Category: Travel

Celebrating American Independence from Africa

Happy Fourth from Africa

I know most of you readers are gearing up for Independence Day. And I’m thinking of you right now. I love living in a country other than the one I’m from. I’ve made my home in S. Africa even though it’s not the land of my birth. There’s no doubt it has made me a richer person as I’ve navigated cultural blunders and learned that not everyone thinks the way my American brain thinks. What a shock! However, when it comes to certain holidays my American roots go deep, and everything within me has to celebrate. Fourth of July, Independence Day, is one of those holidays.

Independence Day Flags

Until I was an adult, I never realized how big of a deal Fourth of July was to me. My dad was on the local fire department crew, and every year the fire department put on a fireworks show for our little town. The festivities, though, started long before it got dark enough for fireworks. I remember going up to the ballpark mid morning and spending the whole day there playing on the playground, trying my feet at the three legged races, and even participating in watermelon seed spitting just so I could savor … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Making Babies and Eating Curry in Thailand

Making Babies and Eating Curry in Thailand

I got pregnant with my oldest in a bamboo hut in a refugee camp on the borders of Myanmar and Thailand. We were working with Karen refugees that were chased out of Myanmar for their beliefs. Now they resided in a camp managed by the Thai government. We were welcomed there but still had to abide by the rules. One of those rules was lights out at 7 PM. Not much to do in a dark bamboo hut after 7 PM, if you know what I mean. Cue lesson in the birds and the bees. Like a Cabbage Patch Kid, we joke with our oldest that we’re going to get “Made in Thailand” inked on his rear. Nothing puts red on the cheeks faster than telling your child where he was conceived. Parents are, like, so embarrassing.

That was the beginning of our six week trek across Thailand. Newly pregnant, I had nothing to show for it except waves of nausea that crept in at the most inopportune times. Everyone told me the best part about Thailand was the food. They were all liars. Cashew coconut chicken curry turned my stomach like nobody’s business. Comfort food was nowhere to be found. … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

The Positive Side of Load Shedding

My family and I moved to South Africa in 2007. Besides a 2 year hiatus, we’ve held the title of “foreign national” for eight years strong. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the way I’ve tried to make my American culture fit into a land that thinks so differently. Bottom line is, it doesn’t. There are days that I like to think I’ve adapted and changed to this different culture. Then load shedding hits, and it all goes to pot.

Load Shedding

What is load shedding, you may ask?

South Africa does not have enough power to run the country. We won’t get into the reasons of why. In order to compensate, we have regular power outages, usually lasting about two hours and usually in the evening when day has given way to night, and it’s just plain dark outside.

Those are days that I get grumpy. You know why? It’s inconvenient. I have to go all the way to the cabinet to pull out the lanterns. Sometimes it happens while I’m cooking dinner, and I can’t even see what I’m throwing in the pot. So  metimes I forget to charge my phone leaving me unconnected from the world. Gasp. Sometimes … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Planning a Disney World Vacation Part 3

Alright friends. It’s Disney World vacation time. Finally, after months and months of planning.  So. Much. Planning. Nothing left to do but enjoy! It may seem daunting at first, but understanding the special terms and lingo and following a few tips in advance can make all that planning easy-peasy, and totally worthwhile in the end. So here’s some practical info to get you started.

Disney World Planning 3Once you’ve reserved your hotel and made your transportation plans, you’re ready for the nitty gritty details of all that magic you’re going to enjoy. Theme park tickets and park hopper upgrades?  Fast Passes? ADRs? Magic Express? Magic Bands? What?? Don’t freak out! It seems so complicated, but really, it’s just Disney talk for simplifying the whole vacation experience. If you are a compulsive planner, today’s your lucky day. If you fly by the seat of your pants, well, take a few notes to spare yourself a headache later. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Magic Express: This is Disney’s complimentary ground transportation from the airport for guests staying at a Disney resort. It’s reliable, comfortable, gracious, easy and free. If this option applies to your plans, be sure and indicate in your My Disney … >> find out more...

Kimberly

...by day, making a home where the buffalo roam. By night, pretty much the same thing, punctuated by the occasional fantasies of sunny beaches, italian movies and sparkling lemonade.

Maui For Families

Maui is my favorite Hawaiian island. Frankly my dear, I would not be opposed to retiring on the island of Maui. I already envision myself at sunset, strolling along the shore with my husband, with the water lapping at our toes. I glance around the area and smile as I see my daughters, with their children enjoying the last rays of the sun. I can feel the warm breeze, and hear the comforting crush of the waves, and I feel at peace.

Maui for familiesWhen I saw that Trip Advisor had named Maui number two in the world, of the top 10 islands for 2015, I was pleased, but not surprised. I raised a shaka sign, and smiled.

