ChaZen, the honest safari

Joe’s bright eyes pierced into mine. “If he charges the fence,” he said, “You need to stand your ground. Don’t run away. You got it?” I nodded. We were standing knee deep in the bush, alongside a thin wire fence where, just beyond, a massive male African lion was thoughtfully sniffing the air. But this…

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Discovering Pilanesberg National Park

The car in front of us was stopped next to a huge acacia thorn bush. Behind them, we looked impatiently at each other. What could they possibly be looking at when parked next to a bush? The question answered itself not two seconds later, when a gigantic horned head swung out in front of the…

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Riding the Waves for Change

Well, I survived my first surf lesson in the waters of Cape Town. Given the hype about sharks and the abundance of terrifying Youtube videos, I assumed the surfing itself would be the most notable part of the day’s experience. To my surprise, it was our instructor, Apish, who turned out to be the center…

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A Cape Town Date Night

Imagine. You’re sitting in a patch of sunlight in a garden of almost Biblical beauty. A small stream runs alongside you. The bricks beneath your feet are warm from the heat of the day, but the glass of white wine in your hand is cool. A duck and her ducklings—their soft baby down fuzzing them…

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Christmas at Tava Lingwe

“May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white…” Merry and bright were for certain, but we’d traded a white Christmas in bitterly cold Germany for the equatorial climes of South Africa. We arrived Christmas morning at O.R. Tambo International Airport, where the silver trees bedecked in orange and blue…

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Adventures in Glamping: Yosemite National Park

Last Saturday morning, I woke up not the usual sounds of the clanking garbage trucks, honking traffic, and weekend morning rattle of one of the most populous cities in the country, but to the steady rushing of rain on a canvas roof. It took a minute to orient myself in the cozy gray light—then I remembered that…

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San Blas(t) Adventures: Sailing from Colombia to Panama

Now that the moving in is all settled, we can get back to the adventures. San Blas Islands, Panama — August 2014 After leaving Cartagena, we spent just one night in Turbo before leaving for the promised (is)land chain: the San Blas Islands. There are a few ways you can do this three-night, four-day journey—most…

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The Adventure Begins: Turbo, Colombia

If you hate sleeping in hammocks, the San Blas islands are probably not for you. If you hate traveling by boat, the islands are probably not your jam. If you hate drinking games, meeting new people, bonfires, snorkeling, or fine white sand, you are likely going to hate the San Blas islands. Luckily for you,…

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Cartagena, Colombia: Where We Stayed

We didn’t have a ton of time in Colombia, but we enjoyed ourselves so much we definitely want to head back! We wound up concentrating our four days in the beautiful Caribbean port city, Cartagena de Indias, and couldn’t have been happier. To kickstart our three-weeks in South/Central America, I wanted a place where we…

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Château Élan: A Charming GA Getaway

I’m embarrassed to say that despite being from Northern California, I haven’t actually been to Napa, and have only been to Sonoma once. By no means am I any sort of connoisseur of wines or vintages—but I do enjoy tastings, tours, and the general atmosphere of each individual winery. Georgia’s Château Élan was no exception. Here’s…

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