What is Travel Photography?

What is Travel Photography?

It is the feeling of a time and place. Some images remain timeless, others reflect the moment in which it was taken, portraying the land and its people. Whether you’re a regular traveler or just heading out on your first adventure unique travel photography can excite, motivate and inspire you. 

Travel photography is the best souvenir you can bring home from a trip. Here are a few tips to help if you are thinking about trying Travel Photography, there are even a few tips in here that will help the experienced travel photographer.

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Meet Briana Gallo of Driftwood Adventure Treks in La Jolla

Meet Briana Gallo of Driftwood Adventure Treks in La Jolla

My love for travel got me into photography. My dad was from Argentina. My family and I would travel there a lot when I was little. I always had a camera in my hand and a story to tell. I was an only child. I would use my camera, even as a young kid, to break the ice and get to know people. I traveled throughout high school and into college focusing on teaching English as a second language and photography.

My sense of curiosity and my love for different cultures led me to do what I do today. I am an International Fine Art Photographer. I have a favorite saying….. “Courage is the Power to let go of the Familiar.” My inability to stay in one place along with my love for adventure and different cultures took my photography abroad.

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Women in the Omo Valley

Women in the Omo Valley

On my journey as an international travel photographer, I found myself in the Key Afer market, held weekly, located in the deep south of the Omo Valley. This market is formed by all the tribes of the Omo region; but dominated mostly by the Hamer and the Banna tribes – who are actually cousins and brothers.

All of the locals walked for hours to get here to buy, barter, gossip, laugh, drink and see the newborn goats.

As I wandered my eyes connected with a woman carrying a chicken. She was striking; she was wearing a beautiful colored skin, ornate necklace and metal bangles around her wrist and ankles. Her hair was a crown of dread lock braids covered in ocher – a dye made from earth’s clay and butter.

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Go For Outdoor Adventure Treks & Soothe Your Soul

Go For Outdoor Adventure Treks & Soothe Your Soul

Why do we crave the outdoors? What drives us to feel the sun on our face and the rocks under our feet? Is it to be free from the day to day routine? Is it because we need a break, or what people call a “reboot” from technology?

Not that long ago technology, as we know it now, didn’t exist. I remember when my husband suggested I get a cell phone. I was appalled! “Why?” I asked him. No one needs to get me that bad, and if they ever do they can leave a message. Remember that? We would come home after a long day and see the red blinking light on our answering machine? Press “play” and random voices would fill the room with messages we missed. Now it’s a funny electronic beep that commands immediate attention. I find time spent outdoors, say, the Gokyo lake trekking helping me to go back to those days when I wasn’t tethered to a phone.

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What is a New Year’s Resolution?

What is a New Year’s Resolution?

The New Year’s resolution means promising yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year. Why the first day of the year? Why not every day? Buddhism teaches us to develop love and kindness so that we can be a true friend to all beings, including our self. To be the self on the inside that we want others to see on the outside. Daily. Not once a year.

Nepal celebrates 9 New Years due to its deeply ingrained traditions followed by more than 60 ethnic groups. They are all celebrated, but Nepal Sambat is considered the “National New Year”, bringing unity in the midst of great linguistic, cultural and historical diversity.

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Open Doors and Open Hearts By Joanna Read

Open Doors and Open Hearts By Joanna Read

Pictured here is my beautiful friend May, whom I met by chance on a spontaneous nationwide women's rock climbing meetup in Alabama with the Ladies Climbing Coalition. When May learned that I was undertaking the Everest Base Camp tours with Driftwood Adventures, she eagerly jumped at the opportunity to join us. Her presence brought such a radiant, bright, and peaceful energy to our group. I'm so grateful for the sisterly bond that we developed as roommates over the course of our 17-day trek. 

What's special about this photo is that May is seated by the beautiful bay window in the home of our sherpa, Tshering, and if you research the adventure trek groups in Nepal, you'll soon understand how uncommon it is for the tourists to be able to stay at the home of their sherpa, let alone spend the day at their local village school, receive cooking lessons in their kitchen, or sit around the dinner table with their local friends and family from the village and dance together - more on all of this soon. 

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Give the Gift that keeps on Giving this Holiday Season

Give the Gift that keeps on Giving this Holiday Season

I can’t believe the Holidays are just around the corner. Although, I love the festive holiday shopping I often think to myself how many socks or trinkets does someone need? It’s fun when you have that person that you are excited to shop for, but after 20 years what else could you possibly get them? Especially when they may just go out and get what they want anyway.