In April, our family of four went home to Maui for about ten days. I say home, because as soon as my feet touch the ground in Hawaii, and I breathe in, I’m home. In all our travels, there isn’t another place that has felt like that to me. 

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands, and the third most populated, following O’ahu and the Big Island. For us the Big Island is wild, and arid. O’ahu is busy, >> find out more...

Stephanie Porter

Aloha! I'm a food lover, joyful mother, travel addict, irreverent friend, hip-shaking dancer, car radio-singer, make-out lover, and writer. Love to travel? Join me. Cheers!

In Transit Is Part Of The Destination

In Transit AirportsOne of my all-time favorite movie scenes is the final three minutes of Love Actually. Do you know the one I’m talking about? It’s where travelers are greeted by family and loved ones as they exit the privy part of the airport that only those with boarding passes can enter. I do have a thing for airports, but I think what draws me to the scene is the value of a tender, excited greeting to the weary traveler. I’ve been on that side many times, a long journey that ends with someone glad to see you. It brings rest to the tired soul.

In Transit Boarding Pass

I recently went on an insanity trip. I live in S. Africa, and I went to the states for a week. To be exact, I was in country for 6 days. Do you know how many days I spent getting there and back? Three…one day to get to Texas, six days in Texas, and two days to get home. Told you I was insane.

In Transit Plane

As I sat in Heathrow Terminal 5, a place that has become all too familiar since living in S. Africa, my eyes happened upon people trying to sleep in uncomfortable plastic chairs, frantic … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Let's Talk About Snakes

About a year ago, one of my good friends and I were dreaming about her and her daughter traveling to South Africa one day to visit us. She said, “Can you promise me that I won’t see a snake?” Uh, negatory. First of all, what is it with people associating Africa with snakes? They don’t just dwell on the African plains. North America is home to rattlesnakes, something you don’t want to have an encounter with. Unfortunately, this post isn’t going to help any preconceived ideas about Africa.

SnakesLet’s just talk about snakes.

I moved to South Africa in 2007. I had been on numerous trips prior to moving there, but my first month was quite the experience. My whole family, with the exception of my son, got bit by a mango fly which burrowed its larvae into our skin. Gross, I know. A monkey was found perched on the door to our security gate in our kitchen, probably looking for food, because that’s what those annoying vervet monkeys do. And then there was the snake. I’ll never forget it. I walked into our bathroom to see something curled up in the window. At the sound of my intrusion, it … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Document Your Travels With Your Camera

DocumentTravelsI figure there’s two categories of people when it comes to visually documenting life’s memories…the ones who take a photo of everything and the ones who have a thick layer of dust on the camera sitting on the shelf. I fall into the former category. The food we ate at Brick Lane in London? Captured it. My son’s first airplane ride? Captured that, too. Standing in line at Leo Burdock’s in Dublin? Got it. The bike my husband test drove down the streets of London? Click. Why? Because it’s the little moments that you think you will remember, but I got news for you. You won’t. You think you’ll never forget, but as new memories invade your thinking cap, the only thread keeping the old ones there are visual reminders.

Make the fleeting moments last forever. Take a visual snapshot.

document your travels

There’s two reasons I value documenting your travels with your camera.

1. They tell a story that needs to be passed down. My husband and I traveled a lot before we had kids. Typically, twelve weeks out of the year we were traveling. We visited some awesome places like Thailand, Norway (in the dead of Winter, mind you), … >> find out more...

Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

Planning a DisneyWorld Vacation Part 2

DisneyWorld ResortsPart 2 of this series is all about booking a resort/hotel. I want to start packing my bags right this minute.  From day one of our planning process we  saved and budgeted to stay at a DisneyWorld resort.  I’m admittedly biased here, but I’m happy to say that there are plenty of other decent options nearby with a good relationship with Disney. So, don’t let my biases deter you from going at all! For today, though, I’m giving my reasons for loving the Disney resorts so much that I schedule time into our trip to just to enjoy our hotel. I mean resort.

1. The service really is better. I’ve stayed at non-Disney resorts here before, and they are fine. Really! They often cost a little less, but the service, cleanliness and atmosphere just don’t quite compare to the Disney resorts.  Staying at a Disney resort only adds to your total experience, with bonuses like extended park hours, Fast Pass perks, and the little “pixie dust” touches, like impromptu visits with favorite characters. Read: no standing in line for hugs from Goofy!

DisneyWorld Resorts  Goofy

2. Convenience. All the Disney resorts offer frequent complimentary shuttles to the parks.  From some resorts you … >> find out more...

Kimberly

...by day, making a home where the buffalo roam. By night, pretty much the same thing, punctuated by the occasional fantasies of sunny beaches, italian movies and sparkling lemonade.