Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Thousands of photos – documenting your travel pictures


I have over 10,000 photos from my travels, I have spent the last few months trolling through them and trying to figure out which ones I want to print. After all, stick them on a hard drive and they may as well be stuck in your attic or basement not to be seen again (accept for occasional house moves or decluttering).
From my trip to Cuba I returned home to over 1,500 photos I had taken on my journeys to Havana, Veradeo, Santa Clara and Trinidad. For Argentina I returned with 4GB of photos. After a thorough sifting I reduced these to 150 photos of a scenic nature, and of four years of personal photos I have nearly 1000 items.
So now its time to let them become real photos – something you can touch, feel and see time and time again. After scrolling through many photo printing websites the best I have definitely come across is http://www.mypix.com They have a range of ways in which to bring your travel photos to life.
I’m currently redecorating my house, I don’t have many souvenirs and I find that most trinkets are dust collectors and I’ve always been one who likes real things – things that are made by people rather than bought off the shelf. After all why travel if you don’t return with something unique.

My images: New York at dusk, Havana backstreets, On the streets of Argentina, In a frozen Iceland.
Here’s a few tips on choosing your photos:
1.     Split all images into folders for each city or place you visit
2.     Open one of the folders and view in Thumb-nail format

3.     Open another Finder menu and create a new folder
4.     Drag the photos you like most into this folder, do this with all folders
5.     Then, go through this new folder and start being strict and removing photos that are not as good as others, don’t delete them though
6.     Voila – you have your selection – these should be your favourites
What to do with your selected images
There are loads of ways you can print your photos here’s a few ideas:
-       Large Scenic photos: have you got an empty wall in your room? Thought of buying a painting or something cool from that designer high street store? Don’t – for scenic photos pick a framed canvas, or if you have a graffiti wall photo then print on Acrylic or Aluminium.
-       Personal people photos and portraits: create a calendar (great Christmas or Birthday presents), make a framed collage, build a photo book
-       Quirky images: print them onto fabric as a cushion, duvet or t-shirt
These will catch people’s eye and your visitors will ask you questions about your photos and you can relive your travel experiences time and time again.

My Pix http://www.mypix.com has a range of printing options, so explore them all. All you need to do is:
1.     Create an account
2.     Upload all your photos in your new folder
3.     Select the type of print you want: Canvas, Photo book, pillow case
4.     Select the image you want to use from your folder you uploaded


If you’re lucky you catch the last day of their sale before Christmas and save 50%.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Gay tango dancing - Buenos Aires

The London's Metro daily newspaper had an article of same sex tango dancing in Buenos Aires. Great coverage I wish we found it when we were there.

When on holiday it's time to be British: Photos


I have to admit - when I am away from home things seem so much easier.
1. Talking to strangers (or Santa Clause
2. Playing with daffodils
3. Hiding behind a plant
4. Reading a book
5. Carrying a melon
6. Being a melon





8. Being god

9. Stopping a bus
10. Drinking like a Viking
11. Being a viking










 12. Acting like an Ape


IT'S COOL TO BE BRITISH



Published - Argentina hits Australia, WTM gets blogged

Articles originating from material posted on this site have been published by two websites that includes:

World Travel Market 2011 - Emerging trends in gay travel
MyDestination.com: http://www.mydestination.com/blog/emerging-trends-for-the-gay-traveller-in-2012/

Argentina - the Video series
etbtv.com
Cordoba: http://etbtv.com/play.php?vid=759
Resistencia: http://etbtv.com/play.php?vid=758
Iguacu 1: http://etbtv.com/play.php?vid=757
Iguacu 2: http://etbtv.com/play.php?vid=756
The Dakar: http://etbtv.com/play.php?vid=755

If you haven't seen these, check them on this blog or head to the links above.



Friday, 18 November 2011

WTM part three: Tech trends hitting travel


The World Travel Market is always abuzz with tour operators, hoteliers, travel agents milling the huge hall looking for the next best destination, that unique deal that will scoop all the traveling consumers or find a new money-making scheme for the travel industry – however in recent years the growth area (apart from Asia and Africa) has been Travel Technology. Yes, finally travel technology has arrived – having worked in the technology industry for a few years it has been shocking at the rate of pace it’s taken the travel industry to catch up.

We’ve been buying travel online since 1995, I remember my first booking I tried to make on Expedia back in 1999 – but at that point it completely confused me so I trekked to the nearest high street travel agent to get the ticket. Since then I’ve never been to a travel agent, instead I’ve booked online for myself – surfing the world wide web for the best deals. And it’s fascinating now where to get the best deals for travel.

