Tag Archives: world travel

One year later

Dana Point - Thanksgiving - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

Taking in the view at Dana Point Headlands Trail on Thanksgiving

It’s been officially a year since we launched into what was originally to be about a one month road trip and then a short stint in a winter-free zone. Ummm….we’re still here! Read the rest of this entry

Connections, & social media & geography – oh my!

with Katie at Seaport Village, San Diego - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

Former student visits the west coast

We’ve now been in San Diego for ten months. We’ve had more random connections in those ten months than in the ten years I lived in Long Beach, NY thirty minutes from the town in which I grew up. Former students popped by when visiting friends. Friends we met traveling passed through on their way from here to there and we met in person. Mat’s high school friend now lives an hour away. Teenage youth group connections rekindled with those passing through for conferences. University friends grabbed coffee together en route to meetings. One of my San Diego yoga teachers grew up a few blocks away from me and went to the same high school. And virtual travel connections became a reality. When shifting gears or geography stations, people who are in your outer circles resurface – maybe it’s to teach you something or maybe it’s only for an afternoon. Life is beautiful and strange. Read the rest of this entry

National Geographic Travel Honours Travelers of the Year 2014

National Geographic Travel Honours Travelers of the Year 2014

‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’- Marc Anthony

For years we’ve all heard this comment but for me, it was floated again when I resigned from teaching to follow a different path and carve out a new journey. I love to travel. I’ve loved it for years and there’s a freedom while traveling that I’ve yet to find elsewhere. That feeling of lightness, curiosity and that anything is possible is palpable and tangible whenever there’s an adventure. In between those travels (when there’s a bit of time to recoup financially), I find myself searching for those feelings at home. I’ve found many who know exactly what I mean and feel the same way. They may describe it as bliss, a tranquility or even the feeling of knowing you’re a small part of a bigger world-but there’s a kinship, and travelers understand. Read the rest of this entry

15 things on the mind of a girl who loves to travel

Over water bungalows - Moorea, French Polynesia

Over water bungalows – Moorea, French Polynesia

If you met me in my youth, you would have said there’s a girl who loves the beach, her friends, chocolate, summer camp and is looking towards a university adventure. If you met me any time after university you’d say there’s a girl who loves the beach, her friends, summer camp, chocolate and especially world travel. Loving the accents of my Camp America counselors in my youth and then bitten by the bug in my early twenties, I’ve never since been the same. Luckily, with the issues of survival (food, water, shelter and let’s add health to that) thankfully and most appreciatively met at this time, there are often other things on my mind and travel is ALWAYS at the forefront. My friends constantly remind me that I’m lucky that my husband has that same adventure spirit or they’re sure he’d go insane. Read the rest of this entry

Traveler Interview #7: Midlife Road Trip’s Rick Griffin


Interview with Midlife Road Trip (Rick Griffin)

Sailing the seas

1.When did you get started traveling? I fell in love with traveling as a child going on family vacations. As an adult I owned a small chain of child care centers and served on the board of directors for the National Child Care Association where I traveled to different parts of the country for various board and committee meetings on a regular basis. After a life-threatening illness in 2004 I reevaluated my priorities, sold my business and began pursuing my creative passions by starting a video production company.

2.What made you decide make the jump to a location independent/travel-based existence? In 2008 I won a contest for a webisode pilot I had created called “Midlife Road Trip”.  That got me to thinking how cool it would be to actually travel around the world and check things off my bucket list. I did a lot of brainstorming with friends on Twitter about the possibility of creating a regular “Midlife Road Trip” show – or at least something like it. One of those friends was Sandi McKenna. Sandi had a background in video production and was very passionate about the idea. I had never met Sandi in real life, so I took my wife and daughters to Tampa for spring break. I got to meet Sandi and we were able to brainstorm how we could make this work. We tweaked the concept, shot another pilot and put it out for the world to see. Fortunately it seemed to strike a chord with a lot of people and gave us the confidence to give it a go. Read the rest of this entry

Why Travel the World?


 Sheer joy

Experience other cultures

Find what text books can’t teach

Gain perspective

Break out of your comfort zone

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia


Share in someone else’s journey

Live your dreams

Be part of the great big world around you

Discover yourself

Taj Mahal, India

Taj Mahal, India

 Open your mind

Routine can be more frightening than the unknown



Spread your wings

New friends & their lassis in Jaipur, India

New friends & their lassis in Jaipur, India

 See the world’s genuine souls

Do what you love

Work to live instead of living to work

Really see people for who they truly are

Strengthen your character

Sunset at St. Kilda Beach, Victoria, Australia

Sunset at St. Kilda Beach, Victoria, Australia

 Seek life’s important meanings

Develop your senses

Life’s too short to stay stuck in the same place

Whatever your path is it only has to be right for you

Why not!

