Travel

Flying by Brea Persing

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I love flying! I always have.

I remember when I was little my dad got his private pilots license and bought a small airplane. He would use it for business and we got to fly in it to go on vacation. It was the best. 

But before then, my first ever flight, that I was old enough to remember, was a commercial one. I had never flown and I didn’t know what to expect. We were headed on a family vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida and we had a direct flight from either Chicago or Indianapolis. I had my little backpack with me, a pillow and my mom gave me chewing gum to help my ears. My mom also gave me the window seat, but sat in the middle seat right beside me. I had no problems. It was great! After looking out the window, I fell right asleep for the duration of the flight. I could sleep anywhere at that time.

After my dad got his private pilot license though, we would go up in his plane more often than commercial flights. It was so much fun. It was very different than the commercial flights as you felt much more, could see the ground all the time and you had a headset on. My dad even let me fly the plane once! I still remember it. From that moment on, I had wanted to learn how to fly and get my own pilot license. Actually, while in college, I started looking into being a pilot in the military, but I wasn’t quite tall enough. I have since heard that they have changed the requirements a bit, but that’s ok.

I’ve been on MANY commercial flights since then and still enjoy flying. I have friends that are pilots and I am secretly jealous of them! But this past weekend I had the opportunity to go flying in a private plane again. It had been over 15 years since flown in a small plane like that. When I was asked if I wanted to go flying I immediately said “YES!!!”. And I had been giddy the two weeks leading up to it. It had been so long and a part of my life that I missed. I flew in a small Cessna 150 around the area close to sunset. It was beautiful. The sky was clear, the sun was reflecting off the lake and the wind was still. I can’t wait to go again!

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Camera Protection by Brea Persing

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You’ve invested a lot of money into your camera equipment…regardless if it’s a smaller, starter camera or a full frame DSLR. The last thing you want to happen to any of your gear is breakage because of the elements.

A lot of cameras these days are water resistant, which is helpful. But if you have changeable lenses, there is still the possibility of getting water inside while you’re changing the lens or where it screws/clips in. I would always suggest changing lenses in a dry environment, or under a large umbrella so you lessen the chance of water getting in. Make sure to double check with your manufacturer to see if you camera is water resistant or not. Here’s the thing, if you drop it in a pool or a puddle of water, the water is going to get inside and the camera and is going to stop working. In some cases, you can let it fully air dry, with everything taken apart and it will work again. But not always. Even in those cases, I would suggest sending it off to be professionally cleaned.

If you’re taking your camera on a trip with you, say you’re a hiker, and want to save it from the dust and dirt, sand, possible rain, etc., I would suggest getting a Peak Design Camera Shell [https://www.peakdesign.com/collections/all/products/shell]. They come in all sizes to fit different sizes of cameras and lenses. This will protect your gear from the elements. It may keep your gear a litter warmer, but if you’re in subzero temperatures for a while, I would still do what I suggest next.

But what do you do if it’s really cold outside? Just like a soda can when you take it from a cold environment and put it into a warmer one, condensation happens. This could happen inside your camera if you’re not careful! So the best thing to do when it’s really cold outside and going inside is while you’re STILL OUTSIDE, take your memory card and battery out and place your camera and lenses in a sealed plastic bag. Personally, I use a 2 gallon Ziploc Freezer Bag. By doing this while you’re still outside, it makes it harder for the moisture in the inside air to get inside the bag, eliminating condensation. It will still take a while for you camera to warm up though, so give it time.

Now, if you’re only outside for a few minutes, you camera hasn’t cooled down enough to warrant this. However if you’re spending a few hours outside shooting in the cold, or just straight up really really cold weather, you should consider doing this.

However, I’ve had a situation before where it was really cold and raining outside. I protected my camera as much as I could, but not wanting the water on the camera to be trapped inside the bag as it was coming back to regular temperature, I went inside, took the camera apart (batteries out, lenses off, etc.), wiped everything down and let it warm up naturally. I then checked everything to make sure it was all dry before putting it back together and tested with a photo to make sure I didn’t need to do any extra cleaning.

*This post is NOT sponsored by Peak Design, I’m just an avid lover of their products and use a lot of them!

Getting a Name Sticker by Brea Persing

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When you are a new arrival to a country, and are there to live rather than just tourism, you quickly find out that you don’t always find things where they normally would be in your home country. 

Let’s take Italy for example, when I first arrived to live there in 2011, I didn’t speak much Italian and I had no idea where to buy things. Thankfully, I had a colleague with me who did speak Italian, but had been in a different city in central Italy. Things change from city to city, just like they would everywhere. 

Well, both of us arrived one day a part from each other and found apartments, owned by the same person, on the same day! It was quite extraordinary. He also turned out to be an AMAZING landlord, which is rare overseas. Ok, so the building we were in had locked doors with call buttons. However unlike in a lot of places, they didn’t have the apartment number on them bell, but our names. Eventually, they would permanently put our names on there, but temporarily we needed to go and buy a sticker to place on there so people would know which button to press.

So the landlord told us what we needed and we set off to find where to get one of these. First we went to the “convenience store”, which is actually called a Tabaccheria. We explained to the man what we needed and he said that he didn’t have anything like that and that we needed to go to another place. So, we set off to go to the other place he told us. There, we told the lady what we needed and she said she didn’t do anything like that and we needed to go to another place. For me, I was getting frustrated. For my colleague, this was normal in Italy, so she was unfazed by it. So we go to the place the lady told us to go. This was place number three, third times the charm, right?! In this case, it was! We described to the man behind the counter what we needed and he said that he could do it! So we wrote down our surnames, he clicked some buttons, and just like that, we had what we needed. If I remember, I think the whole ordeal took a few hours and a couple of miles of walking.

So this is not something that just happens in Italy, but in a lot of places. So next time you’re traveling and need to find something and you go to one place and they don’t have it, then you go to another and they don’t have it, keep trying. You’ll eventually get there. This is normal…especially when it comes to filing important government paperwork, but that also includes a lot of time waiting in line and usually early mornings.