Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best Travel Photos of 2012

National Geographic just released their best travel photos of 2012 and they are stunners! Click through to see the top photo and all the rest.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lancaster City

Prince Street Cafe is one of my favorite places to go to when I'm home. Lancaster City has the perfect amount of charm and reality. Is that too honest? The other day I went out to coffee with a friend and then popped into this cute blue record store I've never been inside. I love finding new haunts in old places, even if its just when I'm traveling home.

Photographs by me

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Beauty of Afghanistan

Afghanistan – touch down in flight from Augustin Pictures on Vimeo.
As each of us has his own impression of Afghanistan that is predominantly marked with pictures of foreign forces, explosions and terror, we were privileged to have access to capture daily life and portrait some people of Afghanistan.

We hope the pictures you know will merge with the pictures you see and will enrich your view on the country in the Hindu Kush.

Ifon & Photos: Here
Twitter: @LukasAugustin

© by Lukas and Salome Augustin

All rights reserved

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Another thing I really miss about the middle east is falafel sandwiches. They are the easiest option for a meal, but are packed full with fresh veggies and protein. I was so desperate to taste one again that I bought a falafel from a side-street vendor in NYC last week. Of course I was disappointed (because nothing is like the real thing) but at least I could say the world falafel and someone understood what I meant. I'll take what I can get until I can get a ticket back.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Local Travels

Until I can figure some funds to travel abroad, little local trips will have to do. I should really know where I'm living now before I move on, right? Well then here are my photos from our recent trip to New York. I've been to that place hundreds of times and still haven't gotten over the lights and buildings. It's simply magical during Christmas time : )

The Middle East

When I told people I was going to Israel Palestine to study abroad, I always got different reactions. Some were jealous and begged to be squeezed into any extra luggage space I might have (I had none), and others tried to mask the concern and shock on their face.  Most of this was thanks to the media in my country.

It's always been important to me to look at everyone the same. It's my fundamental belief that all humanity is equal.  And I have always done my best to keep in mind a constant check of any presumptions or opinions I had of a place, a people or an experience. My own family has some diversity and I live in Philadelphia, so I'm used to encountering people with different customs than my own and a different kind of beauty, but I also found myself a little bit scared to be entering into a territory even more foreign than South Philly. I'd be lying to say that the media attention on Israel Palestine didn't affect my state of mind going there to stay for several months.

The college I attended even went out of their way to instill what they call a "healthy fear". Yes, it's smart to be aware of your surroundings in a city, but I do that in Philadelphia...why should I be more aware in Jerusalem? Yes, I'm a tourist, and yes I stick out with my distinct Western appearance, but I never felt overtly threatened or targeted.
Whenever I see the Middle East in the news it always seems to be portrayed in the negative light. People groups, ethnicities and religions get thrown into that negativity and it frustrates me. Misrepresentation leads to ignorance which leads to fear which leads to irrational behavior and unjust prejudice. That's why I'm passionate about the Middle East. The people living there deserve a second chance. They deserve to be heard, understood, and not judged. I'm not asking anyone to cover up anything that's happened, ignore the past, or validate wrong things done in the world, but I simply ask you to open up your heart a little bit, remember that we're not perfect too, come with some understanding and inch towards forgiveness and look for peace.

My travels will once again take me to the Middle East.  But this time I want to focus on writing down the stories I hear and documenting what I see. What's really going on in the lives of these people that matter a whole lot to God.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What Inspired

I'm graduating my university in four and a half months. Four and a half months. I've decided to travel because of what started one year ago.

From January 2011 to August 2011 I lived a life I never thought possible. From January to May I studied at a University in Jerusalem, Israel. The rest of those months were spent volunteering at a local hostel and making friends with people who created my memories. Through that hostel I met people who are professional travelers (meaning they've travelled for more than 10 years). I've seen with my own eyes that's this life is possible.

And it's a life I don't really want to leave.

I don't have to fill my bank account. But I want to fill my life up.

I think the best way to learn is to leave where your life began. Broaden your horizons, reach for the fearful, learn a new way of thinking, and hope with your heart.

These pictures are from my travels in Israel and the time I spent in Jordan. I miss the Middle East. I miss the culture and the way of life, but most of all I miss the people. I never thought I'd find a home outside of good 'ole USA, but this time around I don't want to buy a plane ticket back. I want to live my life somewhere new.

My Goal

It's December 16, 2011. By the time it reaches May 2012, I want to have saved up enough money, put my dreams into reality, and boarded a plane with a one way ticket to Europe. I want to pay off my debts, upgrade my SLR, simply my wardrobe, and realize what I want in life. And that is to travel abroad with my camera in hand and with love in my heart.  This blog here will document everything.

And we're off.