New Zealand Coast: Hahei Beach

Hahei Beach

As a follow-up to last week’s post about Cathedral Cove, here is a post about another beach to enjoy at that same location. From the Cathedral Cove car park, the path splits off to the right or the left, both heading down little hiking paths that lead to various beaches. The left will take you … Continue reading

New Zealand Coast: Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

On the eastern coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, about halfway up, is place called Mercury Bay. Before you get to Mercury Bay, you’ll pass Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, also known as Cathedral Cove. This is easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, though in New Zealand, it’s pretty easy to say that … Continue reading

New Zealand Coast: New Chums Beach

New Chums Beach

Now that fall has come to New Zealand, and I’ve had a chance to settle into Christchurch, I’m dreaming of my summer spent visiting North Island beaches. It’s the perfect time to continue my series of beach blog posts while the rain falls outside my hostel window. First up: New Chums Beach! First, let me … Continue reading

Travel Writing: On The Culture Trip: Top 10 Things to Do and See on the Coromandel Peninsula

Top Ten Things to Do and See in the Coromandel Peninsula

Happy holidays everyone! I know what you all wanted for Christmas: a new travel writing piece by yours truly! While I work on my EPIC Coromandel Peninsula blog post (I’m actually going to be breaking it down into a series because it’s way too long to post as-is), here’s a little preview of what I … Continue reading

Rangitoto Island, aka “Auckland’s most iconic island”

Hiking Rangitoto

Unlike Waiheke Island, which, though technically a Maori name, was named incorrectly (read about that here), Rangitoto Island is apparently the real deal. Rangitoto’s name has been translated to mean “the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed,” relating to a major Maori battle at Islington Bay about 1350. – Rangitoto.org Congratulations, colonists, on using … Continue reading

Waiheke Island, AKA, another beautiful place Europeans misnamed

EcoZip Adventure on Waiheke Island

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of ferrying out to Waiheke Island, 19km/12mi off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, eastward from Auckland. You may or may not be aware that the Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, and so many places are called their original Maori names (sort of). Great … Continue reading

Crater Lake National Park

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Back in the spring, I declared this 2014 summer The Summer of Camping. My goal was to camp at least once a month during May, June, July, and August, and I’m proud to say I made it! I wrote earlier about my Alaska adventure in May. Now for my Crater Lake adventure just a couple … Continue reading

Alaska: The Last Frontier

A waterfall in Girdwood, Alaska.

Alaska State Nickname: The Last Frontier State Motto: “North to the Future” Origin of the Name Alaska: The word Alaska is from the Aleut Indian word “alaxsxaq” or “agunalaksh,” meaning “the mainland” or “shore”. As you might have guessed, I’ve recently returned from my first trip to The Last Frontier. My best friend, Shane, moved … Continue reading

Rock Climbing at Smith Rock

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There were four of us in our late 20s/early 30s plus our guide. Most of us had met for the first time the day before, none of us had ever climbed outdoors, and now we were staring up at a rock wall we were going to climb, trusting these strangers to keep us from plummeting … Continue reading

Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland, OR

Entryway to Lan Su.

The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon is a square city block. It has trees, bushes, flowers, a pond, a waterfall, a tea house, several rooms featuring Chinese art, and, according to their website, “is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China”. You can have lunch or a cup of tea, get your … Continue reading