Monument Valley, Utah

Location: Monument Valley, Utah
Date: February 2017

I took a new job in February 2016, and it’s been phenomenal for my travel schedule! When we hosted a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, I knew I’d be taking some additional time to explore an area of the country I’ve yet to really see. Additionally, I just needed some personal time to be outside, away from my phone, and to get my head straight. So obviously, a trip through northern Arizona and southern Utah was in order.

Just across the Utah border is Monument Valley. It might look familiar if you’ve ever watched a John Wayne movie as the location was the setting for many western films. Personally, I just loved this area for how different it is from the East Coast. And one of my favorite things to do is hop in a car and explore. This area was perfect for that.

Utah Monuments Valley February 2017

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Stepantsminda, Georgia

Location: Stepantsminda, Georgia
Date: July 2015

No, the state of Georgia didn’t suddenly acquire a mountain range. Stepantsminda is located in the very north central portion of the Republic of Georgia, about 10 miles south of the Russian border. I like to go off the beaten path, so a trip to this town sounded right up my alley.

Just outside the town, is Mt. Kazbek, the seventh-highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains, sitting at 16,558 feet. And just below Mt. Kazbek is a tiny church that overlooks Stepantsminda. A quick Google image search was all I needed to know I wanted to see this church for myself. It wasn’t an easy feat to get here as we battled flooded roads, mountain roads, and cows. The view I present here is from the hotel we stayed in (a surprisingly luxury hotel for such a remote town). The church is clearly visible on the left side of the photo. If you like a challenge, make plans to visit. You won’t regret it.

Kazbegi Georgia July 2015

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Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Location: Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Date: July 2016

Home, sweet home.

When I first arrived in Washington, D.C., in 2005, I accidentally missed the exit for my new apartment and suddenly found myself heading straight into D.C., looking right at the Lincoln Memorial. It was as if the city was welcoming me to my new home. And over the course of 12 years, the Lincoln Memorial has remained a special place. This venerable memorial has seen me meet new friends, say goodbye to good ones, and introduce old friends to its lovely and now familiar columns. On days I bike to work, I enjoy the morning peacefulness of this end of the Mall and then cringe as it has filled with tourists by day’s end.

Day or night, this is one of my favorite memorials in the city. It’s hard not to take a bad photo here. It’s also the first place I went to try out my new wide angle lens. I think she does alright as a test subject!

DC Lincoln Memorial July 2016

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Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Location: Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Date: November 2012

There are a million things I love about Istanbul, but the Hagia Sophia is near the top of the list. The history is so rich as the building shuffled between Christian and Muslim cultures. Today, as a secular museum, you can see the years on this building for yourself. And there have been many years as the building dates back to the sixth century. If you find yourself in Istanbul, make sure to pop in and see this beautiful building for yourself.

Haigia Sophia Istanbul November 2012

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Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Location: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Date: May 2016

If you know anything about me, it’s that I take full advantage of the opportunities life presents. So, when my good friend said he was getting married in Africa, he knew I’d be the first one to send in my RSVP. In addition to the wedding in Rwanda, which I’ll share a photo from later, I had a six-day safari in Tanzania’s northern parks. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

One of my goals with this blog is to keep each post short. I am normally verbose, but am learning to be more concise. That means, one photo per post. Out of the 4,000+ photos I took in Africa, 138 were deemed shareable. Then I boiled it down to this one that I felt was iconic of the entire experience. Each of the four parks we visited was unique, but this photo captured the wild, yet oddly calm plains of the Serengeti.

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