X-Peditions’ destination cities are chosen for their mix of culture, visual qualities, food, and a welcoming disposition by the cities’ residents. We don’t consider ourselves to be tourists so much as travelers who are seeking to immerse ourselves into a city and its people. Our cameras are just the little black boxes with which we record the experiences.
Our chosen cities also tend to skew a bit off of the multinational beaten path. Which is to say that you won’t notice a Starbucks on every corner. The idea is to throw you into a completely different environment, with a mandate to explore it through your lens.
Throw in a dozen other similarly minded people, and you have a recipe for a great experience.
HAVANA, CUBA (2018 – 2019)
X-Peditions’ first workshops were held in Havana. Geographically close, yet culturally distant, Cuba was a natural inaugural choice. Joe and David’s prior experience and personal contacts in the country allowed our travelers to stretch beyond the typical tourist bubble experience.
We have temporarily suspended our workshops in Cuba pending resolution of tightened US travel restrictions and the political unrest in nearby (and closely linked) Venezuela. The Cuban people are experiencing significant economic hardship due to both of those factors.
Our hearts remain with the friends we have made on the island. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation, and look forward to resuming travel to Cuba as soon as it is appropriate to do so.
HANOI, VIETNAM (2019 – 2022)
Since 2019, X-Peditions has used Vietnam as its base. With its friendly people, traditional culture and world-class food, Vietnam will quickly win you over. Hanoi in particular offers an amazing environment for traveling photographers. But it also is a city in transition.
The maze of buildings in the Old Quarter, the city’s iconic scooter culture and even its vibrant street food scene are all under threat of modernization. Five years from now, Hanoi could be a very different place.
Our November 2022 Hanoi X-Peditions include a side trip to the Ninh Binh region. If those huge limestone rock formations jutting up out of the flatlands remind you of Skull Island, maybe it’s because they filmed much of the 2017 King Kong movie here.
En route to Ninh Binh we’ll stop at a small village to see and photograph the hand manufacturing of truly mind-boggling amounts of incense for the upcoming Vietnamese Tết holiday. After Ninh Binh, on our way back to Hanoi, we’ll visit a remote pottery factory which employs centuries-old traditional techniques.
Opportunities like this are thanks to Thu Hoia, our Hanoi-based producer. As journalists, we refer to such indispensable people as “fixers”. They greatly expand both our range and capabilities when working in foreign countries.
You will find Thu to be a knowledgeable and friendly presence on our trip. She will be your window into the less obvious aspects of Vietnam.
Those joining our Hanoi X-Peditions should expect a welcoming culture that is open to discovery, a mix of dense urban and traditional rural environments and a mouth-watering food experience.