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Operation “Clear out Dropbox so I can stop paying £7.99 a month for something I most certainly don’t need” is a go.
I signed up for what was then a Dropbox Pro, but is now a Dropbox Plus account well over a year ago when I was a good few months and approximately 2,593,213,984 photos deep in my relatively lengthy trip around the world. I’d accidentally gone a meagre few MB over my 2GB limit, and those pesky rascals over at Dropbox HQ wouldn’t let me access my other photos until I a) delete some photos or b) pay to upgrade.
Naturally, I didn’t want to lose any of the 523 photos of the sunrise taken from different (each time more edgy!) angles, so I paid for the upgrade. Ever since I’ve been paying £7.99 a month for the privilege of being able to say I have 1 TB of storage space to use. Not gonna lie, I didn’t know TB was a thing in the computer world. But apparently it is, and it’s 1024 GB.
My current Dropbox usage is 4.32GB. As we can all see, I’m definitely making the most out of it.
During the laborious task of moving everything from Dropbox, onto my desktop, then onto a little memory card thing (because for some absurd reason it won’t download straight from Dropbox onto a memory card), I’ve come across loads and loads and loads (4.32GB worth, in fact) of travel photos… and llama memes… and penguin cartoons. And lots of other things that kind of didn’t need to be saved in the first place but Hey Ho.
Over the next few weeks/months/centuries/however long it takes, in an effort to do something more with these photos than allow them to wither away in cyberspace forevermore, I’m going to be compiling them into little list kind of things, and sharing them every Sunday, in a series with an oh-so inventive name: Sightseeing Sunday.
Explanation: because it will be a Sunday. And I will be sharing photos. Of things I’ve seen. While sightseeing.
This is a win-win situation all around, because not only will this mean I’ll actually have something to publish every week (yay for planning in advance), but also it’ll mean my photo back-ups have back-ups, and as they’ll be mostly photo-centric posts, you’ll all be spared my usual 1000+ word rambling about nonsense. You’re welcome in advance.
I’m gonna kick it off with this little list, using my favourite photo from each of the countries I visited on that long trip I went on which I still haven’t shut up about. Lol soz not soz, it was great.
By sharing these, I’m not awarding myself a Photographer of the Year accolade or anything – they’re just my personal favourites. The ones that, if I were to ever bother getting them printed, would be going into albums. Or even on the fridge, because I’m that kind of person. Now, if you’ve been around here a while you may have seen some of these before, as I tend to use them a lot for illustrative purposes in posts that have nothing to do with the actual photos,
Now, if you’ve been around here a while you may have seen some of these before, as I tend to use them a lot for illustrative purposes in posts that have nothing to do with the actual photos, so if you get a sense of déjà vu reading this, that’s why.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Iguazu Falls is one of those bucket list destinations I didn’t realise was even on my “bucket list” until I was there. It was about 1000x bigger than I imagined it to be, 50x as noisy and with more coatis running around the place than I’d ever seen in my life.
Spoiler alert: I’d never seen a coati before then. But they are v. cute. 13/10 cute.
It’s one of those places which makes you feel like you’re completely alone with nature, even though there are at least 26 other people crowded around you trying to take the exact same photo. Bizarre.
La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it speaks volumes when the most enjoyable part of a city is its cemetery. Followed closely by the cinema. Which, incidentally, is right by the cemetery! Double whammy for those looking for a fun-filled day.
La Recoleta Cemetery is unbelievably picturesque. As morbid as it is to spend the day wandering around a maze of tombs, it’s one of the most peaceful yet educational places I’ve ever visited. And the tombs really are something else.
Valle de la Luna, Chile
Oh hey, see that blue and green little blob on the left side of the picture? Yeah, that’s me. Looking
freezing cold contemplative, windswept and interesting, while sat however many metres above a desert floor full of jagged rocks which would mean nothing but certain death if I were to have shifted a few inches in the wrong direction.
And that rock I’m sat on? Very, very, very not safe.
Deserts are some of the most other-wordly places you’ll ever set foot on without having to, you know, go to an actual other world. Every way you look in the Valle de la Luna, there’s a new scene to take in, a new horizon to explore, and I loved every second of being there. When the sun sets, different colours get cast over the rock formations and desert basin and it is one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever feast your eyes on.
Laguna Colorada, Bolivia
Not the most representative of Bolivia’s natural beauty (which it has bucketloads of, FYI), I know, but I just really like all things alpaca. Although, as much as I love alpacas and llamas, I’ll admit that I’m not so confident on the differences between them. A ten-minute compare and contrast session on Google Images has helped to confirm that the above is, in fact, an alpaca.
Valle del Colca, Peru
You know sometimes you see a place and you can’t help but think “WOAH, IS THIS EVEN REAL LIFE?“
Well, say hello to Peru’s Colca Canyon. Standing at the edge of a mountain road, looking down at this view, it might have been one of the most pinch me moments of my whole entire life. Not only is this one of the most aesthetically pleasing landscape shots I’ve ever taken, but it’s also kind of symbolic in that this place is one of the main reasons I headed to Peru back in 2011. Although I didn’t get to experience it then (because I spent all my money on alpaca hats), that trip was the beginning of everything. And the fact that it took 5 years and 3 trips to actually get there made it all the sweeter when I did finally set my eyes on it.
