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This whiskered mug (shown at right) was my last hurrah on Kauai before it was time to board a plane bound for covert Nextpedition destination #2.
Considering that I’m obsessed with any adorable wild creature – let alone one that waddles from the surf onto the beach before my very feet – this, I decided, was going to be a tough surprise act to follow.
When the plane’s wheels rolled down the runway in Honolulu, I have to admit that I still wasn’t entirely convinced that the second leg of my mystery trip could possibly live up to the past four days.
The Ultimate Nextpedition: How One Writer Signed Up For a Mystery Trip . . . and Found Herself Dangling From a Pacific Island Zipline
Tucked inside the parcel was my Nextpedition trip console – and an envelope that would reveal my first Farbarian-meets-Adrenalista-match-made-in-travel-heaven destination: Kauai!
Three days later, my husband and I were bound for the not-so-Farbarian town of Newark, N.J., to catch an 11-hour flight to Honolulu, where we’d hop a 30-minute flight to Lihue, Kauai.
When I was a kid, I loved surprises. I guess you could say this is true of most children. But while my best friends would call me in the early morning hours on Christmas day to hear what I’d gotten from Santa (no doubt so they could compare it with their own loot), what really got me excited had little to do with presents.
No, the surprise that could put me in an instant state of euphoric anticipation always started with a simple question posed by my dad: Want to go on a trip?
Twenty-some-odd years later, just the idea of exploring a new patch of our planet still does it to me every time.
For me, travel is the ultimate surprise in life because no matter how much you plan and strategize and agonize over the details, you can pretty much expect the unexpected. And I love every second of it.
I wouldn’t trade those magical, spur-of-the-moment travel experiences for anything, which is how I recently found myself taking the ultimate travel risk: I agreed to a seven-day vacation – without actually knowing where I was going.
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