Travel Photo Roulette Round #44: “Once In A Lifetime”

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A shark dive in the Coral Sea at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

The Shark Dive was one of about 20 dives I did while on a liveaboard on the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef. Needless to say, it was quite the experience.

I am happy to announce I get to host the Travel Photo Roulette contest once again.  I previously won round #3 and hosted round #4 about 18 months ago and won the recent round #43 with the image taken above for the “adventure” theme hosted by Matt Gibson.  If you don’t know what Travel Photo Roulette is, here’s an idea of the contest:

An Overview

The contest migrates from blog to blog based on the idea that the winner of the previous contest hosts the next one.  I get to host round forty-four because I won round forty-three.  As host, I get to choose a theme for the next round and bloggers can submit a single entry based on how they interpret the theme.  The time frame for submissions is generally one week.  At the end of the week, the host blogger will chose the winner for that round and said winner will then repeat the process on their own blog.  Readers can always try and sway the host via comments during the contest, but the host is free to give as little or as much weight to people’s opinions as they wish.

Group Christmas in Bangkok

One of my favorite experiences from the last trip was couchsurfing for Christmas with 30 new friends in Bangkok, Thailand. Three days prior I was in Chiang Mai frantically looking for something interesting to do during Christmas when I read a post on the Couchsurfing.org forums.  One thing led to another and I ended up staying with, meeting and hanging out with some of the most fascinating people I’d ever met.  Scott, our host, had managed to attract people from all over the world for a few days of home-away-from-home type community. It all happened by chance, but spending those few days with a widely international group of like-minded travelers was pretty f**king great.

And The Winner Is…

Dustin Main at SkinnyBackpacker.com

A few exhaustive travel days, and the past 3 mornings up before 5 to shoot photos meant I was in a dream state already. Early this morning, 12600 monks descended on Chiang Mai to collect alms for the flood victims in the south. An entire street was blocked off as waves of orange robes came down from one end to the other. This dreamy shot taken with a lensbaby summed up how the morning felt. Surreal. It wasn’t until days later that I was able to look back at the enormity of the situation and process it for myself.

The image is really great but it was the combination of image and story that made this one a winner.  With the story in my head, I could picture what was happening outside the boarders of the image and see thousands of monks filling the streets.  I also really liked the way he used a creative tool (the lens baby) to play with the shot.  If I were in the same situation in an event like that, I’d be tempted to not play around and get shots like this, which really makes me want to get back out there and get back to that experimentation that makes photography exciting.  Congrats Dustin!

Past Photo Roulette Winners and Hosts

The following is a list of the previously played rounds of the game and the hosting blogger for each. This list also doubles as a winner’s table as each topic host won the preceding round! Click the host’s link to go directly to that entry to see some stunning photographs from the chosen term/phrase!

