Far/Back

Travel Stories & Original Photos by VJ Singh. Adventurer, Experience Catcher, Intrepid + Hedonistic. My adventures far away and reflections when I am back.

© VJ Singh 2004-2014. No photos or stories may be reproduced without credit and link to this site.

Question: What’s your next crazy venture?

"We lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies." (Jack Kerouac, On The Road)

Kerouac was also the one who said: "Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry." He was the ultimate adventurer and rebel, who “invented” the great American road trip. 

I would have liked to meet him and discuss my next crazy venture over a glass of red wine or whiskey (supposedly, Kerouac’s favorite drinks). 

So, what’s your next crazy venture?

One year later, we stand in awe of the men and women who continue to inspire us – learning to stand, walk, dance and run again. With each new step our country is moved by the resilience of a community and a city. When the sun rises over Boylston Street next Monday – Patriot’s Day – hundreds of thousands will come together to show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again.

Extract from President Obama’s speech on the first anniversary of the marathon. 

I was overwhelmed by the courageous stories of the survivors, even more so than the terrible tragedy itself. 

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Remembering this day, last year, when my fellow Bostonians rallied to support one another, unified behind a common purpose, and inspired each other with their strength of mind and resilience of spirit. Indeed, Vice President Biden, we own the finish line! #WickedTough #BostonStrong.

“On the turn from Hereford to Boylston Street, I will see the vision of the finish line and the beauty of our city. I will realize once again that we are, always have been, and always will be, Boston Strong.” - Sandy Xenos, 61, who will run this year. 

(Source: far-and-back)

Answers to my Question: What are you afraid of during travel?
First, “naming” a fear is in itself a way to overcome it. So, special thanks to jtem and mimeomeow for their responses.
We all fear the “worst-case scenario” - after all, there’s a whole insurance industry built around that. When you travel abroad, it’s useful to have your embassy contact numbers and a global assist hotline number (American Express has one). 
As for the fear of missing your bus and having no money left, I think we have all - at some point - had that nightmare of getting to an exam and forgetting all the answers. In other words, it has low probability - but if it did happen, you’ll surely have an adventure to remember. 
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." — Mark Twain

Answers to my Question: What are you afraid of during travel?

First, “naming” a fear is in itself a way to overcome it. So, special thanks to jtem and mimeomeow for their responses.

We all fear the “worst-case scenario” - after all, there’s a whole insurance industry built around that. When you travel abroad, it’s useful to have your embassy contact numbers and a global assist hotline number (American Express has one). 

As for the fear of missing your bus and having no money left, I think we have all - at some point - had that nightmare of getting to an exam and forgetting all the answers. In other words, it has low probability - but if it did happen, you’ll surely have an adventure to remember. 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." — Mark Twain

Poster by Amy Rice, who said: “Last winter I bought an antique letterpress (technically a sign press) at an antique store. I found a stack of antique atlases the very next day at an estate sale. I heard “You Can Go Your Own Way” on the radio on the way home and it was one of those giant light bulb moments.”
I have an antique letterpress-created poster on an antique map of Boston - by Amy Rice - that says: “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You”. Posters are available for sale at Etsy.
I hope you choose to go your own way.

Poster by Amy Rice, who said: “Last winter I bought an antique letterpress (technically a sign press) at an antique store. I found a stack of antique atlases the very next day at an estate sale. I heard “You Can Go Your Own Way” on the radio on the way home and it was one of those giant light bulb moments.”

I have an antique letterpress-created poster on an antique map of Boston - by Amy Rice - that says: “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You”. Posters are available for sale at Etsy.

I hope you choose to go your own way.

(Source: far-and-back)

Answers to my Question: Where in the World?

"If you could be in any place in the world at this moment, where would that be? Why?"

Thanks to all of you who responded! The answers varied - from Australia and New Zealand, to North East Asia (Korea and Japan), to the Arctics (Iceland and Finland), cool cities like Hong Kong, NYC and Prague, spiritual places like Mecca, and  and a farm in Utah (thanks, cosmopolitancouple)!

Most creative - Back to ‘mom’s belly .. want to grow up all over again!

And my favorite - “In El Vallecito - Merida Venezuela - with the crickets all around me" (From in-tangible-infinity). Sounds like a wonderful place! Hoping for peace in Venezuela soon!

Where do I want to be right now? April is a tough in-between month in the North-East of US where I live - lots of “April showers”, still-cold days, and the-promise-of-warm-weather-but-needing-a-puffy-jacket. My best April trips have been to the Caribbean. This is the month when a perfect blue ocean view brings happy thoughts. 

Maybe Puerto Rico or St. Barths?

Puerto Rico | VJ Singh

(Source: far-and-back)

Bay of Storks. Lang Co, Vietnam, December 2011.
This gritty shot of Lang Co fishing village (on the road between Hoi An and Hue) has always made me pause. The scene looks positively otherworldly, and not just because of my badly executed shot. You can’t see them in the photo - but out toward the horizon were a group of fishermen wading through chest-deep water as they carefully swung their fishing net into position on the water like a giant bed sheet. The round cereal-bowl-like basket boats baffle me even today - how do they keep them balanced and steady vs. spinning in the water? 
Lang Co means ‘Village of Storks” - not sure why, but the fishing nets do look somewhat like a bird’s beak. 
The Banyan Tree Lang Co was being constructed when we visited, and I wondered about its impact on this sleepy, idyllic village - I have been a Banyan Tree fan for a long time, and trust that it has remained true to celebrating the heritage of its location. Try their “Be a Fisherman for a Day” program, and perhaps you can figure out the secret to maneuvering the round boats. 
Photo and text by VJ Singh | Far/Back

Bay of Storks. Lang Co, Vietnam, December 2011.

This gritty shot of Lang Co fishing village (on the road between Hoi An and Hue) has always made me pause. The scene looks positively otherworldly, and not just because of my badly executed shot. You can’t see them in the photo - but out toward the horizon were a group of fishermen wading through chest-deep water as they carefully swung their fishing net into position on the water like a giant bed sheet. The round cereal-bowl-like basket boats baffle me even today - how do they keep them balanced and steady vs. spinning in the water? 

Lang Co means ‘Village of Storks” - not sure why, but the fishing nets do look somewhat like a bird’s beak. 

The Banyan Tree Lang Co was being constructed when we visited, and I wondered about its impact on this sleepy, idyllic village - I have been a Banyan Tree fan for a long time, and trust that it has remained true to celebrating the heritage of its location. Try their “Be a Fisherman for a Day” program, and perhaps you can figure out the secret to maneuvering the round boats. 

Photo and text by VJ Singh | Far/Back

(Source: far-and-back)