Recent Writing Articles

The Winner of the 2012 My Life’s a Trip Vacation Photo Contest is….

The judges have voted and the votes have been tallied. The Grand Prize winner of the My Life’s a Trip Vacation Photo Contest 2012 is…

Jökulsárlón by Claudia Cooper (USA):

Blue ice, a lagoon, the people on the hill… this picture made me want to visit Iceland and warm up with some Brennivin.

Congratulations, Claudia! You made ice look incredibly intriguing and inviting.

The photographer who shot Jökulsárlón, Claudia Cooper, wins a super fly grand prize package worth $1,000 including:

For 2nd place we had a tie!

Dreamland by Jayanta Roy (India) ….

This colorful, joyful entry was wildly intriguing

and Prayer by Sudipto Das (India) :

We were wowed by these sari-clad women praying in the Ganges

Both these colorful entries had identical scores, so instead of casting a deciding between them, we chose to award two 2nd place prizes. Both photographers will receive:

  • A $50 iTunes Gift Card
  • A copy of iPhone Photography: How to Shoot, Edit and Share Great Photographs, the new eBook by Misho Baranovic

Our 3rd Place Winner is Into the Land of Snow and Ice by Zoran Stanko (Croatia):

This mountain scene is nothing short of icy and epic.

For more of Zoran’s Work, check out his

The Third Place winner receives:

Because the judges final scores were close, I have decided to award a few images honorable mentions, since it they were neck and neck with the winners and it was just a matter of points. The photographers of the following images each win Honorable Mentions and a $10 iTunes gift card.

Honorable Mentions go to:

Muir Woods by Melissa Vincent( @misvincent on Instagram and Twitter), Andalusia by Taylor Mitchie(@racingwinds on Twitter), Walled City in Dubrovnik by Laurel Stewart(@lfstewart on Twitter and Instagram), Swiss Alps by Kevin Chen, About to Touch Down (Seattle) by Dina Maccabee, and Strange Bed Pillows by Ver Latorre.

The judges all commented on the quality of the entries and how difficult it was to narrow down the selection. Much thanks to all who entered and to our international panel of Judges Misho Baranovic, Severin Matusek, and Rebecca Adler Rotenberg for taking the time to review the finalists and help decide the winners.

Congratulations to all the winners, and everyone who participated. We’re hard at work coming up with a fun theme for a new photo contest which we will announce after the holidays.

My assistant, Anastasia, will be coordinating with the winners via email to see what country they are located in, and how best to redeem their prizes.

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My Life’s A Trip Vacation Photo Contest 2012: Finalists Shortlist!

I’m extremely excited to announce the 41 finalists whose images will go on the next round of the My Life’s a Trip Vacation Photo Contest 2012. We received hundreds of great entries from all over the globe, and the images are truly a world tour of interesting places. There were and very, very few bad photos. A few images had to be disqualified because they were submitted incorrectly, and a few shooters have more than one image progressing to the finals.

There were some stunning images that I loved, but that lacked enough context to make them unable to stand alone in a contest (although they would be publishable and work great in a photo essay). All the photographs I selected gave me an emotional response. They made me want to know more about the destination, or to be along on that trip, or want to see more of the place.  I wound up being intrigued by a pillow fight, sandy beaches, mountains, giant redwoods, a smoking rasta, Hawaiian slugs, wet dog smell, saffron robed monks, trains, planes, and the rear view mirrors of automobiles. Harsh winters caught my attention as did African sunsets, fairs, fog, sun flare, rooftops, ice floes, and exotically colored Indian saris as well as moments of everyday life.

I’ve narrowed it the entries to the shortlist of 41 images featured above. Now I will pass these images along to my international panel of fabulous photographer judges Misho Baranovic, Severin Matusek, and Rebecca Adler Rotenberg,  who will decide the Grand Prize Winner as well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. I really have no idea who is going to come out the winners– I am pretty sure I can guess which images might appeal most to Misho, Severin, and Rebecca individually, but together? I haven’t a clue! So this is very exciting for me too. In the event of a tie, I will cast the deciding vote.

The photographers whose images are above are listed below (but not in order, as to keep the judging process a bit more anonymous). Congratulations to all of you and thanks so much for participating. Stay tuned for the winners, which should be announced by December 15th (or earlier).

  • Alex Hamilton-McLeod.
  • Ali Jardine.
  • Amber De Grace.
  • Amo Passicos.
  • Andre Boto.
  • Claudia Cooper.
  • Dina Maccabee.
  • Edi Caves.
  • Eva Lim.
  • Harsh Wardhan.
  • Jayanta Roy.
  • Joe Kunin.
  • Karen Hanson-Sharp.
  • Kevin Chen.
  • Kristin Luna.
  • Laine Walden.
  • Laurel Stewart.
  • Lesley Towns.
  • Lorenzo Gonzalez.
  • Marita Hodges.
  • Melissa Vincent.
  • Michael Blades.
  • Mike G. Abelson.
  • Misha Zagorac.
  • Natalie Taylor.
  • Ravi Kotecha.
  • Robin Bengtson.
  • Ron Murnik.
  • Ryan Hickey.
  • Shuhei Nishikawa
  • Stephanie Mueller.
  • Sudipto Das.
  • Taylor Michie.
  • Ver Latorre.
  • Zoran Stanko.

