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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Large Portions in Morocco by Brea Persing

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I have always found it fascinating that Moroccan men would look at me and not think I could eat what I had asked for. Mind you, I was about 125 lbs at the time and I couldn’t consume any carbs and hadn’t been able to for a few years at that point. But, to be fair, they’re coming from a cultural background where one would eat a lot of bread with every meal, of which I could not partake in.

I found, through conversations with friends, that in Morocco they have a woman’s portion and a men’s portion in restaurants. When I found this out, I immediately would ask for the men’s portion. They would look at me like I was crazy.

There was one time in Chefchaouen where they didn’t give me a lot to eat, so I ordered two tajines because I was still very hungry after the first one. And it was really good and still my favorite tajine to date. It was a delicious, fall off the bone chicken tajine with a hint of tomato, cumin, saffron, cinnamon and black pepper. Normally it would come with potato and carrots in it, but I asked them for green beans instead of potatoes. I can still taste it as I write about it. So yummy!

Then, on the road to Merzouga from Tangier by car, my friends and I stopped in a small town to get something to eat and I ordered a half a chicken. The Moroccan guys who were with us thought I was crazy and said that was no way I would finish it. Mind you, it’s all I could eat. Not only did I finish it, but also another piece from a friend who wasn’t going to finish his. Keep in mind, I hadn’t eaten much in the last 24 hours and I wasn’t sure when we would stop at a place that I could eat again, so I really made sure I was good to go.

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In Meknes I ordered a meat dish with some carrots and asked for a double portion of meat. The man said no to me! He said there was no way I could finish it. With some persuading, he gave me a double portion. I ate the whole thing and his eyes were wide when he realized it.

You see, when you can’t eat carbs, you are “forced” to eat more protein and vegetables to fill you up and give you energy.

Even outside of Morocco, I would get stares from people. It was very uncomfortable, but very necessary. I even remember times where I would eat a full dinner and be hungry 30 minutes later and eat another whole meal. This was due to not being able to eat carbs and my body was malnourished because I couldn’t process the nutrients that were coming in. My body was so sick! I didn’t go carbless out of choice, it was out of necessity because I couldn’t eat anything, with the exception of carrots, that had carbs in it. It took a toll on my body. My food was so limited. It was like a super strict Keto diet. Haha…that was way before Keto was even around. I used to tell people I ate high fat Paleo with modifications because that is the closest I had to describe it. I have come a long way since then! People used to ask me if I was sad about the things I couldn’t eat. I struggled with it, but after a while, I had finished the grieving and moved on. I started to focus on what I could eat and celebrate those things! 

Before I used to make a list of the things I could eat, now I’ve been able to add so many foods back into my diet that I have a list of the things I can’t eat now. It’s still daunting for someone to look at who’s never dealt with food allergies, but for me, It’s a major celebration. It’s so much easier for me to find food when I’m out! I no longer need to order double portions, or even be afraid to eat out. I’m still nervous at times, but it’s still so much easier than it used to be, and I am very grateful!

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!