My Travel Story comes from 24 travel bloggers, each sharing their favourite travel pictures and revealing why it means so much to them.
The stories are taken from the e-magazine, Breeze, (issue 5) which is a free download from here on WTSDN.
The brief for My Travel Story required each travel blogger to select just one image – the one that stands out the most for them personally, and also the story behind the click.
By Asher | Asher Fergusson
In 2009, I was hired by a non-profit to visit rural India to help photograph young students for content on their website.
After a day at the campus I was taken back to my accommodation around sunset. As I looked out the front window of the Jeep I saw a herd of goats and the herdsman crossing the road ahead. The twilight lighting was surreal so I grabbed my camera quick!
As we approached, the goats had all crossed the road and the herdsman was wearing an incredibly pink shirt that just made the shot. I snapped my shutter several times and this shot turned out magical. It’s always been my favorite travel photograph ever since.
Photography: Pentax K200D 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens f/4.5, 1/250th, ISO 200
By Campbell & Alya | Stingy Nomads
We spent about 2 months driving around Namibia, visiting many spectacular places, but Sossusvlei pan in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the Namib Desert, was one of the highlights of our trip.
Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by the massive red-sand dunes which makes an incredible contrast between the white color of the salt pan, the red dune and the blue sky. We went to the park early morning to see the sunrise from Dune 45 it wasn’t hot yet. Reaching Sossusvlei by 8am we decided to climb to the top of the highest dune to be able to observe the pan from the top.
Climbing up in knee-deep sand was quite tiring but the view was well worth the effort.
When we finally got down to the salt pan itself, at about 10am, it got scorching hot, we were wearing flip-flops and managed to forget our water in the car but we didn’t want to leave without a nice photo so we spent some time taking pictures around the pan. In order to get back to our car we had to walk on the sand that by that time got extremely hot, we were trying to run, to jump from one foot to the other, thirsty and exhausted.
For us taking photos in Sossusvlei was a painfully beautiful experience.
Photography: Canon 70D, 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
By Brittany | The Rolling Pack
Every winter thousands of gray whales migrate to the picturesque lagoons of Baja, Mexico to breed and give birth.
In 2017 I was lucky enough to visit Ojo de Liebre, the largest of the gray whale nursery lagoons.
We took a small boat holding just 8 people into the lagoon, and within minutes gray whales began approaching our tiny boat. I snapped this photo as a full grown male gray whale surfaced mere feet from me. The whale paused, looking right at us, and in that moment it seemed that he was just as interested in us humans as we were in him.
Just after this photo was taken the giant whale blew a huge spout from his blow hole, and swam under our boat. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I was so grateful I was able to document it with this photo!
By Denise | The Navy Blonde
I’m an avid hiker, and one of my all-time favorite travel photos is from Oahu, Hawaii, after hiking up the Lanikai Pillbox Hike.
The hike itself is fairly short but incredibly steep, and it offers incredible views of Lanikai beach and the Mokes – the two small islands that you can see in the distance.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think that’s certainly true for me. In this case no amount of words would be able to adequately describe the stunning blue of the sky and the sea that we were met with upon reaching the top.
Photography: Nikon D5500, no extra equipment used
By Claire | Zig Zag On Earth
When road tripping around Iceland, every turn in the road might get a “wow” out of you.
But there is one particular moment I remember. I was on a bus, we were heading west on the South Coast and I was fascinated trying to look though all the
windows at once, when I saw this in front of me the road ending in a wall of ice through the clouds… What an impressive sight!
This photo was taken through the windscreen while the bus was driving at a good speed.
I used only the small side camera I had at the time, a Panasonic-TZ40. So not a good photo technically, but such a perfect memory of the moment and it’s my travel story.
By Bret & Mary | Green Global Travel
There are many benefits to exploring Ol Kinyei and Olare Oroki, two of the Maasai-owned wildlife conservancies that border the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
The first is that luxury camps like Porini Mara and Porini Lion allow fewer tourists in, with an average of 1400 acres per safari vehicle.
