14 October 2015

What's Next.... Most Likely? Southeast Asia

Art Model, Safia Sarai ©2015 Terrell Neasley

Most travelers will attest to this. After spending time abroad, especially extended time, you begin to miss home. THEN as SOON as you get home, you're already planning your next trip. It starts after your first day back and you begin to wonder why you came home. Your brain immediately shifts into high gear contemplating the next adventure.

Art Model, Safia Sarai ©2015 Terrell Neasley
The hard part is trying to decide where. You recall your mental list (or if you are obsessive compulsive, you have an actual paper list), and think about all the places you know for sure you want to visit. You think of all the places you've promised yourself that you WILL eventually get to. Then you match that up with most feasible. For instance. I want to go to Israel, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Iceland, Antarctica, and revisit Germany. However, these places are quite expensive for extended stays. Nobody is spending 3 months in Iceland who isn't already living there or immigrating there. Northern and Western coasts of South America were the most likely candidates of places to visit for me to visit. I'm not done with my Latin American adventure/exploration by a long shot. BUT!! I think I should take a small change of pace and do something totally different.

Art Model, Safia Sarai ©2015 Terrell Neasley
And that's how I came up with Southeast Asia. First and foremost, its cheap. I can see being there for 3 months (at least) as being a viable option. Second, its sorta on the list of things travelers have to do. Third, its cheap. All but maybe the flight, that is. I'm mainly talking Indochina. I'd love to cover four countries there, Cambodia, Thailand, Loas, and Vietnam. Possibly pick up some time in Myanmar. What would do my heart some good is maybe a two week stint in New Zealand before heading up there. That's another one of the money places, though. So I've not got a bunch of reasons to keep bustin' butt for the next 5 months to make all this happen. Now, what would absolutely be cool is to start in Vietnam and just work my way Northwest, up through all these countries and into Tibet and Nepal. I had a trip planned there with a client that ended up falling through. I was going to photodocument her 3 month honeymoon with a Leica M Typ 240, and a Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 with 3 lenses. The deal ended up falling apart and didn't happen. I'd like to make up for that. Just with Sony gear. But that's all a stretch. That's the dream trip that could evolve from the 4-country exploration of Southeast Asia. I'd skip New Zealand for that. Any potential clients interested?

Art Model, Safia Sarai ©2015 Terrell Neasley
Next comes the question of WHEN! You get the place(s) you want selected, but now you gotta figure out when's the best time to go. Much of that consideration is whether dependent. Will it be hot? Maybe rainy? When do most tourists go? Well, that's going to be high season and more expensive that heading out in low season. Sometimes you can make the trade-off and go during low season, as long as you understand most people aren't there for a reason and that reason may be more than just because summer break is over.

Art Model, Safia Sarai ©2015 Terrell Neasley
I'm picking Spring time. Sounds like a good time to go. I haven't worked out all the details just yet, but that's when I'm thinking of heading out. I'd like to do another 3 month stint, but who knows? It could be 5...could be only a month. I like leaving that option open. I'll start planning a general route of where I want to start and then start researching the different places I'd like to visit there and start planning the trip. I think I've already got a Lonely Planet book on Southeast Asia to help me plan. That's one book that's been invaluable for these trips. Wanna go someplace, somebody's already written about it. I use it only as a guide. Its not a rule book. Some spots, I want my own opinions to be formulated by my own experience. Sometimes you just gotta go check a place out despite what every body else says.

I've had the privledge of working with a new model, Safia Sarai, over the last month and a half or so and its been outstanding. I think her biggest asset for me is her attitude. I've said quite often that I shoot as much as what's inside the model, as how she looks outside. Attitude is chief amongst those qualities. Other than the fact that she loves shooting, I adore her willingness to see my vision, trust me, and help me get the shot. She's proven to be quite the gifted muse. More on her soon, I promise.


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