2019 Roundup: your favorite posts

The excitement of the holidays is winding down and we’re in a reflective mood. 2019 has been a amazing year for us, though, like everyone, not without some painful losses. As we consider our highs (for me – East Africa, for Dave – rafting the Grand Canyon) it’s fun to see what resonated with our readers.

The top 10 posts of the year according to YOU!


Baby elephant enjoying a milk bottle at the Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi

An Ethical Wildlife Experience: visiting the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Not surprising you liked this post, as it was a major highlight for us. We’ve been supporting the Sheldrick Family Trust for many years- adopting orphan elephants and participating in fundraising events in the U.S. So when we had the opportunity to add a stop in Nairobi to my birthday trip to Africa, we jumped at the chance!

In this post:

  • About the Sheldrick Family Trust – in addition to the wildlife (primarily elephant) orphanages it runs, the Trust has mobile veternary services for any injured wildlife, runs education programs for the community, and works to prevent poaching.
  • How to visit the orphanage in Nairobi – hours, entry charge, etc.
  • How to foster an elephant (or rhino!) of your own
  • Recommended reading for elephant lovers!

Redwall Cavern - rafting the Grand Canyon

A Day on the Colorado: rafting the Grand Canyon

Dave’s bucket list trip was on the back burner until a group of friends spurred us on by deciding to come along! Rafting the river, hiking the canyon walls, and camping under the stars made for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! We traveled on the 7 day trip with Western River Expeditions. They provided the tents, the guides and delicious meals. Nature provided the entertainment!

In this post:

  • A typical day on the river with Western River Expeditions group
  • Photos to inspire you to book your trip!

How to Plan the Perfect Luxury Safari in Africa

I guess my enthusiasm for our trips to Africa came through in this post. We spent years planning our trips and encourage others to take this ultimate bucket list trip. It is at once a wilderness adventure and a luxury retreat. If you have ever considered going on an African safari, now is the time!

But Africa is a large continent, with endless choices for travel. And a luxury safari is one of the most expensive trips you may take. So planning is essential. This post gives you somewhere to start.

In this post:

  • Choosing a destination for your safari
  • Best time of year for your safari
  • Determining a budget and choosing a safari company
  • Medical preparation – vaccinations, and preventatives
  • Preparing to go – cameras, flight prep, and recommended reading

An Older Adult’s Guide to Staying Healthy While Traveling

This post came about after several trips where one or the other of us became ill. Though we’ve been fortunate to not have any serious health problems while traveling, a nasty cold can definitely put a damper on a trip. The tips in this post are hard earned, but we hope they prevent you from falling sick while traveling.

In this post:

  • Health tips for long flights.
  • Fitness suggestions for cruises and hotel stays
  • Making a first aid kit for the inevitable mishap or cold

what to do on a visit to Barcelona. Must sees

Best of Barcelona

Though we visited Barcelona twice before, it wasn’t until we booked a weeks stay that we really got the flavor of this historic and intriguing city. There’s something for everyone in Barcelona – UNESCO world heritage sites, inspiring architecture, great food, music, and art!

In this post:

  • One day, two day, or longer itineraries for Barcelona
  • Reading suggestions for the trip

Photo Diary: a Safari in Southern Africa

What can I say? We loved sharing our experience as first timers on safari. Our trip to South Africa, Botwana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will remain our best trip ever. We’re hoping our photos and stories will inspire you to book your own trip!

In this post:

  • Stories from our three week luxury safari in Africa
  • Photos of the incredible wildlife and birds we encountered
  • What you can expect on a safari in Africa
  • Is a luxury safari worth the expense? Tips to economize.

Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon

How to Visit Antelope Canyon

If you’ve never heard of Antelope Canyon, I guarantee you’ll recognize it from images. A photographers dream, the canyon (actually two canyons – upper and lower Antelope) is on Navajo land in Arizona. We’d visited Arizona many time in the past, but never made this trip a priority. Our mistake – but it doesn’t have to be yours!

In this post:

  • About Antelope Canyon and the two sections available to tour
  • Accessibility in the canyon – how difficult is it to tour
  • How to book a tour in this protected area
  • Other attractions in the Page, Arizona area

planning a relaxing trip to Europe. Venice canals

Venice, Off the Beaten Path

Our third trip to Venice was our favorite. We’d seen the touristy sites, so were able to wander and discover an uncrowded part of the city. Beautiful canals, cathedrals, and out-of-the-way cafes made for a wonderful experience! With all that’s been written about overcrowding in Venice, it’s great to know there’s still some quiet spots to enjoy.

In this post:

  • suggestions for exploring Venice away from St. Mark’s Square

how to stay organized during a long trip
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

How to Stay Organized on a Long Trip

I love to organize, and plan, so this post was a natural for me. We’ve taken a few long trips, 14+ hour flights, and multi-destination adventures. Knowing where everything is makes travel much less stressful. We share tips that work for us and keep us from scrambling when we’re looking for things on the road. We’re still learning, so feel free to leave us your organizing suggesitons!

In this post:

  • Organizing travel documents
  • Using packing cubes to organize around different destinations
  • Organizing your thoughts – details, and memories in apps or on paper
  • Planning your days ahead of time – anticipating distances

2019 Wrap Up and Plans for 2020

This has been a big year for us, not only did we check off some prime bucket list items, but this was the first year we began taking this website seriously.

What started as a way to keep family informed of our safety while traveling has grown into a rewarding project. As a lifelong researcher and reader, it’s enjoyable for me to share what we’ve learned during these empty nest travel years.

But it’s not been easy to narrow my focus, establish a niche, and differentiate this website from the many other excellent sites out there. That is our goal for 2020. Defining our niche, and discovering our voice. Any suggestions welcome!!!

Oh yes, and 2020 is a big year in our state – we are celebrating 400 years since the Pilgrims landed in what is now America. The commemoration this year will include four nations – the U.S., Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the Wampanoag nation. Stay tuned as we highlight events in our hometown. #plymouth400 !

5 thoughts on “2019 Roundup: your favorite posts

  1. I enjoy following you and reading most of your blogs. This is a great idea for a year end blog. It’s been a fascinating year hasn’t it? Perhaps we will land in the same city at some point. Happy New Year!

  2. What an amazing 2019 you have had. What great travels! Travelling is something I want to do more of this year! You have shared some great photos! I hope 2020 is a great year for you. Xxx

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