Category Archives: Uncategorized

Update: I’ve visited 50 Countries!

Big update – I just visited my 50th country!  It’s been quite the adventure! As a quick reminder, I started this site based on my crazy travel goal, to inspire people to visit 50 countries by age 50 (click to learn more about the goal).

I’m long overdue to post the stories and photos from my last few trips on here – Portugal, Spain, Tulum, and now Iceland. I loved all of them! I’ve been posting on Instagram regularly and will include more extensive posts here.

Now that I’ve reached 50, I’ll look back at some of my top experiences, Some of the requests I’ve received to reflect on include my craziest adventures, most beautiful views, best beaches, most delicious foods, scariest moments, and more!  What would you like me to weigh in on?

Below is from the announcement that I reached my 50th –

Visit50 is on Instagram!

See photos of my travel adventures @Visit50 on Instagram. While I’ve been slower posting on this blog, I post photos on IG multiple times per week.

I post my travel photos much more frequently on IG. Drop by to say hello!

Visit50 is on Instagram!

Travel Bucket List 2016

Top 10 trips that are still on my travel bucket list

Which countries are on your travel bucket list?  Now that I’m getting so close to my Visit 50 goal (the Visit50 Travel Challenge – I’ve visited 47 countries already!), people have been asking, where’s next?  Where haven’t you visited yet?  Here’s a list of the top 10 trips that are still on my travel bucket list.

Warning, viewing this post may give you wanderlust!

  1. African Safari in Tanzania/Kenya/South Africa

Wildlife is among of my favorite things to travel to see (and photograph) – that includes lions, leopards, rhinoceros, cheetahs, elephants, and more. Sign me up!Lions in Africa - travel bucket list 2016

My ideal trip:  I want to visit the Serengeti during the Great Zebra & Wildebeest Migration.

Every year, 300,000 zebras, and 1.5 million wildebeest migrate from Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara. Watching them cross  the Grumeti River (Tanzania) and the Mara River (Kenya) is supposed to be a spectacular site!

seeing the Serengetti Migration is on my travel bucket list
photo by Diana Robinson

I’d also love to do a safari in Namibia or Botswana. All of them sound awesome!

2. Galapagos Islands / Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands have wildlife that’s unique to their little islands. It’s so close and sounds so amazing. I have to get there!

Galapagos - seeing Puffins is on my Travel bucket list
Puffins!
Seeing Baby Sea Lions is on my 2016 travel bucket list
Baby Sea Lions can be spotted throughout the Galapagos Islands

3. Iceland – Aurora Borealis!

The Aurora Borealis is supposed to be amazingly beautiful. Imagine the sky turning bright green, or even a rainbow of colors!

Seeing Aurora Borealis is on my travel bucket list
Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights

The sky turns green!

While you can see the “Northern Lights” from all over the world in northern locations, Iceland’s been on my list for a while. They also have so much natural beauty in a little country.

The northern lights - I'll see them soon!

4. Morocco

There’s so much to love: the Sahara, the architecture, the culture, and more. I still haven’t been to Africa, and if I don’t go to a country with a safari, Morocco might be next.

A camel ride through the desert in Morocco is on my travel bucket list

5. New Zealand

NZ is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. It’s also the adventure capital of the world. Travelers dedicate weeks to exploring New Zealand and

still wish they had more time.

New Zealand's Milford Sound - photo by paul bica
New Zealand’s Milford Sound – (credit)

6. Japan

This is cheating a little – I was in Tokyo for 48 hours. There’s so much more to explore. I need at least a week more to explore Tokyo, but more importantly, I want to get to Kyoto and other regions. There’s so much more to see, like this below bamboo forest:

Sagano Bamboo forest, Arashiyama, Kyoto
Sagano Bamboo forest, Arashiyama, Kyoto – (credit)

7 Argentina – Iguazu Falls & Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is “Paris of the South” – it’s on of the best cities in South America. Mendoza is wine country. Patagonia is incredibly beautiful and offers all kinds of great hiking. Speaking of natural beauty – Iguazu Falls looks awesome! [photo below]

Iguazu Falls looks so impressive!
Iguazu Falls looks so impressive! You can also see it from the Brazil side of the border. (credit)

8. Spain – Barcelona, Mallorca, Madrid, Valencia

The food, the culture, yes sign me up! This might be my next trip. I’ll keep this brief, as I’m about to write a longer post dedicated to Spain.

Spain might be the next on this list for me to visit
Spain sounds awesome – starting with La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Dancers in Pamplona at the festival of the feasts. (credit)
Dancers in Pamplona at the festival of the feasts. (credit)

9.Egypt

Egypt looks surreal, starting with the pyramids…but there’s way more to this country. Like Israel, it’s been stuck on my top countries to visit list for a while due to current conditions. Lots of travel bloggers report going recently and finding it to be wonderful (with very few lines!).

The Giza Pyramids & Sphinx in Egypt have been on my travel bucket list for a while
This photo captures why I want to see Egypt with my own eyes (and lens!)

10. Cuba

Havana looks frozen in time due, and is finally accessible. You’ll want to visit before a cruise docks – it’ll change the country.