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The My Life’s a Trip Vacation Photo Contest has been Extended!

Marita Hodges: Nothing says Hawaii vacation like skydiving at dawn. Shot this guy on my window this morning.

The MLAT team has been blown away by quality of images that have entered in our First Annual Vacation Photo Contest, and due to popular demand, we’re extending the deadline for the contest by two weeks. The new deadline is Wednesday, November 14th. Then we have to decide which images we will move forward to our international panel of really cool judges.

In this post we’re showcasing some of our recent favorite entries.

Remember- There’s a Super Fly Prize Package in store for the Grand Prize winner worth over $1,000!

The grand prize winner of the first ever My Life’s A Trip Vacation Photo Contest will get enough goodies to take an actual vacation (or at least a weekend away). I’m throwing my hard earned points and miles in the kitty to put together this grand prize package worth over $1000*:

25,000 United Airlines Miles (good for a domestic US roundtrip coach ticket)
50,000 Club Carlson Points (good for nights at properties by Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn, and Country Inn & Suites)
A copy of iPhone Photography: How to Shoot, Edit and Share Great Photographs, the new eBook by Misho Baranovic
And, since every other contest gives one away… a $100 iTunes Gift Card!

The amazing images in this post are by the following talented photographers from around the globe:

    • Ali Jardine.
    • Andre Boto.
    • Angela Failor.
    • Aoife Kirk.
    • Biondić Josip Joža.
    • Claudia Cooper.
    • Curtis Matwishyn.
    • Danielle Jurgens.
    • Diego Camposeco.
    • Dina Maccabee.
    • Eva Lim.
    • Halbert Bai.
    • Harsh Wardhan.
    • Joe Kunin.
    • Karen Hanson-Sharp.
    • Kevin Chen.
    • Kristin Luna.
    • Leka Huie.
    • Lesley Towns.
    • Lindsey Williams.
    • Marita Hodges.
    • Mihai Scorpan.
    • Misha Zagorac.
    • Ravi Kotecha.
    • Ron Murnik.
    • Timothy Henry Charles Tamm.
    • Verity Bowater.

Remember, as a condition of entry, it is necessary to “Like” the MLAT FB page.

Here’s how you enter. Good luck and keep those entries coming!

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Glamping with Wilderness Safaris at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Namibia

Desert glamping in Namibia at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

My recent trip to Namibia was the first time I traveled with Wilderness Safaris and I was truly impressed with everything about Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. It’s brand new, having opened in August 2014.

Twilight outside tent #2 at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Impressive, elevated tents at Hoanib

Namibia doesn’t allow permanent camps, instead they grant land concessions for a number of years. So everything about Hoanib will be able to disappear without a trace to help conserve Namibia’s natural environment.

Visiting the Roaring Dunes was one of the highlights of my stay at Hoanib

While the tents may be temporary, the camp is still amazingly stylish and comfortable. The guest tents have a genius design. They are built on platforms elevated over the sand, which helps keep their interiors at a comfortable temperature both day and night.

The Hoanib Staff waits to greet you with cool towels and fresh lemonade

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is run with Wilderness Safari’s ethos and commitment to the 4Cs – Commerce, Conservation, Community and Culture. The staff is committed to contributing meaningfully to the wildlife and the people of Africa. The staff is great and this attitude makes you feel really good about spending money here.

Bella, the resident cat at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

General Manager Clement Lawrence and his team are all warm, personable, and take very good care of you. The service style is laid-back and unobtrusive. This is perfect for the modern luxury travelers who don’t want to feel like a Colonial with a staff fawning over you all the time.

The pool is perfect for cooling off on hot days in the Namib desert

Emms, our guide and tracker was incredible. He was friendly and warm and just plain fun to hang out with and have a chat. Fatima keeps things the ship running tight back at camp. There are only 10 tents, so the camp feels intimate.

Looking from the pool into the dining pavilion

Located in the private the Hoanib River Valley in the Private Palmwag Concession, the property is remote and way off the grid. It’s luxurious for sure, but you’re glamping.

The living room in the

There is no wifi, phone service, or television. With your days filled with game drives and wildlife walking through the camp serving as “Namibian television.” I did not miss being connected. That being said, we did pack our own satellite phone for emergencies. 

Left: The main tent looks gorgeous against the desert landscape Right: Zulu baskets

Clement let me know I could send an email from the office if it was necessary.

