Author Archives: Kevin

hot air balloon clouds dubai

Hot Air Balloons in the Clouds: Dubai, UAE

Amazing, magical, dreamlike photo of hot air balloons (taken from a hot air balloon) in Dubai, UAE.

“The silence was all I could think about, broken by the roar of the flame every few minutes. Drifting through the sky without sound was surreal and peaceful … something I’ve never experienced before.”

passport instagram photo machupicchu

Passport = Infinite, Exciting Possibilities

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Saint Augustine

Passports and infinite possibilities: There’s been a lot in the news lately about travel bans and restrictions. While most of us aren’t directly affected, these bans shrink the world for thousands of people.

A passport is like a key to the world, and thought of that alone is exciting. We are blessed to live at a time when we can reach most of the planet in less than a day’s travel. That’s really profound, and we can only hope that this amazing freedom is preserved for our children.

holding passport photo instagram

*Thought: a creative photo of your own passport might be a great addition to a travel photo book!

Machu Picchu passport photo: @passionpassport
passport photo: @passionpassport

bosphorus coast istanbul turkey

Zen Moment: Watching the Sunset Over the Bosphorus Strait In Istanbul

Beautiful sunset in Istanbul Turkey – What an amazing photo of a guy watching a pretty Zen sunset in Istanbul. The sun, boat, and figure all combine to make a great composition, and it’s easy to put yourself where the figure is.

Looking out on the boat moving through the natural majesty of the river, it makes you contemplate where your own place is in the world.

From what I can tell, this must be the coast of the winding Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, which is supposed to be one of the best, and overlooked, tourist attractions in the city. Spectacular photo!

Inspirational Instagram photo by Devrim Ates: @revolutionship

camping south dakota with book

Camping Spot w/ a Good Book (and Banana) in South Dakota

A Great Camping Spot to Read a Book – Wow, what an inspiring scene, located outside of Pierre, South Dakota. Looks like all the essentials are covered here, and reason number 101 to feel bad about your daily commute.

Actually, that book is “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey which has some great quotes for a scene like this:

“Wilderness and motors are incompatible and the former can best be experienced, understood and enjoyed when the machines are left behind where they belong — on the superhighways and in the parking lots, on the reservoirs and in the marinas.”

“A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.”

And, for those of you like myself who watch with concern as the Federal Reserve & Wall Street struggle in their endless quest for economic growth, here’s another relevant quote:

“An economic system which can only expand or expire must be false to all that is human.” – Edward Abbey

Quotes from Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire.
Inspiring Instagram Photo @paul_johnstone

kelly slater surfing watches sunset

Kelley Slater Sunset Through Barrel of Wave

Surfer Kelly Slater Enjoys a Sunset – OK, this qualifies as an “OMG” photo. It might even make you rethink your life choices and priorities if you’re viewing this photo at your cubicle. This Instagram photo was taken with a gopro mounted camera of legendary American surfer Kelly Slater during his win at the 2012 Quicksilver Pro France.

I don’t think anyone would complain about enjoying this sunset in Hossegor, France from inside the barrel this wave. (I don’t think that photographer in the background is complaining about his job either.)

“I think that the times when you really appreciate surfing are the times you’re really sort of becoming one with nature.” – Kelly Slater

Inspirigin Instagram photo from @gopro Kelly Slater Instagram: @kellyslater

surfing at sunset beach in indonesia

Surfing at Sunset In Indonesia: You Can’t Stop the Waves…

Surfing at Sunset Zen Instagram photo – “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

As an archipelago of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia has more than its share of great surfing spots, and this looks like one of the better ones. That beach just keeps going as far as you can see, and it looks like the waves do too.

The lack of detail or identity of the surfer himself makes it easy for us to put ourselves in his place. (which I’d love to do right now) The absence of any architecture on shore helps to make this photo really timeless. From the height of the sun, he’s probably calling it a day, and I can only imagine that it was a good one.

Inspirational Instagram photo with X-Pro II effect by @aditzt

sunrise over bagan myanmar

Dreamy Sunrise Over Bagan w/ Hot Air Balloons

Sunrise Over Bagan – Hard to believe that this dream-like, Zen photo was taken on Earth, but in fact it was taken of the city of Bagan (formerly “Pagan”) in Burma. (Myanmar) Looking like a foggy scene from another world, hot air balloons float over the city’s landscape of Buddhist temples.

