Category Archives: dominican republic

One 2017 Bucket List Item

Before we jump to the fun plans of each of our bucket list items for 2017, I wanted to share something more personal. 2016 was a very difficult year for me in terms of heartbreak and loss and I have felt the grief and despair that I believe Anita experienced too. Without the care, friendships and love from friends and family, I feel certain that she and I would have shared a similar fate. Those around me knew how much I was hurting and really pulled me through the darkness. It is my hope that anyone who feels helpless seeks the help they need. Life isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon and there’s always lessons to live through and learn from.

In 2013, the travel blogging world lost Anita Mac, and many of us lost a friend. Anita inspired each of us in different ways with her huge, welcoming smile, eagerness to help, colorful fashion sense, as well as a shoulder to cry on and a willingness to comfort and listen. For many of us, Anita comes to mind almost daily, but most often during our travels, so each year since her death, our goal has been to honor her in some way. We want to pick up where she left off, as her blog focused on bucket list travel, so we are going to dedicate an item from our own bucket list to her during 2017.


Beautiful Anita – you’re gone but not ever forgotten

We hope this reminds our readership of the wonderful world we live in, how we can all experience it, and how fragile life can be. For Anita, we pledge this for 2017:

Where in the World is Lola? (moi)

This past year I didn’t have a bucket list item for Anita but I guess my own personal yearly bucket list wish is to always travel somewhere new. I can happily say that did happen in 2016. I traveled to the Dominican Republic and was able to donate some of my time helping those in need there. Otherwise, 2016 was a pretty quiet year for me travel-wise. I’m hoping 2017 will be a bit more active.

Lola with Stay Adventurous and The World Wanderer on a cruise to the Dominican Republic

Lola with Stay Adventurous and The World Wanderer on a cruise to the Dominican Republic

I am starting off my year headed back to New Orleans and cannot wait. Other than that, I have no firm travel plans as of yet. I think I would like to prioritize traveling with some of my travel buddies somewhere – new or old! Some thoughts I have are Scotland and Vietnam but I’m open to anything so long as it is with people who are near and dear to me. Anita would love this. She loved us all being together as a group. Her last trip was, in fact, a group trip with several travel gals to Montreal. So, I hope you’ll consider planning an adventure together with me (you know who you are!).

Montreal shenanigans - miss you Anita

Montreal shenanigans – miss you Anita

Traveling Ted

In less than two months I will be traveling to Anita’s hometown. This is the second time I have visited since she passed away. When I met her at TBEX in Toronto, and I told her I might be skiing the Gatineau Loppet, she invited me to stay with her. When I finally did make it to Gatineau, which is right across the river from Ottawa, Ontario, Anita had already passed. I sadly spent most of my time alone. This year I will be returning to the region to ski in the Canadian Ski Marathon.

The fact that I am returning to Canada actually has nothing to do with my bucket list item for 2017.  I am psyched to return to Anita’s homeland, but that is not my 2017 bucket list item. The Canadian Ski Marathon is an endurance race where participants partake in two days of skiing totaling 100 miles. If the number one travel experience I was looking forward to in 2017 was to ski myself into complete exhaustion, then I would be insane. I just needed a hook to tie in travel and Anita. Now that you are honed in on my bucket list, and wondering what the hell it is, I am going to switch gears from cross-country skiing and Canada, but not too far away.

Me after skiing the Gatineau Loppet near Anita's home, but this photo has nothing to do with my 2017 bucket list item

Ted after skiing the Gatineau Loppet near Anita’s home, but this photo has nothing to do with his 2017 bucket list item

Since I am quite sane, my 2017 bucket list item is to visit Maine, and I am pretty sure it is going to happen. I have signed up to join Bullmoose Patrol on a wilderness canoe trip in October on the Allagash River. I have never been to Maine, so I hope to see some moose, breathtaking fall colors, catch and eat some fresh fish, canoe a beautiful river, and drink some Allagash beer near its source. I am quite certain Anita would approve of all the above.

Adventure on!

Follow Ted’s travels on his blog Traveling Ted

The World Wanderer

In 2016, my bucket list plan was to hike Patagonia. At the time, I had only made tentative plans with friends, and those plans eventually fell through. Since I lived most of the year off of my savings, it wasn’t an ideal time to make the trek to South America, so last year’s bucket list item didn’t happen, although I did made it to Colombia in December.
Erin road tripping the USA

Erin road tripping the USA

This year, I am going to try to be a little more realistic with my goal, so my plan is to finish off my states in the United States. If I take two road trips or one major one, I will be able to check off 13 states in the contiguous United States. That will leave me with Alaska, which could be a more difficult one to finish up in 2017, but I am going to try. I think Anita would love this goal of seeing my home country, and she’d sure love the adventures to be had in Alaska. I think it’s the perfect way to honor her.
Follow Erin’s wanderings on her blog The World Wanderer

