For as long as I've been a photographer, I've always been challenged by fireworks. This year, we got lucky with fewer crowds and some interesting angles.
As Iceland continues to rise in popularity, there are no shortage of photos and videos that show you the stunning beauty of this nation of 300,000 people.
Having spent the last week in Iceland, I can only say this: I cannot wait to go back. It’s a country that is so beautiful that it feels out of this world.
After traveling to 30+ countries across 5 continents, I have yet to experience and capture anything similar to the magic of Iceland. It’s the land of delicious food, happy people, breathtaking landscapes, stunning auroras and incredible adventure.
We spent 6 nights in all different places driving from Reykjavik through Vik and to Jokulsarlon. Everyday was a different adventure and a new battle with the cold. But we left the country in pure awe of its raw beauty. One of the few reminders of what it feels like to experience this planet at its finest.
Over time, I've come to really appreciate solo travel. For the July 4th weekend this year, I decided to head to Nassau to mostly get some time off from the last few weeks of work insanity. Being a traveler who likes to utilize miles and points as currency, I looked to see which hotels could be booked with points. The solution: The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar.
First and foremost - the property is massive! It feels more like a resort in Las Vegas than anything else. A lot of the look and feel is also similar to the Bellagio on the strip. However, the hospitality is entirely different - everything is on island time and extremely relaxed.
Despite boasting a massive casino – one of the largest – the casino was largely empty. And in fact, so were most of the pools and activity areas. The Baha Mar is a brand new resort and is still going through some initial growth pains.
The hotel was passing out photocopied room service menus upon request, a few of the staff were still uninformed as to where some of the amenities were - I was sent into a construction zone / floor / boiler room before I could find the gym - and some of the room finishing is already falling apart – my sliding bathroom door didn't work because one of the major screws fell off.
Regardless, it's an amazing property and I would highly suggest a visit if you're ever looking for options in Nassau.
I also spent a few hours checking out the Nassau cruise port terminal. I'm not a huge fan of city tourism, but the town is definitely charming – colorful, lively and safe. I would absolutely love to visit some of the other parts of The Bahamas. However, this weekend had a single goal - sleep as much as humanly possible and relax without stressing out about work. That's for Wednesday.
I've lived in New York City for a majority of my adult life. I also don't know how to cook edible food, so I rely on the vast number of food delivery options in New York - Seamless, UberEats, Postmates, etc. Whether I eat at 6pm or 11pm - I know I can tap on an app and get a meal delivered to my living room.
I've been using Seamless since the first week I moved to the city. And lately, it has gone downhill fast.
- The tracking system that the app uses is antiquated and far worse than what I'm now used to in the era of UberEats. For example, yesterday I ordered a meal and it was delivered to me in about 30 minutes - faster than usual. As soon as I sat down to eat, I get a notification that my food was on the way.
- The app has taken a turn for the worse every single time. A few days ago, I tried to enter in a new credit card and kept getting an error message. No specific error message, just a generic one. Given that many of the Seamless competitors support Apple Pay, it's annoying to have one app that doesn't support it.
- Seamless also doesn't maintain any sort of proactive quality control or customer service. When I have issues with Postmates or UberEats, there is always an alert or phone call that indicates what the issue AND the resolution is. However, that hasn't existed with Seamless - despite their customer service being excellent when you reach out to them.
In an era of mobile first, it's sad to see original disruptors not being able to deliver. And the issue is not unique to Seamless. Postmates has yet to accurately quote me on an order and UberEats is still learning the ropes.
Mobile is important and a cohesive user-experience is more important than ever. There's a base level of expectation and with dozens of competitors in each market - the best one wins.
It’s that time in my family - where people start getting married and move on to the next stage of their lives.
In March, one of my cousins was getting married in India. She lives in Singapore and flew there a week before the wedding. Her younger sister, was flying from Singapore on the same day that I was scheduled to land from New York.
In the interest of making the week as memorable as possible, I decided to do something crazy - swap my tickets that took me from New York to Abu Dhabi to Mumbai - a mere 16 hours on a plane to a ticket that had me flying from New York to San Fransisco to Tokyo to Hong Kong to Singapore and then finally to India - a trip that kept me in transit for nearly 50 hours, just so that I could surprise her on board.
Here’s the thing - I loved every second of it.
I’ve been flying for well over 25 years. Flights between New York to Los Angeles are second nature and 14 hour flights feel extremely familiar.
It helps to know the ins and outs of airline operations. It helps flying in first-class. It helps being comfortable in unknown surroundings.
Commercial aviation has become incredibly comfortable and for someone who still glares out the window for every take off and landing, it remains one of the very few places that is awe inspiring.