The Gift of Travel

The Gift of Travel

Travel vs Dieting

Travel vs Dieting

Travel is like dieting. How many of us have tried the cabbage soup diet, going carb-free or the ‘I won’t eat till the dress fits’ system? Each has its merits, I imagine, if only for the short-term, but according to specialists, the only one that ever truly seems to work is the full life-change. Not only a diet for a purpose, but a change of mind-set and choices is what tends to do the trick.

For me, travel has had the same effect. For years I tried to grab any second that I could to go on an adventure. Driving to Maine (from NY) for lunch one day, jetting to California for a weekend or spending a long Thanksgiving weekend in London. As a teacher for the past 16 years, I traveled on those long-awaited yet most expensive holiday breaks leaving as close to the ringing of the last bell and returning a few short hours prior to seeing my students at 7 am on that first Monday morning back. No matter the distance, I squeezed in as much as I could to get the most time out of that holiday. The most insane of them all was going from NY to New Zealand for eight days one December break-but ridiculous as it may have been; I met my husband on that trip. Read the rest of this entry

Chased by a hippo in Botswana

Chased by a hippo in Botswana

“Run Stacey, run”, Maria screams in my ear as we jump out of the mokorro. We grab our bags and with our spouses in tow follow the polers in front of us to higher ground jumping over trees that block in the hippo pool.

My husband and I were on a gAdventures trip in southern Africa. After traveling from Capetown up the Skeleton coast through Namibia, we arrive in Maun, Botswana and are spending two nights in the Okavanga Delta. Our trucks stop at the water’s edge and we hop out. At the Delta Station, much different than the likes of Penn or Paddington, we meet our transport that will take us on our journey into the delta. Local transporters are known as polers. These men and women stand at the back of the mokorro (boats that come from hollowed out trees-although there are now some of fiberglass) and use a very long pole to literally push the boat through the delta. Read the rest of this entry


Sandune’s Lodge is known as the home of the San People, the Bushmen. Andrew, the owner, who greeted us graciously, communicated quite easily with the San people living in a small village at the edge of his property. We had arrived early to find traditionally designed, beautiful rooms, and breath-taking animal population.

Riding atop the jeep

Our drive to the Bushmen village was short, but our transportation quite different. There were two jeeps, each with some room inside and one with a separate seating section on the top. Yes, that’s right, (don’t tell my mother) we sat on the roof of the truck! As we gripped at the handrails over every bump, we knew this ride would be special. We drove through the bush on sand tracks and after leaving the car we continued to head further into the bush hiking through blades of grass up to my waist. The journey was incredible and we hadn’t even yet met the people.

The San People of Namibia

At the edge of the property, what we saw was astounding. We found a village of six adults, two teenage boys and a few children staying in stick-made huts surrounding a man-made fire. They wore little clothing, spoke their own language, used traditional methods of hunting, played with sticks, and regularly drank out of ostrich eggs.  As Andrew translated our conversations and questions, the Bushmen demonstrated how they trapped animals, made a poison to place on the end of an arrow, created gorgeous shell jewelry out of ostrich eggs and altogether how they lived. Read the rest of this entry

An Afternoon with the San People of Namibia

Kruger National Park, South Africa


Day 68: Polokwane, South Africa-Kruger National Park, South Africa (14 November 2009)

Well, the storm had come and gone and the tents were still standing, so that was a good thing! We woke up at 6:30 this morning to the scene of a very heavy storm with the outsides of the tents drenched but we were dry as a bone on the inside! We got ourselves up and had a lovely brekky of Jungle Oats So Easy, South Africa’s version of instant oatmeal. We had banana and toffee and chocolate and added peanut butter and oh my goodness they were delicious! Like a warm reeces peanut butter cup and a warm banana dessert!

After a cup of tea and the wash up of the dishes, we were on our way to Kruger National Park! We attempted to go to a small game reserve first but unfortunately it was raining a bit and the reserve was closed since they were afraid of the cars sliding into the animals. Lucky for us, this is the only time so far in this whole journey that weather has been a factor at all in our holiday plans. So, in lieu of the reserve, we hit a shopping mall to get some food for Kruger and we had a bit of a wander around and picked up a few of our South African favorites for the road (two boxes of rusks and some Braai salt) and then we headed to Kruger! How cool is that! We were actually going to Kruger National Park in South Africa-I’ve wanted to go here for as long as I’ve known it existed!

Read the rest of this entry