I need to visit Cuba before it changes - the clock is ticking!
I need to visit Cuba before it changes – the clock is ticking!
Travel Bucket List Honorable Mentions –

The next 10 includes Turkey, Israel, Brazil, Chile, and others. There’s also lots of places in the world with one amazing place – like the Salt Flats in Bolivia.

In every country I’ve been to, there’s at least one place that I didn’t get to but am excited to visit. Each travel conversation gets me a little more excited for my next trip.

Which trips are on your travel bucket list?

Have you been to any of these? Any and all advice is welcome! What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

The World Is Awesome! (Boom De Yada)

I love the whole world, and all its sights and sounds.

The world is awesome, and this one-minute video helps capture that sentiment. If you have a passion for exploring the globe, you’ll love it as much as I did. Keep exploring and appreciating this awesome world!  Boomdeyada!

Thank you Discovery Channel – the world IS awesome!

The more you travel, the more you agree – the world is just awesome! I just went on my 10-country Eurotrip; every country provided new reasons to agree. As I visit new countries, I find more and more moments that reinforce this. Do you agree?


 

Some aspects of travel may be legitimately frustrating, like the Philippines’ inability to keep to a prompt schedule, but this video captures all that’s awesome in the world.  On my adventures, this has included baby monkeys, amazing ruins, beautiful islands, and more. Going snorkeling with Whale Sharks might renew your appreciation for the world.

Actually, all baby wildlife might do that – including seeing baby elephants in Borneo, baby monkeys (macaques) in Indonesia, and baby apes (baby orangutans).

And now, Part 2 of The World is Awesome!

 

Now here’s the original version, followed by Part 2. I Love The Whole World, Boom de yada!

Lyrics of The World Is Awesome! (Boom De Yada!)

It never gets old, huh?
Nope.
It kind makes you wanna…
Break into song?
Yup.

I love the mountains.
I love the clear blue skies.
I love big bridges.
I love when great whites fly.
I love the whole world.
And all its sights and sounds.

Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada.

I love the ocean.
I love real dirty things.
I love to go fast.
I love Egyptian kings.
I love the whole world,
And all it’s craziness.

Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada.

I love tornadoes.
I love arachnids.
I love hot magma.
I love the giant squids.
I love the whole world.
It’s such a brilliant place.

Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada. Boomdeyada.

Boomdeyada! The world is awesome!

My travels so far have taken me to nearly 50 countries, with some amazing experiences!

The world is awesome Boomdeyada! Visit50

50 Most Popular Tourist Destinations

50 Most Popular Tourist Destinations

What are the most popular tourist attractions in the world?  This infographic shows all kinds of interesting numbers.

  • Times Square is easily the most popular tourist destination in the world, according to this travel infographic.
  • More people visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, than visit the Vatican or the Coliseum in Rome
  • Disneyland Tokyo is more popular than the Great Wall of China, and Disney World in Florida is far more popular than both.Travel Infographic - 50 Most Popular Tourist Destinations

Infographic by Forbes Traveler.  (Click on image to enlarge)

  • Niagara Falls is the most visited natural tourist destination in the world, by far, according to this chart. But – there’s no way it’s more highly visited than Central Park in NYC.
  • Theme parks are incredibly popular – Disney, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, etc.

Most Popular does NOT = Best!

Keep in mind that lists and graphics like this aren’t showing the best places to go, but rather the ones that are most visited. The amount of visits is often influenced by how many people are nearby to visit (and can afford to).  For example, local New Yorkers do not get excited by Times Square. If you visit me in NYC, my tour will focus on areas that didn’t make this list.

This 50 Most Popular Tourist Destinations Infographic was created by Forbes Traveler. Thanks to the excellent travel magazine Wild Junket for inspiring this post.  (Click on image to enlarge)

9 Amazing underwater photographs of sharks and dolphins

Amazing underwater shark photographs, plus photos of mantas, whales, and dolphins Bull shark closeup, in Fiji. I'm terrified just looking at it! Photo by Alexander Safonov

Bull shark closeup, in Fiji. I’m terrified just looking at it! Photo by Alexander Safonov

Mantis shrimp, in West Papua
Mantis shrimp, in West Papua. This might be my favorite of the group.
Gigantic Manta ray and photographers in Raja Ampat, West Papua
Gigantic Manta ray and photographers in Raja Ampat, West Papua. Photo by Alexander Safonov
Ragged tooth shark in Aliwal Shoal, South Africa
Ragged tooth shark in Aliwal Shoal, South Africa. Photo by Alexander Safonov

Underwater photographer Alexander Safonov took some amazing photos – close-up shots of sharks, dolphins, gigantic manta rays, sperm whales, and more. Buy these photos here

Dolphins prepare for lunch
Dolphins prepare for lunch. Photo by Alexander Safonov

Check out the full slideshow of Alexander Safonov’s impressive underwater photography.

