Rhonda Albom is an American expat currently living in New Zealand when she is not traveling the world with her husband and her two teenage daughters. Rhonda homeschools her girls, is a crew member of a women’s yacht racing team and she leads a Girl Guiding Pippins group. Rhonda is currently editing her first creative non-fiction book, due out in 2016.

Chefchaouen: Photographing the Streets of Morocco’s Blue City

Classic scene in Chefchaouen, the Blue City in Morocco.

Chefchaouen is unlike most other places we have been. With a sordid, almost secret history, it’s a walled Moroccan city founded in 1471. A refuge and haven for Jews and Muslims during the Spanish Inquisition, Chefchaouen banned Christians (punishable by death) until the 1920s when it was temporarily captured by Spain. Today it is probably […]

Visiting a Bedouin Camp in the Moroccan Sahara

One of the more solid structures at a Bedouin camp in the Sahara desert in Morocco

When we were invited to visit a Bedouin camp while in the Moroccan Sahara, we were not sure what to expect. We were greeted with warm smiles, hot tea, and a style of hospitality that made us feel less like tourists, and more like long lost friends. As we drove through the Sahara desert, we first […]

Colors of the Sahara Desert: A Travel Photography Exposé

Classic image of the camels with the colors of the Sahara in the background

The colors of the Sahara are more dramatic than we expected. The array of golden-orange that paints the sand dunes is both impressive and ever changing. We visited Morocco several years ago as the last stop on our around the world adventures. Here are some of the photo highlights from the Sahara desert: Interesting Information The […]

An Unusual Cemetery in Comillas in Northern Spain

Cemetery of Comillas, Cantabria, Spain

Comillas is one of many small townships we visited as we travelled across northern Spain from La Coruña to Lourdes, France. Located in the autonomous community of Cantabria, Comillas is a charming and beautiful town most noted for its cemetery, old university, palace, monuments, and Gaudi’s summer home. We visited here about 3 years ago, yet the photos […]

Endangered Dotterels and Chicks on a New Zealand Beach

New Zealand dotterel

Out of the corner of my eye I see little balls of fluff bouncing and hovering across the beach. These baby dotterels stop to forage for food. Camera in hand, I attempt to focus on one of the endangered chicks although its camouflage makes it challenging. As a result of this lack of contrast, I […]

2016 Photo Highlights: 4 Continents, 9 Countries, Lots of Transition

Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

In February, when both our girls said goodbye we wondered what our empty nest would be like. After 18 years of living, learning and travelling together as a homeschool family of four, would hubby and I have anything to talk about once the girls left? The answer is yes. We rose to the occasion, to […]

Grampians to Melbourne: Kangaroos, Skinks, Waterfalls and More

Bobtail Skink seen in the Grampians, Victoria, Australia

Waterfalls and wildlife, our days in the Grampians region were filled with natural beauty. Inland from Victoria’s southern Australian coast, Grampian National Park is a perfect base for exploration. Best shared in photos: Practical Information: The Grampians National Park is located in Victoria and is comprised of rugged sandstone mountain ranges and forests. We barely […]

J-Ward: Inside a Lunatic Asylum for the Criminally Insane

Main gate of J-Ward a lunatic asylum for the criminally insane i

I could feel a chill run down my spine as I walked through the corridors of J-Ward, a former gaol (jail), later transformed to a lunatic asylum for the criminally insane. Nestled in the small town of Ararat in Victoria Australia, J-Ward closed in 1991, and many former employees and patients still live nearby. Our guide was […]

A Convent Turned Luxury Hotel: Explore Australia’s Great Ocean Road (Part 3)

St Patrick's Luxury Botique Hotel in Korit, Australia

Looking up at the words  “Convent of St. Patrick” in the stained glass over the entry door, I had to wonder what I was doing here. In truth, my confusion began as we turned onto the drive and I looked up at the classic architecture while hubby announced, “this is where we are staying tonight.” […]

Discovering Street Art in Perth, Australia

Street art in Perth, Western Australia

It is the enormity of the street art in Perth that turned my head. Massive works of art appear on seemingly random buildings, mostly in laneways and alleyways. Unlike Melbourne street art that filled up every inch of the laneways it covered, the street art in Perth seems to focus on one image at a […]

Inside the Sydney Opera House: Touring an Australian Icon

Sydney Opera House

I love the look of the Sydney Opera House on a bright day, the white tile glistening against the blue background. This was our third trip to Sydney, and the first time we went inside the iconic Sydney Opera House. It wasn’t to see a show, although we were quite tempted to see My Fair […]

Cruising on the Swan River to Artistic Fremantle, Australia

Black swans are the namesake of the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia

Black swans dot the banks and give the Swan River her name according to the commentary on board the hour-long Captain Cook cruise from Perth to Fremantle in Western Australia (WA). It was a late spring day with a light breeze. The river sailing was smooth and the commentary identified key sights like the Royal […]