Did you know that during the height of Bagan’s prosperity, (1044-1287) over 10,000 religious monuments and temples were built in an area of only 100 square kilometers?

While most of these early temples didn’t survive, you can see some of the remaining 2229 temples & pagodas in this gorgeous & inspiring Instagram photo with incredible depth and balance.

Inspiring Instagram Photo © David Haberlah
Taken using a Canon EOS 20D camera

luggage tags shutterfly coupon

Shutterfly Luggage Tag Review: Plus a Coupon or Free Sample Tag

shutterfly logo smallFree Luggage Tag From Shutterfly? – There are always a couple of photo gifts that you can get for free at shutterfly.com (with promo code) including personalized luggage tags. Even if not available for free, you can use one of there coupons to get up to 50% or free shipping on your order:


best personalized luggage tags

Ordering a Personalized Luggage Tag From Shutterfly

As I was mentioning, Shutterfly makes a couple of different products available each week, and one that is currently being offered (as I write this) is for a free luggage tag. I really never would have thought to buy one of these, but since it’s free, I added it on to my order of 4×6 prints.

Getting started: Since there are only about 30 design templates available for luggage tags, there’s really no sense in sorting them by category. Really, you can scroll down the page and see all of them pretty quickly.

1.) Do you want to use a photo? The main thing you want to consider is whether you want photo(s) or not. I’m interested in seeing how well photos look on their luggage tags, so I’m choosing the “Stamped In Love” design for my review:

personalized luggage tag from shutterfly

2.) Choose a Size: Luggage tags are available in “small” (2×3.5″) and large (2.5×4.375″). Small is a good size for my suitcase, so I’m going with that. Large will also cost you more at about $9.99.

3.) Upload Photo  – Since I already have an account at shutterfly.com, I just grabbed one of my favorite photos from a recent trip to Whistler, Canada. Once again Shutterfly is extremely user-friendly, so I was able to drag the photo to center it in the space, and then zoom in.

You don’t have to include yourself or family members, really. I considered using just a view of the mountains, but I thought it was nice to include my whole family. You probably have a lot of great travel photos to choose from!

luggage tag personalizedTIP: Make sure your photo is high resolution! Otherwise, it’s going to look pixelated. If you’re uploading images from your iPhone, they should be high-res by default. Since the actual space for the photo is only about an inch or two wide, photos from Instagram should be OK as long as you aren’t zooming in too much.

4.) Personalize text on front and back – The text is easy too, but make sure that letters all fit if you’re going with a large font. I played around with the type for a couple of minutes to get it just right.

On the back they include an extra line so that you can say something like, “This bag belongs to” at the top. There are a couple of tag designs without photos available, including this one (right) that has your initials printed like an airport code.

5.) Preview, then add to cart – If you’re getting one of these as a free sample, consider combining it with an order of prints or another photo gift. Otherwise you’re looking at $4.99 shipping for the luggage tag alone. Add it to an existing order and the shipping price will only go up a dollar or two. View all luggage tag designs

Shutterfly Has the Best Personalized Luggage Tags! Here’s My Review:

shutterfly luggage tag review

Wow, this came out great! You can’t tell from the picture, but the photo is really sharp. It’s actually just as crisp as if it was a 4×6 print. Also, the luggage tag comes with a nice little leather strap to tie it to your bag.

Very sturdy tags – This luggage tag isn’t going to bend or rip, as it’s printed on a lightweight, sturdy metal. The leather strap is strong too, so I don’t expect this to tear, even when man-handled by the careless apes at the airport.

The text on the back of this specific luggage tag design is really bold and legible, even from several feet away.

This looks really sharp on my bag, and makes me feel like my whole suitcase is more personalized now. I had been using those little paper tags from the airport, but this is more functional, sturdy,  and looks great.

Since my family does a lot of traveling, I realize this will be a good option for a $10 gift for a birthday, anniversary, or for the holidays. These would also be a hit as travel-themed gifts for a bridal party or wedding gift, especially a destination wedding.

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