In the Travel section, we normally feature nearby towns of interest and locations within a reasonable driving distance from the Queen City. But sometimes we want to go farther than a four-hour car trip. Going farther has its challenges, though, and when that's the case, we're forced to live vicariously through our friends and strangers on social media to satiate the wanderlust in our hearts.
Personally, I live vicariously through Allen Meyer, a local who travels all over while beautifully documenting his trips through photography. He shares what he creates with the rest of us, and he's so good (if you have any question, check out the gallery above), we thought it'd be nice to share him with you.
We asked him a few questions to get a better sense of who he is and about his adventures.
Cincinnati Refined: Who are you and why do you love traveling?
My name is Allen Meyer. I love traveling because it is endlessly important to open yourself up to new experiences, to get outside of your comfort zone, and spend time taking in the outside world.
CR: Were you always a traveler? Are you a native of Cincinnati?
AM: I have been fortunate to have grown up in a very adventurous family. We spent many weekends on the road in the family station wagon, and I cannot thank my parents enough for instilling the travel bug in me. I grew up in South Dakota prior to moving to Cincinnati when I was 12 years old. I moved here during middle school. It was a big change for me and certainly for the better. I ended up attending the University of Cincinnati, and I still live within city limits.
CR: What’s your camera of choice when you’re camping in the wilderness?
AM: I currently shoot on a Nikon D810 and love it—it's a tank of a camera. I sometimes haul up to 20 pounds of camera gear on our long backpacking trips, but it's always worth it.
CR: If you don’t take your entire collection with you, how do you choose which camera and lenses to take?
AM: I have a fairly minimalistic setup, so I bring everything on most trips. I travel with my D810, a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, an ultra-wide 14mm f/2.8 lens, and on occasion a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
CR: What is the most photogenic place you’ve been thus far?
AM: I have been asked this question many times but never have a true answer. Everything is dependent on light, weather, so many factors. My favorite destinations thus far would be the Canadian Rockies and southeast Utah. I spent eight months living in Utah, and every weekend held a new adventure. The endless public lands are certainly my favorite part of the state.
CR: What is the most photogenic place you’ve yet to visit but plan to?
AM: My bucket list changes regularly, but I would love to spend a few weeks in Thailand or Africa. Very different destinations and both would be amazing.
CR: What inspires you to pick up the camera?
AM: My primary goal each time I set out with my camera is to try to inspire others. I hope that people see these images and feel like setting off for a weekend camping or enjoy our public lands and the great outdoors.
CR: What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned during your travels?
AM: To be prepared to make a lot of mistakes. I have been on a road trip veering onto the highway and watched my old camera fly off of the roof because I was rushing to pack up and hit the road after three long days of hiking (it didn't break, fortunately). I've been six hours into a slot canyon in Utah with friends and had to climb out before rain clouds opened up overhead. My gear has broken and forced to sleep on a rock, I've lost gear along the way, and I've gotten lost. In retrospect, the fun part is when things go wrong; it makes for the best stories.
CR: If you couldn’t live in Cincinnati, where would you go?
AM: I love living in the city almost as much as I love being in the outdoors. One of my favorite places I would love to spend more time in would be Vancouver, British Columbia. It's an amazing city surrounded by some serious outdoor access.
CR: Where’s your next adventure?
AM: In a couple weeks, we will be setting off to Ireland for two weeks. I've been looking forward to this trip for quite a while. We'll spend a week in the town where half of my family is from (and still lives), and another week on the road throughout Ireland.
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Travel on up to the gallery above to see the stellar photography Allen has done on his travels. Follow his travels on Instagram, too: @allen_meyer.