Journey to Middle Earth: North Island

img_9412

As Chuck and I approached our third Christmas away from the U.S., we realized – with a smattering of guilt – that we had not gone home for a single one of them. Of course, we had made it home on other occasions, and family is always welcome to join our international excursions, but this time we made it a point to invite Chuck’s parents and siblings to join us for a road trip in New Zealand. Continue reading

Christmastime in London Town

img_6364_20161220020246

So, what actually got me to Europe in the first place? In my previous post, I explain how – despite having already completed my Master’s degree with GWU – I opted to audit a course in global public advocacy, which included a week-long residency in London. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up!  Continue reading

Christmastime in La Ville Lumière

img_6019_20161209075428Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Asia. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to explore a continent upon which I otherwise would have never set foot, given my limitations and priorities. But after 2.5 years of exploring the nooks and crannies of the Orient, I found myself craving Western Civilization. I needed to get back to Europe…

Continue reading

Eat. Pray. Bali.

So, there wasn’t much about Chuck’s and my 6th wedding anniversary trip to Bali that resembled Eat, Pray, Love, but who couldn’t associate the beautiful island with Liz Gilbert’s bestseller, at this point?

img_9111

Getting my Pray on at Uluwatu Temple

Bali was a sparkling jewel of an island. If it hadn’t been for some unfortunate happenstance courtesy of China Eastern Airlines – both on the way there and on the way back – it would easily be one of my favorite trips. That said, we had a lovely time and I would surely go again if I had the opportunity… just with a different airline 😉 Continue reading

Girls Trip to Singapore

IMG_2981When it comes to leisure travel, this year has been remarkably slow. Chuck’s schedule is itinerant, and we haven’t been able to lock anything down. One night, after imbibing a few spirits, I spoke with girl friends about taking a short getaway trip of our own – somewhere the guys wouldn’t miss. Singapore, perhaps? I knew Chuck wasn’t interested in Singapore, but it would offer all the essentials for a cosmopolitan girls trip – food, shopping, dancing, and shining lights! It would provide a glitzy adventure to balance our laid back lives in Okinawa…

My friend Sally agreed to book the trip with me, and we set out on our long weekend adventure full of energy, laughter, and hope. Never mind that we ended it hungover and exhausted, despite our best intentions to avoid such a scenario… but I guess there are some lessons we will just never learn! Continue reading

Thai Holiday: Phuket

Originally, I had planned for Phuket to be the relaxing part of our vacation. I was thinking a resort with its own beach and everything on-site so that we wouldn’t have to leave if we didn’t want to. The only thing I would schedule was a boat tour of the Phi Phi Islands, which had been on my bucket list for years…

IMG_4501

Continue reading