From a dream to a plan in just 7 days. Start planning your trip now! 


RTW #5: In Search of the World’s Perfect Beach

My 5th Annual Round the World Trip Starts This Week!

Posted by on Dec 29, 2009 | 2 comments

My 5th Annual Round the World Trip Starts This Week!

Last Updated on

My 5th annual Round the World trip starts this week!!!

Where has the year gone?

This year I’ll be heading to several new and exciting spots and (of course) a couple of old favorites.

Here’s the itinerary:

Jordan – Seychelles Islands – Thailand – Bali, Indonesia

Taipei, Taiwan – Auckland, NZ – New Caledonia

Bora Bora – Cabo San Lucas

I am packing like mad and trying to get everything done before I leave. Leaving the country for a month is never as easy as it sounds. And there are so many details to finalize for a round the world trip. Not to mention there is a serious threat of snow looming for Atlanta that I may have to dodge. But regardless, in just a few days I’ll be departing for my first stop, Jordan!

 

Read More

The Ancient Charms of Petra Jordan

Posted by on Jan 10, 2010 | 0 comments

The Ancient Charms of Petra Jordan

Last Updated on

After 2 last minute flight changes, I was lucky to escape Atlanta before the snow started to fall. My Delta Business Elite flight from JFK to Amman could not have been better. Empty seat next to me = double the fluffy pillows and duvets = lots of sleep!

We landed in Amman 12 hours later around 4pm on Friday and my first hurdle was getting a visa on arrival. This turned out to be the simplest process ever – it took less than 5 minutes and cost about $15 US. Definitely no reason to get a visa in advance if you’re traveling to Jordan.

Next up, finding a taxi and getting to the hotel. Finding a taxi was easy, getting to the hotel proved more difficult.

Read More

Say Yes to the Seychelles Islands

Posted by on Jan 12, 2010 | 2 comments

Say Yes to the Seychelles Islands

Last Updated on

After a great week in Jordan and an overnight in Paris, I was on my way to paradise.

The flight to the Seychelles Islands from Paris takes about 10 hours. Not a bad trade – the cold and rain of a Parisian winter for the sandy beaches of a tropical paradise.

We landed at 8:30am and when the boarding door cracked open, I was greeted by a wall of heat and humidity (did I mention it was only 8:30 in the morning?).

Situated just 4 degrees south of the Equator, the humid climate of the Seychelles is not for the faint of heart. The heat can be, quite literally, stifling. But, since I have been complaining about the cold weather at home for weeks, I decide to wrangle my rapidly expanding hair into a ponytail and go with the flow.

Read More

Beloved Bangkok & a Trip to Phang Nga Bay

Posted by on Jan 17, 2010 | 0 comments

Beloved Bangkok & a Trip to Phang Nga Bay

Last Updated on

After leaving the Seychelles, I enjoyed a restful night in the upstairs cabin on a 747-400 from Paris and awoke eagerly anticipating our landing in Bangkok. My all-time favorite RTW stop (and the only country I have visited on every trip), Thailand is truly the ultimate destination.

From the bright lights and speeding tuk-tuks of Bangkok to the secluded and tranquil beaches of the south, Thailand has something for everyone – and everything for me. After spending 3 of the past 5 nights sleeping on airplanes, the first order of business was the famous $6 Thai massage.

When I arrived at my hotel, the beautiful Royal Orchid Sheraton on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, I was excited to see that they had finally completed a renovation. I’ve stayed at this property several times over the years and have always loved it for its perfect location on the river and sweeping views – but the rooms were a little tired.

I’m happy to say that’s no longer the case. I was upgraded to a lovely suite so newly renovated that I think the paint might still have been wet. What a nice surprise!

Read More

Bintangs & Beach Time – A Balinese Odyssey

Posted by on Jan 22, 2010 | 0 comments

Bintangs & Beach Time – A Balinese Odyssey

Last Updated on

I hadn’t been on the ground 5 minutes in Bali before I began wondering why on earth it never occurred to me to come here before?

Known as the “Island of the Gods,” even the airport’s intricate stone carvings and temple offerings at every counter tell you right away that this island is unique.

My 3-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur couldn’t have been easier and within minutes of arrival I had completed my Visa on Arrival and was headed out to the arrivals lounge to meet my driver. For my 2-night stay at the Westin Nusa Dua in Bali, I’d done something I usually don’t – arranged for a hotel car to pick me up at the airport.

Typically, the hotel car service is horridly overpriced compared to just hopping in a taxi or on the train. But, when I got an e-mail from the Westin a few days before arrival asking for my flight info and inquiring as to whether I would like to be picked up for a cost of only $11 US, I decided to take them up on it.

