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Ecuador Photography Workshop

Long-time readers of this e-letter know that my Mom isn’t always on board with the idea of me gallivanting across the globe like I do. Our conversations usually go something like this… “I never know where you are until I read your newsletter. Paris… Hong Kong… Dubai… It’s sad that a mother has to track her kid through a newsletter she sends to thousands of strangers every month. And what’s this about Ecuador?  Are you going to Ecuador?  I don’t think I like that idea. Isn’t it dangerous there?” No Mom. It’s not dangerous. “But remember last time when you said Belize wasn’t dangerous and then you were attacked by those sharks?” Mom, I wasn’t attacked by sharks. I voluntarily jumped into the water to swim with them. I was doing it for a story. It’s what everybody does there. “Well, I just think you need to be careful. All this running around makes my head spin.   Just promise me you’ll stay close to the hotel OK?” Actually, Mom doesn’t know it, but I DO plan to spend some time close to our hotel in Cotacachi, Ecuador when we get there for our upcoming workshop. I’m willing to bet you’ll want to, too. Have you seen the pictures of this place? And our hotel in Quito is just as amazing. Not because it’s the best-decorated hotel in the world — but because it has extensive gardens, a fabulous steam room, a complete gym, a view overlooking beautiful valleys and snow-capped mountains, and a top-floor breakfast that earns marks as one of the best in the world. Plus, it’s also got the second-highest restaurant in the world… and I’m a sucker for worldly superlatives. But back to my fretting mom. Who, it appears, has been joined in her fretting by Jackie Gray’s mom. (Jackie is the newest member of our team here in the Travel Division.) Seems her mom and my mom are both watching too much TV. Ecuadorians are among the gentlest, most welcoming people in the world. They’re known for their hospitality and their helpfulness.  They smile easily and warmly. Ecuador is one of those places where you don’t need to speak the language to come home saying, “Those people have to be the nicest in the world.” And you know what? When you spend time in a country like that — you’re bound to have a wonderful experience. Visually, Ecuador is just as compelling.  The landscapes really are jaw-droppingly gorgeous. White clouds settle in thick on the tops of green, vertical peaks. A patchwork quilt of cultivated plots in a thousand shades of green drapes the countryside. And much of the landscape is untouched. Pristine. I’m telling you — it’s exotic in the most wonderful way. And now’s the time to see it. Because, in all honesty, it’s not going to stay like this forever. The wheels of “progress” will continue to turn. And eventually those young children in those remote villages will be wearing Barney shirts instead of their locally woven garb. And there will be tractors in those fields instead of llamas. Generations after us are guaranteed to see a different Ecuador than we’ll find there today.  So as a photographer and/or a travel writer, now’s the time to go. It’ll be enjoyable. It’ll be inspiring. And it’ll be easy. If you, like my Mom, are worried about traveling to Ecuador — rest assured, you’ll be in good hands. We created this tour, after all, with you in mind… and you won’t have to worry about a thing. You’ll be traveling with a group of like-minded people… taking pictures… and building friendships, too. This trip will certainly be an adventure, that’s assured.  But it won’t be filled with misadventure. We’ve taken care of every detail in advance so you don’t have to fret one bit. We’ll all meet at the hotel in Quito. We’ll travel together to Cotocachi. And there on the ground we’ll take you by the hand. Don’t have any photography experience?  No problem. We’ve worked with the most technically challenged of them all. Don’t know any Spanish?  No worries. You don’t have to know a lick of Spanish to take the class we’ve arranged. And I can’t stress enough how great these workshops are for making new friends. We’ve even had single travelers meet and later get married after attending one of our events. You put a group of people together in one room with the same interests, the same drive in life, and the same aspiration to see the world from something other than a T.V. screen — and all kinds of good things happen. Again, I’d love to have you with me and Victor and Rich on this trip. Have a good weekend. Lori Lori Allen Director, AWAI Travel Division [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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