Adventures, La vida Loca, The Caribbean

Ziplining in Barbados (March 2015)

I admit this was my first time Ziplining but most likely won’t be my last.  The folks at Aerial Trek were fantastic so if you’re ever in Barbados, check them out!!!

Although I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an adrenaline junkie, I do enjoy living on the edge a tad bit within reason – keeps life spicy lol!  I honestly haven’t done much thrill seeking although I’ve been parasailing (in Playa del Carmen) and fly fishing (in Bali – no not as in with a rod and actual fish but on a raft being pulled by a speed boat) so it was only a matter of time before I went Ziplining somewhere.  Now if only this Georgia weather would get itself together so I can schedule my skydiving session.

~ Travel Well ~

Travel Inspirations, Wandering, Wanderlusting & Musings

Travel. Explore. Be Free.

See for yourself how liberating it is to wander, explore and get lost in your surrounding in someplace new.

~ Travel Well ~

Asia, Godivaworld Travels

The Tokyo Experience!

using the universeIsn’t it amazing the twists and turns of life?!

Tokyo was always on my “Travel Experience” list but never did I think the opportunity would fall into my lap in the fashion that it did.  It literally came outta nowhere or let’s say on my mobile by way of a friend who was planning a trip there from Singapore and wanted me to accompany them….flight, accommodations covered!  Now could I really say “no” to that?

So the journey began!

I made the 13 hour nonstop flight to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport from Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International airport.  Let me say this, upon arrival and getting through immigration this was probably the first time in my travels where I did NOT speak nor comprehend the language in any way lol!

In any case I had absolutely no plans for my voyage to Tokyo, just wander, explore and stumble upon things as much as possible.  Not only did I wander and stumble, I got off the beaten path and found myself lost-but-not-lost wandering aimlessly which took me on a totally unexpected adventure (don’t you love those moments?).

What happened is while shopping and walking around, I got separated from my friend but luckily I had my train pass so I attempted (successfully) to make my way back to the station closest to the Mandarin Oriental (an amazing hotel and my accommodations for the stay….ooh I was smaller in size then – 2011 I might add).

The train system in Tokyo is pretty user friendly so after stopping for a bite and stumbling upon a Lush store which I had to pry myself out of, I made my way back to the train station.  Tokyo’s most prominent train line is the JR Yamanote Line, a loop line which connects Tokyo’s multiple city centers. The city’s 13 subway lines are operated by two companies and run largely inside the Yamanote circle and the areas around Ginza and Shitamachi.

When I tell you it was one adventure after the other.  I purchased a little trinket for myself from a jewelry store (no not Mikimotos which I have a pictures of) and while wandering around again, I somehow misplaced the gift bag with said ring in it.  We had to trace our steps on a ring-in-bag-seeking mission not knowing where we stopped, turned or possibly plopped the bag down.  Lucky for me, after tracking a few invisible bread crumbs marking our steps we stopped off in this side store and voila’ the store worker had the bag at the register.  How in the world did I leave an entire piece of jewelry in a bag in the store??? (I can be absentminded at times.)

Besides that little hiccup and me getting separated and having to find my way back the trip itself was one for the books.  I ran into a Krispy Kreme – if anyone knows me they know my total addiction with the sweets.  I learned (i.e figured out how) to eat soup without any silverware.  I was able to spend an evening at one of the “Best 100 Bars in the world” – The Star Bar Ginza which proved itself to be a pretty cool spot.  We saw a few tricks (need to locate the footage) and got pretty ‘warmed up’ if I do say so myself.

All in all, I accomplished what I wanted as part of my invitation and purpose and the experience was and is forever ingrained in my memory bank of travels and adventures.   I’d always wanted to make my way to Tokyo and now that I have I can say that I would gladly do a return journey as well.

Minus me almost missing my flight while enroute to the airport – yeah so I’m on the train headed to the airport in plenty time for the 2 hr check-in and I get a call from Delta’s automated system stating the flight has changed.  Come again? So I’m on the train to Narita trying to reach Delta’s skymiles hotline meanwhile my phone is blowing up with messages about my flight BOARDING as I’m on the train near the airport.  When I finally got someone on the horn I was told that there was an error and my flight will be departing as scheduled.  As luck would have it, when I got to the gate, we were delayed.

