When In China, Take a Left at the Great Wall

great wall of china

Ask a random sampling of people about their bucket list destinations, and virtually all of them will mention the Great Wall of China, probably near or at the top. "He Who Has Never Been to the Great Wall Is Not a True Man" I’m no exception. My two week trip to China was prompted by my desire to … [Read more...]

11 Winter Activities on Amelia Island, Florida

amelia island florida

A barrier island stretching along the northeast coast of Florida, Amelia Island is the perfect place for a relaxing romantic weekend during the chilly shoulder season. The island, named for Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of Great Britain, has a laid-back vibe, reminiscent of “old … [Read more...]

9 Cities in China Tugging at Your Wanderlust

china

China. Just utter the word at a party and you’ll get an avalanche of responses, each one differing according to that person’s perspective. But there is one common thread…it’s one of the most intriguing places on the planet. Claiming 5,000 years of history and culture, the discoveries of tea, … [Read more...]

Cooking Authentic Macedonian Food at Lake Ohrid

Macedonian cooking

Full transparency: I’m not a foodie. I’m an adventure traveler. So when our JayWay tour guide said we were going to take a cooking class while traversing Macedonia, I was not thrilled. I anticipated boredom. I was wrong, very wrong. Lake Ohrid We started out from our hotel on glorious Lake … [Read more...]

Loveland, Korea: #1 Most Bizarre Park in the World

loveland korea

I already knew South Korea was quirky. After all, how many countries have not one, but two “toilet” museums dedicated to the human digestive and elimination system? Was I prepared for our adventure in Loveland on Jeju Island? Probably not. Jeju is South Korea’s largest island, just off the … [Read more...]

12 Quirky Things to Do in Prague

quirky Prague

Arguably the most beautiful city in Europe – certainly at least an equal with Paris – Prague is a labyrinth of cobblestone streets, picturesque town squares, secluded courtyards, castles, towers, and jaw-dropping views. A place where even a non-beer drinker like me has to acknowledge that here is … [Read more...]

Albanian Wine: Europe’s Oldest and Possibly Best

Albanian Wine

Albanian wine is no stranger to Europe. Archeological evidence near the capital of Tirana indicates traces of tannic acid, which produces the bitter taste in wine, dates back to a 6,000-year viniculture, making Albania arguably the oldest winemaker in Europe. Albania, a small country bordering … [Read more...]

48 Hours on Corfu, Greece

Corfu Greece

It’s no secret that the Greek Islands rank high on the list of “must do” destinations. But which one to choose? Each island has its own magnetic charm, but I submit that the beauty and activities on Corfu, Greece make it difficult for anyone to resist the island’s pull. Corfu Island is the second … [Read more...]

The Albanian Riviera: Affordable, Jaw-Dropping Beauty

Albanian Riviera

When I set off with JayWay Travel to for the southern coast of Albania, my friends were more than a little skeptical. Known for scouring the earth in search of the best beaches, they didn’t see the lure. To be honest, besides it being an off-the-beaten path destination, I wasn’t sure what to expect … [Read more...]

Alaska: Disconnect. Explore. Learn. Eat. Repeat

Alaska

“You have to disconnect, there is no choice,” said Lucila. “That was one of my favorite things about this adventure cruise.” Lucila Lancaster, her husband Girish Nair and their two children Isabel (Izzy) 21, a senior at John Hopkins University studying neuroscience, and Sam, a 6’1” water polo … [Read more...]

Spa Lovers: Go to Highlands. You’ll Thank Me Later

highlands spa

“It’s a surprise,” he said with twinkling green eyes as he tucked me into the passenger seat and gently closed the door. My ridiculously huge grin gave away my glee… I do love surprises! We drove for an hour and a half, winding our way across the state border and into the Blue Ridge Mountains of … [Read more...]

When You’re Better Off Dead in Mexico

Day of the Dead

= While Americans are celebrating Halloween and All Saints’ Day, Mexico has its own sort of eerie celebration. Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead which began as a ritual by the Aztecs 3,000 years ago is now publically celebrated on November 2nd as a way to honor friends and family who have passed … [Read more...]

Amazing Food Experience on Alaska Adventure Cruise

Alaska

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” ~Matsuo Basho Tracie Triolo thought her life would be that of a musician. And it was…for a while. But her roots in the love of food and the pull of the ocean proved irresistible, and she found herself on an entirely different path. One … [Read more...]

Seeking Adventure? Try Alaska’s Baranof Island

Baranof Island

A land where the population of bears exceeds that of humans, few places on earth can satisfy the wanderlust of the off-the-beaten-path adventurer in search of the wild nature and the cultural richness of the Tlingit Indians like Baranof Island. Baranof Island, along with Admiralty and Chicagof, … [Read more...]

7 Reasons Why You Will Love Macedonia

Macedonia

If you are looking for a European destination that is scenic and affordable, quirky but friendly, has beaches, mountains, and vineyards….then look no further than Macedonia. One of the Balkan Peninsula’s landlocked countries in Southeastern Europe, the Republic Macedonia was once part of the … [Read more...]

8 Places in Albania That Will Wow You

Albania

What if I told you there is a county where medieval castles stand perched on mountaintops overlooking the red tiled rooftops of villages below; where iridescent turquoise waves lap onto sugar-sand beaches; where picturesque rows and rows of juicy grapes are producing some of the region’s finest … [Read more...]

