@expertvagabond - Matt Karsten | Expert Vagabond

🌎 Adventure traveler sharing the world with you! 📍Currently: Italy 🇮🇹 Travel Blog & Photo Tips⇣

151.9K followers

682 following

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CLIFFHANGER!
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Are you afraid of heights? This is a “via ferrata” route in the Italian #dolomites. Like a mix between hiking & rock climbing. You tether yourself to steel cables for safety.
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Many of these routes were created during WW1, when Austro-Hungarian and Italian forces moved soldiers & weapons through the mountains.
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FUN FACT: This bridge was used in the 90’s movie “Cliffhanger” with @officialslystallone! 
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#italy #dolomitiamo
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CLIFFHANGER! — Are you afraid of heights? This is a “via ferrata” route in the Italian #dolomites . Like a mix between hiking & rock climbing. You tether yourself to steel cables for safety. — Many of these routes were created during WW1, when Austro-

GREENLAND 
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So sad to hear that one of my favorite hiking destinations is on fire right now. Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail has been burning uncontrollably, forcing some hikers to evacuate.
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Many parts of the Arctic are on fire at the moment, due to unseasonably hot & dry conditions on the tundra. Not only that, but scientists reported that Greenland reached ice-loss levels last week that weren’t predicted for another 50 years!!!
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It’s just yet another glaring reminder that Climate Change is a very real & serious problem that humanity needs to address NOW. Hopefully it’s not too late to save ourselves and the planet. 
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VISIT MY BLOG ⤴️ to read about my 10 day, 100 mile trekking adventure in Greenland a few years ago. There’s a video too!
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#greenland #climatechange #arcticcircletrail
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GREENLAND — So sad to hear that one of my favorite hiking destinations is on fire right now. Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail has been burning uncontrollably, forcing some hikers to evacuate. — Many parts of the Arctic are on fire at the moment, due

AIRBNB GIVEAWAY! 
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Anna & I love using Airbnb to save money on unique travel accommodation. Treehouses, caves, Airstreams, you name it!
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In addition to sharing my special 10% Off Airbnb Coupon Code with everyone, I’ve decided to give one lucky reader a $100 Airbnb Gift Card to save even more on your next vacation rental.

LINK IN BIO ⤴️ for details!
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To Enter:
1. Like This Post
2. Follow me @ExpertVagabond
3. Tag 2 friends and leave a comment below telling me where you’d use your gift card!
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Giveaway ends on August 15th and the winner will be chosen by the 17th.
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This giveaway is NOT sponsored by Instagram or Airbnb. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. All giveaway/sweepstakes terms & conditions can be found on my website. Good luck!
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AIRBNB GIVEAWAY! — Anna & I love using Airbnb to save money on unique travel accommodation. Treehouses, caves, Airstreams, you name it! — In addition to sharing my special 10% Off Airbnb Coupon Code with everyone, I’ve decided to give one lucky read

ITALY'S CAVE CITY 
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Welcome to #Matera, a very unique destination in Southern Italy. Built into the side of a cliff, this village of caves was once an embarrassment to the country.
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Now it's a UNESCO site, and a popular filming location for Hollywood movies! Wonder Woman, The Passion Of The Christ, and Bond 25 are a few!
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I love how the canyon fills with fog early in the morning...
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ITALY'S CAVE CITY — Welcome to #matera , a very unique destination in Southern Italy. Built into the side of a cliff, this village of caves was once an embarrassment to the country. — Now it's a UNESCO site, and a popular filming location for Hollywo

BEST OF VENICE 
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In February Anna & I traveled to Venice for their annual Carnival celebration. It was so much fun!
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It was my first time to the city, so we did all the touristy stuff. Gondola rides, St. Mark’s Square, bought Carnival masks, pigged out on gelato, and more. Plus found time to get away from crowds too.
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I just put together a HUGE blog post featuring 30 fun & unusual things to do in Venice, Italy.
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LINK IN BIO ⤴️ for a full trip report about our time there!
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#veniceitaly #venezia
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BEST OF VENICE — In February Anna & I traveled to Venice for their annual Carnival celebration. It was so much fun! — It was my first time to the city, so we did all the touristy stuff. Gondola rides, St. Mark’s Square, bought Carnival masks, pigged

TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO 
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This is one of the iconic hikes in the Dolomites. It’s pretty easy, and gives you stunning views of the jagged Italian Alps!
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Hiking in Italy is varied, with remote multi-day treks, tethered climbing on Via Ferrata, or mountain walks like this one, where you can order a trailside panini and beer halfway through the journey! Which kind of hiker are you? 
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LINK IN BIO ⤴️ for a full trip report about our Tre Cime adventure.
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#dolomites #dolomiti #trecimedilavaredo
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TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO — This is one of the iconic hikes in the Dolomites. It’s pretty easy, and gives you stunning views of the jagged Italian Alps! — Hiking in Italy is varied, with remote multi-day treks, tethered climbing on Via Ferrata, or mounta

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BEST MAYAN RUINS 
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One of my favorite parts of traveling in Mexico is visiting all the ancient Maya archeological sites & pyramids!
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New on the blog, I share some of the best ones that you should visit if you’re heading to Mexico. LINK IN BIO 
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What are the coolest ancient ruins you’ve visited?
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#yucatanpeninsula #visityucatan #mexico🇲🇽 #mayas #archeology
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BEST MAYAN RUINS — One of my favorite parts of traveling in Mexico is visiting all the ancient Maya archeological sites & pyramids! — New on the blog, I share some of the best ones that you should visit if you’re heading to Mexico. LINK IN BIO — Wh

“Bun dé!” That’s “good day” in Ladin. Did you know there are three languages spoken in the Dolomites?
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The region was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until after WW1. So there’s plenty of German spoken.
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Then of course Italian, because it’s now part of Italy.
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But what about Ladin? Ladin is an ancient Romance language spoken by about 30,000 people here. It came first, before German & Italian.
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“Bun dé!” That’s “good day” in Ladin. Did you know there are three languages spoken in the Dolomites? — The region was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until after WW1. So there’s plenty of German spoken. — Then of course Italian, because it’

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MOUNTAIN TOWNS 
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Italy’s South Tyrol region is full of idyllic little villages, old churches, fields of wildflowers and even the occasional castle. Framed by the incredible #Dolomites.
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I climbed up a hill past flocks of sheep for the sunset, and was not disappointed! 🤗
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MOUNTAIN TOWNS — Italy’s South Tyrol region is full of idyllic little villages, old churches, fields of wildflowers and even the occasional castle. Framed by the incredible #dolomites . — I climbed up a hill past flocks of sheep for the sunset, and w

WHAT’S INSIDE MY CAMERA BAG? 🤷‍️
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To help answer the questions about “what camera do you use”, I’ve put together a detailed list of all my travel photography gear!
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Lenses, microphones, tripods, and more. There’s even a winter jacket for my camera! ️
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CLICK LINK IN BIO ⤴️ to read the full blog post. 
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What camera do YOU use?
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WHAT’S INSIDE MY CAMERA BAG? 🤷‍️ — To help answer the questions about “what camera do you use”, I’ve put together a detailed list of all my travel photography gear! — Lenses, microphones, tripods, and more. There’s even a winter jacket for my camera!

The morning fishing commute in #Mauritius. 
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How do you get to work? When I lived in Florida, my morning commute to Miami took 1-2 hours, depending on how many accidents there were that day. 
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These days I just roll out of bed, make a coffee, and sit at my desk in pajamas for a few hours. It’s much nicer!
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If I’m shooting photos though, I’m often up before sunrise to reach a location before the sun actually rises. 
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Early morning is my favorite time of day. Quiet, peaceful, and relaxing. Are you a morning person or night owl? 🦉
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 Shot on DJI Mavic 2 Pro
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The morning fishing commute in #mauritius . — How do you get to work? When I lived in Florida, my morning commute to Miami took 1-2 hours, depending on how many accidents there were that day. — These days I just roll out of bed, make a coffee, and s

SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS 
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The island of Mauritius is home to some incredible underwater wildlife. Colorful coral reefs, humpback whales, sharks, and huge pods of Spinner Dolphins like these! I think @anna.everywhere wants to be a dolphin... 
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This was actually my 2nd time swimming in the ocean with wild dolphins, the other happened a few years ago during an early morning surf session in South Africa.
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SWIPE LEFT  for a short video from this amazing experience!
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#mauritius🇲🇺 #dolphins
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SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS — The island of Mauritius is home to some incredible underwater wildlife. Colorful coral reefs, humpback whales, sharks, and huge pods of Spinner Dolphins like these! I think @anna.everywhere wants to be a dolphin... — This w

UNDERWATER WATERFALL?! 
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This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! On the Southwest corner of Mauritius there’s a beautiful turquoise lagoon. The ocean floor suddenly drops 13,000 ft (4000m) creating the optical illusion of a waterfall, underwater... 🤗
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There are regular helicopter & seaplane flights that will give you this epic viewpoint. 
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#mauritius #opticalillusions
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UNDERWATER WATERFALL?! — This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! On the Southwest corner of Mauritius there’s a beautiful turquoise lagoon. The ocean floor suddenly drops 13,000 ft (4000m) creating the optical illusion of a waterfall, unde

DYLAN’s FIRST ADVENTURE
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To celebrate 2 months with this little guy, @anna.everywhere & I took our first proper family vacation to the African island of #Mauritius! 🇲🇺
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Traveling with a baby has been a learning experience for sure. But we’re getting the hang of it.
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It takes a bit more planning, and we have to pack more stuff, but so far he’s been doing great!
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#babytravel #adventurebaby
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DYLAN’s FIRST ADVENTURE — To celebrate 2 months with this little guy, @anna.everywhere & I took our first proper family vacation to the African island of #mauritius ! 🇲🇺 — Traveling with a baby has been a learning experience for sure. But we’re gettin

VENICE BOOKSTORE 
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This cramped little bookstore in Venice was one of my favorite stops.
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Libreria Acqua Alta has books packed in every corner. There’s even tubs and boats full of books to protect them from the city’s constant flooding!
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Keep an eye out for the store’s resident cats too. 
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Does that mannequin in the background seem especially excited about books to anyone? 
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#veniceitaly #bookstore
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VENICE BOOKSTORE — This cramped little bookstore in Venice was one of my favorite stops. — Libreria Acqua Alta has books packed in every corner. There’s even tubs and boats full of books to protect them from the city’s constant flooding! — Keep an e

One of the many cold blue mountain lakes you can find in the Italian #Dolomites! This is Lago di Braies, probably the most famous. 
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You can rent a wooden row-boat and cruise around its pristine turquoise/emerald waters, or go for a hike in the mountains behind the lake.
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Check out the link in my bio  for a blog post with tips for visiting this beautiful place!
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One of the many cold blue mountain lakes you can find in the Italian #dolomites ! This is Lago di Braies, probably the most famous. — You can rent a wooden row-boat and cruise around its pristine turquoise/emerald waters, or go for a hike in the moun

The massive Italian #Dolomites putting things into perspective. 🤗
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This is Chiesetta di San Giovanni in Ranui, a small private chapel hidden in Italy’s Val di Funes. ️
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The massive Italian #dolomites putting things into perspective. 🤗 — This is Chiesetta di San Giovanni in Ranui, a small private chapel hidden in Italy’s Val di Funes. ️

A quiet morning in Venice -- Italy's floating city. 🇮🇹
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Well, floating for now. A climate study has warned that #Venice will be underwater by 2100 because the Mediterranean Sea is expected to rise over four feet!
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A quiet morning in Venice -- Italy's floating city. 🇮🇹 — Well, floating for now. A climate study has warned that #venice will be underwater by 2100 because the Mediterranean Sea is expected to rise over four feet!

