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  • Writer's pictureAlyce Bender

Monthly Review: August 2018

So much has happened in the last month and it doesn't look like it will be slowing down any time soon. With that, I am going to start writing these monthly reviews in addition to the location guides I have been creating. This will be more personal stories and adventures versus the more educational tips and tricks that the guides provide. I hope you enjoy the change!

First off, for those who may have missed it, I have moved back to the states from Japan. Such a reverse culture shock! My hometown is now Las Vegas, NV. Its an amazing city with a never ending stream of things to do, see, and enjoy. However, I will not be here much and that is where everything gets a bit messy.

Love that my backyard now has hummers year round!

This month I covered over 5000 miles in the hunt for a suitable small conversion van or RV. I have driven to California, across Utah, to Colorado, and through Arizona on this search for a unicorn vehicle. Finally, after some compromise to my specifications, I have my mobile command center (MCC): a 2014 Majestic 23A! (For those not familiar with RVs this is a 25ft long rolling flat, commonly used by Cruise America as a rental RV for those who want to explore America via the road).

Larger than I had initially wanted, this will provide more space for my two pups who will be traveling with me, as well as more storage, the safety and security of a newer vehicle, and the peace of mind that comes from having a warranty - something none of the other vehicles I looked at came close to having. When traveling solo, peace of mind can be a huge deciding factor.

Also, this month, I have accepted a position as an event coordinator for the Create Photography Retreat that will be held here in Las Vegas next March! Not only will I be assisting the organizers with the logistics but I will also be speaking at the event as well! While the exact topic has not yet been decided, you can bet it will have something to do with travel, trip planning, and nature photography.

These retreats are absolutely amazing for photographers of all levels. Its a time we can all get together, nerd out over our passion, learn lots of new things, and meet a ton of new people from all over the world. This will be my third retreat and sixth meet up with this community. If you are interested in joining me at this, visit to sign up. I would love to connect with you all face to face!

So, down to the wire, I do finally have a MCC for my upcoming exploration of the American West! Over the next nine months, I will be traveling all over the Western US and parts of Canada. Loosely planned, I am going to let the weather and my sense of adventure take me from the grand mountainscapes of the Tetons, Banff, and Jasper to the unique, sandstone formations and canyons of Utah and Arizona. From places where millions of birds overwinter in New Mexico to the coastal breeding grounds of elephant seals in California these months on the road will be filled with amazing landscape and wildlife photography opportunities.

But first, I leave for Iceland and the Faroe Islands right now!

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