Also, there are a lot of potatoes being grown in this picture, and I love potatoes.
I didn’t think I’d like Ecuador. I thought I’d end up resenting having to spend so much time there en route from my first Latin American love, Peru, to my second Latin American love, Colombia.
It turns out I loved it. It was amazing. The Quito Free Walking Tour was superb, the people were friendly and the overall atmosphere of the city was something I really, really wasn’t expecting! In fact, I think this view over the city is what sealed the deal for me.
When I visited Colombia the first time around, I made a friend at a hostel in Medellín who took us to his mother’s house in Guatapé. Her house is somewhere on that little island thing on the bottom left of the photo, I think.
He told us stories of the first-hand effect Pablo Escobar had on the people of Medellín, Guatapé, and Colombia in general. He told us of his own family’s experiences with the Escobar family, as at some point in time they were neighbours. We went for tea with an ex-associate of the cartel, a fact I didn’t find out until the very end of the afternoon (thank goodness).
One thing I didn’t do during that time in Guatapé, which I regretted almost as soon as my plane hit the runway, was to climb El Peñol, the famous rock overlooking the town and its surroundings. This time, I did, and the view was more than worth the wait.
Monte Albán, Mexico
The competition was tough for “Favourite Photo in Mexico” – it was a close call between this and me standing by the giant globe thing in Six Flags Mexico City. If you’ve never been to a Six Flags before, I suggest you look into ways of rectifying that immediately.
You may be thinking “Wait. Didn’t you go to Chichen Itza?” and the answer would be yes, yes I did. And as photogenic and gorgeous and fantastic and jaw-dropping as the Chichen Itza complex is, I found Monte Albán (situated just outside of Oaxaca City) to be that little bit extra wow. I think it must have been to do with the serenity of the place. A lot less visited, a lot less touched by human hands.
Lago de Atitlán, Guatemala
Having visited my fair share of lakes, Lake Atitlán is far and away the fairest of them all. And that’s all I have to say on the matter.
Caye Ambergris, Belize
I visited Belize just after Hurricane Earl hit. A lot of the country was badly affected by the storm, especially the little islands off the coast of the mainland. Caye Ambergris is one of those islands, and the one I spent 5 days on. Bearing witness to the local people banding together to rebuild what they lost was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever been privileged enough to go through, and I like to think of this walkway as a representation of those people. Slightly beaten down by the weather, but still standing strong in its own way.
Downtown Los Angeles, United States
I hiked all the way up the mountain to get this view.
That’s a lie. I didn’t hike. I took one of those cheesy Hollywood Homes tours, and it was fantastic. I’ll admit, 99% of my photos from the 4 days I spent in L.A. and Anaheim are of Disneyland or Universal, so options for favourite photos that make me look like a grown-up were somewhat limited. Still, I really do like this photo. Mostly because of the sky.
Great Wall of China, China
Whoever said the Great Wall is always crowded is a liar. Or they’re going to the wrong part of the wall. Sure, there were quite a few people when I visited (as evidenced if you look at that second stretch of wall), but nothing like those pictures you see everywhere of human sardines battling it out for space and oxygen.
This was the furthest part of the wall I walked too, before heading back to the Gate I entered through, so I could make my way down and back to the hotel. The Gate I came from is somewhere in the very, very back of the photo, and I did the whole walk in flip-flops, which is an achievement in itself.
The Great Wall was the last of the 7 Wonders of the World I had to visit (in case you didn’t know from the 50 other times I’ve mentioned it. Hashtag smug) and this photo, the last of the day, was sort of the end of a very exciting chapter.
A Monkey, Malaysia
An encounter with this monkey was the start of what would turn out to be a long and painful back-and-forth with the monkey population of Asia.
I had a bottle of 7Up. I finished drinking said bottle of 7Up, and was holding on to it so I could put it in the bin at the bottom of the steps. This cheeky little fella decided he wanted the bottle, so tried to pull it out of my grip. Not wanting to be responsible for littering in another country and possibly killing a monkey, I didn’t give in. So he sat on my foot and tugged at the bottle in my hand until I gave it up. So I did. Because I didn’t want to anger the monkey.
I took this photo as soon as I walked away, and I just love how the expression on his face is kind of “Haha, stupid puny human“.
Bentota, Sri Lanka
I’ve always wanted one of those melancholic photos of a railway track disappearing into the horizon, but have never been
brave stupid enough to venture out onto the tracks and get one.
So imagine my luck when, during a very pointless and very warm walk from Bentota to the next town, I came across a little restaurant for lunch which you could only reach by walking across the track. A quick 2-second photo stop later and BAM, here we are. Dreams really do come true, ladies and gentlemen.
Galtaji Temple, Rajasthan, India
When it comes to the states of India, Kerala certainly has my heart. I don’t think I’ll ever love another state as much as Kerala. BUT Rajasthan is a close second and is, dare I say it, a wee bit more photogenic than Kerala (please don’t hate me). I only spent a week in the state, which is nowhere near enough time, but I took enough photos for a lifetime.
There isn’t a single building, person or view that doesn’t want to make you whip your camera out and play Lonely Planet. I think if you were to give me 2 weeks in the state, I’d easily hit my 1TB Dropbox limit.
Of all the photos I took in Rajasthan, this is definitely my favourite. Mostly for the story attached to it…