I recently wrote a story called “#livemoredomore” on Medium. Ever since I posted it, I‘ve been receiving an overwhelming response from it. It’s been very humbling that my story and my slogan has changed so many peoples perspective on life. To thank everyone for their emails and kind words I decided to make a video for all of you, to show you, instead of tell you, what #livemoredomore means to me.
I love to travel. Some people could care less about it, and that’s totally fine because there are a lot of things other people enjoy doing that I think is a complete waste of time like collecting beanie babies or going to olive oil tastings. But, like millions of people, I do love traveling. I love doing it. I love talking about it. I love everything that goes into researching and planning a trip, and, I love sharing my photos and experiences with others. In the last twelve months I’ve traveled to Las Vegas, Dominican Republic, Toronto, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Portland, San Antonio, Louisville, blah blah blah, you get the idea.
- Ability to research countries and cities and put together future itineraries
- Track and share the places I’ve already been
- Share my photo’s, thoughts and experiences with others
- See other peoples photo’s, experiences and recommendations
- Not be subjected to ad’s, meme’s, anything from Reddit or Digg or Candy Crush requests
Sounds simple enough right? Wrong. Considering Apple I think has something like a trillion apps on their App Store, I thought finding the perfect ‘Travel Social Network’ would have been a breeze. I have now currently downloaded 17 apps onto my iPhone and none of them are doing the trick. A handful apps do one thing really well, but most of them do a lot of things pretty poorly.
I couldn’t understand how in 2014 no one has come up with the Facebook, the Twitter, The Instagram, The Medium of Social Networks for travelers. It’s a completely untapped market. GoGoBot is by far the closest as far as I can tell with 2 million + users, and really, that is shit compared to how many people use other social networks like Twitter or Facebook.
- Be easy to use and it’s reason for existing be completely understandable in black and white plain english
- Give users a reason to keep coming back and using it
- Be pretty to look at
- Great search engine and back end like Trip Advisor, Google, Yelp or GoGoBot with ratings, recommendations and basically anything that has to do with finding Hotels, Restaurants and things to do.
- Ability to create, organize and plan trips in a simple way (don’t have to be able to book flights or hotels although that would be nice, just all the stuff you’re gonna be doing and seeing)
- Be able to connect with other travelers.
After weeks of playing around with some apps I’ve narrowed down the two best ones. GoGoBot and Travelog. Both are good for different reasons and if the two got together and made one app tomorrow, I would buy as much stock as I could. Here is what I like about the two. First up, GoGoBot.
GoGoBot Download iPhone App
GoGoBot just did a total iOS 7 revamp to their app and It looks pretty darn good, unfortunately that’s where a lot of the good stops and the bad beings. The previous version of the mobile GoGoBot app was almost perfect, and honestly, if they just through a new coat of paint on it, they would have had the perfect ‘Travel Social Network.’ Now they did do a couple of neat thinks like adding weather in your current city and added a few new features for creating trips and creating ‘photo post cards,’ but for the most part they axed just about everything that made it a great ‘social’ app.
If you don’t know by now GoGoBot has around 2.5 million users and it keeps going up. The reason for this is because GoGoBot has a great back end. There are reviews, photo’s and recommendations on just about any city in the world and the more people use it, the more information there is going to be. Well, people use it. People trust it, and that’s a big deal. There was no other Travel app other than maybe TripAdvisor where I could plug in a city and get recommendations on just about anything like GoGoBot, no one was even close, and if you’re making a travel App that’s kind of important. What frustrated me the most was the way they reorganized their app.
If you look at any successful social network app like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter the Navigation UI is static on the bottom. You have your News Feed, maybe a Post button, your own page etc, you get the picture. Well, they got rid of that and replaced it with a side menu that pops out, but most of the time you’re in the app, you can’t get to it. GoGoBot also in their previous app had something called your ‘Passport’ which was a beautiful collection of the places you’ve been to and the places you want to go. That’s gone. The news feed is now called ‘Trending’ and it’s basically the same 4 pictures for hours on end and then a couple more pop up. When I’m not researching a trip and want to just indulge in other people travels, the new version of GoGoBot does not keep me coming back, and it’s sad because it used to.