If you can only do one helicopter trip during your lifetime, make sure it's the island of #Kauai! 
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Hawaii’s “Garden Island” certainly lived up to its name... 
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Scroll  to see photos (and video) from our open-door heli adventure with @jackharterhelicopters.
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LINK IN BIO ️ for a full trip report on my blog!
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If you can only do one helicopter trip during your lifetime, make sure it's the island of #kauai ! — Hawaii’s “Garden Island” certainly lived up to its name... — Scroll to see photos (and video) from our open-door heli adventure with @jackharterhel

Summer in Italy has officially begun! Before the crowds got too crazy, @anna.everywhere and I took a road trip up the Amalfi Coast.
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This is #Positano, a former fishing village that has become one of the most photogenic places in Italy. 🇮🇹
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You can rent small boats here  and cruise along the beautiful coastline (with or without a captain). It was super fun!
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Summer in Italy has officially begun! Before the crowds got too crazy, @anna.everywhere and I took a road trip up the Amalfi Coast. — This is #positano , a former fishing village that has become one of the most photogenic places in Italy. 🇮🇹 — You can

AURORA BOREALIS ⭐️
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Nature is pretty damn cool! Have you ever seen the northern lights in real life?
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I’ve been lucky to witness them in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, and Canada.
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Finding and photographing them isn’t always easy though, that’s why I’ve put together a free guide for you, including a video tutorial! 
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Learn how to predict them, what to look for, camera settings and editing tips.
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READ MY BLOG POST ️ and watch the video using the link in my bio.
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AURORA BOREALIS ⭐️ — Nature is pretty damn cool! Have you ever seen the northern lights in real life? — I’ve been lucky to witness them in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, and Canada. — Finding and photographing them isn’t always easy though, that’s why I

THE ALHAMBRA PALACE - SPAIN 🇪🇸
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I once spent a few months living in the Spanish city of Granada. It’s a very pretty place with an interesting mix of Arabic & Renaissance architecture, the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains nearby, as well as a community of Roma (“gypsies”) who live in caves. In fact, I even spent a night squatting in one of those caves... 
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In my latest blog post, I share tips for fun things to do in Granada — go check it out using the link in my bio!
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THE ALHAMBRA PALACE - SPAIN 🇪🇸 — I once spent a few months living in the Spanish city of Granada. It’s a very pretty place with an interesting mix of Arabic & Renaissance architecture, the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains nearby, as well as a com

CAMEL CROSSING! 
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Road trips are my favorite way to explore foreign countries. Renting a car and driving yourself allows you the freedom to stop anywhere you please, traveling at your own pace.
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We were initially a bit worried about spending 10 days driving in #Morocco, because we heard horror stories about crazy traffic (and drivers). But we gave it a shot anyway, and had an amazing trip! 
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In my latest blog post, I share tips for renting a car and driving in Morocco — including how to deal with camel traffic jams, and getting stopped by the police. You can find the link in my bio. 
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Do you enjoy road trips in other countries?
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CAMEL CROSSING! — Road trips are my favorite way to explore foreign countries. Renting a car and driving yourself allows you the freedom to stop anywhere you please, traveling at your own pace. — We were initially a bit worried about spending 10 day

WINTER IS HERE. 
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So excited (and kinda sad) for the final #GameOfThrones season! No spoilers please, as I’m in Poland and can’t watch until after 3am...
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This shot is from Russell Glacier in Greenland, where I started a 10 day 124 mile trek along the Arctic Circle Trail. Seeing these massive walls of ice break off and crash into the river next to me was quite an experience! ️
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The ice dragon may have melted “The Wall” in Westeros, but global warming seems to be doing a fine job of it in Greenland... 
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#gameofthrones8 #got #thewall #sevenkingdoms #westeros #greenland #dragons #icewall
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WINTER IS HERE. — So excited (and kinda sad) for the final #gameofthrones season! No spoilers please, as I’m in Poland and can’t watch until after 3am... — This shot is from Russell Glacier in Greenland, where I started a 10 day 124 mile trek along

WE MADE A BABY! I’m proud to introduce Dylan Fitzgerald Karsten, the newest member of our family! 
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Born in Poland on April 4th at 10:15am weighing 7 lbs 10 oz via c-section. @anna.everywhere and I are so excited and totally in love with this little guy. Everyone is healthy and things are going well. ️
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No sleep that first night, but we’re all getting into a groove now, and Dylan is turning out to be very chill. Just like his Dad.
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WE MADE A BABY! I’m proud to introduce Dylan Fitzgerald Karsten, the newest member of our family! — Born in Poland on April 4th at 10:15am weighing 7 lbs 10 oz via c-section. @anna.everywhere and I are so excited and totally in love with this little

