The Upcoming Journey

Workaway, Volunteering, and Photography ~

Onawalkabout, aka John Stebbins Photography, has quite a few destinations coming in the next few months. I invite you to follow along. I am accepting donations for an upcoming trip to Nepal beginning in September. Details found below.

Plans for John Stebbins Photography over the next few months:

Bali Blog Coming Soon ~

Current location – Bali, Indonesia Departing July 4th (short 3 day trip to Singapore June 1st) I am currently doing a workaway on the Southeast side of the island. If any one has ANY requests for photos they wish to buy from my time here, please let me know and I will get those specific ones processed and made available on my website for sale. You can purchase direct from me via Paypal and email transfer of digital prints. If you wish a larger print, I will post them in my store.

Malaysia, Thailand by train, and Laos ~

July 4th Departing Bali for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Train trip from KL to Laos over the next 6 to 10 days. I have been invited to work in Vang Vieng, Laos from July 10th through the end of August. The work will be Social media, photography, and videography work for a local eco-hotel. There will be a full post on both the journey from Malaysia by train as well as my stay at the hostel and one for the surrounding region. Which from what I have seen thus far is stunning.

Nepal ~

I have been invited to hike both Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base camp in October and November. I will be making photos available from there immediately after my trip.

This trip to Nepal is one of a lifetime. The Universe has placed this in my path and I am answering the call to go. I am currently looking at flights into the region along with the possibility of workaway’s there for the month of September.

There are still multiple schools and homes that need help rebuilding and I want to take the month prior to hiking to document the need of the region and lend a hand with the skills that I have in construction and medical care to those families and communities still suffering. If you wish to make a donation for me to apply to helping these communities I will make sure they get to where they are desperately still needed, please specify what the donation is for in a message when sent. You can click the PayPal button on the homepage to donate to any trip, charity, or to purchase any of the photography on my website: Webstore

I have had no opportunities to return to the United States to work presented to me at this point. I would love to return to see my family and my friends, but the cost of leaving the region and returning by October 2nd is not something I am capable of doing at this time. I am processing photos every moment that I can and I am making new content available. My photos are from a variety of locations in multiple countries and I invite you to take a look and purchase the ones you love. I still have a sale ongoing for Metallic prints in my store.

I AM accepting any and all donations for this upcoming trip to Nepal. If any of you are willing and able to donate to this trip, it will go to my expenses in the region. I have the gear I need. I am getting my cold weather gear shipped from Japan.

As for anyone that wishes to donate, please email me at and I will be happy to discuss ways that I can send you something back in return for the gift. you may also click the Paypal button on this sites home page.

As always, John Stebbins Photography’s chief goal is to inspire you, my followers and readers to go out into this world and find your path. To give to the communities and people around you that are in need. To find your peace in your life through travel.

My books are still in an ongoing process and I am still planning (read hoping) to release “Charlotte’s Adventures in Willow Grove” by the end of this year.

Once I leave Nepal I will be traveling to Japan from the middle of December until the middle of March of 2018 for work. This time I hope to have more free time to visit the backcountry of the Japanese Alps for both photography and videography of the region.

If you can assist my friends, that would be amazing. If you are unable to, I only ask that you share my message. I love you all and I will keep going and inspiring, every day I still have breath in my body.


Iceland Land of Fire and Ice

The Country –

For my very first International trip I chose Iceland. A land I had dreamt of visiting for many years. Iceland is one of the very few countries I would consider moving to permenantly. The people are beautiful and the country itself, is beyond gorgeous. Truly a land of fire and ice with a raw, powerful energy. The countryside is dotted with geothermal vents and hot spring pools as well as warm water rivers that you can swim in during the winter. Mountain ranges inundated with some of the largest glaciers in Europe are scattered across the island as well. In addition, the North American and Eurasion fault line runs through the Island and you can swim above it in some of the most crystal clear water in the world at Silfra in Icelands only National Park, Thingvellir. Portions of the Icelandic coastline have some of the most beautiful left and right hand surf spots, in the world. Hiking, waterfalls, art, history, beautiful parks, culture, and food; this country has everything, you could want and a whole lot more.

The island is dotted with green countryside and misty mountains due to the abundance of geothermal energy. Nikon D90.

Arriving –

Flying to Iceland can be very cheap and there are two airlines that offer discounted prices capable of making your stay in Iceland as inexpensive as possible. You can fly out of New York or Boston easily on both Wow Air and IcelandAir. Be sure to weigh your luggage prior to heading to the airport as you are only allowed a specific amount on the flight for both carry on and checked baggage. The carry on weight is a maximum of 11kg for Wow Air. I had to reconfigure my bags twice to avoid additional fees because the first checked bag and carry on are free.

