Author Archives: Paige Shaw

About Paige Shaw

Hi! I'm Paige - a freelance travel photographer. Let's go on a photo journey across the globe. The aim of my work it to show you the many layers and exquisite textures of a locality; its character, culture, people and beauty. Bitten by the wanderlust bug years ago my husband Bill and I set out to see the world. 2013 gave birth to a travel blog (www.billandpaige.com) chronicling our journeys so that curious family and friends could follow in real time. From that beginning so too a photographer was born. Honing my skills over the years I am now excited to narrate our discoveries with imagery! As you glimpse my art - join as we explore together. Be sure to throw your fashion ego out the door cuz there's no room in the carry-on luggage. Sunrise shots start at 5am. Hiking to the top for a different perspective will definitely get your blood pumping and you might even need to role up your pant legs to capture those closeups on the water…. Most of all - get ready to SMILE - it's the universal language. I’m also a wife, mother, yogi, pilgrim, burner, golfer, skier, scuba diver and expert wanderluster. “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ― Pablo Picasso

Meet the Huang Brothers – Fishermen – Keeping with Tradition

It was my honor to meet and photograph the Haung brothers, both at their home and on the Li River in Guilin, China.In about 1948 the eldest brother Yue Ming (now 86) and following thereafter the youngest brother Yue Chuan (now 79) learned the ways of the Cormorant fisherman.An ancient fishing technique where cormorant birds are trained to dive for fish and return their catch to their master’s raft. If not for the snare tied around the bird’s neck – the cormorant would swallow it’s catch whole.The brothers lived on a houseboat until 1978 at which time the local government gave fishermen land. They built a home on this property and still live in it today. It is modest, reachable only by boat and meals are cooked over campfire.Fishing was a way of life until the late 1990’s. Unfortunately, Cormorant fishing has become a lost source of income but the art form still remains.  River pollution, motorized boats and electric rod fishing have made it hard for the birds to successfully fish.

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Meet Mr. Huang – Cormorant Fishing and Casting Nets on the Li River

A little piece of Heaven on Earth is right here in Guilin, China. Unspoiled by development. Peaceful.

Sunrise on the Li River where the karst rock formations rise from the soil like the backs of sleeping dinosaurs.Meet Mr. Haung – 61 years old and considered amongst the youngest to know the ancient ways of the cormorant fishermen. Sadly, these days a mostly extinct fishing method. River pollution, mass fishing with electrical charges and motorized boats have depleted the fish population.

The cormorant bird – trained to dive into the water, capture a fish in its bill and dutifully return it to the raft. If not for the snare tied around the birds neck it would swallow the catch whole.The raft – long and sturdy.  Mr. Haung splashed the water for effect.  The birds accustomed to the rocking commotion on the raft remain unfazed.The art of cast net fishing – the large net is meticulously coiled in his left hand while an edge of the net is secured between his teeth and the remainder grasped in he right hand. Winding up like pro golfer, whilst swinging the net, the net is released high into the air.  The splash – circular in formation – is a testament to his skill.

 

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Deconstructing Shaw

2017 was the start of BIG changes with tiny results.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.” ~ Rob Siltanen

In 2016 we traded Baja for Charleston, SC  so we can spend time with the boys.

The easy purchase was a ranch style house in West Ashley. Quickly withering from the normalness of suburban living, the sirens of historic downtown Charleston began to sing.

Our first visit to Charleston in 2010 had Bill pointing to an elegant and grand 7 story building on the edge of White Point Garden where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers merge to form the Atlantic Ocean and saying “I’m going to live there one day.”

Charleston – voted #1 top U.S. city 5th year running by Travel and Leisure (2016 best city in the world too) – comes at a price. A high price. Money equates to square footage.  You get the picture.

Well I’ll be darned if Bill wasn’t right (those moments still catch me off guard).  We are now fulfilling his prophecy. Downsizing by 75% and loving every 74, 014 square inches of it. (514 sq.ft.) It’s a 1 bedroom, 1 bath with a 60 sq.ft. balcony floating over the Holy City with expansive views of the water and breathtaking sunsets on most nights.

It came furnished so we had an estate sale and utilized Craigslist to unload all the furniture we had purchased just a year before. With 2 rugs and a painting in tow – we moved in.  Heaven!  We walk to everything. History and charm ooze from every corner. Horse drawn carriages clip clop through the streets and bar/restaurants are plentiful. Yoga is 2.5 miles away and allows us to kill 2 birds with one stone, walking to and fro. Two kids in a candy shop!

Sometimes you just have to jump off the cliff without knowing where you will land. ~ Zainab Salbi

And with that said – 30 days later we sold our primary residence in Northern Nevada and opted to go even tinier – 440 sq.ft. (63360 sq. inches).
When working and raising kids our home had 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5 fireplaces and a 5 car garage. After the kids moved out we downsized into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 fireplace, 2 car garage home. Now, we’re in a 0 bedroom, 0 fireplace, 0 garage and if wasn’t for the 1 bath…. Well – you get my point.