1. Nov 4–10, 2010  – Living the Dream – “Animals”
2. Nov 17–24, 2010 – Skinny Backpacker - “Road Signs”
3. Nov 29–Dec 6, 2010 – Dream a Little Dream - “Street Art”
4. Dec 8–15, 2010 – Flashpacker HQ – “Festival”
5. Dec 17–24, 2010 – Over Yonderlust – “Landmarks”
6. Dec 26–Jan 2, 2011 – Don’t Ever Look Back – “Beaches”
7. Jan 5–12, 2011 – ThePlanetD – “Portraits”
8. Jan 15–22, 2011 – Travel with a Mate – “Motion”
9. Jan 26–Feb 3, 2011 – Johnny Vagabond – “Water”
10. Feb 8–15, 2011 – Ken Kaminesky – “Urban”
11. Feb 21–27, 2011 – Travels of Adam - “Friday Night”
12. Mar 7–13, 2011 – Itchy Feet Chronicles – “The Journey”
13. Mar 19– 25, 2011 – Brendan’s Adventures – “Changing Seasons”
14. Apr 4–10, 2011 - Shutterfeet – “Storytelling”
15. Apr 13–21, 2011 - 10 Times One - “Piousness”
16. Apr 26–May 4, 2011 – Beached Eskimo – “Learning”
17. May 21–27, 2011 – Travel Junkies – “Architecture”
18. Jun 1–7, 2011 – Destination World – “Transportation”
19. Jun 8–15, 2011 – Living the Dream – “Paradise”
20. Jun 21-28, 2011 - Vagabond Quest - “Clothes”
21. Jul 4-11, 2011 – The Unframed World – “Symmetry”
22. Jul 16-25, 2011 – Beached Eskimo – “Home”
23. Jul 31 – Aug 7, 2011 – BackPackerBanter – “Inspiration”
24. Aug 14 – 21, 2011 – WanderingTrader - “Darkness”
25. Aug 28 – Sep 4, 2011 – Finding the Universe – “Tranquillity”
26. Sep 12 – 19, 2011 – Fearful Adventurer – “Food”
27. Sep 23 – 30, 2011 – Adventures of a GoodMan – “City”
28. Oct 06 – 13, 2011 – Globe-Trekking.com - “Reflections”
29. Oct 17 – 24, 2011 – Scene With A Hart - ”Framing”
30. Nov 9 – 16, 2011 – Vagabond Quest - “Silhouettes”
31. Nov 26 – Dec 3, 2011 – Hecktic Travels – “Music”
32. Dec 11 – Dec 18, 2011 – Globetrotter Girls – “Love”
33. Dec 25 – Jan 1st, 2012– Man on the lam – “Humor”
34. January 8 – Jan 15 – My Walkabout – “Winter”
35. Jan 15 – Jan 22 – The Art of Slow Travel – “Blue”
36. Feb 6 – Feb 13 – Ten Times One – “Depth of Field”
37. Feb 22 – Feb 29 – Runaway Juno – “My Glorious Digital Nomad Moment”
38. March 7 – March 14 – Nomadbiba – “Sunshine”
39. March 24 – 31 – Travel With Kat – “Local Character”
40. April 10th – 16th – The Travel Bunny – “Street Scene”
41.  April 23rd – April 30th – Adventure Crow – “Spirit of the Country”
42. May 7th – 14th – Food Travel Bliss – “Evening”
43. May 17th – May 24th – Matt Gibson – “Adventure”
44. May 30th – June 6th – Flashpacker HQ – “Once In A Lifetime”

New Theme

It was a bit more difficult to pick a theme for this round than the last time I did this because of all the excellent themes previously chosen.  While I fear this might overlap a few previous rounds, I’m hoping this will draw out some cool images and the stories that go with them.  This week’s theme is “Once In A Lifetime”.  As a travel blogger, I love when people share those once-in-a-lifetime stories that are often a motivation for people to travel in the first place.  I know I’ve had a few of these kinds of experiences and I’m hoping a few others have managed to capture theirs on camera.  Share the photo and briefly tell us the story that goes with it.

How to Submit

Entering the contest is super easy.  Just leave a comment below with a link to the image you’d like to submit and a caption or description of the image to help flesh it out.  PLEASE NOTE: especially with this theme, I’d love to get a bit more story with each photo – how does the photo relate to your “Once In A Lifetime” experience?  Once you’ve added your comment, I’ll add the image to the submissions.  Don’t forget to check back in during the week to see the other submissions and join the conversation by leaving comments for others.

The contest runs for 7 days starting May 30 and ending June 6 at 12:00 PST.  The winner will be announced within a few days of the end of the contest and the selected blogger will then host round #45.  Please do your best to keep your images to a nice, medium size and be aware that anything larger than 630px wide will be reduced in size.

The Rules for Travel Photo Roulette

1) One submission per Blog (so sites that have 2+ authors only get one entry).

2) No photoshopping allowed unless specifically called for!  Cropping and correction for red-eye or camera flaws are ok, however.

3) Abstract submissions welcomed as long as it fits within the interpretation of the chosen phrase.  Remember, the hosting blogger chooses the winner, so if they cannot understand the submission, you might not win!

4) Keep phrases general so that all bloggers can participate.  Specific items like “Eiffel Tower” should be avoided but rather made open-ended like “monuments.” For variety, it is ok to say focused things such as “monuments at night” in which most of us have pictures of.

