Posts Tagged With: Surfing

Our #MyBBB Bucket List: Hawai’i

As we prepare to go to London to compete against 9 other finalists for MyDestination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucket List competition, we’re blogging about the places we’d love to include on our bucket list. We’ll spend this month in constant count-down, researching MyDestination.com’s 65 featured destinations and highlighting one per day. In no particular order, today’s post is on Hawai’i. 

Hawaii (3)

The only downside of Hawai’i is that there is too much to see in a week. With only seven days to explore eight islands – each one of them unique – we’d have to pare down our bucket list to the bare essentials. Help is appreciated.

Much of Hawai’i’s allure comes from it’s Polynesian heritage, stunning natural beauty and active lifestyle. All three factors are in abundance in each isle – whether it be surfing, night diving, swimming with sharks or sailing – so let’s instead focus on what makes each island unique.

Everything starts in Oahu.  Touch down at Honolulu’s international airport and spend a day walking to Chinatown, Waikiki beach and the sobering monument to Pearl Harbor. We’d pass through the center of the island to see the former palace of Hawaii’s royal family before finding the real action on the North Shore – some of the best surfing in the world.

Maui is more low-key than Oahu – especially when taking the road less traveled. The Hana Highway is a 52 mile winding coastal road with 59 bridges cutting through the jungle. It also passes by the Seven Sacred Pools (Haleakala), a series of gradually increasing waterfalls (perfect for cliff jumping), and Honolula Bay, must-stop for surfers.

Kauai would be our top pick. The “Garden Island” is supposedly the least developed and contains the most impressive natural beauty of the island chain. Waiamea Canyon is waiting for us to hike it, while the Napali coast beckons us by bike, sea, or air. Our goal on Kauai is to simply explore, film, and transmit the experience to our viewers.  The island of Lanai floats just offshore – unspoilt beaches where you can swim with dolphins or watch the whales during their annual migration.

The Big Island has the world’s most active volcano, which gives the lush island it’s black sand beaches.  In the center of the island is Mauna Koa, a dormant volcano that is actually bigger than Mount Everest if measured from the seafloor.  We’d sip local Kona Coffee to stay up late and visit the mountaintop telescope with some of the world’s best stargazing.

But sometimes good things come in small packages – such as the “Forbidden Isle” of Nilhau, a nature preserve that only admits a select number of visitors each year. This is where native Polynesian culture is strongest and locals live in a traditional way and the endangered Hawaiian language thrives. We would be honored if Nilhau would admit us onshore.

In short, too many options, not enough time. Perhaps we’d be better off using the prize money to buy a house on the beach and explore each island at a more Hawaiian pace. For now, let’s throw on some Hawaiian music courtesy of JamandaHalf.com, and imagine life in paradise.

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MyBBB Vlog 2: Marko’s 1st Week

Marko updates us on life in California since being made a finalist in the MyBBB competition.  If you haven’t seen the first vlog, you can watch Alex’s update here.


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Our #MyBBB Bucket List: Puerto Rico

As we prepare to go to London to compete against 9 other finalists for MyDestination’s Biggest, Baddest  Bucket List competition, we’re blogging about the places we’d love to include on our bucket list. We’ll spend this month in constant count-down, researching MyDestination.com’s 65 featured destinations and highlighting one per day. In no particular order, today’s post is on Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico (2)
Puerto Rico is one of the most interesting corners of the Caribbean. The “51st State” of the USA is the anomaly of the Americas – technically a US territory, Puerto Rico is an island with a mixed cultural heritage reflecting its indigenous Taino roots, west African legacy, Spanish colonial past and modern American influence.

The “Enchanted Isle” of Puerto Rico is adamantly unique – and proud of it. That’s why it’s our first port of call in the Caribbean.

We’ve been inspired by our fellow #MyBBB contestant, Maria Laborde, who’s short video on Puerto Rico serves as an excellent introduction to the island.

She made us want to practice our Spanish with beautiful boricuas, explore the 272 miles of white-sand beaches, fill our bellies at hole-in-the wall chinchorros and wash it down with local spiced rum! All the while, we’ll be bumping the following Puerto Rican tracks to get us into the mood.  Thanks to our friends at Jam And a Half for the compilation!

We’d start by whistling our way through the old city of San Juan, wandering from its three forts through the cobbled streets of the colonial quarter, dipping into its markets and sampling the best of cocina criolla as we eat our way from breakfast to dinner.