How about an experience? How many times have you heard someone say, “I would travel here if I could only get away”. Or “I wish I would have……when I had the time”. Or maybe you know someone that just needs an extra push. They have talked for years about needed a change, needing an adventure… Or the proverbial “I just need to get away!”

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How to prepare for trekking in Nepal

How to prepare for trekking in Nepal

Most people feel that they need a year or two to get ready. If you walk a lot, love outdoors and have a sense of adventure you can be ready in 6 months.

One does not need to be a major sports person to trek Nepal such as taking the Everest Base Camp Tours, however physical fitness is important! Our treks are not running competitions. We feel it’s important for you to be able to walk your own pace so that you can enjoy the natural beauty around you! Trekking the trails of Nepal offers a diversity of landscape, flora and fauna, people and culture.

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Girls in the Mountains

Girls in the Mountains

We, as women, wear a lot of different hats. We are a mom, a wife, a co-worker or a CEO. We are constantly running, moving; taking care of others. It’s important to take time to remind yourself who you were before you wore all these different hats. Is that girl still in there that maybe went backpacking through Europe in college? Or wanted to and didn’t get the chance? We all have that little girl in us that just wants to run free.

Why not run free amongst the beauty of the Himalayas? Explore Everest, the Base of Annapurna, enjoy the Everest base camp tours as well as other regions of Nepal by foot. Treat yourself to a natural reboot surrounded by like-minded travelers as part of the adventure trekking tours in Nepal.

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First time trekkers in Nepal

First time trekkers in Nepal

First-time trekkers in Nepal are always wowed by the Khumbu region around Everest and the Base of Annapurna.  Yep, you read that correctly, first time trekkers.  I honestly recommend Annapurna for first time trekkers.

Nepal is a wonderful place with adventure treks for all levels.  When I first talked to a friend of mine about leading treks to the Base of Everest her first reaction was, “Aren’t you afraid?”  Fear never entered my head. For as long as I could remember I always wanted to trek in the Himalayas. Now, all I want to do is share my experiences with others.

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There is more to Nepal than Everest

There is more to Nepal than Everest

Although Everest is magical in its own way, another wonderful option in Nepal is the Annapurna range which is located in central Nepal. Travelers have been praising the 128-mile route of the Annapurna base camp trek, which circles Nepal’s heaven-high Annapurna range, as the “holy grail of trekking since it was first opened to foreigners in the early 1980s.”

The Annapurna route crosses two different river valleys and encircles the Annapurna Massif. The path reaches its highest point at Thorung Lo pass. The circuit takes you along paddy fields and into subtropical forests, passing several waterfalls and gigantic cliffs, taking you through various villages ending in the artic snow. Many consider the Annapurna base camp tour as the best long-distance and diverse treks in the world.

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Travel with Purpose. Get involved with Philanthropy on our Treks in Nepal

Travel with Purpose. Get involved with Philanthropy on our Treks in Nepal

How many times do you find yourself traveling and wish there was a way you could give back? Help someone? We incorporate philanthropy and photography into all of our treks, be it the Everest base camp tours or the Gokyo lake trek.

During the last adventure trek in Nepal wherein we had visited the Base of Everest we brought solar lanterns. Solight Design was kind enough to donate a case of lanterns to our group. They are a global social enterprise delivering affordable solar lighting and power solutions to the world. Their mission is to provide clean sustainable light and power to those who need them most. There are over 1.6 billion people who have no access to electricity and clean sustainable lighting and energy, something most of us take for granted.

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Trekking in Nepal? Boutique Tour Operator vs. Big Travel Agency

Trekking in Nepal? Boutique Tour Operator vs. Big Travel Agency

Why travel with a boutique company?  You have always traveled on your own.  Maybe you traveled Europe staying in hostels, maybe you hiked the Appalachian Trail or maybe you book trips for your family every year.  If you have ever dreamed of adventure trekking in Nepal? Join us.  We take care of everything, simplifying your trip so you can have fun! 

Boutique companies are intimate and focus on creating a highly personalized trip. We talk to everyone who is interested so that they pick a trip that is perfect for them.  Not only do we work with local guides; we immerse ourselves in their culture.  We get to know their families, play with their kids and create friendships that last a life time.  We share local Nepalese meals that we learned how to cook side by side on a wood fire stove. We give back to the communities we trek through by volunteering in local school, donating lanterns or just helping out on the farms.

