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Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber. Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet. Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little. I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." 
                           - Robert Louis Stevenson

Just a few days ago I posted my 2012 Year End review, and what a fun year it was. But now, as with ever First of January, I find myself looking forward not back. 

Off Again....
The new year holds a lot of promise, and I genuinely plan on taking advantage of the opportunities that come my way. We already have three major trips on the drawing boards (well, one is solid and the other two are well into the planning and reservation stage). Unlike 2012, 2013 is going to be more of an intercontinental effort, filled with new countries and destinations. It's always fun to plans such adventures, because when it comes to exploring new territory you're in the position of having to rely upon the advice of others to make sure you don't get tripped up -- and if you are, how best to respond to it.

One of the biggest plans of 2013 is to continue to expand the brand of the Thumbnail Traveler. Not only do we have this blog page -- which is rapidly gaining traction, and I have all of you to thank for that -- but there is a Twitter feed (@thumbnailtravel), a Facebook page (Thumbnail Traveler) and soon to come, a fully illustrated website dedicated to destination guides, galleries and links to other reference sites for -- at the start -- thirty global destinations. We figure that should go live by late February,. so keep your eyes peeled here for updates. 

A little later in the year -- perhaps February or March -- we're preparing a handful of videos for Youtube (and elsewhere). Yep, we're goin' MultiMedia here at the Thumbnail Traveler!!! You can see the first beta test by using the link down below. It's just the first round. Future iterations will include voiceover descriptions and actual video of sites.


Obviously, since the entire content of the Thumbnail Traveler sites is dependent upon travel, we're going to be on the road for a number of times during the year. There will be a handful of the short-duration overnights up into such areas as the California deserts. Not only a return to Joshua Tree, but I'd also like to log some time photographing the area near the Salton Sea, and up through the Death Valley. A friend hipped me to some interesting statuary out near Joshua Tree that I'd like to explore a bit, working in a similar vein to the night shots of The Last Supper statues in Rhyolite, Nevada. If you haven't seen the exposures I'm describing, check them out using the link down at the bottom of this column. They're truly stunning works.

The more formalized trips for the year are, as noted, taking shape. In February we're journeying up to perhaps our second most frequented destination in the world, and that is Las Vegas. We get there two to three times a year and usually find quite a bit to keep us occupied. This trip promises nothing different, with side trips into Red Rock Canyon, the town of Goodsprings, and possibly a run up to the Hoover Dam. I've worked around the first two, and still have a couple of old archived shots of the dam which I would love to augment. Side trips to and from also remain a possibility, but whether that means the Death Valley, or the aptly-named Devil's Playground is anybody's guess at this point.

The second major trip of the year -- a weeklong road journey to the beautiful city of Santa Fe, New Mexico and back -- offers quite a few side trips and entertainments. I'm looking forward to posting a few thoughts and ideas, as well as revisiting some sites (sights) I for which wish I had a more extensive archive. I tend to doubt this will include the Petrified Forest, but almost certainly will involve Meteor Crater, The Painted Desert and general Route 66 holdovers along the way. Santa Fe is a wonderfully art-oriented town, and ought to offer more than a handful of ideas and photo ops in and of itself. There's nothing like going walkabout in a place like that -- educational and also a real chance to get away from the world and lose myself in a destination.

The Wind Surf
The last and final planned journey for 2013 is a return visit to our friends at Windstar Cruise Lines for a voyage between Stockholm and Edinburgh. With the exception of a few nights in London, virtually all destinations on this particular trip will be new to both myself and our travel companions. This is the one which will knock out at least a couple of our NOW list items, particularly a visit to Loch Ness in Scotland. Standing on the shores of that great lake has long been a dream of mine, so it's about time I made it happen. As I've noted many, many times in the past, this is the sort of thing you have to plan and do, versus merely dream about it. And since this will also involve a visit to Copenhagen and Norwegian fjords, 2013 will not only satisfy formal NOW list checks, but also a handful of "I've always wanted to"s along the way. (Still trying to figure out if I can get my ass over to Stonehenge while we're in England, but this might be pushing a bit too hard given the time allotted.)

So 2013 appears to be shaping up nicely. I'll be adding more than a handful of new galleries to my various websites, and certainly a lot of new entries here at the Blog. It's going to be a fun (and hopefully adventurous) year -- and I'd be honored if you came along for the ride.

Happy New Year.

Rhyolite Sculptures

Other Thumbnail Traveler web sites


  1. Great plans, Steve. Shouldn't that be two Ls, though? (Allons-y)


  2. Merde!!! ;-)

    All fixed now. Heckuva way to start a year...

    (Bon, merci!!)

  3. I would have said "Zut alors" or "Tant pis", but "Merde" is good!

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