Travelog download iPhone app
Travelog has absolutely nailed the ‘Social Network’ side of things. Their news feed is constantly filled with new posts and stories from your friends and even people you don’t know. It’s fun, every time I open it up I can see people from all around the world on new adventures. Your own page is brilliantly filled with how many countries/cities you’ve been to, and the albums you can create for each city is a lot of fun. You can comment on other people’s posts and photos. Creating wish lists and new trips is a breeze and also fun. Unfortunately though, creating trips or searching for anything really is kind of useless. You can add a trip to your wishlist but that’s about it. You can’t get reviews, or find real information on restaurants or sites, basically everything GoGoBot does so well. So in that sense, Travelog just seems like another Instagram nobody really uses.
Now I understand the founders of these two apps may have different intentions for what they want them to be. Maybe one doesn’t want to be a search engine, or a social network, and that’s totally fine. As of yet, no one has created a real ‘Travel Social Network,’ and I think a lot of people would really want one. A place where you can do all you research and planning and get ratings and recommendations. A place where you can organize and share your past trips and every trip to come. A place where you can see where other people are, and why they are there. Both GoGoBot and Travelog are so close creating that whole package, why not be the first? What are you waiting for?
Today I read an article by this guy Gene Marks twitter.com/genemarks called “15 Reasons Las Vegas Sucks.” You can read it here (http://bit.ly/1oJLSGj). Now I’m not going to get into all the reasons why this guy is a dip shit, but I am gonna touch on a few.
First, some history on Las Vegas and me. I’ve been traveling to Las Vegas Nevada every year for the last ever, sometimes multiple times a year. At first I started off as a tourist, obviously, because I had never been there. (this is a problem for Gene) I stayed at the Luxor, New York New York, Monte Carlo, you name it. I watched the water fountain shows at the Bellagio. That stupid pirate show or whatever it’s supposed to be at Treasure Island. Took the Deuce to get around. Watched the street performers. All of it. Then, I got bored. But it was still great.
Nowadays I only stay on Fremont Street. It’s quiet, there’s more history, the casinos are right next to each other so you can boom, boom, boom jump to the next one instead of walking two miles. I rent a car. I’ve made friends there. I’ve discovered the eight million other things there are to do in Las Vegas, Nevada other than gamble. I think it’s one of, if not the best cities to visit year round in the United States.
Now Gene has valid points to his 15 reasons, the problem is, as someone who supposedly travels there ‘a dozen times a year,’ he sure hasn’t got it figured out just yet. His first reason, Taxi Cab drivers, I get. Waiting for one. Getting ripped off when they I15 everywhere to rack up the miles instead of taking Paradise Dr. This is why I’ve come to rent a car. You can get them for literally $16 a day done out the door. That’s the cost of your one-way ticket in a cab just to or from the airport, not to mention the convention center, dinner, your hotel, maybe a whore house or two. Now maybe Gene has a fear of driving or some debilitating disease that prevents him from getting behind the wheel, and if that’s the case I apologize, but otherwise, rent a car. It has changed the way I view Las Vegas. The freedom to get away from the boulevard once you’ve done it/seen it is priceless. The Hoover Dam is a gorgeous 45min drive from the city and once you get there be prepared for your jaw to drop.
Gene also has a HUGE problem with tourists. And I don’t blame him. If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas more than three times, you’ll dread trying to get around without some bachelor party or Asian tourists getting in your way. That’s why I stay on Fremont Street now. Way less people. Way less touristy. Again, adaptation is key when visiting a city multiple times.
Now being a photographer I take a lot of photo’s when I travel. Like alcoholics or internet porn addicts, I can’t help it. I don’t take many photos these days when I’m in Las Vegas because it’s just redundant; but I get why people do. Gene does not, so I will explain. Las Vegas, Nevada was founded in 1905 and a little over one-hundered years turned a valley in the middle of the desert into a gigantic playground of billion dollar ridiculous and historic looking buildings, slot machines and blackjack tables, and some of the craziest rides, shopping and entertainment you’ll find anywhere in the world. They took nothing, and turned into a dream. If you’re not gonna take a picture here, then throw your camera away because you’ll never take one anywhere.
I’ve only touched on a few of the many points Gene made, but the one, the one that really irks me, is his dislike for people that play the slot machines at LAS. If you travel a lot like I do, airports fucking suck. CNBC stores, Starbucks, Chili’s Too. It’s like being in the world’s largest redundant box in hell; there is literally nothing to do. The first time I landed at LAS and saw slot machines in the gates, I felt like I would never be able to have a layover anywhere else. Finally, something I can zone out on for the next two hours instead of checking my watch every 10 minuets. Angles sang. Bells rang. My traveling woes were over, at least at LAS.
