My year end is usually filled with celebrations and gatherings with all the different people in my social circles: clients, friends, team members, and family, and it’s typically the busiest social engagement period of the year. All the people who know me bank all the days throughout the year knowing I’m too busy with business engagements to have BBQs and meet everyone, but the end of the year is the time when I indulge myself and the people close to me in libations and celebrations. I’m usually traveling around the country as I am most comfortable when outdoors on an adventure with camera in hand. After each adventure, such as my annual Hokkaido Photo Tour, it takes me about a week to go through all my expedition photos, as I do not enjoy sitting behind a screen looking at a series of photos from a Japan Photo Tour I led a year ago; I’d rather be in the field photographing. I’m much more interested in scheduling and enjoying the next adventure. An interviewer asked Ansel Adams what he thought was his defining moment or masterpiece image. His reply was, “My next photo will be my masterpiece.” That’s exactly how I feel. It’s all about what I do next, not resting on my laurels, as most on our planet do. However, 2020 has been challenging globally, and the number of people suffering from the global pandemic has been growing exponentially. Because of this, I have canceled my New Year’s holiday, and my family has followed suit. I would rather be in self-imposed lockdown instead of a mandatory hospital lockdown. I want 2021 to be a year of accountability and healing, and I’m sure that 2022 will be a golden year.
I feel the global situation will improve to the point that you will be able to travel safely to Japan in late 2021 and 2022. Come and tell me your stories and share your point of view, so we can grow, learn from each other, and take a cross-country Japan Photo Tour expedition together. My Japan Photo Workshops will have a slightly different complexion going forward. There are a lot of conspiracy theories being passed around regarding Covid-19, but I am not buying into them. All my conclusions concerning Covid-19 are built from provable facts from reliable sources. “Covid-safe” is a pipe dream. I’ve seen and read about companies claiming their businesses are ‘Covid-safe.’ As a former frontline emergency worker myself, I am sure the assertion of ‘Covid-safe’ is directed to calm consumers and not actually indicate true safety. The only way I’ll run a photo tour is with portable test kits, a reliable vaccine and or medications and clients are going to have a choice of 3M N95s with fresh air vents unless a client has breathing difficulty. All clients will most likely be tested upon arrival in Japan or before departing from your destination, and I will be there to meet clients at Tokyo Haneda international airport as usual. Moreover, I will test all clients before they get into the SUV and sit beside anybody else. There will be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sets for every client. Plus, every hotel will get double and triple checked for proper sanitization. I will walk every room with alcohol/ethanol sanitizers to ensure safety before anyone enters the hotel. The hotels we will stay in are accommodations I have been welcome to for years. Most will be way off the beaten path, where few international or no international tourists visiting throughout the year.
Again I wish you your family and friends a Happy and Safe Holidays.