About Gary

What this isn’t

If you are looking for the latest hot spot or advice on how to pack, this isn’t it. I’ve seen great places fold and mediocre ones thrive . . . and my clothes still wrinkle.

I’m not the one to give advice on snagging a four-star hotel in Paris for two-star prices or how to bargain in Fez. This is about why I travel and how travel affects me.

Who I am

I’m Gary Gray. In over 50 years of travel on every continent, and usually without reservations or much of a plan other than a loose outline, I’ve had to spend just one night on the street, and that was one of the best nights of my life.

I try to re-read “Hamlet” every 10 years or so, not to see if it has changed, but to find out how I have changed. Travel does the same thing if you break the tether of organized tours, cruises, and tight planning and launch out on your own . . . it informs you of how you’ve changed, it challenges you to figure out how to do something which is, quite literally, foreign. And it gives you that chance to speak with someone you never, ever, would speak to otherwise.

Travel forces me to do, quite literally, something foreign.

Tours and cruises are ok, but they aren’t travel as much as a substitute for travel (and yes, I’ve used both for a variety of reasons so I include myself in these comments). At least people aren’t sitting in one place unaware that there is a whole world out there. But travel, rather than tourism, is where the wonderful challenges lie. As Rosalind Russell said in “Auntie Mame,” “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

A term used in senior housing facilities is “aging in place.” I prefer to age some place. Some place new. Some place interesting. Some place I can hold in my thoughts from then on. Older, grayer and just a bit slower, I’m still Gray On The Road.

What I use

I really do a poor job of keeping track of just which device I use for which photos. Let’s just say that most are shot with my standard issue Nikon D-5000 which continues to be way smarter than me.

Sometimes my iPhone Version 4 is my quick resource.

I like using my iPad next generation when I’m not getting a lot of backlight.

And, my old but compact Olympus Stylus has survived ski wipeouts, rain, underwater use, horrible dust, temperature extremes and still gives me the shot I want.

I do much of my initial drafts of writing on the iPad when things are still fresh in my mind. Sometimes I just leave it at that. Other times I put it up on my desktop mostly for the feel of actual keys under my fingers–it’s more tactile that way.