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In our turbans and jalabahs, getting ready for camel trekking in the Sahara Desert. Merzouga, Morocco. 2013.

Up until only a few years ago, Charlene and I (yours truly Henry) had only ever traveled for work/study on short vacations, where we were just scratching the surface of our destinations. It wasn’t until we met at the end of 2011 and spoke of our shared desire to travel that we knew this was going to be an influential aspect of our relationship.

Our first trip away together was just a few months later, and when we returned from those two weeks in Kenya and South Africa, we knew our lives would never be the same again.

Travel was one of the main reasons I instantaneously connected with my wife Charlene, and it has completely changed how I live.

Charlene works as a clinical pharmacist and I run my own wedding photography business in Southern California. I had traveled to South Africa and India as a wedding photographer before, but on each occasion had only done a little bit of sightseeing, and definitely hadn’t felt quite connected to my destination or immersed in it.

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Prague, Czech Republic. 2012.

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Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador. 2013.

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Mae Kampong, Thailand. 2015.

But I remember distinctly after a cultural village visit to photograph the Maasai Warriors in Kenya that I felt instantaneously inspired and motivated. It was this connection and interaction that I craved, and the opportunity to incorporate my passion for photography with travel left an indelible mark on me.

When we returned from this trip, I wanted to share our experiences with family and friends back home. To explain what I had seen and felt, and how this travel had changed my outlook on life. More than anything, I wanted to head off overseas again, and I immersed myself in blogs and websites looking for inspiration of where to go and what to experience.

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Amboseli National Park, Kenya. 2012.

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Amboseli National Park, Kenya. 2012.

One of the things I realized during this search, was that there wasn’t a lot of information out there for photographers like myself – people who wanted to plan a travel experience that allowed them to explore a little deeper, rather than just snap away at tourist attractions. While work commitments didn’t allow Charlene and I to travel for weeks or months at a time, I also couldn’t justify the financial commitment of booking a costly travel photography workshop.

Though I was completely inspired by our first trip to Kenya, and couldn’t wait to travel again, I was struggling to find the right kind of info online.

It was from these frustrations that the idea for “Only A Day Away” was born. I wanted to share my travel experiences as a professional [wedding] photographer and offer tips and advice to others planning similar trips. I think like most photographers out there, I wanted to wander down the back alleyways and venture off the beaten path to capture images that told a story about my destination and the local people I was interacting with. I didn’t just want to jump from one tourist attraction to the next, but I wanted authentic travel experiences that enabled me to pursue my travel photography passion at the same time.

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Rohet, India. 2014.

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Varanasi, India. 2014.

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Sardargarh, India. 2014.

As we headed overseas on successive trips – to Central Europe, Ecuador, Morocco, Peru, Nepal, India, Patagonia, and recently Thailand – we started documenting our experiences to help others on private tours or small group adventures to make the most of their travel opportunities. We wanted to answer the questions that I had been pondering myself – “How long should we travel for? Which destinations should we spend our most time at? What should I bring?” – as well as focus on how to approach travel photography while abroad.

I knew I wasn’t going to be satisfied, nor at times did I even wanted to, just take photos of objects, such as buildings, attractions, and landscapes. As beautiful as they may be, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted so much more from travel (photography).

Every trip is a learning curve for me, and whether they be disappointing “tourist traps” or eye-opening encounters, I want to share them here with you. On behalf of Charlene, we hope that ONLY A DAY AWAY becomes a place for those that want…no those that NEED…to travel, as it’s not just a way of life, but is your life. Also, I hope this website becomes more of a community, with the exchange of ideas and travel tips among fellow travelers.

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4th and final day of the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. Aguas Calientes, Peru. 2014.

This blog has become a labor of love for Charlene and myself, and not only enables us to assist other travelers, but also reflect on these travel experiences that have shaped our lives so much. Travel can be a huge financial commitment, involving sacrifices in other areas of life, but the rewards for us have been so far reaching and this is only the start of our journey.

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Nairobi, Kenya. 2012.

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Agra, India. 2014.

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Moray, Peru. 2014.

When I travel, I feel so alive and inspired by the landscapes I encounter and the people I meet. From pushing my body to its limits on the Everest Base Camp trek to goofing around with kids on the banks of the Ganges River, each and every moment leaves its mark on me. My experiences have opened the doors to the endless travel opportunities that await, and my own ability to eventually give back to the communities I meet.

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Everest Base Camp, Nepal. 2014.

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Tengboche, Nepal. 2014.

Through our travel experiences I hope to inspire you to embark on your own adventures – whether they be immersing yourself in the local culture, trekking through wild landscapes, photographing tribal communities, or combinations of all three and much, much more. Just how far you can go is only limited by your imagination and remember that almost every global destination is only a day away!

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Day 8 of 9 on the “O” Circuit Trek, at Las Torres. Torres Del Paine, Patagonia. 2015.

Going forward, I want to give more than what I take from the places I go, the things I experience, and the people I meet. It’s the least I can do for how much travel has helped me become the person I always wanted to be.

I hope this website can help play a very small part in your journeys and adventures in life. Please take a moment to sign-up for the email newsletter right below so I can send you periodic travel tips and updates on new articles. I look forward to connecting with you!

– Henry
Husband, traveler, photographer, backpacker, and wanderer in the forest of adventures.