It's finally time to share my scariest (and dumbest?) travel story, from many years ago…
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My run-in with a notorious Mexican drug cartel in the remote mountains of Northern Mexico.
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This is a photo I managed to get of one of the cartel members.
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️ Click the link in my bio to read the full story. 
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What was your scariest travel moment?
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It's finally time to share my scariest (and dumbest?) travel story, from many years ago… — My run-in with a notorious Mexican drug cartel in the remote mountains of Northern Mexico. — This is a photo I managed to get of one of the cartel members. — ️

People dress up in all kinds of elaborate costumes during Carnival posing for photos around Venice's famous landmarks! 
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This is the Bridge of Sighs, “Ponte dei Sospiri”. Constructed in 1641 as a pathway into the world’s first purpose-built prison. The name refers to the sighs of prisoners looking out the stone-windows at their last view of Venice before losing their freedom...
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#carnevale #veniceitaly
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People dress up in all kinds of elaborate costumes during Carnival posing for photos around Venice's famous landmarks! — This is the Bridge of Sighs, “Ponte dei Sospiri”. Constructed in 1641 as a pathway into the world’s first purpose-built prison.

Sunset in #Venice, with Basilica di Santa Maria in the distance. Now I see what all the hype was about! 
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February during the middle of the week was a great time to visit. Not as crowded as I was expecting. Although I can’t imagine what the summer is like...
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#veniceitaly #sunset_pics
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Sunset in #venice , with Basilica di Santa Maria in the distance. Now I see what all the hype was about! — February during the middle of the week was a great time to visit. Not as crowded as I was expecting. Although I can’t imagine what the summer i

My first time snowboarding a glacier! Earning some turns on Germany’s Zugspitze Glacier for fresh tracks... 
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Are you a skier or snowboarder?
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#zugspitze #germanytourism
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My first time snowboarding a glacier! Earning some turns on Germany’s Zugspitze Glacier for fresh tracks... — Are you a skier or snowboarder? — #zugspitze #germanytourism

The ancient Roman Forum! Excavations to clear it took over 100 years...
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The forum was the political, administrative and religious center of Ancient Rome. It was here where Marc Antony delivered his funeral speech to Julius Caesar. 
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Anyone else travel to experience history up close?
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#romeitaly #roma
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The ancient Roman Forum! Excavations to clear it took over 100 years... — The forum was the political, administrative and religious center of Ancient Rome. It was here where Marc Antony delivered his funeral speech to Julius Caesar. — Anyone else tr

UPDATE: Congratulations @idteacher, you’ve won my travel backpack giveaway! 🤗 
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{ GIVEAWAY } Who wants a free travel backpack?! After traveling the world for the last 9 years, many of them while living out of a bag, I wanted to put together a guide to help you choose the perfect backpack for travel. Go check it out on my blog!
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I also decided to give away one of the most popular travel backpacks on the market right now, the carry-on friendly Osprey Farpoint 40L. The one I’m wearing in this photo is a 65L Gregory that I used for backpacking (and hitchhiking) around Central America back in 2010.
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To Enter:
1. Like This Post
2. Follow me @ExpertVagabond
3. Tag 2 friends and leave a comment below telling me where you’d travel with your new backpack!
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For additional chances to win, be sure to check out the LINK IN MY BIO and read the full blog post. Don’t forget to turn on post notifications too!
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Giveaway ends on March 10th and the winner will be chosen on the 11th.
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This giveaway is not sponsored by Instagram. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. All giveaway/sweepstakes terms & conditions can be found on my website. Good luck!
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UPDATE: Congratulations @idteacher , you’ve won my travel backpack giveaway! 🤗 — { GIVEAWAY } Who wants a free travel backpack?! After traveling the world for the last 9 years, many of them while living out of a bag, I wanted to put together a guide

