Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”     Mark Twain

Hi – I’m Sonia Ancoli Israel and I’m a retired Professor at a medical school on the West Coast of the USA.   One of the perks of academia is that we get to travel.  Throughout my career I have always tried to take advantage of that perk of travel by adding on trips to exotic, or not so exotic, places.  But it is the exotic, the ethnic cultures that are most different from ours, that I most love visiting. And photographing.

Even before I retired, I always loved taking pictures. Walking around, even without my camera, my eye is always framing what I see as if to get the best shot. I’ve traveled to parts of the world where the animals tend to be the focus, like Antarctica and the Galapagos. But my true love in photography is culture and people. I try to capture the faces of people as they smile at me. There is nothing like standing in a market watching someone go about their daily routine, and having them suddenly look up and give you a big smile. I try to capture the colors. I try to capture the smells (yes – even in a picture). I try to capture everyday life.

And I also love to write about my experiences. This began as writing for myself so I wouldn’t forget. But then my friends starting asking to read my diary and slowly over the years it turned into a travel blog.

I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts and seeing some of my pictures.