There’s a castle. In Kenya. Just outside of Nakuru town, to be exact. When I think of castles, I think of Europe, not Africa, but in November, I saw it with my very own eyes. It belonged to Lord Egerton, someone I had never heard of. His story encapsulates true love and heartache like I’ve never heard before.
Maurice Egerton was born the fourth Baron Egerton in Cheshire. He was a keen photographer and aviator, even calling the Wright Brothers friends! After being granted some land and buying a further 21,000 acres from his pal Lord Delamere, he found himself a resident of the luscious Kenyan farmland in the 1920’s. He established a school, currently known as Egerton University, to teach young people about agriculture and farming.
The story gets crazy circa 1938 when he met a nice young lady that he fell in love with while on leave in England. Knowing a proposal was in the future, he took the lady (whose name no one really knows) to Kenya to see her future home. Apparently the four room structure wasn’t up to her standards. She exclaimed that she would not live in that chicken coop!
In an effort to … >> find out more...
Catching up with our Travel Editor, Jen Price, and the quirks of living abroad.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “expat,” let me enlighten you. An expat, or expatriate, is simply someone who resides in a country other than the one of their citizenship. My name is Jen, andI’m an expat. My family and I reside in South Africa, and it wasn’t until this last trip to the USA that I realized just how weird the expat life can be.
Although I will never be South African, I have settled in quite nicely to the culture. It is home. So is America, and yet, I find myself having to make mental shifts every time I return to my home country. If you’re an expat, have ever been an expat, or travel extensively, then you will know what I mean. It’s just weird. To get a glimpse into the life of an expat, read the weird challenges I face when I return to the country of my birth.
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- Driving takes total concentration. Not only driving, but getting into the car takes mental energy, because we drive on the opposite side in South Africa. I hate it when I’m in a busy
In our line of work in South Africa, we have the amazing privilege of taking adults on trips out of the country for the very first time. Some of these adults are people who have grown up in African communities and haven’t ventured as far as Johannesburg (3 1/2 hours away) much less ridden on a plane to a faraway place. Anxiety often gets high in anticipation of hovering in the air for several hours. A couple of years ago, my son took it upon himself to help our friends out. His eight step airplane guide for first time travelers is out of this world. With the holidays around the corner and travel in sight for many folk, I thought I would share it with you in hopes that anxieties felt by people stepping on a plane for the first time would be eased.
Brace yourself. This is good. I’ve added my comments in italics.
1. Go through check-in and customs. This is obviously when you are traveling internationally.
2. Get a friend and walk the airport and look at shops and possibly get food and a drink. It always helps to have a buddy and a snack.
3. Go … >> find out more...
I recently returned from a trip to Kenya where I got to go to the Equator. I’m sure we learned all about the Equator in school, but really my only recollection was that the Equator was the line on the globe that ran through the middle of our continent. When you see the Equator in person, there’s no visible line, but I assure you there’s an imaginary one. Let’s explore, together, life at the Equator. I promise you will find it fascinating.
Since I moved to the Southern Hemisphere, I’ve read about the gravitational pull and how it’s different than the Northern Hemisphere. It really is true that when you flush a toilet in the Southern Hemisphere, the water goes counter-clockwise rather than clockwise like it does in my home country of the USA.
I was fascinated by the simple science experiment that our friendly Equator guide did for us. Let me indulge you. Standing at the imaginary line Equator sign, we walked about ten meters toward the Northern Hemisphere. He poured water into a bowl with a hole, and we watched it swirl downward in a clockwise direction. We then walked ten meters on the other side of the … >> find out more...
When I think of the word “world,” small does not come to mind. In fact, the words that rise to the front are more like vast, big, wide. You get the picture. There’s so much to see and experience. There’s nothing small about it. However, over the years of traveling, I’ve realized that even though we live in a big, wide world, travel actually makes the world a little bit smaller.
Have you ever been in route and bumped into someone you knew? Or even spotted a famous person? It’s in those times that I can’t believe, out of all the places I could be in the world, among the billions of people that inhabit this Earth, that I could bump into a familiar face.
