Travel Anxiety

It starts pretty immediately. As soon as we book flights the unease settles into the pit of my stomach. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since we’ve vacationed, how fun the destination is going to be, or how badly we need to get away for a little while. I always develop some kind of […]

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Book Review: Lonely Planet Travel Guides

Everyone knows Lonely Planet. Even if you aren’t a big travel buff, I’m sure you’ve seen these blue bound books at some point in your life. They are something of a gold standard when it comes to travel guides, and for good reason. Lonely Planet began in 1973 when Tony and Maureen Wheeler put together their […]

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Oh, Hello

Basically a brain dump on everything that’s happened since we left Dushanbe

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Almaty vs. Shymbulak: A Tale of Two Cities

Now that I finished my (probably overly long) New Zealand series, I can get caught up on some Central Asia things I’ve neglected. The first of which, is our return to Shymbulak Ski Resort, and our first real experience with Almaty proper. I previously spoke about Almaty about a year ago when we had our […]

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Wines of New Zealand

Wine is my absolute favorite of all the alcoholic beverages. I have many fond memories from our first few years of marriage sitting outside on our balcony, drinking wine, snacking on cheese and crackers, and marveling at how adult we were. I am not at all an expert – as you will see if you […]

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New Zealand: Auckland

New Zealand is the birthplace of adventure tourism. Specifically, Queenstown is home to the world’s first commercial bungee jump, Rotorua invented Zorbing, and Auckland is home to SkyCity. As our days in this adrenaline-fueled country came to an end, we had one last day of crazy adventure seeking left before relaxing in wine country to polish […]

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New Zealand: Rotorua

There really is no place on earth quite like Rotorua. Where else are you going to wake up to the sweet smell of sulfur in your geothermal-heated hotel room to go bathe in hot springs and walk past boiling mud? No where that I can think of. I believe the guidebook even referred to Rotorua […]

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New Zealand: Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton

Now I know the title of this one is weird. Two very different things crammed together: black water caving with glow worms and frolicking around a movie set for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Opposite as these two things are they did happen on the same day, and it was only a little […]

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New Zealand: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Normally on Christmas morning, Sean and I would be with one of our families opening presents. At the very least, we’d be at home in Dushanbe with the furbabies watching them tear through their presents because yes we are those crazy pet parents who get their babies gifts on Christmas. Fight me about it. This […]

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New Zealand: Wellington, White Water Rafting, and Taupo

After 1.5 weeks driving around the beautiful South Island of New Zealand, Sean and I ditched the rental car and hopped aboard the Blue Bridge ferry bound for the North Island. I’ll write more about our last few days on the South Island later – suffice it to say, we spent two days winery hopping […]

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