So, in conclusion, here is my list of 15 Reasons Why Las Vegas Rocks
1. The Weather. No matter where you live, just about year round, Las Vegas, Nevada will have favorable weather. Even in January and February it can still be in the 50’s during the day.
2. Entertainment. It has everything to entertain you, even if you don’t gamble. Shows. Bars. Restaurants. Clubs. Shopping. Rides. Performers. History. Museums.
3. History. The Neon Graveyard. Pinball Museum. The Mob Museum. The Atomic Testing Museum. It will take you 3 trips before you check out some of these amazing museums.
4. The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino Happy Hour. If you’re with a group of three or more people this is one of the hands down best ways to enjoy each other’s company in Sin City. You’ll never find a view at 1,100 ft. like this one. The appetizers are great and 2 for 1. The drinks go down easy. I love to spend 4 or 5 hours up there and watch the sun set with friends and family.
5. Las Vegas Boulevard. Yea it’s touristy, but is bigger and better than you can possibly imagine if it’s your first time. You can’t do it all in one trip, so it begs you to come back and stay at a different hotel each time. You won’t find this much gold and marble unless you’re in Dubai. You’ll feel like you’ve won the jackpot even if you loose all your money.
6. Fremont Street. Old Vegas rocks. I can’t stay anywhere else when I’m in Las Vegas. Yea the light show gets old after the third time, but there is so much history downtown, that coupled with being able to walk to 10 casinos in the time it takes to eat a hotdog makes going back to Las Vegas BLVD dreadful.
7. Hoover Dam. I’ve been here twice, and I’ll go again. The drive there is gorgeous while winding through the mountains. When you finally get there and look over the edge for the first time you will have a new appreciation for human engineering.
8. Neon Museum. I love history, and Las Vegas has a lot of it. The Neon Museum is a graveyard of old neon signs from Casinos come and gone. Moulin Rouge, Stardust, Lady Luck. They’re all there. Just be sure to get tickets ahead of time and bring your camera. (Gene hates those)
9. The Heat. It’s a dry heat. It’s hot, don’t get me wrong, but it’s tolerable. It also makes swimming in one of the hundreds of pools at any given hotel so refreshing. I always stay at the Golden Nugget. They have an adult’s only infinity roof top pool. When it’s 110, staying up there all-day and forgetting about back home is the only way to rock and roll.
10. Scenery. No matter where you are in the valley, mountains surround you. Behind you, in front of you. You can’t escape them, and it’s a good thing because they are beautiful. I live in Wisconsin, a place Gene apparently hates. It’s flat here. I have a huge appreciation for scenery and landscapes that are different from those in my home state. And unless you live in the desert already, you will too.
11. Gambling. You can’t gamble everywhere, and if your city does allow it, chances are your one casino still sucks because the slots are tight and you have to pay for drinks. I almost never go home with empty pockets when I leave Las Vegas, and if I do, it doesn’t matter because I was entertained. Las Vegas is the only place you’re gonna find the newest games and slot machines.
12. Free Drinks. Hop on a penny machine and play 1c at a time if you like, drinks are free.
13. The Flight. I live in Wisconsin, the flight to Las Vegas is one of the most beautiful flights you can take when traveling out west. You know you’re getting close once you start to see the orange and brown mountains over Utah and Arizona.
14. It’s always changing. I haven’t been to Las Vegas in a little over a year and there is already a new shopping district called The Linq with one of the world’s tallest ferris wheels. A few years back the Aria and Forum Shop wasn’t even there. It is always changing, and there will always be new places to explore every time you come back.
15. The tourists. I love seeing the 21 year olds who experience Las Vegas for the first time. Or the old couple that always wanted to go and finally did it. It reminds me of myself the first time I visited Las Vegas. Whatever your reason for going to Las Vegas, you know you’re gonna have a good time, and I always see that in the smiles of everyone there, well, except for Gene.
If you liked this PLEASE RECOMMEND it and follow my collection onwww.medium.com/@martinmoorejr.
I enjoy writing about Travel, Technology and Photography, but not if nobody gives a shit.
