Photo Wanderlust: Introduction… “Country Hopping” Adventure Photographers

Photo of Koh Samui Island, Southern Thailand by Ron Veto
Copyright © Ron Veto 2010 All rights reserved.

Koh Samui Island, Southern Thailand
Traveling makes you find the time to meet others and discover yourself. This is traveling.

Join Ron in this ongoing series as he shares insightful tips, practical guidelines and stories around all the topics that will make your next “country hopping” travel adventure a great one: Packing, Preparation, Security, Customs, Transportation, Camera Gear, Travel Health & Travel Companions.
And you’ll travel vicariously with Ron to experience Thailand:
“Next Stop Bangkok – The Land of Smiles”

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
– Bodhidharma

Photo of Holy Man in Kathmandu, Nepal by Ron Veto
Copyright © Ron Veto 2010 All rights reserved.

Holy Man in Kathmandu, Nepal

It’s impossible for me not to express my love and passion for travel. It’s actually more than a passion. It’s a disease for which there is no cure! To those like myself there is no choice but to feed the beast. To pack my bags and get out the guide books. To do the research and start the wanderlust process over again. We are dreamers who carry the romance of travel with us.

If you’ve read this far perhaps you are one as well.

Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, and often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.
Mark Jenkins

My mission during this article series is to pass on just a few common survival techniques to make your travels and country hopping easier, safer and more rewarding.

While on an extended travel adventure, always expect “hiccups” along the way. Some inconveniences cannot be foreseen no matter how detailed the preparations were. Many times these “hiccups” open exciting doors of opportunity. Learn to roll with the punches. Make uncertainty your “new friend”. An adventure means sometimes taking chances–to what degree is a personal choice. To live on the edge, yet know when to step back and see the big picture.

Travel grounds me. That’s why I travel.

The challenge is to actually take control and commit to your adventure. Getting away really is the hardest part. That’s where we start our journey. Immerse yourself immediately into the mindset of travel survival and set your course towards an incredible adventure.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.
– Lao Tzu

Photo of beach at Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand by Ron Veto
Copyright © Ron Veto 2010 All rights reserved.

Another beautiful day on the beach at Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand.

I don’t gravitate toward brand new shiny material things. Instead, I seek and crave the energy of the city, which is the life of its people–to photograph the feel of humanity in all its positive, candid and humorous glory. Or to discover and photograph the artistic lines and shadows of some remote village or beach far off the beaten path. To seek the most beautiful inspiring images that are uniquely mine at that moment in time. The ultimate hunting safari–I love the hunt! Hung on my walls at home are many prized trophies–photographs of those far off adventures and places in time. They inspire my spirit like nothing else. But when I hunt, nothing dies. 

Photo of Sunset on Ko Phi Phi, Southern Thailand by Ron Veto

Copyright © Ron Veto 2010 All rights reserved.

Sunset on Ko Phi Phi, Southern Thailand

My weapons of choice include a 1982 Nikon FM and a Nikon D700. I’ve heard the phrase, leave only footprints and take only memories. I take far more than that. I capture an instant and bring home life long reminders of gracious, kind people with genuine smiles, of distant lands, and stunning sunsets. My photos “connect the dots” in my life and get my adrenaline pumping again.

I hope to offer simple tips for those with a love for getting out and traveling the world. I will keep it brief in certain details but try to target hidden traps and basic problems and how to avoid them. Just to be prepped and aware is half the battle.

I’ll try to share some of my own topical stories and adventures, along with some practical guidelines around nearly all aspects of traveling for extended periods of time. All topics which will help keep the trip safe and filled with positive memories.

Tip: If you want to enjoy your adventures by moving from city to city via buses and trains and by staying in low to mid-range hotels as I did, there are a few essential items to carry with you in order to travel successfully, especially in Asia: fresh water, hard boiled eggs, toilet paper, a few bananas and most important, a smile. Patience and good humor will also prove to be your “best friend”.

Photo of little girl & Dad on scooter by Ron Veto

Copyright © Ron Veto 2010 All rights reserved.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
This is one of my favorite shots–this cute little girl traveling with her Dad. I was barely hanging on the back of a second motorcycle shooting this still.


Copyright © Ron Veto 2010 All rights reserved.

Silhouettes are always fun to shoot. They offer a simple dramatic feel which isolates the subject. This was taken under the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, Holland.

Generally I try not to accentuate the dumbness of my life, but for the spirit of travel, I’ll share some of my most ignorant choices and mistakes. I hope that others will benefit from those mistakes. But do keep in mind that being stupid and careless can sometimes breed great ideas as a by-product. I hope to pass on select observations and tricks to help make your journey live up to the dream.

For 10 years I had been working at Universal Studios and was no stranger to traveling and shooting films on location. In 1982 I was fortunate to get hired as the camera dolly operator of a feature film starring Chuck Norris called “Forced Vengeance”. The location was the exotic and beautiful port city of Hong Kong. The city was still under British authority and the mixture of Eastern and Western cultures was fertile ground for what felt like a rebirth—the supercharging of my photography passion. Living in Hong Kong for four months was like learning to see again. At 28 years old I was bitten by the travel bug.

Photo of fishing in Chiang Mai, Thailand by Ron Veto

Copyright © Ron Veto 2010 All rights reserved.

Quiet time fishing in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I have since traveled back to Asia many times, always trying to learn more–to hunt and search for that next great photo. Each day, as the sun rises and sets, I can discover a new world with a cast of thousands to experience and photograph.

A world of discovery awaits the adventurous traveler.

Photographing the world and meeting these wonderful people all along the way is my greatest reward.

Happy travels to all.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
– Mark Twain

Photo taken in Tahiti by Ron Veto
Copyright © Ron Veto 2010 All rights reserved.

I wonder what’s on those islands?

Photo Wanderlust – Part I: Packing for “Country Hopping” Adventure Photographers

Photo Wanderlust – Part II: Preparing for a “Country Hopping” Photo Adventure

Photo Wanderlust – Part III: Security for a “Country Hopping” Photo Adventure

Photo Wanderlust – Part IV: Bus Travel for a “Country Hopping” Photo Adventure

Photo Wanderlust – Part V: “Hunting People” with My Camera

Photo Wanderlust – Part VI: “Photo Shooting Strategy”

Photo Wanderlust – Part VII: “Shooting Silhouettes”

Photo Wanderlust – Part VIII: “Serendipity”

by Ron Veto

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.