The second is that all of the guides and trackers are local Maasai, who know the land and the animals that inhabit it like the back of their hands.
The third is that the wildlife, both prey and the predators who depend on them for survival, is remarkably abundant.
We saw these benefits for ourselves on our first day in Ol Kinyei, when we spotted a Cheetah mother and her two 16-month-old cubs napping atop a small hill at midday. With no other cars in sight, we watched our favorite big cat species for quite some time, shocked when they ignored a herd of Zebras nervously drinking at an adjacent watering hole.
We followed them cautiously as the trio moved across the Acacia-strewn plain. And we ultimately raced to catch up with them as they took off in pursuit of a lone male Grant’s Gazelle.
They brought him down just before we arrived at the scene, just in time to watch the mother ending its life with one final bite to the jugular.
It was arguably the most exhilarating thing we witnessed during our three weeks in Kenya.
Photography: Canon 70D, Canon 75-200mm f2.8 lens and 1.4X Extender
By Sherrie | A Sherrie Affair
Taking a Mother-Daughter trip to the Canadian Rockies is one of the best experiences I have ever had.
When we reached Lake Louise my 80-year-old Mother had dog sledding on her bucket list, so of course we did it!
It was so much fun and exhilarating to do!
The trainers were very informative and made you feel totally comfortable. I was happy to see that they truly had a great affection for the dogs. The dogs I can attest to were well taken care of and loved very much, they were in fantastic shape and loved to run.
The sites of tall, thick, dark evergreen trees with untouched snow piled on each branch as we made our way through paths in Banff National Park was something out of a movie.
My Travel Story – Turkey
By Marianna | Irmanaanworld
I am an amateur photographer travelling with my Canon EOS whenever I can. Istanbul with its enchanting atmosphere is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to and I keep finding amazing things whenever I go there.
That day I decided to visit the nearby Prince Islands, and on the way back I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets in my life. Frankly, I would not have taken this picture if I had left the islands 10 minutes earlier or later!
I snapped this photo from the ferry rolling on the waves while it was passing not far from the famous Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. Sometimes timing is everything.
Shot with Canon EOS 100D
By Elaine & David | Show Them The Globe
My travel story – Elephant encounter in South Africa.
We are safari obsessed and South Africa is one of our favourite destinations to chase the Big 5. We decided on South Africa for our first trip as a family and, while there, we introduced our 3 month old to the magic of safari! The highlight of our trip was the time we spent in the Madikwe Game Reserve close to Botswana.
Our lodge, Tau, was a gem. Our room overlooked a large watering hole that attracted endless wildlife visitors including the Big 5. One morning, as we relaxed on our balcony after a sunrise game drive, a magical scene emerged: an elephant meandered through the waters a few metres from our balcony. After enjoying the moment we quickly grabbed our cameras and Dave managed to capture what is now one of our favourite travel photographs. Our time spent watching that majestic animal eat and drink at the watering hole against the backdrop of a beautiful South African morning is something we’ll never forget.
Photography: Nikon D7200, (f/8.0, ISO 100, 50mm) Sigma 17-50mm f2.8.
By Aura | Daily Travel Pill
When I decided to travel to Myanmar, I didn’t know what to expect. Not many tourists venture into this country but this is exactly what makes it so special, fascinating and intriguing.
My first stop was in Yangon, the city of colonial buildings and breathtaking golden temples. To get a glimpse inside the local people’s life, I decided to take the Yangon Circular Train around the city.
While we were passing by local neighborhoods, small villages and local markets, inside the train there was a lot happening. Local vendors came one by one selling fresh vegetables, cooked food and fruits.
This particular lady in the photo was selling local food to a family with a beautiful baby. I loved how genuine their interaction was and I feel that this photo perfectly captures the atmosphere inside the train.
