After spending a week on Santa Cruz Island, the first week of a Lead Adventures 3-Week Galapagos program, we headed over to San Cristobal Island for the second week.  Around 2pm we boarded a speed boat called El Sol Mar.  I was wearing a jacket but it was warm, so I took it off and stashed it under my seat, along with my backpack.  
El Sol Mar Speed Boat
El Sol Mar in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno while the crew was tying it up for the night. I took this picture while waiting for my jacket.

One free afternoon during a 3-Week Lead Adventures program, my friend and I went on a bike ride.  It was a pretty strenuous one, with 1.5 hours of uphill riding from Puerto Ayora to Bellavista and a little further, on Santa Cruz Island.  I pedaled, breathed, and sweat pretty intensely riding uphill, and was reveling  in the downhill slopes on the way back.  We stopped to take pictures at this sign, because it showed that we were close to town!
Puerto Ayora Sign
The kitten was behind this sign.

Are you doing it for yourself, or are you doing it for others?
Houston Texas
This blog entry was born during a spark of inspiration on a flight from Houston, Texas to Quito, Ecuador. It was entirely written on the airplane, although editing, adding in hyperlinks, and uploading the image occurred afterwards. This picture was taken during take-off from Houston, known for well-engineered highway junctions, and this Instagrammed aerial shot shows why.

My plan was to keep up with my travel blog while in the Galapagos Islands.  I even made blog post TEMPLATES before I left, thinking I'd just fill them in with the fun I was having, and I'd get a beautiful blog post.  Unfortunately, things have not worked out so nicely.  A few days into my trip now, I've managed to keep up with writing and notes, but it's just too hard to process photos on a Chromebook.  With no slideshow viewer and a few hundred photos, not to mention slower internet than I'm used to, I simply can't find the best photos easily.  And I don't want my blog having sub-par photos now do I?  

           Well today my travel blog is one month old, and I thought I would write some reflections about it.  I know, I know, one month is super short so this might seem pretentious, but I think the beginning of anything is often the most crucial period.  It's a time when constant re-evaluating, re-thinking, and re-planning occurs, because you're a newbie and the learning curve is steep.  Anyways, here goes, question and answer style.  
Merlion Park Singapore
Merlion Park, Singapore. The beginning of the trip that started it all.

          When I visited Singapore I stayed at the Fullerton Hotel, a 5-star luxury haven centrally located on Marina Bay.  I "felt" safe within the large crowds, ritzy architecture, and clean city, and indeed no adverse events occurred to me.  After three days in Singapore, I took a two day trip to Malacca, a small Malaysian town rich in history and culture.  Upon arriving in Malacca, my first reaction was that the place "looked" unsafe.  Looking back, this was probably due to Malacca's sharp contrast with Singapore, a global city boasting skyscrapers, beautiful buildings, and upscale shops.  On the other hand, Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its historical icons and preservation of traditional Malaysian culture.  
           My visit to Malacca went without incident and I had a wonderful time.  When I got home, I did some research on the safety of Malacca.  Unfortunately I couldn't mind many statistics or hard data, but a quick Google search, the consensus seems to be that Malacca is relatively safe.  Below is a sampling, the first two hits after searching for "how safe is malacca."  They echo what many other sources said.  

Background: The weekend of 4th of July rolled around, and the idea of Lake Tahoe didn't appeal to me.  Not that its a bad place to visit, with water clarity so high the bottom is visible, but its where everyone in the Bay Area goes for a weekend getaway.  Solution: Shasta Lake, the lake formed by Shasta Dam restraining the Sacramento River, about a four hour drive north of San Francisco.  Under each photo, I write my personal reflections...  
Shasta Lake Dock
1.) The Dock: A sign of human activity, floating on the lake's surface, but not penetrating its mysterious depths. Those floating orange balls look like tiny points in space. Really, our knowledge of the earth only scratches the surface...

           Early last year, I moved to the Bay Area and found a job at a biotech startup.  I was in my twenties, working on cutting edge technology in Silicon Valley, and San Francisco was before me  Okay, I didn't actually live in San Francisco, but a train ride is no pretext for not getting out.  It was the perfect setup for amazing experiences and I certainly had a good time - but I was often "busy with work."  Looking back, I realize that I felt most inspired to see San Francisco when I was with tourists.  I had friends from Australia visit me on two occasions, and hanging with them made me see the place differently.  Also, it was the impending necessity of moving away from San Francisco that inspired me to fully explore it.  

Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer, just a traveler who appreciates a good shot.  I don’t shoot with fancy equipment, just digital cameras or phones that fit inside my pocket.  
I know professional, elite-level photographers often spend plenty of time, sometimes several hours, exploring one subject and experimenting with various compositions.  They may photograph the scene from several angles, playing around with juxtaposition of different elements.  I think my disclaimer above affirms that I don't do this, but I do like to put some thought into my pictures, at least beyond a mindless point-and-shoot.  In this post, I talk about some photos I took around San Francisco's iconic Ferry Building, and my thought process behind the composition and juxtaposition of surrounding elements.