Maraqopa

Maraqopa

After the wedding Gary and I let the newlyweds have a little romance while we took a tour of Sani Pass. High up in the Drakensberg Mountains, Sani Pass is just across the border into the land-locked kingdom of Lesotho. Pronounced ‘Luh-zoo-too,’ this country is known as the ‘Kingdom of the Sky,’ and is home to the highest pub in Africa.
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Graceland

Graceland

As much as I tried ahead of time to mentally prepare, the long haul flight from New York to Johannesburg still absolutely sucked. I know that flying is a privilege, and it’s incredible that we’re even able to soar through the air high above the clouds. But at a certain point, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to practice gratitude— you’re still just a sucker trapped in a metal tube, breathing someone else’s air.

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Ripple

Ripple

It is not in sorrow that I am moved to speak or act, but in the beauty of what remains. -Terry Tempest Williams

After a delayed connection followed by a frantic, sweaty run between airport terminals, Gary and I just barely caught our flight to Tahiti… only to have the plane get struck by lightening. Throughout all the turbulence and the loud flash/bang that struck the wing right outside my window, Gary remained completely unfazed, barely looking up from Keanu Reeves’ riveting performance in ‘Point Break.’ I, on the hand, squirmed and sweated while compulsively tightening my seatbelt, until the pilot  announced over the loudspeaker that we would be forced to turn back. After a night in a hotel and a long day twiddling our thumbs at the Auckland airport, we finally reached Tahiti at 3am, shuffling bleary-eyed off the plane into the balmy Pape’ete breeze.
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Shelter from the Storm

Shelter from the Storm

‘Scuse the profanity, but goodness gracious great geezy peasy, this last week in Vanuatu was the best spontaneous decision I’ve ever made. To be honest, the stress of wrapping up our lives in New Zealand left Gary and I pretty exhausted, meaning that the trip was slightly ill-planned and under-researched. I’ve never flown to a new country knowing as little as I did about this one, and spent the flight frantically googling as much as I could about this South Pacific archipelago.
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Into the Mystic

Into the Mystic

We’ve left the coast for the Southern Alps, and for me, this is where the country really shines. I thought the North Island was great, but now the South Island has me gasping and pulling the car over with each new bend in the road. It’s honestly like living in a movie, with the scenery just slightly too grand to feel real. 
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Most of All

Most of All

So far the South Island has been good to us. While the West Coast is famous for its rain, we were treated to perfectly sunny, crisp autumn days. In our three days exploring the area around Karamea, I saw more primary growth rainforest than anywhere else in the country so far. I loved being afforded a glimpse of what the entire country used to look like, and I was just about ready to pick one of the gnarled, mossy trees, build myself a little treehouse, and stay forever.
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