- Going scuba diving off the coast of Bali. Eighty feet below the water, I look over and see my brother Jim waving at me. He had never scuba dived before and was certainly not certified.
- Staring at the Eiffel Tower from the window of our sumptuous suite at the Plaza Athenee in Paris.
- Feeling like Lawrence of Arabia while being pelted by a sandstorm in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.
- Going an hour out of way to try the highly praised Iskender Kebab at a restaurant in Kaysari, Turkey. It was worth the detour!
- Smoking opium with a leper in Mae Hong San, Thailand. Don't worry, my guide told me. He's not contagious.
- Watching my family rock climb up a sheer cliff in the Canadian Rockies.
- Being covered from head to toe by ticks while watching hippos swim in South Africa's Kruger National Park. We showered with turpentine that afternoon.
- Hiking to Lake Tangimauthia on the island of Taveuni, Fiji. To reach this volcanic lake hidden inside the island's mountainous interior, we had to trudge through mud and water up to our waist for almost a mile. It led to one of my most memorable stories.
- Getting freshly made challah and halvah on a Friday afternoon at the Mehane Yehudah market in Jerusalem.
- Seeing a family of scarlet macaws on a tree in the Costa Rican rainforest. You couldn't help but hear them, they were squawking so loudly.
About Steve… In the summer of 1990, Steve Jermanok left his job as a broker in Manhattan and booked a year-long ticket to the South Pacific. Upon his return, he would write his first article, “Dining with Descendants of Cannibals in Fiji,” for The Miami Herald.
Today, he is considered one of the most prolific travel writers in North America, having explored more than 80 countries and written over 1000 articles on a broad range of subjects, from food to art to adventure.
He has worked as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor for Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, guest editor for The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and writes regularly for The Boston Globe, Travel & Leisure, and The Washington Post.
Other writing projects have included 11 guidebooks, working with Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Discovery Channel, Outside Magazine and other travel publishers; and a screenplay, which he collaborated on with his brother, Jim, Passionada, released by The Samuel Goldwyn Company in 2003.
- Canoeing down a river in the French Polynesian island, Raiatea, and meeting some children laughing as they swung from the tree into the river. Soon after, they showed us around their island leading us to a papaya field where the vines grew over our heads.
- Taking an elephant trek in Northern Thailand and meeting native people from the hill tribes colorfully dressed in handmade clothing.
- Being among the crowds in Venice during their riotous holiday of Carnevale in February.
- Biking in Shark River Valley in the Everglades of Florida next to hundreds of lazy alligators.
- Walking through Monet's gardens in Giverney and seeing the artist's paintings come to life before my eyes.
- Riding a dune buggy fast through the forests of Negril in Jamaica.
- Discovering what a sea cucumber was on the most magical island in the Marquesas in the middle of the South Pacific.
- Taking a breathtakingly beautiful seaplane ride from Whistler to Victoria in British Columbia and just walking two minutes with my luggage from the seaport to my hotel at the Fairmont Empress.
- Watching the glaciers calve from the captain's bridge of our cruise ship at Hubbard Glacier on the inside passage of Alaska.
- Searching for puffins off the Maine coast in the fog in a miniscule dinghy amidst the swells of the Atlantic.
About Lisa… After working in the arts for two decades, Lisa Leavitt decided to fly over to the travel industry, joining her husband Steve (see above!) to co-found ActiveTravels.com.
Her work as curator and content writer at several art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA, has been a labor of love.
Now, after years of traveling alongside Steve on his assignments, taking photographs to accompany his articles, and editing many of his pieces behind the scenes, Lisa has decided to push her excitement for travel to the forefront.
Her years as a curator has made her exceedingly detail oriented and has trained her to be highly selective when it comes to choosing quality. She hopes to transfer these important strengths to help you select the best destination, hotel, and activities available to make your vacation as seamless and worry-free as possible.