I think having my wife alongside me for this, the final leg of my three-year bike journey through three continents and down one aisle, is going to be a really good thing.
Flickr is a fantastic photo archiving solution, especially for the traveller. But the real benefit of Flickr is the community that’s shaped the network over the years since it was launched. Now, a whole Flickr culture exists, with thriving sub-communities for any subject you might imagine. Participation is encouraged, and the best shots tend to ‘bubble up’ and are promoted accordingly throughout the site.
I’ve been able to share and develop my interest in photography using Flickr in a way I would never have been able to do otherwise. Looking critically at what people are drawn to, from my photostream as well as in the site-wide ‘Explore’ section, really helps me to develop ideas about how to create an attractive, engaging image. The $30 annual subscription for unlimited storage and use of all of Flickr’s services is a steal — provided you use it, of course.
Here are the ten most ‘interesting’ photos on my Flickr account to date, as chosen by the community. My photos get relatively few views, so more would be nice! Guess I need to keep at it…
The most popular shot by a country mile is this dusk image from deep in the Sahara. It seems to prove that, as with many things, simplicity is best. But getting into this situation in the first place required quite a bit of effort!
I’ve been experimenting again…
But the small version doesn’t do it justice. Have a look at a slightly bigger size.
I’ve been reading through some of the older posts I made while on the road in the Middle East and Africa. Let’s face it, they’re far more interesting than the practical advice I’ve been trying to dish out recently — you can’t beat a bit of vicarious adventure! And this was one of the most fascinating and challenging periods of my life.
Take a look at the most popular reads from this time last year, which I’ve just updated with plenty of photographs:
- Along The Egyptian Nile To Luxor
How tough it is to fully escape Egypt’s tourist trail, and the rewards of doing so
- Biking The Nubian Desert
Trying to find adventure in an intensely remote, spiritual and unforgiving part of the Sahara
- Ethiopia — No Pain, No Gain
A truly mind-boggling ride through one of the most idiosyncratic places on earth
- Trying To Ride Through Yemen And Failing
Security scares in a troubled nation result in me and a truckful of soldiers blasting through the desert at 150kmph
- A Final Push To Dubai
Braving the outrageous midsummer heat of the southern Arabian deserts
When planning an extended cycle tour, many people go in search of corporate sponsorship. Some come back empty-handed. Some are successful. But let’s be realistic: In the world of expeditions and corporate sponsorship, bike trips are small fry.
Having said that, if I want to (and only if), I can now comfortably rely on getting whatever equipment I need for my trips either at a big discount or free of charge, in return for providing publicity and/or feedback to people whose good work and principles I believe in.
By sharing the lessons I’ve learnt to get to this point, I hope that you will be better placed to decide if sponsorship is for you, and — if you decide it is — to increase your chances of success.