This Adventurous Life

A young couple exploring the world…and their 30's

Cayle recently introduced me to Gunnar Garfors website,, which I also ran into over at Business Insider when I could not help but click on the article titled“The 25 Least Visited Countries in the World.”   If like me, you have traveled somewhere and unexpectedly were assaulted by the CRAZY amount of tourism you encountered, then read his article in Business Insider and get ideas for your next trip.  Sorry for using the word “assaulted” but really, that is how it can feel.

Cayle and I have said before that some of our favorite trips and destinations have been the hardest ones to get to.  We have relatives that will ask us, “Why are you going THERE?” (with a “that’s so weird” tone in their voice)… and being asked this question will actually reaffirm our decision to be a great one.  The two 747’s to the taxi ride and then on the little propeller pane, to the bus, to the sketchy taxi ride… gets us away from exactly what we are trying to escape in order to find a more natural world and a place that hasn’t yet been assaulted by the human race.  Don’t get me wrong, Paris is my favorite city, but … you know.

Garfors bases his list on these factors:


Visa regulations


Available information

Number of visitors

Some of the countries on this list I am really considering.  A few of them would be potential destinations except that at this point in our lives I’m feeling less inclined to hire a security detail and/or armored vehicle for traveling.  Here are the countries on his list of least traveled places that are now higher on our travel wish list:


Sierra Leone

Equatorial Guinea


East Timor

Marshall Islands

Kiribati (Ever read Sex lives of Cannibals?  If so, you probably want to go here too.)


We leave in two days heading to Chile.  While Santiago will be exciting and awesome, it is the land of Chilean Patagonia that we have dreamt of visiting for years.  3 plane rides, a bus and taxi ride later we will arrive in Puerto Natales to prepare for hiking the “W” in Torres del Paine.  While this is not the least traveled destination, it is definitely the land of the less traveled… you could say it is the anti-Rajasthan.  Here we come.

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We never predicted what an impact the August 2011 issue of Outside Magazine would have on us when we brought it in from our mailbox or even that the time-consuming process of cashing in airline miles for magazine subscriptions would be worth something so much more one day.  You see, there was one article in that issue that opened up a series of emotions and wonderment in the both of us.  As it turns out, one article is all it takes to change a couple of people.

Most of the time if you ask us about the problems of the world, we will tell you that people are the problem…over population, greed, disrespect for the earth and other living creatures, etc.  Population encroachment on natural land is something we see everywhere we travel, and it is never any less disappointing.  So, when we travel we try to always visit and support national parks and conservation efforts, and directly link the money we pour into a destination with our values.  It’s often not easy and sometimes really not cheap, however, worth every penny.

“Number One With a Bullet” is the article I am referencing.  I highly recommend reading it.  It is thought provoking, to say the least.

So, a little over a year after reading this article we decided it was necessary to go to Assam, the northeast state of India running along the Bramahputra River.  Specifically, we needed to visit Kaziranga National Park, with one of the most successful animal conservation efforts in history.  (well, successful and probably also controversial)  What an amazing accomplishment, especially for India, a land of overpopulation to the extreme.  Assam is special though.  It is the less traveled, bio-cultural hotspot of India.  The India we hoped for.  We stayed with Diphlu River Lodge and loved every bit of it.  The staff, safaris, oh the food-yummmm!  They care, too.  When they saw how much we loved and appreciated nature and the animals’ livelihoods they were so happy.  They showed us the real Kaziranga, and we got to know the people who love the land and animals.


Here are the park guides getting ready to saddle up their elephants for an early morning safari on elephant back. Here, some elephants are domestic and some are wild. We hope that by asking about the care of the elephants and showing we value the elephants- the result will be better lives for them at the hands of their owners.


Here is a visual of the one horned rhino relaxing in a grass marsh while we travel up to it on the back of an elephant. The grass plains of Kaziranga are easiest to travel on elephant back because the “elephant” grass is so tall and thick to travel through for humans.


A park ranger must accompany each vehicle entering the park. Each ranger has a very old gun, assuming it is from the days of British Colonialism. Yes, they are very much that old and rusty looking. Only once was our ranger ready to fire into the air because a rhino was getting too close to us. It works as a warning for the rhinos to retreat from the scene.


We didn’t see any Bengal tigers. Kaziranga has the highest population of them in all of India, however they are very elusive only coming out at night usually. Most safari guides will tell you they *almost saw one this one time. Our guide had seen many of them at this one particular spot where he would sit for hours…something we weren’t capable of doing. But tracks! We saw tracks by the river.


The rhino was the last of the big five I had yet to see in the wild. There are five types of rhinos. Our next mission may be to see all five types. This particular rhino is very archaic looking with what looks like shielding plates around its body.


One of our safaris was over at the west end of Kaziranga on a trail that was only recently opened up by the park service. In fact, the Diphlu manager and staff had never been in this direction before. We jumped at their offer to head that way, and had fun experiencing our safari with the manager and chef of Diphlu. The gibbons, however, didn’t like our company too much. They definitely gang peed on us as we drove through the park. Gibbon pee went in my eye. Yep. We were a mess, a histerically laughing mess.



Water buffalo crossing the Bramahputra river.


Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve


To the staff at Diphlu, if we ever have the opportunity to return to Assam, we will definitely see you again and bring as many other travelers with us as we can. We really cherish our memories with you in Kaziranga.

“Number One With a Bullet” and Kaziranga’s success has us wondering if we approve or disapprove of the antipoaching policies adopted there.  If we ever go through with our magazine article club (a version of a book club), I would pick this article to discuss…

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Spending Valentines Day in Hawaii is pretty awesome.  So is making a summary video of all of our past year’s travels for my husband! 🙂

2012 was such an amazing year for us.  We went on great trips with friends and family, and are so fortunate that we are surrounded by people who appreciate traveling with us.

So, here is an entirely imperfect yet awesome video I slapped together for you, Cayle.  You continue to amaze me with your love, generosity, and energy.  Enjoy “Ode to 2012.”  Happy Valentines Day!


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 Mendenhall Lake around the pass to the glacier and back is usually not hard.  Well, if your rudder breaks off when you are half way around the lake…then it can become tough to move in any purposeful direction at a positive speed.  Our rudder decided to stop working making this excursion quite a work out.  Thankfully we didn’t have to dodge any breaking icebergs.

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About two months ago we started planning to visit India.  We went into the planning stages knowing we wouldn’t be able to see it all.  Our wish lists were quickly whittled away to a realistic agenda.  While we are sad to cut out Varanasi, Darjeeling, and McLeod Ganj to name a few, we are happy to have determined a focused trip where we will experience a few areas well rather than rushing all over the place.

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Dolphins are wonderfully beautiful and playful mammals. Seeing them in their natural environment can’t be matched by shows at Seaworld or swimming with captured dolphins at a resort. This was the most amazing experience on the Big Island and it only cost us a tandem kayak rental.

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Roman Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum of Rome. Taking this photograph convinced me that black and white photography would be an art worth mastering.

Last winter we spent a few whirlwind days in Rome hitting the highlights. Some of the most enchanting spots were the remnants of the ancient Roman empire still standing after 2 millennia.

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