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Africa/Middle East

Photo of the Day – Beau Vallon Seychelles

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 | 2 comments

Photo of the Day – Beau Vallon Seychelles

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An archipelago of 115 largely uninhabited islands stretching across the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are known for their exotically-pristine beauty and have played host to at least one Royal honeymoon (see: William and Kate). Luckily, since more than a dozen of the islands do offer some level of tourist facilities, there’s enough undiscovered beauty to go around, like the exotic beauty of Beau Vallon Seychelles. The main granite island of Mahé is the largest of the islands and home to the majority of the local population of just 85,000. The Seychelles are also home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world including the largest known population of giant Aldabra tortoises (though don’t expect to see one lumbering down the beach toward you – despite what you may or may not have heard from Matt Lauer). The tropical isolation of the Seychelles Islands makes them the perfect choice for honeymooners or anyone seeking a little privacy and tranquility…and don’t miss  visit to Beau Vallon Seychelles.

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Zen in Zanzibar

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 | 0 comments

Zen in Zanzibar

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After a lengthy (8-hour) layover in Lusaka after Victoria Falls and a sleepless night on the way to Nairobi, I landed at 6:00am with two hours to kill in the Nairobi airport before my 8:00am connection to Zanzibar.

And thank goodness for the Kenya Airways Simba Lounge or I might have been reduced to finding a square of floor space somewhere. Even at 6:00am, the Nairobi airport was a hive of activity.

Though booked through Kenya Airways (a Skyteam member), my flight to Zanzibar was operated by Precision Airways. We boarded the small prop plane right on time and I grabbed a window seat hoping to get a glimpse of Zanzibar on approach.

Little did I know our pilot had plans to start the show long before our arrival in Zanzibar.

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Lucky in Livingstone: A Visit to Victoria Falls

Posted by on Feb 2, 2013 | 2 comments

Lucky in Livingstone: A Visit to Victoria Falls

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After my quick trip to the Canary Islands, I arrived back in Madrid with a 4-hour layover and a mission…unload my Antarctica suitcase.

You see, I had this whole master plan to ship the obnoxious suitcase carrying all my heavy winter clothes (and one very yellow parka) back to the U.S. so I wouldn’t have to carry it around the world for a month.

Unfortunately, when I tried to ship it back from Buenos Aires, they wanted almost $400. Preposterous! So, I checked the bag to Madrid figuring I’d have better luck shipping it back from Europe than South America.

Luckily there was a post office in the Madrid airport and after filling out paperwork for an hour and parting with €100 (far more reasonable) I was approximately 40lbs lighter and had never felt better. Finally, back to my traveling weight!

Unfortunately, my joy would be short-lived.

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Save the Date for Round the World #8!

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 | 7 comments

Save the Date for Round the World #8!

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It’s that time of year again…one month from today I’ll be departing on my 8th annual trip around the world! It’s going to be another whirlwind globetrotting adventure exploring 14 destinations in 10 countries and for the first time on all 7 continents.

Many of you know that Antarctica has been on my list for several years and this year I am finally making it happen. Yes, I’ll be cruising all the way from Argentina to the great white continent with Quark Expeditions and I am impossibly (some would say annoyingly) excited about it! 

This year’s trip will start in Buenos Aires and be the longest yet at a staggering – when you consider the name of the website – 54 days.

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Heaven on Sand…the Magnificent Maldives

Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 | 5 comments

Heaven on Sand…the Magnificent Maldives

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If not for a bit of luck in Abu Dhabi and a minor miracle in Doha, Qatar…we might have missed the Maldives entirely.

After a full day exploring Abu Dhabi, we arrived at the airport at 10:00pm excited for our redeye flight to the Maldives. We were flying Qatar Airways, which meant a quick connection in Doha to catch our longer flight to Malé, Maldives.

As we got in the line for check-in, I glanced at the departures board and noticed that practically every flight showed delayed or canceled. What!?? The weather outside seemed fine, we were in the middle of the desert after all, what could be the problem? As it turned out, the problem was fog. Enough fog to cause the virtual shutdown of the Abu Dhabi airport.

Having spent months researching flights to the Maldives and knowing how limited the options were, I had an immediate sense of dread. If this flight didn’t go, we were in big, big trouble. We’d be lucky to get to the Maldives at all, much less by the next day.

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24 Hours in Abu Dhabi

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 | 0 comments

24 Hours in Abu Dhabi

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After a 12-hour flight from Réunion, I landed in Paris and hopped on the train to meet up with my friend Susan at the Westin Paris. Susan flew in earlier that afternoon and will be joining me for the next 2 weeks of RTW #7! No one has ever joined me for this long on one of my RTW trips and I am super excited that Susan is coming along.

After meeting up at the hotel, we headed out for a spectacular dinner at my favorite little restaurant on Ile St. Louis before calling it a night (since we both had spent most of the night before on a plane). The next morning we caught the train back to the airport and headed to Abu Dhabi.

Situated in the southeast of the Arabian peninsula, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is a federation of seven emirates (similar to principalities) and the capital city is Abu Dhabi. I’d visited one other emirate before – Dubai – on RTW #1 and it was quite an amazing experience.

The UAE is known for oil, opulence and over the top architecture and I wondered if Abu Dhabi would measure up to Dubai.

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