Drifting… Turks and Caicos










Turks and Caicos – the land of conch and potcakes. Several months ago I drifted over to Turks and am just now getting a post in. I wish it was because I’ve been so busy but the truth is I’ve just been a lazy bum. It was a spur of the moment trip I booked about 2 days in advance after my pilot friend said “Hey, I’m going to Turks in 2 days… want to go?” And that was that. I went. We flew into Provindenciales, aka Provo, which is quite ironic for me and some others of you reading this.. and the rest of you are now wondering “huh?”

turks_potcake adoption
POTCAKE: the name given to the dogs of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Derived from the days when the locals fed the caked remains of the cooking pot to the local dogs. They’ve evolved into a breed which is extremely smart, loyal, and loving.
There’s an amazing non-profit adoption program – check out potcakeplace.com – where you can bring one of these little guys home with you. The other great part of this program is you can volunteer while you’re vacationing and take the pups to the beach with you. And for you dudes out there, Jasper (above) is a total babe magnet… like that’s not obvious.
turks wave_robbhanks
Amazing color of the water – shot with an iphone. Lucky.

Conch’s as far as the eye can see. The challenging part is trying to smuggle one of these bad boys home.

5 Reasons to visit MORE Project

I just got back from MORE Project in Rio de Janeiro a couple days ago. I like going down there for many reasons but here are 5 pretty good ones:

1. The Kids – They have so much love to give. Go and see.

2. Givin’ Back - It feels pretty good to do something for somebody you’ve never met in your life. Ask anybody who’s been to the MORE Project and they’ll tell you all about it – like one of the expeditioners on the 2012 spring trip. The home above was falling apart and the expedition group decided it needed remodeled. The photo only shows the new roof but so many more things were done on the inside – new toilet (it was so disgusting), tile, shower head, cleaned and painted the walls, appliances, bed and bedding, new wiring, stairs instead of a dirt ramp, and more. It was truly inspiring to me the work they did. And the amazing thing is you actually end up taking as much as you give. If this doesn’t make sense to you now it will when you get there. It’s a beautiful thing.

3. Flavio – This kid’s had his ups and downs since I first met him in the Project over 4 years ago. He hasn’t been the perfect student but I can’t imagine what his life is like on a daily basis. The fact that he keeps coming back is a reflection of the good MORE Project is doing. If not for the Project, he may very well be slingin’ dope for a slum lord in the favela. The reality is his life would be dramatically different without MORE.


4. Destroy Your Comfort Zone – We can get so caught up in everyday life doing the same thing. We drink our coffee in the morning, take the same route to work, take the same route back, and maybe we mix it up one day by stopping for a soda on the way home, then catch some tv. Well, do something different for once in your life. See what life is like outside your bubble. Expand a little. Explore a little. You’ll like it.


5. Rio de Janeiro – Check out one of the coolest cities in the world for a few days. It has so much to offer with its culture, amazing beaches, and a chilled out vibe. Brazilians are a beautiful people with a very laid-back attitude toward life.  We call it the River – you just sit back and let it flow… that must be why I like it so much.

Drifting… Tropea

I finally made it to Tropea – a place only existing on the internet it seemed. After seeing a photo, my mind said something like this: Hey, I have a gig in Switzerland. Where could I go with some sun and beach? South of France, Spain, Italy? Find something. Ok, Tropea looked pretty great in the photos but does it really look like that in real life? Fine. Let’s (me and my mind) find out. Tropea it is – ok, that’s really more of a paraphrase so I can’t put it in quotes – my mind isn’t what it used to be. Anyway, that’s my recollection of how it went down.

The logistics: Flew to Zurich, van to Interlaken, spent a week there, walked to the train station, train to Spiez, transfer, train to Milano, transfer, train to Napoli (met a very friendly Italian couple who woke me when we got to Naples or I still might be on the train), walked through the shady part of town to a seedy hotel, cruised Napoli for a day, back to the train station and off to Lamezi, transfer, train to Tropea, wandered about town until I found the hotel I booked the day before (this time I put in 20 minutes of internet time to ensure a decent place to stay where there wasn’t the possibility of getting shanked).

And here I am. It’s as great as the pictures… and it really does exist.

Amazing sunset over Tropea.


Here are 10 of my favorite items I like to travel with:
1. Good headphones. I used to travel with big noise canceling headphones but soon realized I like the little guys better. They’re smaller and blocks out the sound just as well as the big guys in my opinion. I prefer the Skull Candy Fix-In. They have great sound and I can use them to talk on the phone if I need to.

2. The Pelican 1510. This little gem is a great hard case you can bring on the plane with you. Fits enough gear and my laptop to keep me on the road for months. And it you can sit on it during long custom lines. I take this everywhere.

3. Something to write in (not really a gadget). It doesn’t matter what it is but I like a small one I can draw, or doodle, or write ideas, or just to write down some thoughts. This happens a lot on an airplane. I always seem to do a lot of reflecting on how much time I’ve wasted in my life… and I always resolve to stop doing that. Sometimes it even works.

4. Ipod Nano. I bought a watch band for it and it’s perfect for listening to my music on the plane, bus, train, taxi, subway, walking, rickshaw, or wherever. See… it’s perfect for anywhere.

5. Leatherman. They make a lot of different ones. Pick the right one for you. I tend to lean toward the smaller ones. I’ve carried a Leatherman with me for the last 15 years or so. It’s come in handy more times than I can count. And DON’T try and carry one on an airplane. They’ll confiscate it and then you’ll be sad. I know this for a fact.

6. Leica D-Lux. I carry a lot of bigger equipment but this little guy is perfect for quick snap shots. Razor sharp and easy to use, this point and shoot really isn’t a typical point and shoot. It’s way better.

7. Travel adapter by Conair. It’s compact and easy to use and you don’t have to carry around 10 different adapters that you’ll eventually lose. Enough said.

8. Hoven shades. I’ve owned several different pair of Hovens. The Ritz are my favorites. Well made and they look great.

9. Kata Sling Backpack. This is a great camera gear backpack. You can make it into a sling bag or regular backpack. Really well designed. Definitely check this one out.

10. Hero 2 HD. This is the smallest and best HD around. And the cost is best bang for the buck. It has a waterproof case that’s good for dust as well. It’s a bad to the bone little video camera (which also has the ability to shoot stills if you need it to).