Tag archives for Ben Long
The Seven Summits are the highest peaks on each continent. The term also describes the mountaineer’s quest to summit all seven–a concept that has captured the imagination of climbers and tourists alike and drawn huge crowds to these peaks. But, much to my surprise, reaching the summit of the highest mountain in South America…was the most anti-climactic event of my life.
It’s not true that travelers have a “list” of places to see and, once they’ve checked off every box, hang up their knapsacks. When you’re traveling, you’re constantly adding to your list. Every casual conversation with fellow wayfarers introduces a world of possibility when your life is strapped to your back. The flip side of the travel coin: You also discover special places that keep calling you back long after you leave.
When can you call yourself a “professional” photographer? Is it when you buy an expensive camera, sell a picture, or get published? No one seems to agree.
I have a confession to make. The American Southwest wasn’t on my adventure radar until my friend, Reed, convinced me to join him on a road trip through Utah Canyon Country. Driving into Zion National Park at sunset was a shot in the arm for my wanderlust. I was ready to explore the big red playground.
There are amazing things to see and do all over the world, all the time. Here’s just a taste of what you can see and do in October. Let us know what we missed by leaving a comment.
Sometimes, you’ve gotta leave home to appreciate what you have there.
The farther Moses and I went into the bush, the more vulnerable I became. No one in the world knew where I was, or whom I was with. I didn’t know. This was quickly developing into one of those “what were they thinking” moments you see on the news as the reporter tries to piece together the last known whereabouts of a missing tourist. Hedging my bet, I told Moses I’d pay him half of my “excursion fee” when we got back to Arusha. I figured it needed to be in someone’s best interest to keep me alive and well.
By Ben Long — Flying to Tanzania to learn about Maasai cattle culture seemed like a great idea when I proposed it for a research fellowship. After all, I’d spent my whole life baling hay and chasing cows through the hills of West Virginia on my family farm. How different could cows be in an East African semi-nomadic culture? My epic flight allowed me time to come to a terrifying realization: I didn’t know a soul in Africa, and knew little about the Maasai other than that they are renowned herders. Suddenly, my upbringing on a farm didn’t seem so relevant.