A Cow Parade and Other Interesting Sites in Perth Australia

Cow Parade in Perth, Western Australia

Perth was our port of disembarkation on our recent Royal Caribbean cruise, allowing us several days before we flew home. Our first time in Western Australia and of course we already want to return for a much more elaborate exploration of the region. We did have time for a city tour, a river cruise to Fremantle, a […]

Photos of Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth Australia

Boab Tree in Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth Australia

Western Australia (WA) is quite different from the cities in the east we travelled to on our loop over the top of Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Caines, and Darwin). WA is home to half of Australia’s plant species, and most are endemic to the region. Located in Kings Park, the Western Australia Botanic Gardens is a […]

Highlights of a Day in Geraldton, Australia

HMAS Sydney II Mermoial in Geraldton, Australia

I wasn’t sure why the ship chose Geraldton as a port of call outside of wildflower season, but it turned out to be an enjoyable day in a charming Western Australia town. With only a few major sites to visit, it was easy to hit the highlights in a day on our own, even if we […]

Packing Light for Cruise Travel and Having All You Need

Tips to pack light for a cruise

Yes, packing light for cruise travel and having everything you need is possible. We have done it successfully multiple times. One of the advantages of cruising is unpacking only once while exploring a variety of locations. However, you still have to lug your belongings to the airport, to the cruise terminal, and back home. For […]

Quirky Artwork Onboard Radiance of the Seas

Glass artwork onboard Radiance of the Seas

Eclectic, random, unpredictable, and often bizarre describes the artwork onboard the Radiance of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean ship we have been sailing from Sydney to Perth around the top of Australia. The ship itself, while showing its age in a few spots, is beautiful. It’s the attention to detail, interesting artwork around every corner, […]

Docking in Port Hedland Australia? What to do in this Mining Town

Iron Ore boulder on display in town in Port Hedlands, Australia

I’ll admit, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about visiting Port Hedland, a small city in Western Australia known for iron ore mining. However, it turned out to be fascinating. Here, we opted to take an excursion offered by Royal Caribbean, and we went on an iron ore tour. All tours at BHP Billiton are via bus, and there […]

Exotic Bali in a Day: Rice Terraces, Monkeys, Temples and More

Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud Bali, Indonesia

Clearly, a day in exotic and exciting Bali is not enough. Even in the rain, the island is fascinating. For us, it was a cruise port with Royal Caribbean. We docked in Benoa and hired a private driver to show us the sites. We skipped the beaches as it was raining most of the day. Here […]

Dining at the Chef’s Table: A Royal Caribbean Treat

First course of the Chef's Table dinner

Speciality dining options have become a common feature on modern cruise ships, and the Chef’s Table on Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas is the best we have tried to date. The days of true “all inclusive travel” are long gone. While the cost of sailing includes meals, Royal Caribbean, like the other lines we have […]

How to See the Highlights of Darwin Australia in a Day

Radiance of the Seas as seen from the Bicentennial Park in Darwin Australia

As the Radiance of the Seas pulled into the port of Darwin, I really didn’t know what to expect from this tropical capital of the Northern Territories. The ship offered options like a boat tour to see jumping crocodiles, a discovery of the untamed countryside of Litchfield Park, an interactive eco-adventure tour, as well as […]

Initial Impressions: Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas

Swimming pool on the Radiance of the Seas

We love cruising. Currently, we are about half way through our adventure around the top of Australia from Sydney to Perth on the Radiance of the Seas. (We have stopped in Brisbane and Cairns, future ports include Darwin, Bali Indonesia, Port Hedlands, and Geraldton). It is the first time we are cruising with Royal Caribbean. […]

Celebrating my Birthday in Cairns, Australia

Millaa Millaa Falls outdside of Cairns, Australia

Cairns Australia, on my birthday. It was perfect. The Radiance of the Sea dropped anchor in Yorkey’s Knob, just north of Cairns. There are so many opportunities here. The ship offered options of rainforest tours, trains, markets and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. We made a better choice and spent the day with good […]

Brisbane as a Cruise Port: Sailing with Royal Caribbean

The shrine of rememberance is one of many memorials in ANZAC squ

Brisbane is Australia’s coolest city, or is it? I am not sure how any city that holds the world record for going to bed and waking up earliest can call itself “cool.” Either way, it is a city with quite a lot to offer, and it was our first cruise port off of the Radiance […]

Sailing out of Sydney Harbour on the Radiance of the Seas

Sunset as we are sailing out of Sydney Harbour, Australia

Docked in Sydney harbour with the famous Opera House as a backdrop, Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship Radiance of the Seas sat waiting for a new load of passengers. Along with 2000 others, we stepped aboard, ready to begin an exciting adventure sailing over the top of Australia including a brief stop in Bali, Indonesia. Our cabin […]