boston to London on a Constellation Aircraft which required refueling in Halifax.  Later my mother, and father traveled together for the first time on a cruise which was their honeymoon.  The photograph below shows them traveling aboard the ship to Nassau.
Sandra Grocer Burkin, and Aaron H. Burkin M.D.
Honeymoon to Nassau
June 1959