Chillin’ on a Houseboat in Naples

Naples houseboat

It seems to be on everyone’s bucket list. Just mention the word “houseboat” and you’re sure to evoke romanticized images of a buoyant home floating in some exotic paradise. The marriage of a water-bound “hotel” to a gorgeous tropical setting can be found right here in the United States. I … [Read more...]

Responsible Observation of Wild Bears in Alaska

Alaska's Wild Coast

Observing bears in their natural habitat in Alaska is a privilege and life-long memorable experience. While there are always risks with wild animals, these can be mitigated greatly if you follow well-established guidelines. On August 10th, I had the opportunity to travel with AdventureSmith … [Read more...]

Seeking Adventure on Alaska’s Wild Coast

Alaska's Wild Coast

Alaska is probably the one place I’ve never heard a single negative thing about. It’s a place that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list. And no one does it better than AdventureSmith Explorations. Their “think outside the boat” motto and unique selection of small ship expedition cruises and … [Read more...]

Hierve el Agua: Panorama, Mineral Pools & Petrified Waterfalls

Hierve de Agua

If you’ve been waiting to visit the natural salt terraces at Pamukkale but feel the country of Turkey is still too dangerous, there’s an alternative you may not have heard about. Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca, Mexico is a similar, but off-the-beaten-path gem. And not only will you find the mineral pools, … [Read more...]

The Amazing Azores: 13 Reasons to Pack Your Bags Now

Azores

Whenever I bring up the Azores in a conversation, most Americans say, “Hmmmm, I’ve heard of it, but where is it exactly?” The Azores is actually an archipelago (cluster) of nine volcanic islands in the middle of the northern Atlantic Ocean, 850 miles west of Portugal and 2,561 miles east of New York … [Read more...]

15 Ways to Discover Your Inner Hippie at Zipolite Beach

Zipolite Beach

Playa Zipolite is a rustic seaside town located on the southern coast of Mexico’s Oaxaca state, between Huatulco and Puerto Escondido. Zipolite’s claim to fame is that it’s one of Mexico’s very few “swimsuit optional” beaches and for its distinct hippie vibe which began in the 1960’s. The town is … [Read more...]

After the Crash: Celebrating Life in Death Valley

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley

It had been four months since my near-death experience.  Flying cross-country was challenge enough – I really was not aware of the obstacles that lay ahead. Death Valley, California.  The lowest place in the United States with the highest recorded temperature (134°F in 1913) in the world.  I … [Read more...]

Organic Mezcal In Oaxaca

oaxaca mezcal

Face as brown and tough as leather, with deep, deep smile lines crinkling around sparkling black eyes, Don Alberto Martinez welcomed us warmly to his organic mezcal farm just outside Oaxaca City. His firm, rough handshake spoke volumes of a labor-intensive but honest life of living and working his … [Read more...]

Pleasure House Oysters: The Making Of An Ostreaphile

Pleasure House Oysters

"He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” -Jonathan Swift My agreement with that statement made me somewhat of an outcast among my trendy Baby Boomer friends. I’d watched them shuck open some unsuspecting barnacle-laden shell, tip it up, and let a pulpy, slimy mass of flesh slide down their … [Read more...]

12 Reasons to Travel with a Personal Photographer in Mexico

12 Reasons to Travel with a Personal Photographer in Mexico (Cantimplora Travel)

Mexico is one of my favorite countries, and the only destination that I return to year-after-year.  I travel solo much of the time, and it’s always been safe.  For those who are still concerned, there are other fantastic ways to see the country, such as a small-group or curated tour.  Tours groups … [Read more...]

12 Things to Do in Bali. The Last One is Unbelievable

12 Things to Do in Bali

It’s on everyone’s bucket list.  Everyone.  And for good reason.  Just whisper the seductive word “Bali” at a party and witness the dreamy, faraway look in the hearer’s eyes.  Bali is more than just a destination.  It’s the epitome of an exotic paradise. An Indonesian island known for lush … [Read more...]

Bahamas on a Budget

Bahamas on a budget

Have you ever looked at a friend’s Facebook pictures of frolicking fun on exotic islands and wondered how they could afford it? You’re not alone. Taking a tropical vacation with a limited budget is easier than you think.  Carnival’s cruises to the Bahamas out of the cruise ports in Miami, … [Read more...]

15 Reasons to Go to Mexico’s Caribbean Coast

Mexico's Caribbea coast

You’re familiar with it. That glorious slice of land where the Yucatan Peninsula meets the Caribbean Sea. The iridescent turquoise water lapping onto the white-sand, palm-lined beaches.  Mexico's Caribbean coast...the very definition of “tropical paradise.” Is there a bad time to visit? Probably … [Read more...]

11 Reasons to Do a Back-to-Back Cruise in 2016

11 reasons to do a back-to-back cruise in 2016

I’d really never considered a back-to-back cruise, i.e. combining two cruises on the same ship, until a friend suggested it.  I was in the process of booking a cruise to the Caribbean out of the port of Miami – one of Carnival’s shorter five-day cruises which would visit Grand Cayman and Jamaica.  … [Read more...]