It’s been a year since I left for an adventure in Southeast Asia. With the extremely tardy completion of a small book I made for those who supported my Kickstarter campaign for the trip, I started feeling like I’d never be on the road again. Modern expectations, the realities of money, and my desire to be a part of a stable community all seemed to be working against me, pulling me down. Yet, instead of dragging myself down the anguished path of the grounded traveler, I decided that some careful reflection was in order.
This year I’ve been a lot of places, there’s no doubt. From the temperate land I call home to the Asian tropics. To the crest of the Sierras and down to the Great Basin. Consciously or subconsciously, mountains played an undeniable role in my explorations. I was in the the shrub steppe of Steens Mountain in Oregon, the forests and alpine of Mt. Lassen in California and Mt. Rainier in Washington, the elfin evergreens of Doi Inthanon in Thailand, eruption scarred Gunung Sibayak in Sumatra, and the ancient oaks and tree ferns of Gunung Kinabalu in Borneo. In my home I wound through the high desert of interior western North America, the temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest coast, the snow of the Cascade range, and the mosaic of forests in the Sierra Nevada. Abroad I traipsed the lowland rainforests of Borneo and clambered about the monsoonal forests of Thailand. I drove to the summit of Doi Inthanon, the tallest mountain in Thailand, and hiked halfway up to the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, Gunung Kinabalu.
I was captivated by small natural wonders in my own backyard (literally) and stood in awe of a bull elephant thousands of miles away. Birds were held, eyes were met with Orangutans. Animal and plant life always figure highly in my explorations, communities shaped by the landscapes I learned in my wend.
That’s the key. My excitement and passion for this world result from a desire to learn. Curiosity rules my spirit, anyone reading Wingtrip will know that.
Below I’ve compiled a long (yet also very punctuated) series of images from my year in the natural world. If you are curious about the stories behind them please ask or follow a few of the links I’ve provided above (unfortunately, through a flaw in the program I upload photos to Flickr with, literally hundreds of the photos in other entries linked to above are not visible right on wingtrip though still on Flickr – when I have time to sit down to this arduous task, it’ll be fixed). There’s so much worth working to save, these images should remind us all of that.
In short, I’ve got nothing to complain about. I hope you enjoy these shots. May you all have a fruitful year of discovery.