A romantic gondola ride through Venice... or a staged Instagram moment? ‍️
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SWIPE LEFT ⬅️ to see what else my camera captured!
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These shots always involve more work than it might seem at first glance. I brought my tripod along for this float trip down Venice’s narrow canals, and attached an “intervalometer” to the camera, which triggered photos every 2 seconds.
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For the first half of our 30 minute ride, the camera clicked away as the scenery passed by, and we tried different poses. Looking to the side, looking at each other, adjusting my posture, @anna.everywhere fixing her hair. 
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Finally, when we were confident we had something useable, I carefully crawled back to the front of the gondola trying not to tip us over, packed up the camera, and enjoyed the rest of our experience. With our gondolier Valentino singing romantic Venetian songs in the background... ️
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#veniceitaly #gondola
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A romantic gondola ride through Venice... or a staged Instagram moment? ‍️ — SWIPE LEFT ⬅️ to see what else my camera captured! — These shots always involve more work than it might seem at first glance. I brought my tripod along for this float trip d

The magic of Venice Carnival! 
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Modeled after ancient Greek and Roman festivals, Carnival was a holiday that allowed regular citizens to dress up in anonymous costumes and make fun of the aristocracy without fear of retribution.
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But it eventually backfired, allowing criminals to get away with all kinds of crimes behind the masks, and Carnival was banned in 1797. The celebration & parties returned though during the 1960’s.
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Wandering through the confusing alleyways and canals of Venice this week with colorful characters like this was so much fun! 
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#carnevale #venice
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The magic of Venice Carnival! — Modeled after ancient Greek and Roman festivals, Carnival was a holiday that allowed regular citizens to dress up in anonymous costumes and make fun of the aristocracy without fear of retribution. — But it eventually

I’ve always wanted to experience this view of St. Peter's Square from the top of the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in #VaticanCity. Finally got the chance! ️
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No matter what you think about the Catholic Church, its history & influence over humanity over the years is pretty incredible. Vatican City is an independent city-state, with a population of only 1000 citizens, and the spiritual center for 1.2 billion people around the world.
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Climbing up the stairs to the dome is a bit of a workout! But definitely worth it. There’s an elevator that goes part of the way, but you’ll still need to climb for a while either way.
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I’ve always wanted to experience this view of St. Peter's Square from the top of the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in #vaticancity . Finally got the chance! ️ — No matter what you think about the Catholic Church, its history & influence over humanity o

You're never too old to play in the snow... 
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I’ve been snowboarding for about 25 years now. I started as a kid, and grew up just 30 minutes away from two ski resorts in New Hampshire. I’m forever grateful that my parents introduced me to skiing & snowboarding at a young age. I was never a big “team sport” kinda guy, but boy did I love racing down a mountain in the snow!
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When I was choosing a college, my number-one requirement was that there would be great mountains nearby. And I took a year off before starting school to be a backcountry ski-bum in Montana, working nights as a short-order cook and snowboarding 5 days a week in the winter. It’s been a big part of my life.
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Had a blast hiking for some fresh tracks down Zugspitze glacier last week, on Germany’s highest mountain!
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You're never too old to play in the snow... — I’ve been snowboarding for about 25 years now. I started as a kid, and grew up just 30 minutes away from two ski resorts in New Hampshire. I’m forever grateful that my parents introduced me to skiing & s

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! ️
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Everyday is an adventure with @anna.everywhere. She always puts a smile on my face. Love you Kitty!
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Make sure to eat chocolate today. Even if you don’t have a date this year. 
#valentines #valentinesday
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 @maefius
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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! ️ — Everyday is an adventure with @anna.everywhere. She always puts a smile on my face. Love you Kitty! — Make sure to eat chocolate today. Even if you don’t have a date this year. #valentines #valentinesday@maefius

Just a couple with their heads in the clouds... 
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I haven’t been very active on social media the past few weeks. Just got sick of posting, commenting, and all the upkeep involved. Instead, I’ve been sitting in front of my computer working 8 hours a day and binging on Netflix in the evenings. 
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Updating old blog posts, SEO audits, and website code speed improvements aren’t very Insta-Sexy. So — here’s a pink salt lake in Mexico that looks like it was inspired by Salvador Dali!  #lascoloradas
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I think we’ll go for a walk around Verona today. Check out our Insta-Stories if you’re bored and want a virtual tour...
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Just a couple with their heads in the clouds... — I haven’t been very active on social media the past few weeks. Just got sick of posting, commenting, and all the upkeep involved. Instead, I’ve been sitting in front of my computer working 8 hours a

Kerlingarfjöll was named after an old troll woman who called these colorful mountains home. One night, she failed to return before sunrise, and the sunlight turned her into stone. Or so the tale goes... 
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If you want to get off the beaten path a bit and extend your Golden Circle drive with something more adventurous, this strange geothermal area is a perfect place to stop for a half-day hike, spending the night in a cabin or the nearby campground. ️
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However because it’s in the highlands, you’ll need a 4X4 to get out there. The roads are rough (and regular rental cars aren’t insured for Iceland’s F-Roads.) For more tips on hiking Kerlingarfjöll geothermal area, check out my new blog post, LINKED IN BIO
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Kerlingarfjöll was named after an old troll woman who called these colorful mountains home. One night, she failed to return before sunrise, and the sunlight turned her into stone. Or so the tale goes... — If you want to get off the beaten path a bit

One of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa, #Noordhoek Beach is massive. White sand and blue-green water for as far as the eye can see! ️
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You’ll find it at the end of the hair-raising (and stunning) Chapman’s Peak Cliff Drive, South of Capetown.
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However the beach is notorious for muggings, and it’s not recommended to walk it alone.
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One of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa, #noordhoek Beach is massive. White sand and blue-green water for as far as the eye can see! ️ — You’ll find it at the end of the hair-raising (and stunning) Chapman’s Peak Cliff Drive, South of Capet

Habana Vieja, or “Old Havana” was my favorite part of Cuba’s capital! The colorful old cars, the classic architecture, music in the streets. 🇨🇺
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In recent years, Cuba has seen major changes as Americans began flooding in when the rules were relaxed. Its been a mixed blessing. Local people are able to earn more from the tourism, but it’s been so sudden that the whole country was running out of things like beer. 
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If you’re planning a trip to Cuba this year, make sure to check out my favorite things to do in Havana! New blog post, LINKED IN BIO.
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Habana Vieja, or “Old Havana” was my favorite part of Cuba’s capital! The colorful old cars, the classic architecture, music in the streets. 🇨🇺 — In recent years, Cuba has seen major changes as Americans began flooding in when the rules were relaxed.

Can’t visit #CapeTown without stopping by to sunbathe with the African Penguins at Boulders Beach!
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Can’t visit #capetown without stopping by to sunbathe with the African Penguins at Boulders Beach!

One of the most common questions I get via email is: how did I fund my first backpacking trip all those years ago? How could I afford to travel long-term before my blog made any money? 
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Well, before I started traveling, while I was working a normal day job, I also had a “side-hustle” writing and selling a couple of ebooks online. It was this extra income that helped me fund that first year of travel adventures! 
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This isn’t the only way to earn some extra money on the side though. Watching cats & dogs. Renting out your car. Dressing up like Jesus. Selling blood plasma. Freelance bookkeeping. Assembling furniture. Running local tours. There are MANY ways if you think outside the box!
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Go check out my latest blog post,  LINKED IN BIO , to read about 38 creative ways to make some extra money this year.
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Do you have any side-hustles for earning extra money?
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One of the most common questions I get via email is: how did I fund my first backpacking trip all those years ago? How could I afford to travel long-term before my blog made any money? — Well, before I started traveling, while I was working a normal

Hello from Cape Town! This is my 3rd visit to the city, but I'm finally seeing a lot more of it, as we're spending a full week here this time.
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Today we took to the air for some scenic aerial photography with @nachelicopters.  Look at that view! What else should we do while we're here?
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Hello from Cape Town! This is my 3rd visit to the city, but I'm finally seeing a lot more of it, as we're spending a full week here this time. - Today we took to the air for some scenic aerial photography with @nachelicopters. Look at that view! Wha

Rome's famous Trevi Fountain by night. ️
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One of the busiest tourist attractions in the world, the only way to get a decent shot these days without battling hundreds of selfie-seekers is to visit around 3 or 4am. 🤓
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 F8 | 2 sec | ISO 200
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Rome's famous Trevi Fountain by night. ️ - One of the busiest tourist attractions in the world, the only way to get a decent shot these days without battling hundreds of selfie-seekers is to visit around 3 or 4am. 🤓 —————— F8 | 2 sec | ISO 200

One of the hunting cabins we used during our Kamchatka backcountry snowmobile expedition. We mixed it up between cabins & camping. This one came equipped with a generator and a light bulb... 5-Star luxury!
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One of the hunting cabins we used during our Kamchatka backcountry snowmobile expedition. We mixed it up between cabins & camping. This one came equipped with a generator and a light bulb... 5-Star luxury!