There are no prior Visas or e-visas required as you will receive a tourist stamp  upon arrival at Keflavik. Most of the flights arrive on the island very early in the morning and you need to stay in the airport until around 7 am before you can book a shuttle into Reykjavik. There is Wi-Fi in the airport and on most of the major shuttles. As there is absolutely no sleeping allowed in the airport, be sure to catch some sleep on the flight.

Transport –

The shuttle takes approximately an hour to reach the main bus terminal in Reykjavik where you can then transfer to a bus line headed down the Southern coast. The shuttle will also drop you directly at your hotel if you have one in Reykjavik. From there you could rent a car or hire a driver to tour the Southern coast or you could book a tour group that will take you to different  sites along the Southern portion of the Golden Circle.

The buses in Iceland are not cheap and you do have multiple options for travel while you are on the island. Do not rent a car at the airport, they are very expensive and absolutely require a prior reservation. As stated, you could hire a car from your hotel, utilize the extremely efficient but expensive bus system, hitchhike (Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world to hitchhike and you will not be waiting long for a ride!), rent a motorcycle, or hire a personal guide with a 4×4 vehicle. Driving in Iceland requires you to have an International Drivers Permit which you can obtain before leaving the States from any AAA office for only $20. Also, be absolutely sure that you learn the road signs, know how to read the speed signs in kilometers and which side of the road to drive on. There are multiple apps available to help you discover all of these things.

The Southern Coast –

Stretching from Reykjavik along the Southern section of the island and making a complete circuit is the Golden Circle. The entire route can be completed in 4 days but you will miss a great deal of beautiful sites. In, order to maximize your time I would recommend traveling from Reykjavik around to either Vik or just north of there and spend some time hiking the many trails along the route.  Along the route are multiple  small towns, each with activities to do and sights to see. I recommend planning ahead of time what you would like to see and experience so that you can avoid back tracking. Some of the highlights from my trip where Selfoss, and Vestmanyjer island but you can easily make it all the way to Vik and see the Jökulsárlón icefields near Vatnajökull National Park.

Remains of an offshore volcano as seen from the ferry crossing from Landeyjahöfn to Vestmannaeyjar Island. Nikon D90.

The travel time between Selfoss and Vik is approximately an hour and half with your own vehicle and you can easily see both in a day. The coastline near Selfoss extending up to Vik has some of the most beautiful black sand beaches and basalt rock formations. In addition there are multiple waterfalls, nature preserves, rivers (the Olfus in Selfoss is very beautiful but extremely powerful as it is fed by glacier runoff), and historic buildings to experience. One of the highlights of my trip was a ferry ride from the mainland out to Vestmannaeyjar island which is a town rebuilt inside the remnants of a dormant volcano. The coastline and islands coming into the island are stunning and there are multiple hikes on the island.

View of Selfoss Iceland at night with a full moon. Long exposure with Nikon D90 as seen from Ingólfsfjall Mountain.


There are multiple options for accommodations on the island ranging from 5 star hotels to camping. Each town has a range of hostels to choose from and you can find them through apps such as Hostelworld and Agoda. Iceland is one of the best countries in the world to camp in as over 90% of the country allows free camping. The only places you are not allowed to pitch for free are inside city limits, on privately owned land, and in the National Parks. Any where else you can stop for the night and camp. Just know the rules of open fires and do not litter. Leave the Earth as pristine as you found it and pack out everything.

My suggestion; map out some of the waterfalls and hot springs and spend a night relaxing at one of them along your route. You will not be disappointed. If you choose to stay in any of the hostels, join the International Hostel Association as you will receive a discount on your stay for being a member. You can purchase the membership at any hostel in Iceland or online prior to going.

Cost –

Iceland has an amazing exchange rate for currency but they make up for that rate by charging more for everything you buy. The main currency is the Icelandic Kron and the current conversion rate according to Xe is $1 USD for $110 Krona (check this in Xe) cost is comparable to Hawai’i and traveling through Japan for food. Even the camping spots are slightly expensive. So if you are on a tight or limited budget, your options are packing your own food like I did in your checked baggage for the 4 days or purchasing food on arrival at one of the smaller towns or in Reykjavik. If you choose to eat out you will take a large hit on your budget as the restaurants are quite expensive, even more so if you decide to drink.

Conclusion –

Iceland is the trip of a lifetime and although you can see a small portion of it in 4 days like I did, you will want to visit again, and again, in order to experience everything the Island has to offer. There is so much history and nature here you could easily spend 2 months exploring and not see everything. I travelled during late September at the end of the tourist season. This option provides you with cheaper rates and more choices. And, the Northern Lights are quite active at that time of year with few road closures due to snow in the later months. Enjoy your trip and if you want to go and have any questions I would be happy to answer them. Just find me on Facebook. Enjoy your Journey!

Black sand beaches near Landeyjahöfn ferry landing looking out on Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland.