I haven’t been posting for a while, but that’s also because I haven’t been traveling since last August. Last week though, I went to New York. I’ve been there four times by now, but I have to say it still surprises me as it would be my first one. Even though I really feel at home, and I know the city pretty well, considering I’m not from New York, every time I get to go to the city that never sleeps, I get to see how it’s on a constant development and how it gets nicer and nicer.
Anyway, this particular time was special, because I decided it was time to bring my bike with me. My Brompton is the queen of the city bikes, so I thought it was a great idea riding it around one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
These videos show how the vacation went. I had a lot fun making them, I hope you guys enjoy them. Feel free to comment or ask any questions, I’d be happy to help you out if you need any tips or suggestions.
See you guys next time!
I’ve always thought I was a New Yorker deep inside. That’s what happens when you grow up watching american movies. And that was exactly how I felt the first time I got to the City that never sleeps. On the shuttle I took at JFK to reach Manhattan, I wasn’t just excited because I was finally going to see the city I dreamt of since I was a kid. I felt like I was coming home. And the day after, at 5 in the morning, I was already wandering around Midtown, no precise destination in mind. No map either. I had it all in my head. One of the nicest strolls of my whole life. At last I found myself in Times Square. That was my first time, and now I’m going back for the fourth time. Can’t wait to get there.
The first two times were kind of the same. I got to see all the main spots around Manhattan, plus a glimpse of Brooklyn and a Yankees match in The Bronx. The third time was even better because it was at Christmas and I was with my family. We got to spend a wonderful Christmas at my relative’s in the Hudson Valley, and an unbelievable week in the best neighborhood of the whole Manhattan to live in, which is Greenwich Village in my opinion.
But this time is going to be special. I’m bringing my Brompton with me, and I’m finally going to stay the whole week in Brooklyn. I don’t know yet exactly the precise address of the room I booked, but it’s somewhere between Williamsburg and Bushwick, two of the coolest neighborhoods of New York. The cradle of the hipster movement, I’m told. And while I’m not exactly the prototype of an hipster, I guess with my folding bike I will fit right in.
And I have plans. I’ll tell you more next time I post, but I can tell you this isn’t going to be a classic touristic vacation. Hopefully, I’ll get to see one different place/neighborhood, off the most touristic beaten paths, every day of my week. A different bike ride everyday, discovering places you hardly find on the NYC guides under the top 10 must see list, but that I’m sure are going to give me the essential insight of what the City really looks like to a real New Yorker. I’m gonna have to plan ahead my itineraries this time, cause I absolutely wanna make the most out of this trip. Though I already know I won’t be avoiding Manhattan. You can’t help its pull. After all Sprinkles is on Madison Avenue, and God knows how much I love Sprinkles cupcakes.
I’ll keep you posted, take care guys!
I admit I love sharing pictures when I’m on a trip, and I honestly can say I got pretty good at shooting. That might be the reason why the thing I’m asked the most every time I get back from a travel is “how did you manage to take those pictures?!”, followed by a great deal of compliments.
They’re really good pictures. But I’m not a photographer at all. I don’t even have a reflex camera so I’m guessing they won’t pass an exam of a professional eye. Still, the result I’ve learned to achieve is pretty awesome. And I want you to know what you could do with just a good smartphone and a couple of cheap tools.
Some of them I’m really proud of. I usually respond to that frequent question with a “it’s professional secret”, but I’m not that jealous so I thought it might be cool writing an article about how to do it and give you some suggestions.
Well, everything started when I got back to solo travels after a couple of years traveling with my ex. I got tired of asking people to shoot pictures of me in front of the landmarks around the world, and even more frustrated by the results. I got something good from time to time putting my smartphone on every place I could think of, and turning on the self-timer. But that was too laborious. Too much time wasted trying to get the smartphone balanced over a rock or something.
Then I came up with this idea, which isn’t revolutionary at all, yet I don’t see many people around equipped like me getting pictures like I do. So here’s what you’re gonna need.
1-A little tripod for smartphones (not a professional and big one, just a very small and possibly flexible one)
2-A bluetooth remote control for smartphone
The two tools are pretty cheap, I got the following on Amazon for a few euros.
