Photo Travel Plan

I’ve been making a list (story of my life) of what photos I’d like to take of a certain place (ahem). It then occurred to me while watching a Nat Geo documentary that I could expand my photography bucket list… Why not? It’s never simply a photo, but the journey itself. The planning, the excitement, the boarding of a plane and getting to the first location, finding enough peace to enjoy it before planning the next stop. Here’s a first draft list of photographs for me to take (photos used here except for the feature image, which is mine, courtesy of Royalty-free (Create Commons CC0) (until I can replace them with my own ;) ) :


Taj Mahal (I like reflections)

At the bottom of Mt. Fuji (which looks impressive by itself), there’s a forest called Aokigahara. I like abandoned and mysterious places and this forest is notoriously named “suicide forest”. People go in there with tents if they are still contemplating, and sometimes leave strings of colorful bands wrapped around trees to find their way back out in case they change their minds. It’s said to be one of the quietest and most eerie places on earth. Visitors without an agenda would rub each other’s backs down with salt upon exiting the forest in order to get rid of evil spirits that may have attached themselves in search for an escape.

Bamboo tree alley, Japan

Skyline of Shanghai

Rice terraces, China

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia




Manarola in Cinque Terre, Italy

Lavender fields in Provence, France

Santorini, Greece

Norway Fjords

Geyser in Iceland


South America/ Pacific

Easter Island/ Moai

Colorful homes Caribbean Sea

Salt Flats, Bolivia

Iguazu Falls, Argentina



Deadvlei, Namibia (ever since I saw “Cell” with Jennifer Lopez… creepy movie, great cinematography)


North America

Northern Lights, Alaska

Slot Canyons, Arizona

Chicago train tracks

Door County, Wisconsin

Yellowstone, Wyoming

24 and counting, with most destinations in Asia… One continent I haven’t been to at all, but am feeling more and more attracted to in photography and travel terms.



Day 28: A journey


It’s All About Priorities

There’s a saying that goes “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need”. According to Maslow (boy, how much did we study him in Psychology class, along with the dog and the bell and the Id, the Ego and the Superego, and ended up with a bag of chips on the couch after over-analyzing our own behavior―good times!), our basic necessities have to do with everything health-related (physiology). Security, love, self-esteem and self-fulfillment are built onto that health base, and altogether represent our pyramid of necessities. In a nutshell.

When I have $ 10 mio. (since “if” introduces a possible or unreal situation or condition, I chose “when” which indicates a reference to the time of a future situation or condition that we are certain of (source), although I should be implementing it in the present tense to create the feeling of already having it… this whole envisioning thing is so complicated!), I’ll give you a break here. Alright, let’s start again: $10 mio. I’ll try to break it down (assuming I have financial planners and bankers hired and in place, ready to rumble) :

― Definitely invest to secure stability for my family (and I’d finally get to pay my parents back for everything they’ve ever invested in me… I hope 10 mio. covers that… the bill is pretty lengthy) ―let’s say for the sake of calculation, 2 mio.

― That house in the Hills (online real estate sources show some nice ones somewhere between 3-4 mio.)

―I’ll cool my SLR dream for a while, and settle for the SL (500 though! – $120,000 plus insurance, maintenance, gas)

―Flying my family and a handful of friends over (one after the other, I don’t like crowds and they don’t need to meet… they know too much) to splurge: Let’s say 10 people total, family can fly business: $20k (for flights)

―Finally treat mom & sis to that shopping spree and breakfast at the Beverly Wilshire: $10k to start out with (“Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”) Pretty Woman all the way

Where does that leave us? ………. (calculating)….. roughly $6,150,000 spent, $3,850,000 to go.

― Travel, travel, travel. I’d invest in some new lenses and gadgets and fun stuff and capture everything along the way: the Amazon Rain Forest, Tierra del Fuego, Northern Lights and Santa’s village (yes, it exists!), Cape Town, Mount Kilimanjaro, Bali, Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Fiji. Roughly. Not super luxury hotels, but I’m not going to lie (I totally wish I was the camping type, but I’m so not), I do like clean sheets. Via AirTreks, I just calculated roughly $7600-$10k for flights alone. Depending on how long I’d stay at each destination, hotel rates, food, and things I forgot, let’s say $50k.

― Good causes (because when you have money, you have to give back, no excuses): I care a lot about animal rescues and would invest accordingly. The Water Project is also a cause I would like to support. Total for good causes: Wow, that’s tough. How can you invest so much in yourself and your own experiences and not more in making sure other people are ok? We have to save the planet, g˟ddamnit (panics)! I don’t feel comfortable putting a price tag on this at all. Let’s start out with $200,000 and go from there.

― Because I don’t want to come back to an empty house and twiddle my thumbs, I’d finally launch my own company (or several), and thus create jobs along the way, generate more income, but mostly follow my passion. $500k? Is that realistic? Let’s hope so.

― That leaves $3,100,000, of which I haven’t invested anything yet (except my company), and the house also needs maintenance, I need food, and to sustain my daily life. I’m sure the bank has options to make money grow… magically… Like a wizard.

― I’d probably invest in realty to rent out as well (for steady income next to my company)

It scares me how easy it is to spend money. Basic necessities are met effortlessly when you put everything in this $10 mio. perspective, but the higher the $ amount, the higher our sense of entitlement. This is my belief. The more money you have to spend, the more you think you want and need things that you could do without. The thing is, it’s not about what you need anymore at a certain point. If you have all the money in the world, but there is no cure for a disease you may have, your necessities shift and it’s a whole different ballgame.

So here we are: going to work, on game shows, playing the lottery, taking risks, asking neighbors, investing, waiting and hoping that everything changes while nothing changes at all. In a nutshell.

What would you do with $10 mio.?


Day 10: “What would you do with $10 million?”