Hammerheads everywhere!
Hammerheads everywhere! Photo by Alexander Safonov
Sailfish
Sailfish – Photo by Alexander Safonov
Hammerhead shark closeup
Hammerhead shark closeup. Photo by Alexander Safonov
Sperm whale in Ogasawara Islands, Japan
Sperm whale in Ogasawara Islands, Japan. Photo by Alexander Safonov

Photographer Alexander Safonov is originally from Voronezh, Russia. He’s lived in eastern Asia since 1998, spending a decade in Japan first and currently residing in Hong Kong, according to a profile in the Telegraph. Buy a copy of his photographs here.

Source: Amazing underwater photographs of sharks and dolphins by Alexander Safonov – Telegraph

How Deep is the Ocean?

Ever wonder, how deep is the ocean?

The ocean is mind-numbingly deep – the ocean is 14,000 feet deep.  Here’s a great info-graphic 131 second video, with some highlights below.

Click the below image:

40m is the maximum depth for recreational SCUBA Divers
maximum depth for recreational SCUBA Divers
How deep is the ocean? The average depth of the ocean is 4267 meters
How deep is the ocean? The average depth of the ocean is 4267 meters
How deep can Blue Whales Dive?  Blue Whales can dive down to 500 meters deep.
Blue Whales can dive down to 500 meters deep.
Mount Everest is 8850 meters, and the ocean goes even deeper
Mount Everest is 8850 meters, and the ocean goes even deeper
How deep is the ocean?  11,034 meters deep. That's the bottom of the Mariana Trench
The ocean goes11,034 meters deep. That’s the bottom of the Mariana Trench
 James Cameron visited the top of the Mariana Trench, an amazing 7 miles underwater that  broke a record! In the Bloomberg article they mentioned he risked implosion. wow.

He spent several million dollars on the sub, called Deepsea Challenger, which needed to withstand pressures of at least eight tons per square inch.

The feat equaled the 1960 record set by Don Walsh and the late Jacques Piccard, and the movie director became the first to solo to the earth’s deepest point.

Video of the experience can be found at Nat Geo.

The Marianas Trench is located just northeast of Indonesia.

The world’s deepest point in the oceans is the Challenger Deep which is found within the Marianas Trench. The Marianas Trench is a depression (deep cracks) in the floor of the western Pacific Ocean. Marianas Trench is formed (as other ocean trenches) as a result of the oceanic plate being pushed against a continental plate whereby causing the oceanic plate to pushed downward making deep fissure. Its location is east of the Mariana Islands and is 1,554 miles long and averages 44 miles wide (see diagrams below). The Marianas Trench depth is 36,200 feet (11,033 m or 11.03 km).

 

 

Diving with Grey Reef Sharks – best shark video ever!

Imagine being surrounded by Grey Reef Sharks while SCUBA diving – it’s all captured in this awesome 5-minute diving video of Grey Reef Sharks in Nassau, Bahamas, at the Ray of Hope shipwreck. I love the ominous music too. Check out the video of SCUBA diving with these “Apex Predators” below:

Grey Reef Sharks, Nassau, Bahamas

Photos and videos of the Grey Reef Sharks were shot by Sarosh Jacob while SCUBA diving with a Panasonic Lumix ZS7 camera.

I just posted the story of my first time entering shark infested waters – surrounded by sharks in Borneo!

7.5 steps to get in shape for your trip

Happy 2013!  Ahhh, the new year. Each and every year, millions of people decide they need to get in better shape. Sometimes this is travel related, to look great for your next trip. Do you want to get ready for the tons of travel photos and bathing suit weather for your winter getaway?  How do you do it?  Start by setting a goal, and then focus on both the fitness and nutrition. Most people ignore the nutrition part, and then get discouraged with the lack of results. I made some small changes with big results, and you can too.

Check out this post on the 7.5 steps to get in shape for your next trip. Most lists focus on the fitness, so I’m going to focus on the nutrition, which could be even more important.  These are little adjustments in your diet that make a huge difference – they did for me. I’ll show you how!

Meet my new friends - Malapascua, Philippines - Visit50.com
Meet my new friends in Malapascua island, Philippines
Group shot - after diving in Bali - Visit50.com
That’s me on the left; I just got out of the water after getting SCUBA Open Water Certified

 

The 46 Places to Go in 2013 – NY Times

The New York Times just posted their annual travel destinations article, The 46 Places to Go in 2013 – love it!  Which should we visit next??

Of these, Nicaragua, Rio, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Paris, and Casablanca Morocco are already on my list. The Falkland Islands sound really interesting – a “Galápagos-like spot swarming with penguins, seals, whales and other wildlife” off the coast of Argentina.

Rio de Janeiro - the NY Times' #1 place to visit in 2013
Rio de Janeiro – the NY Times’ #1 place to visit in 2013


Teton Mountains

I loved Singapore, Hvar, Philippines, Jackson Hole Wyoming. I also liked Chichen Itza, Bangkok, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico

Louvre Lens Museum

The introduce some interesting places, like an arid mountainous area in China called Ningxia that’s been transformed to a wine region that LVMH is investing in.

Mexico Mayan Calendar 2012

I’ll be posting about these locations in upcoming weeks…

Photos from the original NY Times article.