6) Abstract thoughts are appreciated, but keep it within the realm that all readers will understand.  No “Kafka-esque”, but “Overlooking Creation” is able to be interpreted by all.

7) No obscene pictures or phrases allowed.  Suggestive phrases and photography can be accepted, but please keep it within reason.

8) After a sufficient period of time, phrases can be reused, however new photos must be submitted.  Keep the ideas and photos fresh!

9) Pictures from your entire portfolio are fair to submit.  You do not have to take the photo within the week of the contest period to submit it.

10) Most importantly, ALL PHOTOS MUST BE YOUR OWN.

From Natasha von Geldern

Drinking in Tijikistan

“On a long road journey in Tajikistan I hit a roadblock because the road had collapsed into the Panj River. While we waited two days for it to be repaired the local villagers took great care of everyone, sharing their homes, plying us with food and copious amounts of vodka. They made elaborate toasts, alternately serious and humorous, while at the same time unintelligible to me. When called upon to reciprocate I could only come up with inanities such as ‘Nova Zelandiya!’ and ‘Nyet Taliban!'”

From Cole @ Four Jandals

Egypt Bonfire

Sailing along the river Nile in Egypt was one amazing experience. But what turned it into a “once in a lifetime” moment and etched it into our memory was when we were invited to join the local crew on the beach with a bonfire, traditional singing and dancing and a home made sheesha pipe. Unfortunately the photo sucks but that memory will always remain with us.

From Jeremy at Living The Dream RTW

I’d like to hope that all of my travel experiences are NOT once in a lifetime moments, because many of the great ones I’d like to do again someday. This one; however, will be my only “once in a lifetime moment.” It may not seem like much, but this nighttime scene on a beach on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand is the place where I proposed to my wife (married 14 days ago)

From The Rowdy Chowgirl

Angkor Wat

Watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat was breathtaking. And even though many, many people have stood in that same spot, and I could certainly go back and do this again, what makes it “once in a lifetime” is that it was my first time. The awe and delight I experienced at my first glimpse of the temple can never be re-experienced.

From Micki & Charles at The Barefoot Nomad

Koh Phi PHi

This photo was taken from the hills above Long Beach at Ko Phi Phi Don at sunset, looking across at Ko Phi Phi Leh. This is once in a lifetime for two reasons: 1. I haven’t been lucky enough to see another sunset this spectacular. The photo was taken with a 3.2 Megapixel Minolta DiMAGE Xi point and shoot, and is completely untouched. No filter, not post processed, not even cropped. 2. I was in Ko Phi Phi with Charles, getting my first real taste of long term traveling. Sure, we’ve traveled since then, and loved it, but this was a time in my life when I was absolutely carefree, and when everything was new. This was our once in a lifetime trip, when everything was new.

From Dustin Main at Skinnybackpacker.com

A few exhaustive travel days, and the past 3 mornings up before 5 to shoot photos meant I was in a dream state already. Early this morning, 12600 monks descended on Chiang Mai to collect alms for the flood victims in the south. An entire street was blocked off as waves of orange robes came down from one end to the other. This dreamy shot taken with a lensbaby summed up how the morning felt. Surreal. It wasn’t until days later that I was able to look back at the enormity of the situation and process it for myself.
Muslim Elementary School

Visiting a Muslim elementary school to understand their education system for the first time in remote beach area of Lamu, Kenya and seeing a culture so new, beautiful, and foreign to me was something to never forget.

From Jouljet

Trans-Mongolian Horse Ride

A group of 7 people, (3 Aussies, 3 Irish and an Englishman) were grouped together to travel the Trans-Mongolian railway. Here we are riding horses in the middle of the lush countryside in Mongolia, one of many amazing highlights we had over this trip – once in a lifetime for this place, this group, and this most amazing trip!