Photo taken with: Canon M 50
By Maire | Temples and Treehouses
I took this photo early in the morning at the Tegallalang Rice Terraces near Ubud, Bali. We got up before dawn to be there before the crowds arrived. I love this picture because the way the sun is bursting through the palm trees reminds me of how beautiful, green and dreamy the scenery really was, like something straight out of Eat, Pray, Love. I was also really excited because I was there with a friend after months of travelling solo, and she taught me how to adjust my aperture settings to create the sunburst effect. I shot with my mirrorless Canon EOS M3, which I think for the price is a brilliant camera to take on a trip when you need something light and hassle-free.
By Clare | Epic Road Rides
I took this photo on a cycling trip through the Italian Alps, near the spa town of Bormio in northern Italy. It’s taken from the summit of the famous Stelvio mountain pass and looks north towards the town of Prato, over a spectacular ladder of switchbacks.
In the cycling world, this pass is about as famous as they come, thanks to its starring role in the Giro d’Italia bike race. As a result, climbing it is one of the most well-known cycling challenges there is for amateur cyclists and, at 2,758m above sea level, it requires a good level of fitness to make it up on a bicycle.
This photograph is taken in the cold, still, morning air of first light, at around 7am. Despite it being the middle of the summer, it was still freezing at the top of the pass at that time of day. But we had it all to ourselves and we felt on top of the world!
Photo taken on an iphone 7 plus
By Darja | Deegees
We visited Cameron Highlands in Malaysia as part of our big Southeast Asia backpacking tour back in September 2018.
Being sunrise junkies, we knew we simply couldn’t miss seeing the day start over the gorgeous local tea plantations. We got up when it was still dark, made ourselves a thermos of hot tea and jumped on the scooter we had rented the day before.
We drove around the fields in search of the perfect spot, nervous we would run out of time. Although it was a foggy morning, seeing the first rays of sun appear behind the hills lighting up the picturesque valley was mesmerizing. We sipped our hot tea, took pictures and absorbed the energy from the rising sun.
Very serene and impossibly beautiful, It was one of the most unforgettable moments of our trip.
Life Photo equipment tripod and camera good old Panasonic
Photography: Lumix G5, ISO-160, f/4, exp 1/80, no flash
By Danni | Live In 10 Countries
This was taken with a Nikon D3300 in the crisp bright light of Antarctica sunshine, around about midday. I couldn’t get my tripod or most of my heaviest equipment on the zodiac boat, but found that steadying the camera on the boat’s edge helped a lot with stability and adjusting the brightness was really important in an all white landscape. This one was snapped as we rounded a corner, a few metres from the main cruise ship and in sight of land and was just a quick chance to capture the scene. Luckily, the setting in the seventh continent is so gorgeous, you come up against stunning shots everywhere you go. Nature is the best model here.
By Susan | Snap Travel Blog
The journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound is one of the most scenic stretches of road in New Zealand. Monkey Creek is a popular location along the route because of its stunning scenery and also because you are likely to see a Kea.
The Kea is a large olive-green parrot that is native to New Zealand. They are incredibly destructive birds that love to rip the rubber from car windows or windscreen wipers and tourists find it fascinating to watch them do it.
I was more interested in photographing the stunning scenery with its babbling creek and snow-capped mountains. The creek edge was deserted so I spread my gear on the grass and started working my camera and tripod through the scene. My goal was to photograph the creek leading your eye through the gap in the mountains…very artistic!
Every time I was engrossed in a shot a Kea would fly down and try to steal my gear. I’d leave my camera, rock hop across the creek and quickly pack away what he was trying to steal. Off he would fly and I would rock hop back to my camera.
You can probably guess what happened next. Needless to say, I got sick of the game well before the bird did!