People assume that online travel agents like Expedia and Booking.com are going to present them the best deal; or the new portals that are ‘metasearch engine’ like Kayak.com that pulls all the deals from the internet (well this isn’t strictly true as some companies block Kayak from getting their deals), so sometimes it is much better to go direct and shop around for the best prices. This still makes the buying process somewhat tricky. When you go to Tesco/Asda to purchase food – well it’s what’s on the tin – you want baked beans you get baked beans, yet with travel you might get baked beans only (room only), or baked beans with a side (with breakfast) or baked beans on toast and a side (a little extra) or the full English breakfast (which can be array of compliments to the baked beans). Well this has already made it complex.

Yet the story in this is that while consumers want it more simple, the industry is simplifying technology to make it easier for the industry to sell more complex products. Don’t expect to compare apples for apples, for us, the traveler, we will soon have to compare apples with bacon and figure out the missing pieces and how this associates to cost.

Yes it’s not all that complex – there are technologies out there that are certainly making it more exciting for the traveler:

TravelSim http://www.travelsim.net.au/  this sim card for any phone will ensure that you get the best rates wherever you are. So if you’re a corporate traveler your personal calls can be made at your leisure without the hefty bills later, it lowers the cost for a company – and should you be an avid traveler will keep you in contact with the world – AND the world wide web with its new 3G capabilities

World Rainbow Hotels – http://www.worldrainbowhotels.com/ one of the great inventions of the last few years, finally a hotel directory of gay hotels where you can BOOK! We’ve been waiting for Spartacus to do this for sometime, but with its heritage of being a great directory, it failed to deliver so far online. This will become a great resource supported also by Gaycomfort.me

Yabbedoo.com http://yabbedoo.com/  – while this is a product for hotels to buy – it is very much for the traveler/guest. Hotels get their own dedicated iPhone application, which means guests can discover everything in the local area at their fingertips – and delete the application when they’re done. It includes bars, events, restaurants, museums and attraction – great stuff – and for hotels it’s a really good deal!

Getaroom.com http://www.getaroom.com/ is yet another OTA but this time from the former CEO and President of Hotels.com – I have a feel that this may just be a little bit successful J Check it out for your hotel deals.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Around the World in one Gay day

It's time to have that whirlwind romance with the world of gay and see what the headlines are saying across the world - will this impact your travel decisions?

1. Italy - Perhaps not the most homo-friendly country, though I hear the Pope is beginning to come around to the gays...
This one is that United Colors of Benetton have unveiled its UNHATE campaign, with men who are most unlikely to be caught kissing. For MORE

2. Russia - famed for being a bad-ass, and certainly no different on gay issues, this country is embracing homosexuality...
The gay pride for St Petersburg could be all over after The Moscow Times reports that legislators in the city have tentatively approved a bill that would impose fines on gays or lesbians who openly profess their sexual orientation. For MORE

3. California, USA - the state that decided that it would reverse its decision on gay marriage goes all out for girls...
Miss Long Beach and Miss Southern California cities beauty pageants have just finished and the first lesbian contestant made it the finals. For MORE


4. Czech Republic - its all over for indecent images...
A Czech MP decided to embarrass herself by hosting a pornographic art exhibition in the plight to remove the gay sauna in the city. For MORE

5. Nepal - we're on top of the world for gay rights thanks to Everest...
The first serious gay film to be made in Nepal is underway, nick-named Brokeback Everest it centres around two lesbians doing something together. For MORE

6. Bahamas - competition becomes a bit more complex than an ITV quiz!
Bahamas Tourist Office has just shot itself in its foot - offering a couple who are legally entitled to enter into marital/civil partnership in the UK and in The Bahamas - a full on wedding. Well, they actually meant Civil Marriage, not Partnership. So no gays allowed, but well done jeweller of Goldsmiths for no longer being a judge. For MORE


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

WTM – part two: the gay products about to send you on your way


The gay and lesbian before long will be spoilt for choice, slowly getting to a point of greater tolerance, acceptance, inclusion and respect within the travel industry. Further as more countries derail their homophobia and build real cornerstones of support and inclusivity we will have much further to travel.

India itself has decriminalised homosexuality (from an outdated British law), and countries towards the Middle East (including Israel and Turkey) are making major inroads – especially as Tel Aviv is one of the hottest gay spots of the Mediterranean.

