Tama Lakes: A Prerequisite to the Alpine Crossing

Tama Lakes: A Prerequisite to the Alpine Crossing

New Zealand is known for its natural beauty. After exploring the Northland, Chris and I were in awe of all of the beautiful sights that we had seen over the course of our hiking, driving, and camping, but nothing would compare to our visit to Tongariro National Park. We arrived at our campsite in the Tongariro National Park fairly late one evening after a full day of driving. Up until this point, our campsites usually featured
How to Get Surprised by a 2,000 Year Old Tree – Tane Mahuta

How to Get Surprised by a 2,000 Year Old Tree – Tane Mahuta

We had heard rumblings about something called a Kauri Tree. And in particular Tane Mahuta – the poppa bear of all Kauri trees. We heard these trees were the giants. We heard they were majestic. Sounded cool…….but they’re trees. Probably not cool enough to go out of our way for, right? Right. But fortunately for us Tane Mahuta happened to be standing (almost) right in our way on the drive down from Cape Reinga so we
Lessons Learned on 90 Mile Beach

Lessons Learned on 90 Mile Beach

While traveling (especially in a campervan) each day is an adventure, and each adventure is jam packed with new experiences. The days no longer blend together and each is a collection of distinct memories. Some memories are more noteworthy than others but the very best (or maybe unforgettable) ones combine excitement, novelty, hospitality, and of course, a little (or a lot) of stupidity! On this particular day that we will likely never forget, Chris and I
Cape Reinga – New Zealand’s Northern Tip…and Some Really Stupid GoPro Photos

Cape Reinga – New Zealand’s Northern Tip…and Some Really Stupid GoPro Photos

Of the many must-see’s in New Zealand, we heard again and again that the collision of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea at Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of the country, was not to be missed – so after our first (wonderful) night’s sleep in good ‘ol Liberty we made like Floridians in the summertime and headed north. On the drive we took a pitstop at the Bay of Islands and hiked for a couple
New Zealand, Night #1: Otamure Bay

New Zealand, Night #1: Otamure Bay

With as much planning and preparation as we had done for this trip there was one major thing we purposefully skipped each time we discussed the trip; where we were sleeping the first night in the van.  Or the second.  Or the thirty after that. We wanted to keep our schedule open so we wouldn’t be bogged down by ‘having’ to be somewhere – but instead be open to spontaneous new experiences (which is the way
“You won’t be able to board the flight”

“You won’t be able to board the flight”

Words you don’t want to hear checking in to the first flight of your mega-trip. These uttered from the lips of an American Eagle (airline not clothing line) attendant at the check in counter in San Diego, “Unless we have proof that you’ll be leaving New Zealand you won’t be able to board the flight” she stated once again. Crap!  We had glossed over the New Zealand visa requirements after seeing at US citizens have an
The Secret of San Diego’s Awesomeness

The Secret of San Diego’s Awesomeness

In my experience, when I discuss a city with someone there are typically positives and negatives aspects that arise. New York has so much to do but it’s too crowded. San Francisco has such great cuisine but it’s just too expensive. Rome has gorgeous sights but it’s kind of dirty. Barcelona is amazing but there’s a ton of pickpockets. You get the gist. San Diego is an exception to that rule. I have quite literally never
Applauding for Sunsets

Applauding for Sunsets

Both of our wonderful San Diego hosts informed us early on about an interesting phenomenon; applauding sunsets. They insisted that these west coast sunsets were so good that people actually started clapping when they were done. Sounded silly at first – but by once the sun dipped below the horizon both Jenna and I found ourselves joining in. Check it out. And last but certainly not least… (Applause)
Scuba Diving in San Diego – A Story of Humongous Crabs

Scuba Diving in San Diego – A Story of Humongous Crabs

I completed the coursework and pool training for my SSI (Scuba Schools International) Open Water Scuba Diver Certification in Baltimore this fall but because of some scheduling conflicts was not able to complete the final 5 dives. Fortunately I was able to hook up with a dive center out here in San Diego, Dive California, and knock out the final 5 dives in epic fashion! I, along with my awesome dive instructor Danielle, had two full
Torrey Pines- A San Diego Gem

Torrey Pines- A San Diego Gem

Less than twenty four hours after landing in San Diego, we were off to explore the natural beauty of the region. It was a perfect start to our scenic journey. Torrey Pines State Reserve is located within San Diego city limits and contains over 8 miles of trails. It was a beautiful day (per usual in San Diego) which made exploring the trails and unspoiled beaches even more enjoyable. We were also lucky enough to see
156787