Photography: Canon 6D, Lens – EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM, Tripod, Settings – ISO 100, f7.1, 1/400sec
By Ketki | Dotted Globe
While Easter Island itself is a bucket list travel destination, one of the best things to do there is seeing the sunset behind the Moai at Tahai Ceremonial Complex.
The Moai are the gigantic, mysterious stone heads on Easter Island while Ahu means an ancient Rapa Nui ceremonial platform on which the Moai are erected. The Tahai complex has three Ahus: the first platform, Ahu Vai Uri has five Moais while the other two Ahus have a Moai each. Since Tahai is located on the west coast of Easter Island it is the best place to view an Easter Island sunset. We visited Tahai complex on our very first day on Easter Island but couldn’t get a beautiful sunset shot because of the crowd and a washed out sky. So the next day, we went to Ahu Tahai at sunset again but this time stayed long past the crowds and sunset till the twilight colors were at their most vibrant. And that’s how we were able to shoot this beautiful picture!
By Mayuri | To Some Place New
Prague is the classic romantic city of Central Europe.
In our recent trip to the Czech Republic, we explored old town Prague during the day and we were completely mesmerized by the Vltava River and the Charles Bridge. We explored the old town, Letna Park, Astronomical Clock, museums, tried some goulash soup and chimney cakes.
After spending the whole day here, we stayed back, just to witness the sunset over the river and the gorgeous Charles bridge. This one image of the sunset will be forever etched in our memories. Isn’t it stunning.
We were so excited to view the sunset in Prague, we are sure you won’t be disappointed as well.
By James | Travel Collecting
Eighteen years ago, I went to Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chilean Patagonia mainly to see the Cuernos del Paine, which I had seen on photos and was totally blown away by. Unfortunately, my travel companion got sick and we cut our trip short before I saw them. So, this year, for my fiftieth birthday, I decided to go back to Patagonia and try again. When we arrived in the park, it was cloudy and the famed Cuernos that I travelled back to the end of South America to see were invisible. I saw occasional glimpses of them as the clouds parted slightly over the next two days, but I was beginning to despair that I would never see them in all their glory. Then, the day I took this photo, I woke up to a clear sky – but also the hurricane-strength winds that Patagonia is famous for. I tried to do a hike, but was almost blown off my feet, so I decided to retreat to the Salto Grande hotel for the afternoon. This photo was taken just in front of the hotel. I was almost blown over taking it, but I was so happy that I got to see this classic view. I especially love that the view includes one of the crazy flying saucer cloud formations that are common in Patagonia, created by swirling winds.
By Holly | Globe Blogging
My travel story of my favorite photo, is from my five week trip to Central America and the Caribbean in 2018. My trip included five days in Antigua, Guatemala, a town built in the shadow of three active volcanoes; Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. I am fascinated by volcanoes, so naturally I was eager to hike one during my stay. Due to time constraints I chose to do a half-day hike of Volcan Pacaya, a little over an hours trip from Antigua.
The hike up Volcan Pacaya is 3.5 kilometers each way, while the track itself wasn’t particularly difficult, it was one of the most challenging activities I have ever put my body through, due to the ascension from 2,300 to 2600 meters above sea level. On a good day, you can see lava and an exceptional view from the summit. Unfortunately, the day I went the summit was shrouded in fog and I had to make do with marshmallows toasted in the heat of a vent.
This photo is of Volcan Agua, taken from the slopes of Volcan Pacaya. It was taken on my Samsung S7 phone. I took the same photo on my Panasonic digital, but the phone images captured richer colors.
By Maria | Nerd Nomads
My favorite travel photograph is taken in Bangkok at the Buddhist temple Wat Arun – Temple Of Dawn.
The temple dates back to 1650 and the Ayuththaya Kingdom and is my favorite Bangkok temple.
It is beautifully decorated with colorful seashells and porcelain, which makes the temple shine and sprinkle in the sun.