But what else? Well it’s not all sunshine, beach bodies and bronzing  - gay ski weeks in North America have been growing for sometime, but now Europe has its fair share of ski weeks, including one at Les Deux Alps in April Switzerland’s Arosa Gay Ski Week [http://www.gayskiweek.ch/en/] is now fixed running between 8 – 15 January 2011. Set in the idyllic Swiss Alps surrounded by men on skis and boards – rampaging down the slops, yum! Who wants to warm them up after a cold day in the mountains?

Another development in Switzerland is that the Tourism board is actually putting all its hotels through a certification programme for their gay credentials. Switzerland Tourism has become the first national tourism organisation to join the GayComfort training and certification program. All GayComfort certified properties will be listed on www.MySwitzerland.com/gaylesbian and staff will have undertaken dedicated online training on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) travel issues via http://www.GayComfort.com. Making selection of hotels much much easier.

Fancy a trek to somewhere new and exciting? Well, India is preparing itself and with the website of hand-picked gay welcoming hotels – Further Afield [http://www.furtherafield.com] is soon to add properties in India. Alternatively, grab a tour with gay tour specialist Yellow Brick Road http://www.yellowbrickroadtours.com/ taking you to places not traditionally gay – but that certainly have a vibrant gay culture.

If you fancy something incredible prepare for San Paulo’s gay pride event where they are expecting over 4.5million visitors in 2012, it was recorded as the largest gay pride in the world – so Brazil is the place to be!

With one further exciting developments in the gay travel space – World Rainbow Hotels will open its doors in 2012 with more products, packages and offers for the gay and lesbian traveller. Here you will be able to learn about destinations, book online from selected gay-friendly and certified gay-welcoming properties of all star ratings and qualities. 

All round a great year and brilliant development for the gay travel market.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

WTM – part one: Discovering new gay travel opportunities



World Travel Market (WTM) is always an incredibly busy and tiring week; one huge exhibition centre the size of several football pitches with over 100,000 visitors this 8 hour day across four days is an agony on the feet and demanding on the vocal cords – but all worth it.

Here you can learn everything there is about the new developments in travel – and one of my favourite areas has to be for the gay traveller. There’s a lot coming to the gay and lesbian traveller as countries and cities demand the high-earning, high-disposable income group (that is slightly a myth – but so be it).  The gay traveller is also more likely to specifically want gay bars, the gay community, gay pride events and the like – so it makes it easier to package a destination.

Those like Tel Aviv, Antwerp, Manchester, Brighton, Fort Lauderdale, Sao Paolo, Berlin and Sitges have been doing it for many years – some more mature than others; and there are those that are coming through as the next generation including Stockholm, Switzerland, Florianopolis, Buenos Aires and South Africa. What’s most interesting is how they are now marketing towards the gays, the marketing is more subtle, more personality driven and with flairs of humour – forget the old strereotypes, the travel industry recognises that flags and gorgeous men aren’t going to win them the visitors, its going to take “respect” – say CEO of OutNow Consulting, Ian Johnson.

But what a year it has been for the gay traveller with more areas of the world opening up. I little over two years India decriminalised homosexuality, Brazil recognised same-sex civil marriage and SAS airline took to the skies to grant the first same-sex marriage in mid-flight. WOW!
Every year there’s new and exciting events coming our way and all to cater to the different interests and tastes of the very diverse and varied gay and lesbian community.

In my next post – discover the new products for your travels.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

7th billion baby - a media con

This story about the birth of the seven billionth person on earth is sad - pathetically sad. Let's look at the facts:

1 - how many babies are born in Africa and in poverty stricken Countries alike every year that we never hear about and are probably never recorded?

2 - can these statisticians really keep up with births and deaths so accurately? After all if the UK cannot get it's NHS computer system to work how can it be assessed worldwide?

3. This poor baby will live with this until the day it dies - no-one has considered the psychological affects this will have

4. this is a celebration of birth and population growth - it has overshadowed the fact there are babies dying of starvation, but oh well - at least human numbers are growing

If that's not enough, stupid parents across the world are fighting for their babies recognition as the 7 billionth born. Seriously - if we are still killing each other, people are dying from starvation, homelessness or the cold we don't deserve to celebrate - we should hang our heads in shame http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055667/World-population-Philippines-baby-Danica-7-billionth-human-born.html

While we populate the planet the planet struggles to deal with changing environments, loss of habitats and climate change.

Oh forget it - all hail the 7 billionth baby!