Random fact: San Juan was recently rated the city with most beautiful people.  Need we explain why we’d take advantage of its famous nightlife?  But there’s a challenge… locals have been dancing long before the arrival of Europeans, and today Puerto Rico a home to many major Latin dances including merengue, salsa, and cha-cha. Hopefully these two gringos can absorb enough latin spice to be as suave as the locals – or at least avoid stepping on their toes!

Puerto Rico

The next morning, we’d trek into El Yunque National Park – the only rainforest in the US – which receives over four billion liters of water per year and has some amazing waterfalls we’d have to swim under.

But we can’t spend all the time on the ground floor…we have to fly over the jungle by conquering La Bestia – a massive zip line ripping through the center of the island 260 meters above ground and 1,400 meters long. Check out this video:

Every day would be a chance to explore a few of Puerto Rico’s 300 beaches – we’d need to partner up with a local to know which ones to pick! But we’d be sure to paddle out at famous surf breaks like Rincón to catch some of the best waves in the Caribbean.

puerto Rico (3)

Comments? Advice? Disagreements? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

And please vote for us to win MyDestination.com’s Biggest Baddest Bucket List Competition!

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Our #MyBBB Bucket List: Cape Verde

As we prepare to go to London to compete against 9 other finalists for MyDestination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucketlist competition, we’re blogging about the places we’d love to include on our bucket list. We’ll spend this month in constant count-down, researching MyDestination.com’s 65 featured destinations and highlighting one per day. In no particular order, today’s post is on Cape Verde.

Andreas Urban

Andreas Urban

Whenever we travel, we set our sights on the cultures that fascinate us – the ones that draw us in on an emotional level but offer enough outdoor opportunities to balance our curiosity with activity. Cape Verde fits the bill perfectly.

Floating way off the Atlantic coast of Africa, the 10 islands that make up Cape Verde weren’t on our map until we found them through MyDestination.com. But after reading up on it’s rich mélange of Afro-Euro-American cultures, verdant landscapes and the beckoning blue waters of the Atlantic, we couldn’t help put put it at the top of our Bucketlist.

Banana Ladies

Santa Maria, Sal

Cape Verde has a vibrant culture emerging from a turbulent past. Until three decades ago, it was a colony of Portugual, where it originally served as an important center in the slave trade. Today it’s confidently stepping forward and proudly showing the world its two most exceptional exports – music that is uniquely Cape Verdean and the charm of island itself.

It was the music that initially drew us in. Check out Cesária Énora for a classic intro to Cape Verde’s mornas which blend the longing of Portuguese fado music with mellow island rhythms. More recently, a younger generation has taken the islands’ music in new directions, embracing the their mixed heritage and celebrating through festivals such as the “Kriol Jazz” fest and traditional parties like Carnival (see article from The Economist for more).  Thanks to our friends at JamAndAHalf.com for putting together the following playlist!

With these tunes in our heads, we imagine whistling our way through Praia, the capital city of Santiago. The Portuguese old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site while the island remains the most African of the isles. Santiago contains enough sites, events, and beaches to make it the perfect starting point for exploring the other nine islands.

Santa Maria Pier

There is no shortage of islands to explore from here. We’d make trips to the gorgeous San Antao, volcanic Fogo, jam to local music in Sao Vincente, or rent quad bikes to explore the deserted island of Boa Vista. Ten islands, an infinite number of ways to relax.

It would be just as easy to spend all our time in the water – from deep sea diving, to surfing, windsurfing, big game fishing or night-diving with Loggerhead turtle. We’d be so busy we’d barely have time to come up for air!

With so many fun activities, it would make us wonder how to give something back to the island. Luckily, there’s an organization called Turtle SOS that lets you do just that. We’d wrap up our time with one of their guided turtle watching tours, which help raise money for the preservation of the indigenous turtles in danger of extinction.

Seven days would hardly be enough for all ten islands, but we’re sure there would be enough to keep us busy, satiate our curiosity and make a nice, relaxing break in the midst of a six month trip.

Comments? Advice? Disagreements? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.  

Santa Maria Beach

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Photos from Morocco

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Senegal: A Slave Story

This is a photo-story made from photos I took on a 2010 trip to Dakar, Senegal.   In it I tell the story of Goree Island and its dark history as a main hub in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Here is a link to “Door of No Return” song by Steel Pulse.

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Biarritzy

Long Weekend Couchsurfing in Biarritz

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Biarritz-y

Couch-Surfing and Surfing in The Basque Coast of France

Blizted in Biarritz (VIDEO LINK)  Here is the link to the VIDEO I MADE from footage taken during this trip

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