Free desktop wallpaper for December 2012: Walking on Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand.
December 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Franz Josef Glacier Walk

This is the December 2012 offering for our desktop calendar series – always free and available for iPad too! Get your December 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper! This photo was taken in November 2011, during our RV trip around the South Island of New Zealand. I’m not a cold weather fan – too many winters in Minnesota burned the […]


Photo Friday: Lake Tekapo, where we failed to find the famous dark sky, but enjoyed lovely scenery nonetheless.
View of Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, from shore

This is the latest in a series of  travel photos inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. This week’s Photo Friday theme is STARS. Sounds great, you might be saying. So why aren’t we seeing a gorgeous photo of a nighttime starry sky? Let me explain. When Don and I set out on our New Zealand campervan […]

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In honor of World Oceans Day, this week’s Photo Friday takes you to Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, on the South Island of New Zealand.
Milford Sound in Fjordland National Park, New Zealand

This post is the latest in our weekly photo series from places that we’ve been: This week’s #FriFoto them on Twitter is OCEANS, in honor of World Oceans Day. This picture comes from Milford Sound, located in Fiordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. The whole park is part of the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World […]


June 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

by Don Faust on May 31, 2012

Desktop calendar wallpaper for June 2012: Easter Island Moai Statues.
Moai on Easter Island, available as a desktop calendar wallpaper

This is the latest in our free 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper series. Get your June 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!  Pictured are a row of Moai, statues from Easter Island. Created by the Rapa Nui for unknown reasons, the statues may have almost destroyed the civilization, sociologists such as Jared Diamond say, because the calories that the […]


Ask Chris: More details on planning a campervan trip to New Zealand.

Question: My husband and I are taking your advice—we’re going to campervan through New Zealand!  We’re flying in and out of Auckland, and we’ll have 10 days total.  Your blog post was very helpful, but I have a few additional questions.  Do you recommend your campervan company? How did you know where to go?  Did the […]


January 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

by Don Faust on January 1, 2012

January 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper of Lake Hawea with Mount Aspiring National Park
January 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

This is the first of our 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper series. Get your January 2012 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!  Pictured is Lake Hawea with Mount Aspiring National Park in the background.  Choose the size that best fits your screen resolution. 1024×768 | 1280×800 | 1280×1024 | 1440×900 | 1600×1200 1680×1050 | 1920×1200 | iPad | iPhone 4 Next wallpaper coming January 31! Like this photo? […]

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My favorite experience of 2011 was, without a doubt, renting a campervan in New Zealand.
Campervan on the South Island, New Zealand

Yesterday, I wrote about my inglorious introduction to New Zealand, which took place while I was cramped at 30,000 feet next to an overweight passenger. But even that plane ride from hell couldn’t dim the joys of New Zealand, which my husband and I explored by campervan. The experience was, without a doubt, my favorite […]


2011 in Review: Worst Experience

by Chris on December 29, 2011

My worst experience of 2011 came on my longest flight of the year, unfortunately, when I was wedged next to an overweight passenger for almost 13 hours.

I’ve been handing out a lot of superlatives in the last week or so, so now it’s time to reflect on what didn’t go so well on my 2011 travels. I’m happy to report that there were only a few contenders for the Worst Experience title; unlike 2010, where I seemed to be a germ […]


This week’s Photo Friday theme is about being thankful. As this picture attests, I’m most thankful for a traveling companion who can dump out the sewage in our New Zealand camper.

Today’s Photo Friday (#FriFotos on the Twitter) theme is all about giving thanks – and I feel especially thankful for all the sights and experiences I’ve had this year. While I had many beautiful shots to choose from, I felt that this more prosaic picture from the recent campervan trip to New Zealand that I […]


Moai Madness: Rapanui Pride

by Chris on January 27, 2011

Polynesian Fabios? Well, yes, the Rapanui men are attractive. But that’s only one feature that makes the Easter Island native culture so fascinating.
Rapanui pride

This post is fourth in a series about Easter Island. Before I left for Easter Island, friends who had visited the island before warned me that the Rapanui men were unusually attractive. “Think Polynesian Fabios,” one travel writer told me. And yes, the men, most with long flowing dark hair, tribal tattoos and well-developed arm muscles, […]