Wat Arun has a majestic location, right by the riverbank of the main river of Bangkok, Chao Phraya River, which is the heart of the city. This day started out as a bright and sunny summer day. As we were walking up the stairs of Wat Arun, however, dark clouds all of a sudden started rolling in.
When we heard thunder in the distance, all the tourists including ourselves began to head to the exit to find shelter. Just as we came down to the ground, I saw four monks behind us also coming down the temple stairs.
I grabbed my camera and waited until the first monk came out into the clearing of the staircase. Luckily he paused for a moment, lifted his head, and looked out over the temple grounds.
I fired away with my camera and was lucky to get this shot of the monk in his bright orange robe in front of the temple.
The photo was taken handheld with a Nikon D90 camera, 18 mm, f8.0. To me, it represents Bangkok and its Buddhist spirit, culture, and history quite well.
By Lee | My Favourite Lens
Xijiang, in China’s southern Guizhou province, is known as the largest Miao minority village in the world. Before going there, I knew I had to brush up on my travel photography. This meant picking up an eBook, consuming it, and picking out any new tips and techniques I wanted to try. One of those in particular was environmental portraits.
These include the subject’s surroundings to help tell their story, instead of the more common headshot style image you come across.
I tried a few during my time in the village but this one of the Miao lady cooking was my favourite. It was shot using a vintage Super-Takumar 28mm f3.5 on a Sony mirrorless camera. The wide angle is crucial for this type of shot but nailing the manual focus with the shallow depth of field was the biggest challenge in making it.
From a photographer’s perspective, the use of the natural light coming through the kitchen window is perhaps my favourite aspect of the image, although really it’s her smile that lights up the scene more than anything else.
By Nitha | The Trailing Mom
One of my favourite travel photographs is from our Sydney Harbour Cruise trip. I took it on our big outing, soon after moving to Australia. The photos bring up so many emotions and personal thoughts.
Sydney harbour cruise is a must-do experience for every visitor to Sydney. We went on our first ferry trip as a family and the kids loved the whole experience. I was skeptical that the kids would be interested in the ferry ride and sightseeing, but we had a fun time for sure. Watching the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House up close in a ferry was quite impressive. To be able to snap photos in front of the world’s iconic landmarks was a great experience.
Even though this city is notorious for expensive affairs, most of the best things to see and do in Sydney are free. We visited the magnificent Sydney Opera House and took a tour of the precinct. The views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Opera House were stunning. You can find a lot of lookout points and fantastic photo opportunities of this amazing steel structure. It’s a nice day trip on a hot summer day!
By Lisa | The Hot Flash Packer
I travelled the Trans-Mongolian Railway from St. Petersburg, Russia to Beijing, China a few years ago.
The biggest highlight of the month-long trip was a one-week van trip into the Gobi Desert that involved staying with nomadic families in yurts each night and visiting various natural sites along the way.
The most memorable event was the time I woke up super early to watch the sunrise at the Khongor sand dunes. It had recently rained in the desert so there was a large pond formed under the dunes.
I watched the dunes change from purple to pink, or orange and tan as the sun rose that morning.
By Jennifer | National Park Obsessed
I was making my final gear selections for my trip to Kaktovik, Alaska when the worst happened.
Ravn Alaska called to delay my flight. It was the worst kind of delay. Ravn had failed to plan their staffing needs and needed to cancel the morning flight. Needless to say, I was upset. This was day one of a three-day polar bear safari.
By the time Ravn managed to get us to Kaktovik it was 3:30 pm and we had less than an hour of daylight.
Our guide has us drop our bags at the hotel and head out to the bone yard where he had been watching a few polar bears thru the spotting scope.
Within minutes of heading to the bone yard, we were watching four different polar bears. A female and cubs were playing and walked right past our truck with the setting sun lighting up their translucent fur. In the end, our guide made the best of the light and I got my Nat Geo cover shot.
Nikon D5500, with a Sigma 500 mm balanced on a truck window
Photography: f/6.3, 1/500 sec. ISO-1400