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Interesting that as soon as I announce I’ll be moving away from the topic of travel, the very next challenge prompt is “wanderlust.”  So I guess you guys get one more post on travel.  Be sure to catch continuing travel stories on our new blog, BIGtinyWorld!

I’ve been to many places in my short time on this earth, and I know that no matter how many years I spend traveling, I can never hit everything there is to see and do in this big wide world… but I’m sure going to try!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

I’m a restless spirit, and I love exploring new things.  The experience of discovering something for the first time is simply addictive.  I got my first hit reading new books as a kid.  Not only was I mesmerized by not knowing what would happen next, it also opened my mind to myriad worlds and imaginations.  From Wind in the Willows to Lord of the Rings, by the time I was eleven, I was primed for travel.  By this time, I was only just beginning to discover the wonders of photography, shooting everything from my stuffed animals to my friends on a cheap point-and-shoot.

Enter Australia.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

I’m a proud military brat; we were accustomed to moving every 3-4 years.  Imagine my excitement when I learned we were to be stationed in the land Down Under.  Woomera, South Australia, population: 1200 (my middle school was larger).  Woomera was an experience in itself, and I’ll probably write more about it on our other blog.  We practiced how to say “no” with a proper Australian accent, fell in love with sausage rolls, and learned why you never want to say you’ve lost your napkin under the dinner table.

Being halfway around the world, we made the most of our two years there by exploring every other weekend on sponsored trips.  We visited underground chapels in Coober Pedy, chased down Tasmanian devils in the Adelaide Zoo, and climbed the famed Uluru.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

I couldn’t get enough of it, and I recorded every trip with my trusty camera.

And the stars!  Being in a tiny town in the middle of the barren donga, with the next sizable town two hours away, light pollution was near-non-existent.  Southern stars lack the recognizable big dipper, but they have the southern cross to make up for it, and you’ve never seen such a stunning night sky.  If only the photographer I am today was there then…

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Needless to say, our time in Oz instilled in me a bug for traveling that I’ve never shaken.  Since then, I’ve been to British Columbia, London, Japan, and all over the States.

And that’s only the beginning.

I can’t wait to see what other exotic places I can add to my portfolio!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

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