Table in the dining tent facing the gorgeous rocky landscape

Left: the communal living room Right: The fresh lemonade was my personal favorite beverage

You’re not exactly roughing it here. The bathrooms were spacious, chic and had plenty of hot water heated by the solar panels that surround the camp.

I loved the modern safari chic vibe of Hoanib’s communal living room

Your days are filled with Game Drives and wildlife viewing (the elephants were my personal favorite), and adventures like visiting the Roaring Dunes along the Skeleton Coast.

A club sandwich & chips for lunch

Hoanib is one of Wilderness Safaris Classic Camps, which is their second tier of luxury. It felt plenty luxurious to both me and my husband.

Left: A view of the lunch buffet Right: a pastry at lunch

This means there are fewer selections for entrees at lunch and dinner than you’d find at one of the Premier Camps,  but we felt well fed and still had plenty of options and never went hungry.

Pops of cornflower blue looked fantastic against the desert backdrop

Your days are filled with Game Drives and wildlife viewing (the elephants were my personal favorite), and adventures like visiting the Roaring Dunes and seal colony along the Skeleton Coast.

Left: Local handicrafts on display at camp Right: I loved these these cool bar stools

A rare rainy morning before a game drive

On a rare rainy morning in December, it was chilly when we left for our morning game drive. Emms, our guide, made sure we had blankets and ponchos to keep us warm and toasty.

Sundowners were my favorite daily ritual

Emms also delivered us to a great spot for sundowners every evening, and it became my favorite daily ritual.

Not a bad place for a sundowner

Namibia’s dramatic skies are as spectacular as it’s landscape

Nambia’s rugged and dramatic landscape is matched by it’s crazy beautiful skies. The clouds are ever-changing.

The moon was still visible in the morning

Clear skies mean star spotting and a visible moon

Moon framed in by the ties of a tent at Hoanib

My stay at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp was so memorable and impressive, I’m now very curious about visiting more of Wilderness Safaris properties. Perhaps I’ll go see the gorillas in the Congo next.

Safari chic bathroom selfie, Namibia

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Rates start at $484 USD – low season (11 January 2015  to 14 June 2015, 01 November 2015 to 19 December 2015)

From $720 – high season (15 June 2015  to 31 October 2015, 20 December 2015 to 10 January 2016)

Booking Inquiries:

Wilderness Safaris

Johannesburg

+27 ­11 ­807 ­1800
Mon-Fri 08:00 – 17:00 GMT+2

Cape Town

+27 ­21 ­702 ­7500
Mon-Fri 08:00 – 17:00 GMT+2

enquiry@wilderness.co.za

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Photo Essay: Visiting The Skeleton Coast Museum, Namibia

Skeletons on Display

Nambia’s Skeleton Coast National Park may be geographically remote, but it’s well worth the effort to get there.

Giant whale pelvis and a boat near the Skeleton Coast Museum

There is a seal colony near by, and a small but very interesting and unique museum.

Wreakage along the rugged coastline

An old boat outside the Skeleton Coast Museum

I loved the rough hewn museum signage

The museum is not fancy, but that is part of it’s charm. There are, appropriately, a lot of skeletons of local wildlife on display.

Left: Bones lined up against a wall R: the skull of Cape Fur Seal

Articles about plane and boat crashes are on display

The Skeleton Coast has quite a history of plane and boat crashes. There are articles and pieces of wreckage from some of these accidents on display at the museum.

Left: petrified lobster right: turtle shells

Most of the bones found along the Skeleton Coast are from seals and and other local animals. But human bones can also be found.

Small creatures preserved in formaldehyde

The museum’s simple layout and lack of formal displays make it both intimate and really effing cool.

A ship wreck on the Skeleton Coast

Within walking distance of the seal colony is the rusting shell of a shipwreck.

Left: the rusty hull of a boat right: wreckage and rocks

Perhaps the most famous shipwreck story is that of the Dunedin Star, with a crew of 85 and 21 passengers.

Rusting hull of a boat

It’s amazing to see the skeletons of boats along Namibia’s Coast

Cape Fur Seal pups

A fur seal colony along the Skeleton Coast

A whale pelvis outside the Skeleton Coast Museum

Skeleton Coast Panorama

Up close with a shipwreck on Nambia’s Skeleton Coast

My trip to the Skeleton Coast Museum was arranged by Wilderness Safaris during my stay at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.

Wilderness Safaris

Johannesburg

+27 ­11 ­807 ­1800
Mon-Fri 08:00 – 17:00 GMT+2

Cape Town

+27 ­21 ­702 ­7500
Mon-Fri 08:00 – 17:00 GMT+2

enquiry@wilderness.co.za

My trip to the Skeleton Coast Museum was arranged by Wilderness Safaris at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.

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