One time my husband and I were in the coastal town of Muizenberg, just outside of Cape Town, when in walked several friends of ours from Texas. Incredible. Laughs over the chance meeting as well as a “What are you doing here in South Africa?” conversation ensued. A chance travel encounter brought us together, just like that.
The craziest chance encounter, however, went something like this…
We were flying from Johannesburg to Atlanta on Delta. … >> find out more...
Someday I’m going to Brazil. It is on my travel bucket list, after all. We used to plan Summer holidays with friends in that beautiful South American country. Sadly, they have yet to come to fruition. However, no matter where I reside, I seem to always have a Brazilian living in close proximity. That’s how I learned that sweetened condensed milk is actually the sixth food group in this land, pretty handy for what I’m about to introduce you to.
When I think of Brazil, I think of beaches, bright colors, and music with a beat. I think of loud conversation and lots of people. I never really associated passion fruit with Brazil, but I now realize that it was because I was so undereducated. This country brims with people full of passion, so it’s no surprise that one of the best desserts that has passed my lips made by Brazilians is passion fruit mousse. I called over one of my very best Brazilian friends for a cooking lesson on how to make it, not realizing it was as easy as 1-2-3, which happens to be the number of ingredients this delicacy contains.
Prepare to be amazed, but be … >> find out more...
I’m not a dreamer. I don’t mean I don’t have dreams while I sleep. I mean I don’t naturally sit and dream up things about my future. However, as a healthy exercise for the mind and soul, every so often, I sit and make myself dream. Recently I did this around travel destinations. I encourage you to do the same. Make a travel bucket list. If anything, your search on the web will be delightful eye candy to all the beautiful places in the world!
My travel bucket list consists of…
1. Bali. My husband and I both have a fascination with Bali. The beauty of it simply takes my breath away. A bungalow right on the beach? Yes, please.
photo credit: The sunset@kuta beach via photopin (license)
2. Brazil. I have LOTS of Brazilian friends and I’ve yet to step foot on the South American continent. I think it’s high time to see what all the fuss is about. A vacation in Rio, perhaps?
photo credit: Blue Hour in Rio de Janeiro via photopin (license)
3. Ireland. I’ve been to Ireland, but it was a short visit. Our “tourist” day was misty and cloudy, so we didn’t get to … >> find out more...
I have never taken the time for a girls’ weekend with friends. I’ve done girls’ night out, lunches, breakfasts, and day outings, but never an extended period of time, with just my girlfriends. I’ve been married for 14 years, come this October. Those of you that have had girls’ weekends, bravo!
The truth is, life is so busy, it’s difficult to find the time. With our family, we treasure travel time, and each weekend together, and work to maximize our moments together. With family as our primary priority, fun extras like a girls’ weekend, tend to get pushed further down our list. I was thrilled to participate when Choice Hotels said they want to get people out there, into one of their 5,000 locations across the US, and connect face-to-face. You can do the same. Remember to sign up for a free membership with Choice Privileges and start earning points, and perks, with your stays.
So being forced to get out of our routine, and get together with my friends from middle school days, was invigorating. Most of us hadn’t had a girls weekend, since we’d been married, and the trip to Napa was the first for a couple of my friends … >> find out more...
My oldest turned thirteen this year. As a parent, my boy entering the teen years felt huge. I mean, how did my baby get to thirteen so fast? I know. I know. It’s cliche jargon, but I have to say it.
My husband and I decided his rite of passage to the teen years would be a special trip, just him and dad. “Where would you like to go?” we asked him. “Thailand,” was his response. Perhaps his desire to go there was fueled by the fact that he was made in Thailand, or perhaps because his cousins live there. Whatever the reason, we were surprised by it. “We were thinking somewhere in country,” we politely told him.
It was a beautiful moment, realizing that my boy saw the world as his oyster. He didn’t get to go to Thailand, but I loved where his dreams took him.
I’ll admit. It’s easy for my kids to think about travel, because we do it often. We hop across oceans like it’s no big deal. I still remember about five years ago, when my daughter was in kindergarten and my son was in third grade. They came home incredulous that there … >> find out more...