A New Beginning

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July 29th 2014
Published: August 25th 2014
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London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #1London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #1London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #1

London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #1
So here I am sitting in Mumbai. This trip takes me to Asia, starting off in India. How long will it last? Where am I going? I have no precise date to return. I couldn't get the time off I wanted for this trip so I had to think about it for a second and I quit my job. I had saved up for this trip and planned it for almost 2 years (well don't let me lie to you, there was no planning), so when I didn't get the time off I needed I resigned. I have nothing tying me down so I figured I might as well go for it because who knows what could happen if I wait. Now with no date I have to be back I will try to travel for 2 years. Really I am only limited by my funds, so in addition to volunteering I will see if I can pick up an odd job here and there.

I was in India and Nepal 5 years ago. They say that India is a place that you love or hate. I was kinda indifferent to it. So I know I had to
London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #2London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #2London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #2

London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #2
give it another shot, whereas I loved Nepal.

One thing about India is you will get sick. When I travel I always eat the local cuisine, especially the street food. I have an iron stomach and never had problems until I came to India. I work in a kitchen and know Health Department standards and sometimes cringe whenever I see food being prepared. Basic stuff like hand washing, or lack thereof, no hot water used to wash dishes, food being left out in the open, no proper refrigeration. But I realize that locals eat with no problems, so when in Rome...

In 2009 I had a month’s vacation I spent in India & Nepal. I got a case of "Delhi Belly" twice within 10 days of arriving in India. After that I guess my stomach adjusted and everything was OK. Of course I think it helped that I spent the last 2 1/2 weeks eating vegetarian. In all my travels since I have had no problems. Now back in India and I get sick 3 times in a week and a half. The first 4 days no problems, then it hits. I eventually rode
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London Heathrow Airport, Plane Landing @ Sunset #3
it out but at one point I only drank water for almost 2 days and couldn't figure out how I had anything left inside of me to churn out.

I did say to myself that once I got sick I would switch to a veg diet. When you go to a restaurant in India they ask if you want a veg or non veg menu. However I can tell you I didn't go completely veg in one word: tandoori chicken. OK that's two words but you get my point. I won't go completely vegetarian, but I will cut back on meat.

Hmm, looking back at that last paragraph I probably need to clarify something. For those who don't know there is no beef or pork in India. The cow is sacred in the Hindu religion, which makes up the biggest percentage of the Indian population. The Muslims make up the 2nd biggest religion, and they don't eat pork. I believe that most, if not all Hindus are vegetarian so they just don't eat meat and Muslims don't eat beef out of respect for the Hindus. I could be wrong about that but the bottom line is there is no bacon or steaks in India! Of course in Mumbai, Goa, or other major tourist destinations you may find the odd high end restaurant that serves it, but really you can't get it. So by giving up meat in India I would just be giving up chicken and mutton. Someone also told me that mutton in India could be lamb or could be goat, you're never really sure.

One frustrating thing is seeing signs for "burgers" outside a restaurant. By "burger" they mean veggie burger or chicken burger, not really burgers at all. But the worst part is they have a picture of a hamburger out front with a 1/2 pound beef patty. In South America they trick you with the same hamburger pics, but at least you get a sliver of beef in your burger. Why have pictures of a hamburger if you don't sell hamburgers?? They do the same thing with hot dogs. A picture of a hot dog when all they sell is a bun with veggies. Oh the humanity!

India is one of the emerging nations in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). They are aiming to be the new G7 or whatever it is these days. But sorry India you can't crack that top tier nation status until you start selling bacon cheeseburgers. I'm just sayin’.

This trip marks 3 big changes for me. The first was the fact that I quit my job of 21 years. I can hope that the economy improves when I return so finding a job won't be that difficult. But the reality is my resume will show 4 years in the military and 21 years working for Caesars' Entertainment and I left because I wanted to travel. That should somewhat set me apart from the rest. I could possibly walk back into my old job since I left on good terms and the chefs and people I worked with we sorry to see me go. Well that's what they told me to my face at least.