I have to be honest, being a photographer and traveling [ for pleasure ] can sometimes be a burden. Not only do I bring unnecessary amounts of shit [ see image below ] but I always have to remind myself I’m not on a shoot, I should be enjoying myself.
When I’m traveling, shooting pictures of everything I see can literally become an addiction I cannot stop feeding. I often have to put my camera down or leave it at the hotel room in order to enjoy myself rather than live my traveling time through my camera lens. I think this may be a problem with many photographers, I have no factual evidence to back this theory up, but I feel it is a solid assumption.
As a photographer you naturally see the aesthetics of the world we live in, often in ways the average person does not. Afraid that you might see that perfect angle of a building or miss out on that amazing group shot, all that shit you brought with you in your carry on goes everywhere you go.
It’s hard to take a step back and say ‘hey, leave the camera in the hotel room’ and I think that’s a hard thing for a lot of people to understand about photographers. Over the years I’ve been getting better. I’ve created a list of helpful tips that I use on every trip to ensure I get to enjoy myself, but still leave time for shooting.
- Buy a good point and shoot. Camera’s like the Nikon P310 or Canon S120 are amazing little cameras with big sensors, wide apertures and amazing HD video. Throwing that in your pocket to go to dinner instead of lugging around your DSLR will set you free.
- Set aside one day to do all your heavy shooting. Bring your DSLR and shoot anything and everything you possibly can, once you’re SD card is filled with 2,000 photo’s you’ll feel you got everything you need and be less inclined to walk past that same building you saw yesterday and shoot it 20 more times.
- Give your camera to a friend. You’d be surprised how many people travel and never take photos. I’m always worried if I don’t take a picture, we will have no memories of our trip. If I see someone else is shooting, I can leave my camera alone and enjoy my time.
- Bring smaller SD Cards. If you treat your DSLR like a film camera and use 4GB SD Cards, you will spend less time taking pointless photo’s because you have limited space, only important shots will be worth your time.
- Get a great universal lens. There is nothing worse that lugging around a big DSLR and on top of it bringing your wide angle, zoom and low light lenses on top of it. Sigma just released their new 18-35mm f/1.8. Sure it’s $700 but it’s probably the best all around travel lens you can get. Save space and time swapping lenses so you can spend more of it taking in the places you are in.
Below are some shots from my travels around the world over the past few years. Photo’s are import to me and I’m not going to stop taking lots of shots when I travel, but I am trying to be smarter about enjoying life while it’s happening and living in the moment.
Apart from annual national holidays, history scarcely invokes events by the dates on which they occurred, but September 11 immediately joined the Fifth of November and the Ides of March as a day that would forever live in infamy.
Photography is never more important than in documenting our history. It is easy to forget places, things and events in the fast paced world that we live in; our fellow photographers often risk their lives to capture some of the most iconic photo’s from our past. These photo’s are a constant reminder to everyone to never forget the events of our existence, the things that shape us and define us as human beings.
This month, newspapers, magazines and blogs will commemorate the anniversary of that harrowing day. Some will be personal and introspective, others will invoke history’s long arc as you take a photographic trip down the memory lane back to that September morning. These photo’s remind me exactly where I was, what I was doing and how I felt as if that day were yesterday. Here are some of the most iconic photo’s taken by professional photographers, amateurs and cell phone camera’s from that tragic day.
[none of these shots were taken by me.]
Google’s Street View camera cars can give us a glimpse into every corner of the world we live in. Sometimes Google’s Street View camera’s capture breathtaking landscapes and secret moments frozen in time.
A while ago I became addicted to Google Street View and have now collected over one hundred shots of some of the loneliest and most desolate places on earth. I have spent dozens of hours curating these images and transforming them from a simple street view map photos, to gorgeous pieces of art.
Below I’ve posted a few of my favorites that I’ve done. Be sure to check back for the next batch from my collection and if you haven’t tried Google Street View, give it a spin, it’s a lot of fun.
S a i n t N i c o l a s D e L a G r a v e , F r a n c e
Ø r e s u n d s m o t o r v e j e n , D e n m a r k
S o n d r i o , I t a l y
M o r r o n e D e l S a n n i o , I t a l y
Ø r e s u n d s b r o n , D e n m a r k
T a u p o , N e w Z e a l a n d
J h o n g j h e n g D i s t r i c t , T a i w a n
C a n a r y I s l a n d s , S p a i n
R i o d e J a n e i r o , B r a z i l