Stay Adventurous

Craig fly fishing in the Florida Keys

Craig fly fishing in the Florida Keys

With a singular fly cast out into the flats of the upper Florida Keys backcountry, I smiled, not solely because I realized a dream, a bucket list item, but because I also completed my 2016 dedication to Anita. I really owe a lot to my friend Scott,  who not only helped make it happen and also snapped the image I shared on Instagram (which has captured the most likes of the year for me).  Next year he promised we will catch one.
Beaches of Central America

Beaches of Central America

So now as I look towards 2017, I am staring at the snow falling in Lake Wallenpaupack and I am debating a winter adventure. Yet my recent trip Belize reminds me how much of the Americas I have still yet to explore. So for 2017, I plan to visit a NEW destination and a NEW place somewhere on one of the American continents. Maybe I’ll return south of the border, find my way to a winter adventure, or both. Wherever it takes me, this year I plan to discover (more of) the Americas.
Follow Craig’s adventures on his blog StayAdventurous


We encourage you to join us in this quest and take on at least one Bucket List item in 2017, but more importantly, we also hope you take the opportunity to (re)connect with friends and loved ones during this holiday season and throughout the year.

The purpose for writing this post is not only to inspire others to travel the world and explore, but as a way for us to remind all of you who are reading this post to look around you, see who you can reach out to and possibly help reach their goals and feel supported and loved. Our friend and fellow traveler, Anita took her life because she didn’t see any other options, we don’t want anyone else to feel that way.

Please share the momentum.


Filed under bucket list, dominican republic, florida, Maine, travel, USA

Travel Deep and Do Good with @fathomtravel

life jacket

Have you been hearing the buzz about fathom impact travel, a new innovative cruise line from Carnival Cruises? I’ll be honest, I’d never been on a cruise and didn’t really know if it was for me. My adventures with fathom impact travel changed that BIGTIME.

Fathom is a unique experience where you as the traveler become a part of a community on board as well as in the country you visit. I was lucky enough to be on the inaugural cruise to the Dominican Republic. Not only are you offered a variety of activities to experience the Dominican like a tourist but the bigger and more important part of the fathom travel experience is choosing from several impact activities where you’re working alongside local Dominicans, learning about their lifestyle and helping them to make a sustainable future for themselves. The DR is a beautiful island but it’s also an emerging country where education, poverty and lack of jobs is a real issue. What Carnival and fathom have done for a big part of the untapped population on the North Coast is provide thousands of jobs and help to sustain existing coops that employ hundreds of people. It’s a win-win. As you may recall, it’s very important to me to give back when traveling. So this experience was perfect for me.

fathom ship

A little bit about the ship, cruise experience and more on the impact activities from a first time cruiser:

The fathom ship, The Adonia, isn’t one of those enormous ships you may think of when you hear the word cruise. It holds just over 700 passengers, that’s it. The ship has just been redone and I thought it was very nice – classic casual. The food on board was terrific. There was a buffet for the quick bite, a casual sit down dining room for those who like service and, finally, a higher-end restaurant for a little more chi chi experience. All dining options offer a variety of things to eat, of course, with a bit of a Dominican spin!

This week long experience also wasn’t a big boozy trip like I envision some cruises to be. You sail to the Dominican Republic in a day and a half, then spend three days experiencing the island (still staying on board, which I loved…no repacking!!) and then another day and a half sailing back to Miami. During the days we were docked most people weren’t even on board the ship. Now, having said that, of course there are bars and plenty of options for a nice cocktail. AND surprising to me, very reasonable.


In keeping with IMPACT TRAVEL and giving back, you will find environmentally and socially aware products on board too. Things from toiletries to items sold in the duty free shops were all about this. I bought two amazing items myself – a Bajalia bracelet made by women in developing regions – providing them jobs and a Krochet Kids top made by families in developing countries supported by this international non-profit.

On board programming offered was about community building, learning about the DR, teaching you to be a great global citizen and health and wellness. And, of course, there was also plenty of entertainment for any and all. The impact activities offered once in the Dominican Republic were things like reforestation, teaching English, water filtration production, recycled paper and chocolate women’s coops, etc. There is something for everyone here. Some activities are more hands on but more strenuous and others are perfect for less active people.


Things that I didn’t know or expect about cruising and the fathom travel experience. Next trip, I would do two impact activities in one day and one more on another. This would leave more time to explore the DR on my own or do additional excursions. I had no clue about wifi being so difficult to connect to or the extreme expense of it, so buyer beware and plan to unplug on board. Never having cruised before, I was concerned about motion sickness. I was completely fine but some were affected by it. Apparently, there are these awesome motion sickness bands that almost immediately alleviate the symptoms. Finally, I could have planned and packed better for some of the impact activities so look into this more carefully.

I was a guest on the inaugural Fathom voyage to the Dominican Republic but at a price point starting at $499, I’d say this experience is priceless!


Filed under cruises, dominican republic, travel