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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.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


"This is still the strangest thing in all man's travelling, that he should carry about with him incongruous memories." 

                                                            - Robert Louis Stevenson

(Spoiler Alert: BLADE RUNNER)


There is a wonderful sequence in the classic film BLADE RUNNER (see the Director's cut, please), which was written by actor Rutger Hauer. In the scene, the death of his character of Roy Batty, the actor speaks a profound yet short soliloquy:

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships, on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-Beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. 

"Time to die."

If you read this quote back, slowly, it is a startlingly visual and potent text.  If, in your mind's visuals, you replace "Orion" with Fort McHenry (site where Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that would become THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER), and for added measure replace the watching of "c-beams" glittering with the view over London during the Blitz, you will have an inkling of the power of those words within the context of the story.

With brief descriptions the character gives just a small impression of the wonders he has seen, he has experienced. Yes, both examples are strikingly violent but that relates more to the character's background. The significance of the words is found in the experiences they convey. In short, despite a brief and violent life, the character of Roy Batty - a fugitive and public terrorist of sorts - has seen things the rest of us have not.

His lament, at the end, is that all of that which he has seen and experienced will be lost when he dies. And how tragic that is for the greater whole of humanity.

And that's true of each of us. We're all the constructs of our own individual journeys.

The loss in Roy Batty's case is that no record would exist of his experiences once he was gone. He was the lone means of expressing and documenting the world -- solar system? -- as he saw it. His history, his perspective, is gone.

Which brings me to this blog and the archives of travel photography I have amassed.

Some of you may have seen the quote I use to describe myself in a handful of words: "All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee."

The purpose of this blog is twofold. Yes, it is to share what it is I have seen and done. To log my own journey, as it were, through the world as I find it. It's something which, perhaps self-aggrandizing, I hope is of some interest to others. (Side note: I'm writing this not just as a missive to my readers, but as a reminder to myself to get back to the basics and get out there. Explore.)

The second purpose of my little corner of the universe is to instill an excitement about the exploration of this world. Seeing your own version of Attack Ships off the shoulder of Orion. Feeling the lap of a strange ocean's waves on your ankles. The cool wind off the arctic snow, or the hot lick of humidity in the South American jungle. Reaching out to caress a koala bear in Australia, or a setting free young seagoing turtles in the Caribbean. Taking your first bite of chocolate in Paris, or a hot bowl of gumbo in New Orleans. Or for that matter trundling just a few miles down the road to try out that new Texas BBQ joint that opened a couple of months ago, or see the new exhibit at the history museum up in (fill in the name of your nearest city with a history museum).

It's all about the living. The experiencing. The doing. Seeing things for yourself which otherwise just appear in tour books or the News.

Through my photography and writing I want to give you just a taste of the world you can explore for yourself. A "soupçon" as my friend Harlan Ellison might say.

If I accomplish anything with my infrequent essays, travel descriptions and daily photographs, I hope it is to give you a taste for the world around you, and a desire to see something of it for yourself.

You don't need to go far. Just go. Find something new. Experience it for yourself. It might be a short trip to a lake for some fishing, or it could be a grand adventure crossing the globe.

One of my favorite authors is Robert Louis Stevenson. Like so many young children, one of my first adventures was to this place of his called Treasure Island. I found adventure there, and it whetted my appetite for more. Much more.

Stevenson knew the value of travel. His stories and his personal accounts filled books with tales from afar.

As I recently posted in a Sunday Quote, he also said: "For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."

And move we must.

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