Though I probably could’ve haggled my way into a cab for half that, $11 bucks was totally worth it to just have a driver waiting for me for once. A nice, stress-free start to my few days in Bali.

Read More

24 Hours in Taipei

Posted by on Jan 23, 2010 | 0 comments

24 Hours in Taipei

Last Updated on

I didn’t have especially ambitious plans for my 24 hours in Taipei. Kind of a random choice as a stop, I know, but it was one of those Asian cities on my to-do list so I decided to squeeze it in between tropical locales this year. It was time for a “city-break” and a return to high-rise hotels and actual high-speed internet.

Upon landing in Taipei from my blissful stay in Bali, I was surprised to see that for such a hi-tech city, the airport was not nearly the modern facility I’ve become accustomed to in major Asian capitals.

There was, however, an enormous tourism desk staffed with a dozen helpful agents who checked my hotel reservation on a list, provided me with a good city map and suggested a bus to the city that made a stop right in front of my hotel.

I was a little disappointed there was no train to the city, just the bus or a taxi. But, at only $2.80, the bus was definitely the cheapest airport transportation I’ve ever taken.

Read More

A Perfect Day in Auckland

Posted by on Jan 28, 2010 | 0 comments

A Perfect Day in Auckland

Last Updated on

Auckland has become the perfect jumping-off point to the South Pacific for me these past few trips. It’s the closest I can get to the islands on my RTW ticket but luckily flights are pretty cheap from Auckland to almost any destination in the Pacific.

It’s also a nice break from Asia both from a language and food perspective. And to top it off, you just can’t beat the weather. And the wine.

My final flight on Korean Airlines for this trip was perfect as always. Great service, great food and an excellent seat for sleeping. I arrived in Auckland from my 24-hour stay in Taipei feeling pretty good though with all the time zone changes lately, I think it’s starting to catch up to me.

Let’s just say my critical thinking skills aren’t quite as sharp as usual. I’m hopeful that a good meal and a good night’s sleep in a real bed will help.

Read More

Paris in the Pacific: Bonjour! New Caledonia

Posted by on Feb 11, 2010 | 2 comments

Paris in the Pacific: Bonjour! New Caledonia

Last Updated on

I have to begin today by giving the French due credit for their colonial taste in islands. It is becoming abundantly clear that they got all the good ones while no one was looking. 

First Tahiti, then the Seychelles – and now this?? Someone has got to start keeping closer tabs on these people.

Here’s just a rough list of current or former French colonial islands (many of whom are still speaking French to this day):  Tahiti, New Caledonia, Mauritius, Martinique, St Croix, St Kitts, Vanuatu, St. Martin and Reunion. I have only been to two of these so far, but they are two of the most gorgeous islands I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world.

Well done, Frenchies.

Read More

Surviving Bora Bora: Sea Turtles & Cyclones – A Tahitian Adventure

Posted by on Feb 12, 2010 | 9 comments

Surviving Bora Bora: Sea Turtles & Cyclones – A Tahitian Adventure

Last Updated on

I admit it, I have been procrastinating. I couldn’t seem to make myself sit down and start writing about my ill-fated week in Bora Bora. There is just something about surviving a tropical cyclone on a tiny dot of sand in the South Pacific that gives you pause.

Paradise? Well, not exactly.

Last year, when I visited Moorea, I fell head over heels in love with the lagoon-encircled island and confidently proclaimed it “the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.” And that’s saying a lot, folks. So, you can imagine how excited I was about my upcoming trip to Bora Bora (which I’d heard was even better).

French Polynesia is made up of a number of islands, the most famous of which are Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea. All international flights arrive in the city of Papeete on the main island of Tahiti – inter-island flights go out from there. With the timing of international flight arrivals, spending your first or last night on Tahiti before transferring to Bora Bora or Moorea is generally unavoidable.

Read More

A Whale of a Time in Cabo

Posted by on Feb 15, 2010 | 2 comments

A Whale of a Time in Cabo

Last Updated on

Cabo was not at all what I expected. Resting at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, the sparkling resort towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, known as “the capes,” or Los Cabos in Spanish, differ in many respects from their “Mexican Riviera” counterparts.

Having been to Mexico a couple of times (Cancun and Puerto Vallarta), my first big surprise in Cabo when I stepped off the plane from Bora Bora was the weather. Compared to the heat and humidity of other parts of Mexico, the dry, desert landscape of the Baja Peninsula was a nice change of pace.

This time of year, Cabo boasts average highs in the upper 70’s with lows in the high 50’s. The bright, sunny, breezy days reminded me more of Vegas or Phoenix in the spring than Mexico.

Read More