As if that wasn’t enough once I finally arrived back in Atlanta, CNN was reporting the Earthquake Tsunami that hit Japan which led to all my friends and family calling me to see if I’d made it home.  It was truly one of those moments where I had to question my purpose because that was about as close a call as any I’ve ever had.

Enjoy the slide show of my special moments from my Tokyo experience!

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Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!

 

Travels Gone by, Wanderlusting & Musings

A Wanderlust Past

Did you know that by convention there are seven continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica. Some geographers list only six continents, combining Europe and Asia into Eurasia. In parts of the world, students learn that there are just five continents: Eurasia, Australia, Africa, Antarctica, and the Americas.

So where exactly have I been you ask?

FK20 Fort Taylor Signs Plenty o’ places!

Born in Jacksonville, FL but moved out of state after kindergarten as my dad was in the Army and whisked us away. So you pretty much know how my life went from there (as a military brat that is).  Before I graduated high school I called the following locales home (for a year or 2, and a couples times for 3 years i.e. Hawaii and Mannheim):

Columbus, GA (2x); Honolulu, HI; Charlotte, NC; Colorado Springs, CO; Mannheim, Germany 

After graduating High School I went straight into the Air Force…..but before you say “ahhhh that’s how she traveled to all these places” let me say I was only unlucky enough to see Texas the 3.5 years I served before separating and moving to Atlanta lol!

So I guess you can say my adult “exploration” dates back to the early 2000s and since then my travel stats have continuously evolved to include:

  • Continents – 5 of the 7 Continents
  • World Heritage Sites – 8
  • Cities – 152
  • Countries – 14 (some twice or more)
  • A mere 9% of the world traveled
  • 181,284 total miles traveled (not my flier miles as that is actually much more)

So again you ask, where has Godivaworld Travels been?  Well according to my passport, flight history, and car miles my wanderlust past looks like this:

  • Asia – Tokyo (Japan), Taiwan, Bali (Indonesia)
  • Africa – Johannesburg, Pretoria, Capetown (South Africa)
  • Europe – Mannheim (lived 3 yrs, returned in 2010), Berlin, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Munich (Germany); Paris (2x France); Amsterdam (2x Holland)
  • The Americas (North & South America, the Caribbean Islands and Mexico (I’ve covered 37 of the 50 states)

I am always but a Google, TripAdvisor, Booking.com search away from my next adventure.

Now that you’ve seen my wanderlust past…..check out my Wanderlust Future and perhaps it will give you some ideas about where YOUR next adventure should be.

~ Travel Well ~

 

 

Africa, Godivaworld Travels

Voyage to South Africa

Image result for south africa quotesTalk about making something happen.  I was literally fresh from my “European Adventure” when the opportunity presented itself to not just got South Africa but do so in the name of missionary work.  It was a longtime desire of mine to at some point make my way on some missionary journey to some distant part of this massive world.

Of course I had to right-size everything else to make this adventure come to fruition and so it did.

Johannesburg.  Jo’burg.

The site of missionary work, the first part of this amazing trip was that of service.

With a church based out of New York, I began my “Voyage to South Africa” with the our stop in Johannesburg where we worked at a primary school in the township of Pretoria (which made international news most recently due to the trial of olympian Oscar Pistorius).  In any case, the work consisted mostly of painting, building repairs, gardening, and anything else we could do to contribute to the beautification of the school.  The faces and gratitude of the women (and young women) who greeted us and partnered with us as we toiled away while on the grounds was enough to warm even the coldest heart.

Capetown.

Upon arrival to Capetown it was determined that my checked luggage did not make the flight and was at best “M-I-A” which was one of the most helpless feelings in the world.  Not only was it a connecting flight – in country – but we were only scheduled to be in Capetown for a few days and my final destination was NOT JFK but Atlanta which would have added an extra layer of complexity to locating and returning my luggage.

As usual, things did work out but only after I’d caught a taxi to run to the nearest drugstore for toiletries just to tie me over.  For the Capetown experience………

What’s a visit to Capetown without checking out Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Robben Island, Green Market to name a few all of which we were able to experience.

All in all it was a memorable trip, but one stamp in my passport I must get again to truly experience all the sights and sounds of this beautiful country!

Travel Inspirations, Wandering, Wanderlusting & Musings

A Wanderlust Inspired

There are 195 countries in the world today (Taiwan is not widely recognized as one – been there and didn’t know that until just now) and I want to get lost in as many of them as possible.