There was an abandoned tiny home on our commercial property in Nevada that we decided to turn into a rental.  The county allowed us to dismantle the house and rebuild in the same place using the same footprint, roof and siding.  It’s cute as heck and we thought what the heck. Now it’s our home.Talk about freeing…

Living in hotel rooms more than 100 days a year over the past decade, and more recently carrying our clothes on our backs while walking two Caminos has helped condition us. You really don’t need all the peripheral crap. Happiness isn’t derived by having stuff.

However, the struggle is what to do with your STUFF.

What we learned:  You give to your kids “now” all the stuff saved for them. Why wait until you’re dead?  Sell and give away all non-essential stuff and pack the rest of the shit (stuff) up in a POD and send it to your 3rd home.

YUP… You read that correctly.

Why have 2 homes when you can have 3?  Yes, as embarrassed as I am to write this.

Hi, our names are Bill and Paige and we are Crazy – it’s been 2 weeks since we were in our last home…

Today we are in Indian Wells, CA – right near vintage Palm Springs. This one was purchased 10 years ago as a rental.

Tenant moves out and we move in.  What can we say?  It’s warm here. Palm trees rule and golfing on pristine courses is intoxicating.

“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” ~ Tim Burton

So that’s us for now….

We have a big trip coming up in 2018.  Stay tuned.

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Meet Mr Xu and his Water Buffalo

Traveling through picture perfect Guilin in China we met Mr. Xu. In the dark of the morning, he and his water buffalo walked over an hour to get to work – arriving just before sunrise.The role of the water buffalo is rapidly changing with the onset of modern machinery and China approving the use of credit – payments over time. More and more the buffalo is becoming a household pet.

Timeless images of Asia wouldn’t be the same if a farmer posed with his tractor…

 

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Gearing up to deploy

If only I could clone myself.

Watching the horror that Hurricane Harvey dispensed and not being able to serve because our lives are so damned full (that’s another blog for later) has made me squirmy for days.

I work faster and go longer so that I can squeeze in the time to deploy before we head out for another ’round the world expedition. .

Poor Bill – Paige crazier than normal…  Well – let’s just say he’ll miss me but it might take a couple days.

Sadly, Bill has commitments that can not be changed and will not be able to deploy this time.  However, with a smile, I picture him with a cigar and a gin and tonic the night I leave – relishing in the quiet as Hurricane Paige has moved out of town.

So with that said I should be on my way Wednesday or Thursday to help with heart and soul those who have suffered from Hurricane Harvey.

If you want to deploy call your local American Red Cross office.  They need you and will quickly get you trained and send you on your way.

 

 

 

Zigzagging and being present

Bill and I are yogis – enjoying the practice 4 times a week keeps us committed, flexible and forever trying to be present.

Shavasana is when we are to be most present.  Per Wikipedia it is intended to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit. In Shavasana, practitioners’ breath deepens, and the stress of the day is released. The yogi forgets all other thoughts and surrenders any psychological effort. While in Shavasana, yogis slip into blissful neutrality and reflect on the practice.

Yeah right – we also make plans and lists….

However, travel – from experiencing all the beauty in between using a bathroom with urine overflowing the brim to seeing a dead man laying on the street – gives me the most opportunities to be “present”.

Everything is new. Engaged in our surroundings there is no room for lists and planning and there are no expectations.

I always thought golf, scuba diving and being with the kids made me present. However, upon reflection golf is just a plain masochistic way of being present – scuba diving has me constantly looking for sharks and being with the kids (best of all) still has me being the mom.

World exploration is good for the soul.  It has helped me become more accepting and tolerant. I am constantly learning. Reflection and deeper thinking has lead to more understanding.

When present I don’t have time to fear.  It affords me the opportunity to get out of my head.

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

Cali-for-ni-A

Hey ya’ll.

After a much needed social media break (sans Facebook – which might become a permanent separation) – I’m back and feeling refreshed.

Bill and I took to the California roadways in the past month.

We left a snowy Lake Tahoe in Nevada to the rain soaked and blooming neighboring state – blanketed in 50 shades of green and everything else on the color wheel.

In Sacramento the water nearly lapped Highway 50 and ducks by the thousand floated in their glory.

Working our way to Point Reyes via Hwy 37 and 1 the narrow windy roads overflowed in lushness.

“Oh my gosh – look at that.” must have passed our lips 100 times – it’s a wonder that we didn’t wreck.

The ocean sparkled, colors popped, pebbles glistened and the ice plants reached for the skies.

The desert was alive with yellow and purple as far as the eye could see. Mother nature nurtured.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Inverness

Low tide at the Tomales Bay Resort Marina

Wrecked in Point Reyes

Old Man and the Sea

Dunes of Ice Plants

Glistening Pebbles

My Man

Where Ice Plants Meet the Pacific

Driftwood Art

California Cypress

Blooming Prickly Pear Cactus

Sandstone Dunes at Red Rock Canyon

Keyhole at Red Rock Canyon

They Call it Mellow Yellow

Guillermo

Cactus at Red Rock

Spring has Sprung

Catalina Island

We have big plans this year.  Stay tuned….