The Flip Slide |
Exactly six months ago to the day was when I left everything and took this leap to make my dream of seeing the world a reality. In that time, I have traveled to 11 countries and 25 cities/towns. People think that when you travel you leave reality behind. The truth is, it is when you see the real in everything. And these past months have been a true reality. They have been filled with real places, real people, real conversations, real moments, real feelings, real life. This reality has been one of the best in my life. I’ve seen things that I’ll never be able to describe. I’ve felt things that I’ll never be able to explain. I’ve met people that have changed my life. I’ve lived life extraordinarily well. Travel will change your life. It will make you appreciate what you have. And will make you work your ass off to do it again. To everyone I’ve met, thank you. I’m lucky to have you in my life. Until the next adventure…
I arrived in Bali uncertain of where the photos were located. No city names, no village names, only the name Bali. I decided to head to Ubud first because people said it was worth a day trip. My day trip turned into a 10 day trip. From the moment I stepped foot into this town, I felt at peace. By this part on the journey I needed time to reflect, I needed time to connect and take it all in. These last weeks of this incredible journey were important. In Ubud, I entered into a world of clarity, into a world of understanding, into a world of challenge, into a world of acceptance, into a world of chance. And when I went in search of the photos, chance had it that the majority of them were in this magical town. Coincidence maybe, kismet definitely. Ubud, you are medicine for the soul.
I was standing on a bridge over looking Clarke Quay, memorized by the pink and purple sky. A man came up to me asked me what I was doing. He saw the camera in my hand. We struck up a conversation. I showed him the photo I was trying to find. We looked at it again and again, convinced that I was in the right spot. Then he took a closer look and said no this cannot be it. He lead me to the next bridge over. We walked over the bridge and turned around. We noticed the same shop houses that were in my grandfathers photo. We had found the right spot. It was Boat Quay. He went through a few more photos with me, locating them all by translating the Chinese writing on the images. I now have located all of the photos. Somedays I’m glad my mother never told me not to talk to strangers.
Photo taken at Boat Quay, Singapore.
These are the final photos from the Bangkok series. These were very challenging to find as the Grand Palace is one a huge historic site, and the buildings look very similar. In order to find the correct places, I focused on the finding the statues first. This helped me separate mosaic building from mosaic building. It is always interesting when I recreate photos where few things has changed over time. The last time this was the case was in Rome. These buildings that have been here for hundreds of years, so another fifty years is a drop in the bucket. I wonder what the photos will look like in another fifty years? Only time will tell.
Walkway through the Palace
This photo was taken towards the exit of the palace. In order to get the shot I was standing in a pretty remote corner of the grounds. For a while I was secluded but then people started walking by as another way to get around the temple. Once again, my photos are crowded with people and the original was deserted. The two statues are no longer there and it was interesting to see that them replaced with actual people.
Mosaic Roof 1
I love everything about the new photo. The colors on the roofs of the temples are so vibrant. The mosaics sparkle with every gleam of sunlight that hits the buildings. Standing in the middle of tour groups was not the easiest but it was definitely well worth it.
Guardian Statues at the Temple
This is one of my favorite photos that was replicated in Bangkok. I had just come out of the temple to see the reclining buddha and turned to walk down the side of the temple and there they were. A brilliant display of craftsmanship. The gold statues and the angle at which these were shot are breathtaking. The replication is spot on and what is most noticeable with the photos is the quality and the color.
Mosaic Roof 2
This photo took the most time to find. Searching for hours as I tracked down each photo, this one was a mystery until I asked a local guide.They must do some serious training because she told me the exact spot without hardly looking at the photo.
Exiting the Grand Palace
This was the final photo of the Bangkok series. This was outside the main part of the palace and it was the last building before exiting this massive site. By this time everyone that had come out looked like they had enough heat for their lifetime, including me. It was a long day and the photos were quite challenging to get. So being able to find this was a great feat. These buildings are breathtaking. So much detail, so many layers, and so much time keeping them pristine. Definitely a place to be visited by all.
The Grand Palace
And now I present to you The Grand Palace. A place where the mere tourist population is enough to create a small village. Originally, I was told that these photos were taken at Wat Pho but after wandering around the grounds, I thought either I was going to go insane with vertigo from the temples, or I was led in the wrong direction. Fortunatley the latter was true. So I woke up early the next morning in Bangkok to try to get there to avoid the heat and the people. Both not possible to do anytime of the day. The grounds are immense and the people have come from every corner of the world it seemed on that day. The one remarkable thing I noticed was that as I wandered around trying to find these hidden spots was that everyplace where my grandfather stood was away from the crowds. I guess he liked crowds as much as I do.
Guard Statues, Phra Mondhop
This photo is one of the first I found in the palace and probably one of my favorite temples there. The gold is incredible. Standing there, the glistening of the temple is something that a camera will never capture. The temple is created out of tiny glass mosaics. Incredible craftmanship went into building this. It was a challenge getting the shot at first. Kneeling on the round, standing too far away, waiting for crowds of people to get a photo op in front. I finally found a way to shoot over their heads to get a photo. I think the photo is pretty spot on from the original if I do say so myself.
Giant Demon Statues
Seriously, I don’t know if my grandfather got private tour of the palace but where are the freaking people? Geeze he got lucky. I mean I love people but crowds are not my cuppa tea. Most of his photos had statues in them so that was one of the ways I could find them. Without those landmarks, I would have been walking around in circles, which in reality I already was doing. There are a few new signs in my photo. A street sign leading people in the right direction and a few about the statues themselves. The color palate still orange and green and the doorway still as grand and beautiful as it was years ago.
Phra Maha Monthian
I wish someone was documenting me trying to find these photos. I don’t know if I ever looked at the ground when walking around. My eyes were ajared up the entire time tying to see what the roofs of the buildings looked like. With all the cameras there, I am sure a photo of me is posted on FB somewhere. I finally found this photo by the gold temple in the far left even though it was now hidden by the tree that had grown over the years. There were just a few people in the original photo and now the steps are swarming with them. I do love this photo by where my grandfather was standing. It was in a tiny corner looking over the grounds and up to the steps. A little oasis away from the madness.
Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand.
The hot February sun. The fast boat ride. The plow into shore. The touch of the white sand. The first dip in the ocean. The salt water. The backflips. The handstands. The swim. The sun bathing. The cold beer. The cold fanta. The sound of reggae. The conversations. The book. The daydream. The nap. The utmost peace. The Flip Slide.