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What is a Sherpa Step?

What is a Sherpa Step?

Ever thought about trekking in the higher altitudes? Worried about losing your breath? There is a technique that can help you to not only explore the majestic heights but enjoy it in every step of the way. It’s called the Sherpa Step, an important technique to acclimatize yourself and avoid altitude sickness while undertaking the adventure travel in Nepal.

Sherpas, the native Nepalese mountain people, who are known for the display of physical prowess at extreme altitude, hike up steep hills in a distinctive style called the Sherpa step. It is a particularly useful technique for saving energy when carrying heavy loads up the inclines where there is little oxygen in the air. The Sherpa step is also used to help trekkers acclimatize to the altitude, thus preventing altitude sickness.

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Vacation or Experience?

Vacation or Experience?

Are you looking for a vacation or an experience? I often find that people are looking for just a little bit more than the pink umbrella by the pool.  Now, don’t get me wrong… I love that little pink umbrella sitting next to a crystal, clear pool overlooking the ocean with the sun warming my skin.  But I have done that.

A few years ago, a friend of mine told me, “I want an experience.  I want to do something that I feel on the inside, something that challenges me but doesn’t break me”.  She was an avid athlete.  Ran marathons and competed in triathlons… But all she brought home was a t-shirt that she rarely wore and another metal to collect dust.  I personally would love to get those t-shirts and metals – but I’m too old for that! 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Trekking in Nepal FAQ’s Is it for me?

Frequently Asked Questions about Trekking in Nepal FAQ’s Is it for me?

The queries of people willing to take adventure trekking tours in Nepal related to Gokyo lake trekking, sickness, insurance, acclimatization, load carrying capacity, safety, tea houses, vaccines and food are answered in the section.

The Gokyo lake trekking is a steady climb over 10-12 days. We hike about 5 hours a day with plenty of time to acclimate to altitude. Our team can support all levels of hikers, we work together to make sure everyone is safe and enjoys their trek. One can trek to explore the Annapurna base camp and other places at his or her own pace with adequate support from us.

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Looking for an adventure?

Looking for an adventure?

I signed up for a trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) with Driftwood Adventure Treks in April 2018.

It was both the best and most fulfilling thing I have done in my life. Fulfilling because Bri, founder of Driftwood Adventures makes sure that you not only get to see the amazing beauty of the Himalayas, but also fully experience the spirit of Nepalese people and their way of life, which is wildly different from the Western culture. She also provides many opportunities to give back by visiting schools and bringing badly needed (donated) solar lanterns for villagers who do not even have running water or electricity.


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My Experience Trekking in Nepal What to Expect

My Experience Trekking in Nepal What to Expect

The sparkling, pristine blue and green waters of the Gokyo Lakes are one of Nepal’s most memorable sights nestled in a country where a simple “Hello” rings sweet with the vibration of "Namaste" - a humbling greeting of respect, good will, and reverence for humanity.

There's still so much I'm processing from the April adventure that I underwent as part of the adventure tour in Nepal, and even still, I can confidently attest that this is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself.

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The Gokyo Lakes Trek in Nepal and a few reasons why we love this trek

The Gokyo Lakes Trek in Nepal  and a few reasons why we love this trek

Some visit the Gokyo Lakes as part of the Everest Base Camp tours but Driftwood Adventure prefers to visit the Gokyo Lakes as a stand-alone trip. Find out why the Everest Gokyo lake trek is an amazing destination of its own.

The sparkling, pristine blue and green waters of the Gokyo Lakes are one of Nepal’s most memorable sights. They are a series of six spectacular lakes. The lakes are situated at altitudes of between 4,700m and 5000m, making them some of the world’s highest freshwater lakes. The Gokyo Lakes are situated in the beautiful Sagarmatha National Park, which is also the home to Mount Everest.

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One of travel's greatest gifts

One of travel's greatest gifts

You know how it seems like every time you travel, your bag somehow ends up expanding, even bursting at the seams, by the time you're ready to take it back home?

My fellow Ladies Climbing Coalition friend and travel partner May pointed this out to me at the end of our 17 day journey through the Kombu Valley to Everest Base Camp with Driftwood Adventure Treks

It stopped me in my tracks as she then observed how travel does the same thing with our bags that it does with hearts: it fills them up and leaves them more full than when we began.  

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