Around the World in a Single Blog Article… 2


It has been nearly a year since I left for the biggest expedition of my life and I thought this would be a great time to look back and reflect on it. I have chosen not to take on my annual expedition this year since I have been booked up for too many events and I simply could not get away for another five month working holiday.

The last expedition took me through four continents and eighteen countries. I had taken 32 flights, travelled over 100,000 kilometres and spent more than a hundred hours in the air. I have not even had a chance to count how many world heritage sites I had visited, but I am guessing it is over 30 and I took over 25,000 images! How are those for some raw numbers?

As the clock struck twelve last week and 2011 came to a close, I looked back and wanted to share my sense of accomplishment with my readers. I had survived one of the world’s largest recorded earthquakes, ate scorpions, watched the sunrise over Angkor Watt, photographed the Taj Mahal, spent Easter in Jerusalem and walked through the ancient streets of Petra. I ran out of ink while checking off items on my bucket list!

I wanted to share some of the highlights of last year’s expedition, so here is some information that you will not normally get in a Lonely Planet guide:

Best Food: I enjoyed the food in every place I visited, but one of them stood out as the most exotic and flavourful of all. Since I have returned from my trip, I have yet to find a Balinese restaurant that makes sweet soy ribs as good as Bumbu Bali in Nusa Dua. I sampled many of the local dishes at this spot and recommend it to anyone visiting the island.

Most Beautiful Women: Beirut, hands down! Lebanon had some of the most gorgeous women I have seen in my entire life. Tokyo, Nagoya and Seoul were near the top of my list as well.

English Friendly: I was expecting Cambodia to be a hard place to communicate with locals, but to my surprise it was extremely easy. Most of the locals in the cities spoke fluent English. It was only when I went to very remote areas that I needed to rely on a translator for assistance.

English Unfriendly: For being one of the most advanced countries on earth and building skyscrapers that can withstand the enormous force of Mother Nature’s earthquakes, Japan was by far the hardest to communicate with people. Sometimes navigating the subway system was like unscrambling a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded.

Best Airline: I actually flew an extra eight hours and the opposite way around the globe to get to Australia because I wanted to fly with Emirates. This airline has the best service, the cleanest and most up to date fleet and the friendliest staff. Take it from a guy that has logged over 300 flight segments in his life, they are the best! If you are flying economy class, the service, amenities and food are far superior to any North American airline. When you fly business class, it is out of this world!

Best Economy Airline: Air Asia! Where else can you get a flight from Bangkok to Phucket for $32?

Best Images – People: This was a toss-up for me as my favorite subject matter to photograph is people. Some of my favorite images I have ever captured were on this expedition and India and Cambodia are at the top of my list.

Best Images – Landscapes: Also a tough one to call. Thailand and Fiji scored high for majestic sunsets and natural beauty. But as far as history and landmarks, India and Cambodia were definitely the winners. Getting up to watch the sunrise over Angkor Watt and the Taj Mahal will always be the most memorable 4AM wake up calls of my life.

I knew you would want some images to go along with the words, so here are some of my favorite shots of the five month trip.

Taking off from Pearson, my home base

 

First stop: Australia!

 

Taking in the Great Ocean Road for a second time

 

Australia through my lens…

 

Bondi Rescue: The Faces of Australia’s beaches

 

World Famous Bondi Beach

 

Sydney’s Luna Park

 

Love.

 

Fiji Time…

 

Children of Fiji

 

Fijian Locals

 

Singapore

 

Women of India

 

Delhi

Jaipur

Jaipur

Heartbreaking

 

The City Palace, Jaipur

 

Life in Jaipur

 

Public Transit in India

 

This image alone was worth flying halfway around the world

 

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – Thailand

Fight night at Lumpinee Stadium, Bangkok

Krabi

 

Koh Lanta

 

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Lay

Balinese Culture

 

The people of Ubud

Tokyo before the Quake

 

Photos taken during the Earthquake

 

Kyoto

The Great Wall of China

 

Beijing

 

The gates of the Forbidden City, Beijing

 

Seoul, South Korea

 

Shanghai by Night

 

Downtown Shanghai

 

Chinese Delicacies

 

Xi’an

 

The Terracotta Army at Xi’an

 

Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong Harbour

 

The Bellagio, Macau

 

The Killing Fields, Cambodia

 

Sunrise at the Gates of Angkor Watt

 

Sunrise over Angkor

 

Angkor Watt

Cambodia: Near the top of my list of favorite places

 

Angkor Thom… Recognize it? Angelina Jolie shot Tomb Raider right here

 

Lotus Farmers – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Khmer New Year

 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

Masada and the Dead Sea, Israel

 

Good Friday in Jerusalem

 

Easter Liturgy – Jerusalem

 

The Holy Light

 

Jerusalem

The Ancient City of Petra, Jordan

 

Petra

 

Beirut – Paris of the Middle East

 

My Favorite Hub – Dubai International Airport (DXB)

 

Every world tour should finish in Vegas…


About Andrew Pateras

Andrew has lived in the GTA all his life and a good portion of his adult life has been devoted to sales. He studied Business Information Systems Management at Ryerson University. From there, he worked in sales for tier one organizations such as Hewlett Packard, Epson and Intel. Then as North American Sales Manager for GAP Adventures, he gained even more experience in negotiation and client service. Andrew has been a licensed real estate sales person since 2006. In 2007, Andrew also began a new venture in professional photography. Over the next number of years, he travelled on assignment all over the world. This is why he is meticulous when it comes to your marketing images! To say Andrew's travel and photography experience is extensive would definitely be an understatement. He has journeyed to remote and exotic locations in 48 countries on all six continents in search of adventure and authentic cultural experiences. Whether it is diving with great white sharks in South Africa, in a cage with Bengal tigers in northern Thailand or perched atop a land cruiser, photographing rhinos and lions in the Serengeti, he has likely photographed any holiday experience you can imagine. Andrew gets involved in his community. A portion of all of his commissions goes to the Children's Miracle Network and Sick Kids Hospital. He is President on the Board of Directors of Metro Toronto Condominium Corporation 1213. Also, as a member of the RE/MAX Young Professionals, he and the other members dedicate their time to increasing client service techniques and implementing new technology in the Toronto real estate market. Andrew's commitment as your real estate professional is to provide you with the specialized real estate service you deserve. Whether you're buying or selling, contact him with any questions that you may have. His promise to you is that your experience will be both stress-free and enjoyable. His focus is always YOU and the results you can expect from him.


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