November 14, 2007 will forever be etched in my mind. As you may have read earlier, this particular day I set foot on my seventh continent this year. Apparently being the sappy, sentimental type, early on in the trip I decided to make an effort to commemorate each continent with a photo. I tried to find a background that captured the essence of the continent, which as you might imagine, is easier said than done.
Don't get too excited. The idea wasn't overly elaborate. The materials alone cost me a whopping four dollars. However, it did provide some amusement for me, the poor souls I got to take my picture, and the passers-by who probably thought I was a little "special."
Nearly eleven months later, I'm glad I decided try it. I've set the best of them up below, in the order I shot them; which, obviously, corresponds with my path around the globe. I've also added a brief, yet unnecessary commentary where applicable.
Enough yappin'. I hope you enjoy this little tour of my continent-hopping:
North America: Ok... not a great start. I'm hoping everyone will show some leniency on this one. Being that I'm actually from North America (and that I didn't think of this photo thing until February), I don't actually have a picture for this one. Besides, as I'm from Kansas City, I'm not sure what I would have done. To do it properly I'd need to go to some super-iconic, uber-familiar structure everyone around the world would recognize - like the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Neosho High School gymnasium.
Antarctica: Neko Harbor - Antarctic Peninsula
Taken: March 15, 2007
Our first continental landing in Antarctica turned out to be an absolutely perfect day. I thought about trying to pose with some penguins, but they were harder to catch than anticipated.
South America: The Christ the Redeemer Statue - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Taken: April 6, 2007
I tried to think of the most iconic subject for a single picture of South America. Did you just think of Machu Picchu? Me too. Unfortunately, I'm an idiot and didn't think of this little scheme until after I'd left Peru. So, outside of the Incan capital, I figured Christ on top of Corcovado was probably a close second. It's a new wonder of the world, right? As with all these pictures, it was a bit funny to watch everyone else looking at me while someone snapped the picture. In this case, a dude from the Netherlands - Which was only appropriate given my attire.
Africa: The Tusks - Mombassa, Kenya
Taken: May 8, 2007
Africa was a tough one. Outside of taking pictures of me standing next to a wild elephant or giraffe or something (which is a trifle harder than you might think), I didn't really know what to do. I actually took a few pictures in front of the pyramids, as Egypt is still technically Africa, but it just didn't feel like... real Africa.
While in Kenya, I noticed a rendition of these tusks on the back of one of the bills. I don't recall seeing anything like them anywhere else in the world, and if they're iconic enough to be on the currency, it's good enough for me.
This was an interesting picture to take - my photographer was actually my tuk-tuk driver that morning. I'm pretty sure he thought I was absolutely insane. Plus, it had been raining all freaking night, and I'd managed to step ankle deep into a huge puddle right before this picture. Top that off with every single person for a two block radius staring at the weird white guy with the sign... Quite the spectacle.
Europe: Big Ben - London, England
Taken: July 31, 2007
I had the opposite problem in Europe as I did in Africa. There are so many iconic structures and landmarks, it was hard to shorten the list. I didn't make it to France or Italy on this trip, so the obvious shots of The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the leaning tower and the Colosseum missed the cut by default. I did make it to Belgium, and took a few shots in front of the Atomium, which is very, very European. But... How many of you know what the Atomium is? Right. Big Ben it is.
Asia: The Great Wall - Near Beijing, China
Taken: September 27, 2007
This one seemed like one of the few slam-dunks of the group. What is more recognizable in Asia than the Great Wall? Sure, there's Angkor Wat and the Petronas Twin Towers, but the Wall seemed like the best - and most identifiable choice. As soon as Casey mentioned doing a hike, I knew my picture was in the bag.
Australia: The Sydney Opera House, Sydney Australia
Taken: November 25, 2007
I had always planned on using the Opera House for this shot, but once I headed out to Uluru, I had some second thoughts. There are few more "Australian" images than the massive Uluru in the morning light. However, getting a usable shot of me with the entire rock and the sign turned out to be a challenge. Besides, I know lots of continents with rocks. I don't know too many with an opera house as cool as this one.
So there you have it - around the world in 60 seconds - or, however long it took you to read this. It's been a great ride, and fortunately it's not quite over yet. As always, thanks for following along.