My adventures thus far have taken me to quite a few world handsplaces (5 of the 7 continents to be exact) but there are some I am itching to get to in the notso distant future (and will).

Soooooo in the interest of sharing – after all sharing IS caring – here is my current “Godivaworld Wanderlist” in no particular order, not all-inclusive, and subject to change.

  • Easter Island (Chile)
  • Fraser Island – Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne (Australia)
  • Havana (Cuba)
  • Casablanca, Marrakesh, and Tangier (Morocco)
  • Côte d’Azur (France)
  • Santorini (Greece) – was thinking of going in 2014 for my birthday but given January was not the best in terms of weather I chose Bali instead
  • Zanzibar (Tanzania)
  • Isle of Capri (Italy)
  • Madagascar (waaaay before the 3D animated movie, back when I was in elementary school I did a paper on the Lemur and since that time I’ve had Madagascar on my “to see” list)
  • Great Wall of China (China)
  • Phuket (Thailand)
  • Taj Mahal – Agra (India)
  • Abu Simbel (Egypt)

go there

The when and the where much like my adventures are unknown but rest assured my feet will land somewhere!  Where will you go?

My Continent Badges:
          

 

~ Travel Well ~

Europe, Godivaworld Travels

My European Adventure

It’s not enough that I was fortunate enough to go to high school in Germany (Mannheim to be exact) but revisiting Europe as an adult to include my old high school was EVERYTHING!  The opportunity presented itself for me to return to Europe with stops in Paris, Munich, and the final hurrah in Amsterdam.

Paris…….”La Ville Lumière” (The City of Light) and otherwise revered as the “City of Love”.  It was a short trip in what would be a 7 day adventure but  no less exciting.  I took the lifts up to the tippy top floor of the Eiffel Tower which provided the ultimate view of the landscape.  Paris truly looks like a postcard from every angle or at best like pages cleanly torn straight from an artist canvas.

Munich…….Oktoberfest! Reminiscent of my teenage years at the various Fests in and around Mannheim where I had the fortune of living during my teen years.  However (with a long pause and tilt of head), being at Oktoberfest as an full grown adult was an experience to be had and should be had atleast once in one’s lifetime! Sitting here writing this got me thinking about revisiting.

The Munich leg of the trip was great not just because of Oktoberfest but largely in part for the opportunity to make a stop in Mannheim to see how much things had changed since leaving my high school.  It was like turning back the hands of time with the exception of a few differences.  Unbeknownst to me (at the time), the base itself was shutting down just a few years after my visit (sometime in 2014 I believe) which made it that much more special to have made the voyage back before there was nothing to go back to.

Amsterdam……..Finally as the last stop on this adventure train which was a great end to a memorable trip.  The highlight of this final destination of the 3-parter was whatever crossed my path.  The only planned event was – believe it or not – seeing Lil Wayne in concert lol!  Amsterdam was everything you’d imagine it to be – sights, sounds, the Red Light district, food, arts, architecture, and so on and so forth!  It is definitely a place I would visit again.

Travel Well!

La vida Loca, Worldly Treats & Eats

Catamaran Lobster Lunch Experience – Antigua

As if Antigua wasn’t beautiful enough.

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How bout lobster…..on a Catamaran……sailing the beautiful seas in Antigua!  Such was my sensory pleasing experience on March 25th, 2015.  The lobster was accompanied by rice ‘n’ beans and a vegetable medley seasoned just right.  Nothing better than that fresh off the grill taste with a touch of ocean breeze sprinkled about.

  With the exception of me watching my favorite tennis hat from Bali fly clean off my head and into the blues seas near Jolly Beach, the Catamaran Lobster Lunch was such a wonderful experience!  Even I was gifted that hat during my birthday adventure to Bali in 2014 from the staff at the villa I stayed in, I know that it will be at peace amongst the beautiful blue waters of Antigua (oh to be that hat).

Image result for silence quotes

For my white hat (below) from the staff at the Mahagiri Villas Dreamland in Bali (circa 2014).

Back to the Catamaran and Lobster……..

Did I mention the free flowing cocktails oh my!  LOL!

If you are ever in Antigua, please check out the Catamaran Lobster Lunch outing…..perhaps the one time I didn’t mind acting like a tourist.

Travel Well!!

Godivaworld Travels