Once you got these two essential tools, it’s all in your hand. You just need to find a good spot to place the tripod, possibly in front of a breathtaking landscape, and then it all begins. Begins what?! Well, it begins the part where you may or may not be mistaken for nuts if it happens that someone is seeing you. Because the trick is, you have to walk around or stand in front of the background you want to take the picture of, pretending you’re admiring the landscape, or just moving unaware, or whatever, while with your hand you keep on pushing the button of the remote control, taking something like 20 shots, very very randomly. Afterward, you’re going to check them all, and with your surprise you’re gonna find a couple or more of impressive shots, apparently taken by someone who was shooting pictures of you while you weren’t aware. You delete all the rest and you’re good to go for a new place to visit. Seriously, this is gonna blow your mind. I had friends of mine who thought I had someone following me to take those pictures.
So that’s the trick. As for other general advices, being the tripod very small I put it on the ground very often and I came to appreciate the angle that kind of shot can give you. Like the ones below.
Last but not least, the only two apps I use to improve my already good pictures. One of course is Instagram. Everybody knows it and it’s not too complicated to use its filters and little adjustments. The second one is Snapseed, an app I found sometime ago and find very interesting to use since it got a couple of filters I like you can’t find on Instagram.
This is pretty much it guys. So if you’re tired of the usual shots you come back from a travel with, I suggest you give my tricks a try and let me know how it goes. Specially if you travel alone, it might be very gratifying. As long as nobody mistakes you for nuts…But then again, if you got excelent results, who cares?!
Oh yeah, while you do this, keep an eye on your smartphone. I don’t want you to blame me if somebody passes and steals it while you’re looking somwhere else!
Last days of this fabulous trip. Actually I’m writing from home cause I hadn’t had time while I was still in Boise, three days ago. Now the vacation is over, but I still have in mind those three days spent in one of the nicest little town I’ve ever been, Ketchum, Idaho. Honestly I have to say I didn’t know the town existed until I did some research while I was planning for this trip. So I came to know of the Sun Valley, a beautiful valley in the Rocky Mountains in Idaho. Apparently the town is pretty famous as one of the best places for skiing in winter. It certainly looks beautiful in summer, that I can say. I spent two nights in a great lodge right in the city center. I rested as I had planned before, since I was coming from 6 days in a row camping, and had the opportunity to ride my bike in a town very bike friendly. A lot of bike lanes and more bike shops than restaurants.
About my last day in Boise instead, I have to say I wasn’t particularly struck by the city. But I guess it was just me, since my mood wasn’t really up. It was the last day of a wonderful trip and I’ve never liked goodbyes. I’m thinking the city has a lot to offer, since it’s completely surrounded by forests rivers and lakes.
That said, I just wanted to say that I can’t even try to explain how magical this travel has been, and I wanted to thank everyone who’s followed me all along this trip, watching my videos, commenting my posts and reading the blog.
Thank you everybody, I’ll talk to you soon, in the meantime, if you get the chance, go see the American National Parks. You’re going to have the time of your life.
I gotta say, it’s pretty hard trying to put in words what a great feeling I felt last four days, camping in Yellowstone. How can you explain the sensation you feel while watching a pack of wolves from a distance, the Hayden Valley in front of you like a theater, and on screen a live National Geographic documentary?!
Or when you just turn around and find a buffalo wandering behind you in the middle of the street like it’s completely normal.
Or again when driving, while the sun is slowly coming up, your headlights light up a big elk eating grass along the roadside.
All of this happening in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, among hundreds of waterfalls, rivers, meadows, creeks and then geysers, fumaroles and breathtaking views.
Well, I guess I can’t. I’m just gonna let the images speak for me.
Take it easy guys. And go to Yellowstone.
I’m certainly making the most out of this trip, if we’re talking about National Parks. Grand Teton is the seventh Park I’ve visited so far and I still have one more to visit. And the reason Teton is not so famous is just because it’s too close to the very star of the American National Parks. Or of the world for that matter. Yellowstone. But you couldn’t tell this if you happen to visit Grand Teton, because is full of tourists from all around the world, and for a reason. It offers spectacular views and lots of wildlife too watch. Not that it’s easy, but it might even happen to spot a bear. It happened to me and it was fantastic to see it into its natural environment. I stayed just a couple of days but the Park deserved more. Besides, I’m hiking a lot for a guy like me who’s never done it before. But I’m so happy I got to see all of those incredible Parks, and the Grand Teton is a great part of them.
Take it easy guys!