From On The Ground Travel

One of the locations that has been on our bucket list for a LONG time is the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert. So on our round the world trip last year, we made sure it was on our list. Going to the Sahara was truly a once in a lifetime experience and it was unlike any other desert we have ever been to. We drove to Merzouga in Morocco, and then rode on camels for 2 hrs until we reached the nomads camp. At night, we walked out into the sand dunes with our guides, with only the stars as a light source! We laughed and chatted about the most simple of things, like the number of camels one would need to have in order to get married in that part of the world. We watched a distant thunderstorm, a rarity in and of itself, and laid on the sand and just listened to the wind. There was absolutely nothing between us except nature. Here, it was hard to imagine somewhere else in the world, there is a place like Times Square in New York City. The whole experience was surreal!

From Fluent in Frolicking

Urfa, Turkey

This photo was taken in the southeastern part of Turkey in the town of Urfa. This town has a very important religious monument in it and I was told repeatedly before visiting that it was important to be covered up and respectful. I expected the residents to be unfriendly but instead was greeted with such warmth and friendly smiles. A group of us walked the ancient narrow winding streets and were followed by this group of children. Their smiles and giggles were contagious! This moment will be etched in my memory forever. It was one of those travel moments that reaffirms that no matter where we are from, what religion we believe in, or how rich our families are that we just want to be happy!

Sunset at Lake Nicaragua. We went on a booze cruise with a bunch of friends and we enjoyed every second of the ride. At sunset our friend Alisson out of the blue just dove off the boat. In a split second I got my SLR and got off one shot. Beautiful. A once in a lifetime shot.

 

  • http://www.worldwanderingkiwi.com/ Natasha von Geldern

    http://www.worldwanderingkiwi.com/2011/11/travel-in-tajikistan/I'd like to submit the 6th photo in this post – the drinking scene :)

    “On a long road journey in Tajikistan I hit a roadblock because the road had collapsed into the Panj River. While we waited two days for it to be repaired the local villagers took great care of everyone, sharing their homes, plying us with food and copious amounts of vodka. They made elaborate toasts, alternately serious and humorous, while at the same time unintelligible to me. When called upon to reciprocate I could only come up with inanities such as ‘Nova Zelandiya!’ and ‘Nyet Taliban!'”

    • Anonymous

      I couldn’t get the link to work but through some searching on your site I *think* I found the correct photo.  Let me know if I got it wrong.

      -Travis

    • Anonymous

       Wow, what an amazing story and photo!!

  • http://www.fourjandals.com/ Cole @ Four Jandals

    http://www.fourjandals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Egypt-bonfire.jpg

    Sailing along the river Nile in Egypt was one amazing experience. But what turned it into a “once in a lifetime” moment and etched it into our memory was when we were invited to join the local crew on the beach with a bonfire, traditional singing and dancing and a home made sheesha pipe. Unfortunately the photo sucks but that memory will always remain with us.

    • Anonymous

      I can’t wait to go to Egypt at some point in the future.  The Culture, the people, the diving – it’s high on my list.

      I have had a few once-in-a-lifetime moments where no photos were even taken.  Be glad you at least have something to help spur your memory of the event :)  
      -T

      • http://eagerexistence.com Ian [EagerExistence]

        Definitely go for the diving ;)

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, during all the time I spent in Australia at the Great Barrier Reef, all people could rave about was the diving in the Red Sea.  Can’t wait :)

  • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com/ Jeremy

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/166636_636934166880_7535101_n.jpg

    I’d like to hope that all of my travel experiences are NOT once in a lifetime moments, because many of the great ones I’d like to do again someday.  This one; however, will be my only “once in a lifetime moment.”  It may not seem like much, but this nighttime scene on a beach on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand is the place where I proposed to my wife (married 14 days ago)

    • Anonymous

      Congratulations on the Marriage!  I liked Koh Phi Phi and probably would have spent more time there if it wasn’t so centered on the party scene.  The diving was kick ass though!

      I’ve got a vague memory of the layout – where was this taken?

      • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com/ Jeremy

         I cannot recall the exact location, it was on the main beach on Phi Phi island (not where the boats come in).  I would say if you were on the beach looking back on the island, it would be a little bit right of center and was a hotel/restaurant terrace area before it starts dropping off more with businesses

  • http://www.rowdychowgirl.com/ The Rowdy Chowgirl

    Watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat was breathtaking.  And even though many, many people have stood in that same spot, and I could certainly go back and do this again, what makes it “once in a lifetime” is that it was my first time.  The awe and delight I experienced at my first glimpse of the temple can never be re-experienced.  http://rowdychowgirl.com/2012/05/13/cambodia-breakfast-at-angkor-wat/042-angkor-wat-11/

    • Anonymous

      Visiting Angkor Wat was a major highlight of my trip through that region, and even more so that I got to do it with my father.  How long did you spend out there, and did you get further out to some of the more distant temple sites?

  • http://twitter.com/BarefootNomads Micki & Charles

    This photo was taken from the hills above Long Beach at Ko Phi Phi Don at sunset, looking across at Ko Phi Phi Leh.  This is once in a lifetime for two reasons: 1. I haven’t been lucky enough to see another sunset this spectacular. The  photo was taken with a 3.2 Megapixel Minolta DiMAGE Xi point and shoot, and is completely untouched. No filter, not post processed, not even cropped. 
    2. I was in Ko Phi Phi with Charles, getting my first real taste of long term traveling. Sure, we’ve traveled since then, and loved it, but this was a time in my life when I was absolutely carefree, and when everything was new.  This was our once in a lifetime trip, when everything was new. 
    http://www.thebarefootnomad.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/20030504_TH_KOPHIPHI_PICT0536.jpg

    • Anonymous

      Nothing like the first time to get the (travel) juices flowing :)

      Seriously – I’ve got a plan in the works to try and set up a system to help get college kids from the states out on their first trips abroad.

      • http://twitter.com/BarefootNomads Micki & Charles

        That’s a fantastic idea!  Keep us all updated – we’d love to hear more about your plan.

  • http://twitter.com/skinnybackpackr Dustin Main

    A few exhaustive travel days, and the past 3 mornings up before 5 to shoot photos meant I was in a dream state already.  Early this morning, 12600 monks descended on Chiang Mai to collect alms for the flood victims in the south.  An entire street was blocked off as waves of orange robes came down from one end to the other.  This dreamy shot taken with a lensbaby summed up how the morning felt.  Surreal.  It wasn’t until days later that I was able to look back at the enormity of the situation and process it for myself.

    http://www.skinnybackpacker.com/storage/misc/roulette/44roulette%20lifetime%20chiang%20mai.jpg

    • Anonymous

      Stunning photo! I was able to shoot the monks the morning of Songkran out by the east gate of Chiang Mai, but THAT’s a lot of monks.  Props for using the lensbaby to full effect :P

      -T

    • OnTheGroundTravel

      Congrats!

  • http://twitter.com/mywalkabout40 My Walkabout

    Visiting a Muslim elementary school to understand their education system for the first time in remote beach area of Lamu, Kenya and seeing a culture so new, beautiful, and foreign to me was something to never forget.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150336019818637&set=a.10150336011768637.370186.735858636&type=3&theater 

    • Anonymous

      Cool image!  What time of day was this taken?  Were classes going on, or getting out?  Is it okay to visit a school like that on a whim, or did you contact the school somehow before the visit?

      • http://twitter.com/mywalkabout40 My Walkabout

        Thank you. We were on a non profit trip helping building schools in the slums of Nairobi for most of the trip, but took a few days to relax in Lamu. We asked the people of the place we were staying in if their was a local school we could visit. They were from that village, and set up the visit for us.
        The school was out for the holidays, but the village was right next to the school, so the kids followed us around as the head master and teacher showed us the classes and let us know how things worked there.

      • http://twitter.com/mywalkabout40 My Walkabout

        Thank you. We were on a non profit trip helping building schools in the slums of Nairobi for most of the trip, but took a few days to relax in Lamu. We asked the people of the place we were staying in if their was a local school we could visit. They were from that village, and set up the visit for us.
        The school was out for the holidays, but the village was right next to the school, so the kids followed us around as the head master and teacher showed us the classes and let us know how things worked there.

