Copenhagen (Post #1)

“28 degrees, but feels like 21” was the weather report for today. Obviously Fahrenheit and apparently considered a “sunny day” here despite the overcast skies. That didn’t stop these intrepid travelers from getting on bikes and seeing the sights of Copenhagen…. From the very underwhelming, but super famous Little Mermaid statue to the biggest Christmas …

Komodo Islands, Indonesia

Fardin, our divemaster, frantically waved his arms, pointing excitedly in front of him as a huge dugong slowly swam by us. Definitely a rare sighting. Don’t know what a dugong is? You’re not alone! But in case you are wondering, it’s a huge, funny sausage-shaped marine mammal with a flat nose and no neck that’s …

Bali, Indonesia (update #4)

It was only a matter of time before we got into an accident. Driving in Bali is crazy. Like Vietnam, there are far more motorbikes than cars and very few traffic lights. People pass when they aren’t supposed to and tailgating seems to be the national pastime.  As we made our way to our homestay, …

Bali, Indonesia (update #3)

Day 6 We’ve dubbed it “Bali Time”: the severe underestimation of how long it will take to get from point A to point B. “15 minute” drives take an hour; hour drives take two; and so on. The slow-going traffic of the southern end of the island has been replaced by the slow speeds required …

Bali, Indonesia (Update #2)

Day 2: Walking through rural, Balinese rice paddies and farmland is pretty great! Doing so with a local is even better! We spent the entire day in Bakas Village, a 700-resident town an hour outside of Ubud with Little Wayan as our guide. His mission? To educate outsiders on life in his village, from farming …

Bali, Indonesia (Update #1)

Ok.The irony is not lost on me that within 12 hours of launching my new travel blog, a site focused on getting OFF the beaten path, we found ourselves surrounded by monkeys in what is likely the most touristy spot in Ubud, the Monkey Forest.  Here’s the thing…. I might want to avoid touristy activities …

Saigon, Vietnam

Apparently when in Vietnam, my “never ride a motorcycle” rule doesn’t apply because, for the third time in just 10 days, we hopped on the back of Vespas and did a food tour of Saigon. You have to understand that riding a moped in Saigon is crazy. At any given moment you are surrounded by …

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Their small boat sidled up to ours. After some discussion, two fresh coconuts were handed over, money exchanged hands, and off went the boat with calls of “cam un!” (thank you in Vietnamese). And so it went again…twice more with some sticky rice cooked in a banana leaf and Pho (noodle soup). Such is the …

Hoi An, Vietnam

“It feels like we’re on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland” the kids joked 3 minutes into our “learn about the ancient way of fishing” experience outside the seaside town of Hoi An. I have to say, Kevin and I agreed. What was billed as an “authentic” experience was more like a well-rehearsed show where everything …

Sapa, Vietnam

My mom always says that most of life is lived on “plan B”. That’s especially true while traveling — which is how Syd found herself hitching a ride up a big hill on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle. The adventure started the afternoon we arrived in Sapa, a small town to the North, nestled …

Halong Bay with boats

Halong Bay, Vietnam

The nice thing about a beautiful landscape, like the islands of Halong Bay, is that it doesn’t change throughout the years. So, while there were many, MANY more boats with tourists, and our own boat was 10x nicer than what we stayed on 22 years ago, Halong Bay was just as spectacular now as when …

Hanoi, Vietnam

“Stick together like sticky rice” our guide, Tuan, coached the kids. This is a must strategy for crossing any street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi where there are 6 million mopeds for 9 million people and few, if any, stoplights or stop signs. It’s chaos. Lots of “beep beep beeps” as the sea of …

North Island, New Zealand (Waitomo, Rotorua, Mount Maunganui)

I have a crippling fear of heights, usually accompanied by crying that I am powerless to control. Despite this, I found myself looking down a 100-meter crevasse surrounded by moss-covered cliffs in the small town of Waitomo on the North Island during the aptly named Lost World Adventure. The task? Abseil down said 100 meters …

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

As we were diving: “Shark! Shark! I want to go back to the boat!!!” signed Michelle underwater after seeing what could have been a mako or great white shark. “She wants to lead the group into the cave????” Wondered the Divemaster. Having not dived in years, Michelle was a bit rusty with her underwater dive …

Galapagos, Land trip

Top 10 highlights from our week in the Galápagos Islands (in no particular order): 10 – Approachable wildlife. There are no big land predators, so the animals have no fear of humans. We could get ridiculously close without scaring the animals away. 9 – Panga rides, especially the one where we saw turtles, eagle rays, …

Otavalo, Ecuador

Jose Cotocachi got tears in his eyes when I showed him the three textiles of his that hang in a prominent place upstairs in our house. He said he was emotional because he hasn’t done some of the designs I have in a long time but was so happy to see his work displayed in …

Cuenca, Alausi, and Riobamba, Ecuador

Llamas, and Guinea pigs, and lambs, oh my! We started yesterday with an early departure from Cuenca via the Pan-American highway, which runs from Patagonia, in Argentina, all the way up to Alaska! The countryside is beautiful with bright green fields, snow-capped mountains, and very simple dwellings. Over thirty percent of the population here are …

Quito, Ecuador

Original time of departure: 7:35pm. Delayed. New time of departure: 8:30pm. Then 9pm. Board. Taxi. Stop for half an hour. Problem with the engine. Try to resolve THAT for a half hour. Go back to the gate to get mechanic……another hour…it’s now past 11pm. They can’t figure out the problem. Flight rescheduled for the next …

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Our European adventure ended today with our return home. The nice thing about an 11 hour flight is that it gave me time to put together my travel video for London and Amsterdam. Speaking of Amsterdam, what a cool city, even for only 22 hours. We stayed on a houseboat on one of the central …

London, England

Day 1 and 2: It was a little bit of a culture shock going from Paris to London…..we had spent 8 days immersed in French culture, surrounded by French speakers, about half of which I understood, to being surrounded by people speaking English. It felt weird not to say “Bonjour!” or “merci” all the time. …

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