This page preserves a presentation to the Dona Ana Photography Club in Las Cruces, NM on 6 July 2021 by Vince Gutschick. The presentation is a tiny slice of the experiences that Vince, his wife Lou Ellen Kay, their son David, and David’s wife Yi savored over 44 years of travel in 41 countries. This selection touches on Malaysia, Japan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Viet Nam. In a short presentation we have to skip Papua New Guinea and short stints in Singapore and Laos. Is Hong Kong a separate nation? Almost.
The images are gathered into galleries by topic – ceremonies and culture, religion, history, work,, art and architecture, being with friends and new friends, people at a glance, food, just being there/ambience, simple beauty, and “Easter eggs” in the sense of Web developers. You can reach any gallery by clicking on the name just given.
It was hard to settle on only 70 or so images among the thousands of more stories that tie to these images and go far beyond them.
— In any gallery the description of each image pops us when you mouse over it.
— Double-click on any image to see it nearly full-screen. Hit the big X at top right to return to the gallery.
Btw, “Easter eggs” are surprises embedded in code on websites and such; a few pop up, and we challenge you to see if you can identify the places.
If you’d like to contact Vince about the images or stories, you may use this simple contact form
We learned over the years how to travel rewardingly, how to be in the right place at the right time, how to capture the images and personal stories. Vince assembled our insights and tips in a few pages that might be of use to other travelers.
What lures us to travel, to the Far East, to photography, to meeting people, …?
The Call of the Far East – finding the beautiful, the exotic, the common humanity
…and the wonderful feeling of being far out of one’s milieu. Out of context. New languages. Dreamscapes. Wildlife. Still images viewed once that come alive. People to meet. Things to share.
“Boleh saya potret?”
“Shi wo de tai tai.”
“Wontalk bilong me.”
Why the snippets of Bahasa Indonesia, Mandarin, New Guinea pidgin, and Japanese? While English as the modern lingua franca takes us through many conversations, and French, some Spanish, and some Kiswahili carried us at times, it’s a heady and refreshing, reorienting experience to be immersed in a place where almost every word you hear is in a language not your own. Bill Bryson has celebrated this in his travel books, and rightly so. After all, you didn’t travel four, six, ten thousand miles to be at a Holiday Inn.
Lou Ellen and I have been avid travelers, spurred on by childhood memories, books, teachers, tantalizing television shows, and, in my case, my father also – he communicated his wanderlust, starting with local trips on meager budgets, extending finally to the glorious US West.
When our son was born, we immediately took up traveling again. At age 3 months he was with us to England, France, Kenya, then a turnaround to Japan, Malaysia, and Australia. He was breast-fed, very portable and safe. He continued – and continues – to travel with us, now joined also by his wife, Yi. We’ve been on all continents except Antarctica. The East has some special lure for us, taking us to Australia and New Zealand, then Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Viet Nam, with return visits to seven of these. It appears that we also love the tropics.
In 41 nations we found people to meet, lived with old friends and new, just traveled with others. When we found no mutual language to communicate with new people, gestures and smiles worked so many places. We traveled by about 30 different modes, from jumbo jets and high-speed trains to rental cars to bicycles, tuk tuks, horses, cable cars, and small boats. We expected the exotic and got the spectacular as well.