HAPPY 2019! 🥳 WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS THIS YEAR?
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These were my 9 most popular photos in 2018. ️ SWIPE TO SEE THEM ALL!
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It’s been a crazy year, with a lot of changes! Anna & I are expecting a baby boy in the spring! We moved from California to Texas, then on to Italy to prepare for the new addition to our family. 
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I sincerely want to thank everyone who’s been following. Whether you’re here for the travel tips, photo inspiration, or just interested in learning about our nomadic lifestyle. Your comments and emails keep me motivated to continue sharing here and on the blog! 
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⭐️MY TOP 9 PHOTOS⭐️
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1. One of my favorite adventures with Anna was this road trip through Morocco, including the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen.

2. Bertha! My beloved Jeep Rubicon. I sold her before we moved to Italy, but had a lot of fun first, including this trip to the Alabama Hills in California.

3. Just standing on a giant gorilla skull in Hawaii! It’s an awesome movie prop from KONG: SKULL ISLAND on Kualoa Ranch.

4. A pretty sunset at El Matador Beach in Malibu, California.

5. Lucky timing as the sun breaks through storm clouds at St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, Ireland.

6. Morocco again. This time wandering the colorful street markets of Marrakech.

7. Our epic doors-off helicopter flight over the Na-Pali coastline on Kauai. So much fun!

8. Camping out under the stars at Joshua Tree National Park.

9. Before moving to Northern Italy recently, we took a test trip to the area. Driving up to South Tyrol to check out the mountains. I was pretty happy with what I found!

WISHING YOU A HAPPY 2019!
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HAPPY 2019! 🥳 WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS THIS YEAR? - These were my 9 most popular photos in 2018. ️ SWIPE TO SEE THEM ALL! - It’s been a crazy year, with a lot of changes! Anna & I are expecting a baby boy in the spring! We moved from California to Texas,

This is #Kamchatka, a 900-mile long Russian peninsula attached to Siberia that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. It’s about the size of California, with only 400,000 residents.
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Kamchatka is a wilderness playground, composed of thick boreal forests, geothermically active volcanoes, and barren alpine tundra landscapes like this. It was off-limits to outsiders until the 1990s, due to its strategic importance to the Soviet military (nuclear submarine bases).
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Read my new blog post ⭐️(LINKED IN BIO)⭐️ to learn more about our snowmobile adventure here! ️
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This is #kamchatka , a 900-mile long Russian peninsula attached to Siberia that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. It’s about the size of California, with only 400,000 residents. - Kamchatka is a wilderness playground, composed of thick boreal forests,

Rainy day on Kauai. Still managed to get a few decent shots, despite the dreary weather. 
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For every journey, there’s often some days when mother nature doesn’t cooperate!
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Have you ever had bad weather wreck your trip somewhere?
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Rainy day on Kauai. Still managed to get a few decent shots, despite the dreary weather. - For every journey, there’s often some days when mother nature doesn’t cooperate! - Have you ever had bad weather wreck your trip somewhere?

The Colosseum! One of the new 7 wonders of the world.
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Rome’s most famous building once held 80,000 spectators for deadly battles between wild animals & gladiators. 🦁️
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There was a saying: “bread & circuses” keep the people happy. The games kept the Roman population distracted from reality - and political involvement. 🥖
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 F8 | 2.5 sec | ISO 200
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The Colosseum! One of the new 7 wonders of the world. - Rome’s most famous building once held 80,000 spectators for deadly battles between wild animals & gladiators. 🦁️ - There was a saying: “bread & circuses” keep the people happy. The games kept th

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