Anyone who knows me or has followed me recently knows that I love Hawaii. How much so? Well I’ve been to five of the Hawaiian islands. To some travelers, that may not be too big of a deal, but when you consider that my first trip to Hawaii was February a year ago, then that kind of makes it a thing. But what I love most about Hawaii isn’t the endless supply of mai tais (though I’ve yet to turn down a mai tai), nor is it the milk chocolate toffee macadamia nuts (but seriously, how good are they?), nor the POG juice (that’s not quite as good anywhere but in Hawaii). But rather it’s that every Hawaiian island offers a different type of trip. When I go to a new island in Hawaii, I know that while it may principally be the same place by traditional definitions, the experience will be far different than the last island I visited.

So today I highlight each of the Hawaii islands I’ve visited and what each one represents to me.

Read More

Per my customary Sunday night routine in Playa del Coco I belly up to the bar of one of my local watering holes to take in my one American indulgence since I landed in Costa Rica: Wings and NFL football. Sitting beside me is a guy who I haven’t seen in town (the town is only five blocks long) but who immediately strikes up conversation.

“Well what brings you to Costa Rica?” he asks.

“A bit of work and play,” I respond, though I quickly regret not giving a more black and white answer, fearing we may be heading down a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

“What the hell do you do for work that would bring you down to Costa Rica?”

“I’m a travel writer.”

Read More

This week saw me in a destination I never thought I’d see myself in again: Panama City Beach, Florida. Growing up in the south, I spent many of my spring breaks in high school and college at Florida Panhandle beaches, including Panama City Beach, which has a variety of nicknames, of which the “Emerald Coast” is one of the more desirable nicknames. This spring Panama City Beach launched their “PCB Bucket List,” and being the bucket/life list maker and doer that I am, I teamed up with Travel Mindset to see what it was all about.

So what did I find? For starters, Gulf Coast sunsets may be among my favorites. Also, I’m either more ambitious or more stubborn than I thought, depending on who you ask. While a recent trip to Hawaii to successfully standup paddleboard found me falling in the water more than standing on the board, I didn’t let that stop me from mastering the skill on this trip. Tacos were consumed. Dolphins were seen. Waterways were navigated while kayak-fishing. See some of the highlights in my photo essay below.

Read More