My memories of visiting Walt Disney World as a young child are faint. Fortunately, I have photos of riding Dumbo and chatting it up with Eeyore to jog my memory of that family trip.
In my 20s, I started contemplating a return visit. I thought it would be cool to visit Epcot to see all of those countries and cultures in one location. I would love to have whispered into the ear of my 20-something self, “Hang tight – travel adventures are coming.”
View of Honolulu from the summit of Diamond Head
Honolulu might be the capital of Hawaii, but it has never topped my list of island must-sees. Maybe because Oahu tops everyone else’s list with about 5 million tourists a year flocking to its shores.
About half as many go to Maui. Even fewer visit Kauai or the Big Island of Hawaii.
In my quest to be different, I have gravitated toward the less popular islands because fewer tourists made them seem more exotic. Volcanoes churning out red-hot lava, lush canyons, powerful waterfalls and black sand beaches – what’s not to like?
But who am I kidding? Hawaii is one of the most popular vacation spots for those willing to journey across some 2,500 miles of water. Sure, the flight commitment is enough to land you in Europe. But there’s something about knowing you are truly an island – or islands – unto yourself and far away from mainland civilization.
It’s human nature to compare foreign cities to those in your home country. Cape Town is different for this American.
While it has a similar feel to San Francisco, Cape Town’s look and vibe are all its own.
Hout Bay along the Atlantic side of the Cape Peninsula
“Are you ready?”
I nodded with some hesitation in response to the pilot’s question just before taking off in the cramped, six-seater Cessna 206.
Surprisingly, the ultra manual-looking controls didn’t completely wig me out. Nor the fact we only had one pilot who looked about 14 steering our plane. At least he looked healthy, I reasoned.
After a nerve-racking, five-hour drive from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye, the last thing we felt like doing the next day was spending more time in the car navigating the island's Trotternish Peninsula.
All I can say is muster up the energy to reignite your driving mojo. You will not regret it, especially if you are lucky enough to see it on a day with spurts of sunshine like we did.
To give you some perspective, our trip from Edinburgh had its challenges. It took us almost an hour to make it out of town thanks to some tricky roundabouts and an inept navigator (yes, that's me) cross-referencing multiple maps while using a GPS system. Not a good idea.
However, the views along the way made up for the struggle. What a surprise to find snow-capped mountains during our spring visit.