What's On Your List? Update
Little update on a subject that has my ear, very much these days/years! (That happens as one sits smack dab in the middle of one's Autumn Years.) So, What's On Your List? and my list? This month, January 2024, I celebrate 40 Years in my studio here on Long Island, NY. The mind floods with memories of a million episodes and chapters of a career dedicated to "Creating Portraits with the Essence of a Painting and the Reality of a Photograph". I'm expressly grateful for the opportunity, and most of all thankful for God pointing the way. Colossians 3: 23-24.
Point is... to stay in the game and play every single down until the whistle blows. Slowing down, mellowing... doesn't mean to hole up and ditch the list. Following is my original post with updates, once again, What's on Your List?
What I’m talking about here is doing the things you dream of while you still can, and switching it up when the time comes. A year ago I took on a different part of the world for diving; the Red Sea, and touring the pyramids in Giza as well as Luxor on the mainland. Note to June: No more solo dive trips, unless it's on a liveaboard, and that can basically be to anywhere. Still living and learning, the urgency to squeeze in as many adventures as possible is conspicuous.
Am I super stoked that I have all 7 Continents under my belt? You bet. From polar bears in Svalbard to the Big Five in Africa and penguins in Antarctica, my travel plans center on the wildlife. As a solo traveler it’s a bit easier to get to the right places at the right times for optimal chances of wildlife experiences. That includes flights. My 5-week trip to Australia, Singapore, and Borneo, Malaysia, had me on 15 flights – sipping champagne cocktails and sleeping on lay-flat beds in business class on every long-haul flight. Because ‘travel hacking’. But that is another story, another post perhaps (How I flew RT on a $9,000. ticket NY to Egypt for 140,000 flyer miles plus $120. Yep.)
By the time one reaches into their 60s and 70s, my guess is that their ‘dream bucket list’ has changed more than a few times, if even they had a list way back when life was a delightful tangled web of family, work, and casual pursuits. I actually never thought about a list – just experiences, activities, and places I’d like to visit.
The dream bucket list – reality or fantasy? For instance, does that experience lie within your power? For me, it’s not unreasonable to once again find myself transfixed by the beauty of the Masai Mara in Kenya and meters from the jade-colored eyes of a leopard, or drenched by the sultry heat and humidity of the Borneo Rainforest while tracking wild orangutan. Conversely, I have tabled my plot to become a world-class figure skater. Sad face.
A few years ago I stood on the shore of Jones Beach here on Long Island thrilling to the sight and sound of the Air Force Thunderbird Jets. I commented to my friend, “I want to either fly in a Thunderbird… or… swim with humpback whales. Key word ‘either’.
Some Things Only Happen Once
As I’ve gotten older, the memories of special times and experiences occupy more moments in my mind – glad that I stepped out of that comfort zone from time to time, and thankful for the opportunity to have seen so many amazing places on this planet.
When I think back to specific trips and places, certain moments sit on top, like the cherry atop a glorious ice cream sundae. Might be that the entire trip was unusual, or that a single moment or experience was rare. Here are a few photos, with no explanation (pains me, for each image has a story), of those trips or moments.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
“Oh, the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Keywords: baby portraits long island, bucket lists, children's portraits Long Island, family portraits long island, ideas for children's portraits long island, long island photographer, long island portrait studio, national geographic contest winner, outdoor portraits long island, suffolk county kid portraits, wildlife photography
Wow. You’ve done what others have only dreamed of. My “list” is not very exciting… but it’s mine. As I just crossed over the middle line of my 60’s I am more and more content to find “just a cottage below” on a small piece of land. When and where I know not but it’s good to keep our dreams and lists, what ever they may be, alive.
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