Art Model, Alba ©2022 Terrell Neasley 

My Travel Goal is to transform my 


Another year has come full circle. Yes, that is correct. 5 years ago this month, I left on a jet plane, beginning a new life of travel that I anticipated might be for only 18 months, but I am much further along than that with no time frame for completion any time soon. Things are a bit different now. For one, I’m not in Vietnam, but I do plan to return there. After 30 months in that country, I finally made it back to the US. Presently, however, I’m in Costa Rica! Two… most of my plans since my return have been fabulously derailed due to a prior shoulder injury. I thought it was maybe a pinched nerve or damaged labrum. Turns out, I have a complete thickness supraspinatus tendon tear of my right rotator cuff. Surgery is scheduled for early February. I decided to bounce down south for a bit after Christmas while I await my surgery date.

I am not looking forward to this surgery, but if it is what I need then I will do what has to be done. I was asked to commit to 4 months of having my arm in a sling, as my surgeon believes this procedure will come with complications. That puts me in a fixed place until June. Hence, my apprehension. I initially expected to return to Vietnam in January!

Art Model, Alba ©2022 Terrell Neasley 

And that’s why I’m in Costa Rica. I just wanted to come some place quiet to sit down and think. I have lots to consider for these next six months or so. Change is happening this year. I’m making several amendments to my life, to include banking, phone plans, and even computers systems! Yep. that’s right. I am 89% certain I’m gonna switch from PC to Mac. More on that in a minute, but the priority it to adjust my service and product needs to fit my lifestyle and more adequately reflect my goals.

Banking is a major consideration when you travel the way I do. My bank n longer suits my needs. I’ve had a few customer service issues that have left me high and dry a number of times. It always dealt with policy more than human interaction, but I’ve been put in harrowing situations where the Grace of God carried me through. I don’t need a brick and mortar bank. It’s been years since I’ve had to go inside a physical branch. These banks don’t usually offer competitive savings plans. Along with that, I’ve been paying needless ATM and foreign transaction fees. Many places abroad don’t take cards and if you don’t have cash, you’re out of luck. I’m done with that! I’m turning my banking needs over to a few credit card providers that waive ATM fees. 

Art Model, Alba ©2022 Terrell Neasley 

I’ve been with the same cell carrier for more than 15 years. AT&T has ran their course with me so I’ll be switching to T-Mobile. Partly because of a bad customer service experience and also because T-Mobile will cover me internationally in more places than AT&T. I’ll also save some money while I’m at it. And saving money is of utmost importance when traveling. I have virtually no debt since I’ve started this journey. Bill expenses (phone, cloud storage, website maintenance, Netflix) are the main thing I have to pay. The first thing I did when I returned to the US was to rework my self-storage options. They’d increased in price from $80/month to just under $200 in the time I was gone. Now I am paying $80 again. 

With all these changes, I figured, What the hell? Might as well switch laptops and go Mac instead of PC? 

I change PCs every two or three years anyway. Macs are more expensive and you can’t upgrade them after purchase. I hate that. But maybe I will buy a maxed out version and keep it for 5 or 6 years. That evens out the cost that I’d spend on PCs. It will have to be the MacBook Pro 16, but it’s prudent to wait and see comparisons of the upcoming M2 processor against the current M1 Max. The performance might be negligible and there could be a significant price drop for the M1 processors to clear out inventories. That could make the M1 Max version hella attractive. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait much longer than the spring for this comparison. 

Art Model, Alba ©2022 Terrell Neasley 

One thing I’m NOT switching is camera systems, however. I’ll stay with Sony and upgrade mid to late spring, whenever I am done with my recovery. Will it be the Sony a7R IV or the a7R V? I think the Mark V is way more camera than I need! I won’t be shooting 8K video! And all that AI-powered autofocusing may be overkill on my style of shooting and subject matter. It would be great if I was shooting sports (or fast moving subjects). Or if I were shooting wildlife and trying to capture the unpredictable nature of animals with a super telephoto lens. But that’s not me. I’m usually shooting posed people or landscapes using center, single-point autofocus!

However, that being said, there are still other features I can take advantage of with the latest camera. One is the variable RAW file sizes! Another is a badass BIONZ XR processing engine which… 

“… offers up to 8x greater processing performance compared to previous generations, which enables faster overall performance, impressive image quality with wide sensitivity and dynamic ranges, and more fluent processing that’s capable of handling a bevy of AI tasks and intelligent AF alongside imaging processes. This processing system also reduces rolling shutter and other motion distortions for clean rendering of moving subjects.” 

I don’t need it the same for sharp eyes or tracking subjects. What I do find outstanding is the Focus Stacking features that I can use with Macro Photography. Yet more still, I think I can appreciate several other aspects of this camera over its predecessor like the flip out LCD screen and the reportedly 8-stop image stabilization. But the question for me remains… Are those improvements worth the additional cost? That inquiry still remains before me. Sometimes, that cost difference can be $1,000 depending on sales promotions.

Art Model, Alba ©2022 Terrell Neasley