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Eric Rubens  You were born to stand out 🌎 Southern California 🌴 @SonyAlpha Ambassador | Youtube: erubes1 Chief of Partnerships @Explorest

Hard to sum up San Diego in one pic but this is how the day usually comes to a close 🏄🏼‍♂️

Why are we drawn to water? We can all attest there’s something magical about ending the day in the ocean. Watching the colors dance across the surface literally washes away the stress of the day.

What effect do you guys think social media has had on tourism in the past 5 years? Do you feel certain areas like Iceland, Bali, Alberta, etc have really seen an influx due to a wave of “influencers” traveling there nonstop? Or, do you feel like it was only a matter of time in this digital age for places that beautiful to remain a bit hidden until images and video showcasing them began to find its way around the world? I know the spots I listed were popular before Instagram was around, but it’s crazy how certain locations can get momentum and blow up. I’m sure you can think of a spot in your hometown that used to have hardly any people and now is a well known spot. I personally have a love/hate relationship with tagging locations in my posts. I’ve done it forever because I remember when I was starting out how badly I wanted to visit the cool places I saw and how frustrated I was when someone acted like they couldn’t tell me. I now understand a bit of that frustration as a couple of my favorite spots in San Diego and Laguna Beach seem to have trash left behind whenever I visit. Bottom line is sustainable travel is more important than ever. It’s a good feeling to leave a spot better than you found it, something I’ve been trying to focus more on! Hoping to organize a beach cleanup/photoshoot in San Diego and Orange County this summer as well so let me know if you’re in 🤙🏻

It can be challenging in a tourism hub as popular as this to find quiet moments alone. I’m always torn, especially on travel, between sharing experiences with friends versus experiencing them in solitude. Time alone is such a rarity nowadays and even when we’re apart physically, we’re always plugged in digitally to our family, friends, and social networks. Being so accessible comes at a cost. When with a group, it’s easy to let others drive conversation or let your mind steer towards the dialogue. Have you ever paid attention to what happens when you’re not engaging with others? It’s uncomfortable for most to sit alone with their thoughts and difficult to not reach for a form of distraction. Even a short break from stimulation, take a red light or standing in line at the store, becomes a need to reach for a phone. Being alone feels like a problem and we try to solve it by connecting with others. In reality, time alone is one of the most important things you get. I read a while back about the difficulty our brains have at multitasking and how we end up diluting the quality and efficiency of what we’re doing. Maybe being alone for a bit each day allows us to focus on specific actions and helps thoughts blossom. Solitude doesn’t have to be associated with the negative connotation loneliness brings. Embrace those few moments you get to yourself, whether it’s waking up early for sunrise like this pic, or going on a walk and reflecting on your day. Little things like this can lead to big improvements in your productivity.

We didn’t see a house, car, or person for tens of miles as we made our way to this campsite. Once it started getting dark, we watched the Milky Way rise over the horizon and I’ve never seen a sky so full of stars 💫

With a swell coming in mixed with some summer sunsets, it’s the perfect time to be home. They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and that often sums up traveling for me. When I’m home I’m excited thinking of upcoming travel, but when I’m away I often long to come home. At the end of the day, it’s about being appreciative each morning you wake up and try to find joy in the present moment. It’s too easy to dwell on the past or worry about the future. Teaching myself to be present in the moment has become something I’ve focused on a lot as I get older. Each day is a chance to do something enjoyable for yourself. Whether it’s waking up a little earlier and going on a morning walk, meeting up with a friend for coffee, or finding time to catch the sunset after work before you head home, you’ll be surprised how far a single act can go to improving your day.

What a magical planet. Visiting Bora Bora with @robstrok and @karl_shakur was such a crazy experience. I left with an even greater appreciation for the beauty of the ocean and the incredible color palette it has. From blues to greens to everything in between, it was often hard to believe what my eyes were seeing. Here’s a few highlights of our time on the islands.
🎼: @tychomusic- Melanine

Croatia or France? ⚽️ Even though I’m not a huge soccer fan I love how sports brings people together. This was from a wild excursion into some sea caves near Pula in northern Croatia.

If you were stuck on an island and could only have one thing, what would it be? A tiny @karl_shakur stands on the shore and it looks like his choice was a drone 😂 Well played, but I’m probably bringing a hammock 😎

Navigating the winding turns of Wadi Mujib, a canyon feeding into the Dead Sea. Petra and Wadi Rum rightfully get most of the attention in the country, but this trek up the river was perhaps the most amazing experience on the trip.

My grandfather passed away a few moments ago, succumbing to a long battle against Alzheimer’s, a truly horrible disease that was incredibly hard to watch take its toll. He was the smartest person I knew, a Doctor with a passion to travel the world. For his 80th birthday, he told me he had never been to South Africa, so I took two weeks off work and planned a trip with just me and him. I charted out a safari, a journey through Cape Town and the coast of Africa, and up to wine country to relax. It was a trip I’ll never forget and when we got home, I made a book for his coffee table with all the pics I took of us on the journey. I’ve been on so many trips and seen incredible places, but I vividly remember every detail and experience of that trip with him more than almost any other one. You know what the amazing thing is? So did he. Even as the disease reached the point of erasing so many of his memories, he would still talk to me about safari and Cape Town when I visited him and I frequently saw him looking at our book. Writing this post was a tearjerker, but I wanted to share this story with the hopes of inspiring you to call one person and tell them you love them. I won't get a chance to tell him again, but our trip together meant more to me than almost any other experience I’ve had in my life. I wish I spent more time with him when I had the chance, he had so much to teach and his warmth lit up a room. You pushed me to chase what I love and I’ll alway remember the memories we made. RIP Grandoc ❤️

When I got started on Instagram years ago, this industry was just beginning to form and no one really new what it was going to morph into. Fast forward to today and companies have entire teams dedicated to social media. I’ve been fortunate to watch it grow from the early days and have learned a ton along the way. Working as an engineer and doing photography before and after work was a balancing act I tried as long as I could before ultimately realizing that the growth in this space and chasing a dream to turn my hobby into a career was too great to not go after. I’ve diversified my efforts in the past year to become more involved with startups and tech, both avenues of which I’m excited to continue pursuing. Today I’ll be testing out the new Q&A feature in Instagram stories. Got a question on photography, traveling for work, social media, life, etc? I’ll be featuring my favorite questions from both the comments and my story. Ask away and I’ll try to get to all them!

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