  • Anonymous

    Great topic!
    My entry is photo 3 on this post –  http://jouljet.blogspot.ca/2010/11/mongolia.html
    A group of 7 people, (3 Aussies, 3 Irish and an Englishman) were grouped together to travel the Trans-Mongolian railway.  Here we are riding horses in the middle of the lush countryside in Mongolia, one of many amazing highlights we had over this trip – once in a lifetime for this place, this group, and this most amazing trip!

    • Anonymous

      Nice!  How did you come to be riding horses in the middle of Mongolia?  Was this all part of a “planned” trip or were you getting off at different stops along the way and doing whatever seemed interesting?

  • OnTheGroundTravel

    Love this contest!  

    Entry photo for this competition: http://bit.ly/LqQjRV

    One of the locations that has been on our bucket list for a LONG time is the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.  So on our round the world trip last year, we made sure it was on our list.  Going to the Sahara was truly a once in a lifetime experience and it was unlike any other desert we have ever been to.  We drove to Merzouga in Morocco, and then rode on camels for 2 hrs until we reached the nomads camp.  At night, we walked out into the sand dunes with our guides, with only the stars as a light source!  We laughed and chatted about the most simple of things, like the number of camels one would need to have in order to get married in that part of the world.  We watched a distant thunderstorm, a rarity in and of itself, and laid on the sand and just listened to the wind.  There was absolutely nothing between us except nature.  Here, it was hard to imagine somewhere else in the world, there is a place like Times Square in New York City.  The whole experience was surreal!

  • Fluent In Frolicking

    http://fluentinfrolicking.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Urfa-Children-630px-Width_new.jpg

    This photo was taken in the southeastern part of Turkey in the town of Urfa. This town has a very important religious monument in it and I was told repeatedly before visiting that it was important to be covered up and respectful. I expected the residents to be unfriendly but instead was greeted with such warmth and friendly smiles. A group of us walked the ancient narrow winding streets and were followed by this group of children. Their smiles and giggles were contagious! This moment will be etched in my memory forever. It was one of those travel moments that reaffirms that no matter where we are from, what religion we believe in, or how rich our families are that we just want to be happy!

  • http://twitter.com/idreamofdurian tanya procyshyn

     My 5 day tour of North Korea coincided with what would have been the 100th birthday of Kim Il Sung, the Great Leader and eternal president.  We were taken to these giant bronze statues to pay our respects, and there were thousands of North Korean citizens there to do the same thing – including lots of uniformed military.  In small groups, they marched to the foot of the statues where they bowed and laid wreaths and bouquets of flowers.  We had to do the same thing, and there was  camera crew filming the whole event. 

    Tanya / http://www.idreamofdurian.com

    • Anonymous

      Hey Tanya,

      I spent a good 30 minutes searching your site and all I could find were pictures from the North Korea Circus.  I could see a thumbnail of the image but couldn’t seem to find the big version anywhere.Sorry about that,

      -T

  • Carlo+Geneva

    http://travelbudgetcouple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/IMG_1642.jpg
    Sunset at Lake Nicaragua. We went on a booze cruise with a bunch of friends and we enjoyed every second of the ride. At sunset our friend Alisson out of the blue just dove off the boat. In a split second I got my SLR and got off one shot. Beautiful. A once in a lifetime shot.

  • Denisepulis

    hey there. Could you please add the list of previous winners as has always been the case in every competition? It’s a way to advertise the contest as well because people receive pinbacks for it. For example, I had no idea that the contest was on and who had won it because I got to pinback notificatin this time. Cheers. 

    • Anonymous

      You are totally right, I missed putting that in.  Guess it’s a good test to see if people participate without the pingbacks.

      I’ll add it with the winner announcement.  Sorry bout that.

      • Denisepulis

        I am very busy in my every day life so the pinbacks are reminders. I am sorry to have missed this round :(

  • David

    So.. do we have a winner yet?

    • Anonymous

      We do indeed – Congrats to Dustin!

  • Travelwithkat

    Great theme and great choice of winner. Congratulations to Justin. Sorry I’ve missed the last couple of rounds – hope to make the next one!

  • Dani

    Congrats to Dustin – what a great photo! 

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