Switzerland

In 2016, after working with a friend on a corporate job in the UK, my friend and I traveled to Switzerland for a quick tour/vacation.  Even though I had been to Switzerland before, in the early 2000s, I was eager to go back, as it was one my favorite places to visit when I was studying abroad, back in college.  There are few places that can compare to Switzerland when it comes to natural beauty!  And to be honest, I’d love to move there, I just need to learn French and/or German!  Here are a few photos from the trip, but if you want to see the full gallery, please go HERE.

 

Switzerland - Photo by Darren J Sabino Switzerland - Photo by Darren J Sabino Switzerland - Photo by Darren J Sabino Switzerland - Photo by Darren J Sabino Switzerland - Photo by Darren J Sabino Switzerland - Photo by Darren J Sabino Switzerland - Photo by Darren J Sabino

Havana, Cuba

For Americans, Cuba has been off limits for tourism purposes, due to the political relationship, dating back to the Cold War.  But thanks to Former President Obama, the doors are now open for Americans to travel to Cuba.  But do your research.  You have to fall into 1 of 12 categories to travel there.  For me, it was an opportunity to learn more about the culture and experience life in a country that’s void of many of the modern technologies that we take for granted.  And, of course, Havana is famous for its vintage cars, which they definitely use to their advantage, when soliciting tourists for tours.  But I’m not going to lie, seeing all those cars are pretty amazing, especially when coupled with the architecture, old buildings and pastel colors of the buildings.  It’s like you’re thrown back in time.

My friend and I stayed at a Casa Particulares, through AirBNB.  It was in the Old Havana area and the streets were pretty sketchy, but only at night.  During the day, everyone was out chilling on their stoop chatting it up with their neighbors.  I really need to brush up on my Spanish!

Overall, it was a very interesting experience.  And I’m glad that went before the big American tourist rush and the city becomes overrun with chain hotels.  I’d like to go back, again, before the hotels start moving in.

You can see the full gallery of all the photos HERE.

 

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Joshua Tree National Park

So, I’m finally catching up on a lot of work from previous year-and-a-half or so.  For the past couple of years, I’ve been doing a fair amount of traveling and exploring.  But, I never really shared the photos anywhere.  They kind of just sat on my computer and server.  One of my New Years’ resolutions was to post more regularly, even if it does not fit my core work which mostly pertains to portraits and fitness.

I’m starting off with my photos from Joshua Tree National Park.  I went there alone, on a weekday, because all of my LA based friends had regular day job and could not take the day off.  So I borrowed a tripod from a friend drove out.  One of the scariest moments in my life happened while in the JTNP.  The sun has already set and the stars beginning to come out.  In the distance, you can hear people chatting over campfires, but you can also hear coyotes howling.  I thought to myself how great it was to be outdoors, just enjoying the beautiful night sky.  I parked my car along the side of the road and walked out into a field about 10-15 feet away from the car.  I set up the tripod, starting to compose my shot when I heard some bushes ruffling.  At first, I just thought it was a rabbit or small animal or maybe even the wind.  Then…. I heard a low rumbling and bushes ruffling, behind me.  Suddenly, I realized that the rumbling was actually growling!!  I thought: “Oh sh*t!  I’m going to get mauled by a coyote (or something)!”  Luckily, I only had my tripod and camera and no other additional gear, so I was pretty quick and agile.  I grabbed the tripod and held it like a sword pointed in the direction of growling and slowly backed up towards the car. Whew! 😀  The rest of the night, I made the photos from half inside-half outside the car!

Below are a couple photos from JTNP!  If you want to see the full set, please visit the Joshua Tree National Park Page, HERE.

 

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