The 2nd change for me was I broke down and joined that horrible social network known as the Book of Faces. I thought I never would and regrettably did join just before I left. I realized after my last trip that is the way most people communicate. I would meet people in Colombia and Brazil where I spent most of my time, and people would ask me for my Facebook. I would tell them just give me your email address and I will email you. I emailed a few people I had met to let them know I would be in their city but I never heard back from them. It wasn't until near the end of my trip that I realized that most people don't have access to an internet connection so they may just visit an internet cafe a few times a week so they only check their Facebook, no one checks email. Talking with a group of fellow backpackers a couple of days ago and I heard someone say they weren't on Facebook and I shed a single tear. I remember when I used t be a member of that exclusive club.

So while I am on the Book of Faces, I don't really post anything on there just a link back to my blog. I may update where I am but don't really plan on posting photos, etc. For some reason a search of my email address doesn't seem
Yannick and Street GirlYannick and Street GirlYannick and Street Girl

Yannick, an Aussie, and a street girl. She didn't just ask for money though, she did temporary henna tattoos.
to work. Do you know how many David Oliver’s there are? If you put David Oliver Las Vegas I'm the 2nd one that shows up. Who is this fool David Oliver who outranks me in my own hometown?? The nerve of some people.

The 3rd big change for me is the fact that I am no longer traveling with any cameras. That's a good thing since I am down one extra backpack. Those that know me know that I am a photographer who only shoots FILM. And I was shooting mostly medium format film. So the question was how much film do I take? You never want to run out, it is always better to have too much film. And getting film overseas is impossible and in the rare cases you can find it is 2-3 times more expensive than back home. Hell the reality is I can't even get film in Vegas, I have to order it from LA.

Another thing about professional film is it is like cheese, it needs to be refrigerated, and then brought to room temp before being used. So for my South America trip I carried 4 cameras,
My Henna TattoosMy Henna TattoosMy Henna Tattoos

Told me it was 10 IR (Indian Rupees) for a tattoo. then she added a few more designs. Then I found out it was 10 for each stamp and she had me for 60 IR, or a dollar.
a tripod, and film. Now I was schlepping the film around in 95' weather and up to 100% humidity. Through desert, mountains, and the Amazon Rain-forest. Those are not the best conditions to keep film. When I returned home I sent out my film to be processed. That was the first time ever that I didn't process my own black and white film. Some of the film had stuck together because of the humidity and it was very low contrast. As it was the quality of the negatives weren't good so I didn't even attempt to print any photographs.

I made a book of my trip using only photos taken with my iPhone. I will upload it soon.

I now am using just my iPhone for photos and videos. I do miss shooting film but it just isn't really practical for a long trip like this. And hey, an iPhone isn't really a digital camera is it? Really it is like the new generation of Swiss Army Knife, a multipurpose tool.

Anyways this trip takes me to Asia. I have no set plans or timelines. I am now in India and plan on visiting a lot of Asia or Southeast Asia. Some of the countries I plan on visiting are Nepal, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, & Laos. Since I have more time than money I plan on traveling overland, by bus or train and maybe the odd boat or ferry. I do have at least one flight I will need to take to get to China because it is very difficult to cross from Nepal to China via Tibet. A few other countries I may visit are Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and South Korea. Basically any country that will have me.

This is 4 the wind that blows no matter how fast or slow

Not knowing where I'm going is galaxies better

Than not having a place 2 go

Now I know (Now I know)


Lady Cab Driver © 1982 Controversy Music - ASCAP

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Riding the Train in MumbaiRiding the Train in Mumbai
Riding the Train in Mumbai

Hanging out of the door, riding the train.
Riding the Train in Mumbai with JadenRiding the Train in Mumbai with Jaden
Riding the Train in Mumbai with Jaden

Hanging out of the door, riding the train with Jaden, an Aussie

29th August 2014

This is awesome!
Can you talk about some cultural differences between the places you visit and America?!!?

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