Dream Destination - Malapascua Philippines

Malapascua, an island paradise in the Philippines for scuba diving, white sand beaches and friendly locals eager to share their laid back lifestyle and beautiful home. 

It only took a few very long flights across the Pacific ocean, a four hour bus trip and a short taxi boat ride to get to paradise, but once in Malapascua the long journey was instantly justified with a smile that could not be wiped off my face and a lingering sense of peace. A small island in the Philippines north of Cebu, Malapascua is known for its scuba diving, but the above water attractions are just as stunning. Days begin with a sunrise boat trip to an outer reef, just as the sun is peaking over the horizon we jump into the ocean and slowly descend to see the famous Thresher shark, with its long fan like tail feeding on small cleaning fish. Emerging to the surface of the water the warm sun now shines brightly illuminating the clear blue and aqua water, some of the most stunning colors I have ever seen. Sipping hot coffee on the boat, it's only 7:30am and already I feel like everything I had hoped for has been surpassed. Back on the small island we call home for a few days, breakfast is a fresh mango smoothie and banana pancakes. Sunscreen is reapplied for some island hoping adventures, followed by reading in the hammock and an afternoon nap. A fresh seafood dinner eaten by candlelight with toes in the sand and we are off to meet new friends for karaoke and disco night where locals and tourists meet on the basketball court to drink rum and dance under the stars.    

Snow, Sake and City Sights in Japan

Arriving in Tokyo, Japan I was stuck by how a city can be so clean and quiet and yet so bright and lively at the same time. Small independent bars that seat only 8 people line Golden Gai streets, each with it's own theme and feeling. 24 hr sushi restaurants mean that you will never go hungry in this big city. The ski hills in the north island's area of Hokkaido lived up to their reputation of "Japow". Powder so deep that if you fall on a snowboard getting back up again can take a while and don't worry about lift lines or crowded runs, because there are so many different areas to ski that there is an open run for every taste. After a full day on the mountain coming home to a relaxing onsen, (a natural indoor or outdoor hot spring bath) to sooth the muscles, and a multi course traditional Kaiseki meal to not only feed the belly but the soul makes it hard to ever leave this place. Japan is a place I already can't wait to go back to full of hospitality, natural beauty and food to die for.