Transformational Journeys | Part 1 : The Great Apes


Source:  Volcanoes Safaris

Face it, most vacations are fun and exciting, though how many of your travels have truly transformed your life?
We’ve been discovering new destinations for decades now and want to share with you,  the first,  of what is a trip that will transform your life.

The Great Apes are a source of our fascination.   They are considered to be some of the most intelligent and socially organized animals.   Yet sadly Mountain Gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered apes and it is estimated that there are approximately 720  left throughout the world. They have little remaining natural habitat.   What is left is located in the stunningly beautiful, volcanic, mountainous regions of Rwanda and Uganda, Africa.


Gorilla safaris are niche African safaris.  There are a few companies that specialize in them.   Only 8 people can visit a given gorilla family per day.  In Uganda, ten families have been habituated in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP.  Rwanda can also take 80 persons per day.  Ultimately that means 160 persons per day tacking the gorillas here.   Whatever company you select there’s little question that your time with the gorillas, will be one experience that you will carry with you for the remainder of your life.


Volcanoes Safaris is one of the preeminent companies specializing in mountain gorilla tracking based around our eco-luxury lodges in Uganda and Rwanda.  The following amazing images are taken by Volcanoes Safaris and provide a glimpse into one the first in a series of transformational adventures.   Seeking a transformation, then visit Volcanoes Safaris, and reserve your adventure.


“David Attenborough spoke about the need for support of conservation programs in his ‘Africa’ show, including the mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda. Support local efforts and visit these still endangered relatives of ours with Volcanoes Safaris all year round.”


To find out more, visit : Facebook :  Twitter : Pinterest : YouTube


Your African Escape : Into the Wild

The Great Rift Valley, that cuts through Northern Kenya, in a series of mazy peaks and depressions, is home to some of the most magical scenery found the world over.   It’s also home to Kamogi  – a low key, and really laid back private ranch,  that is an ideal spot for travelers who are looking to truly experience the African wild.


A ramshackle and enchanting property,  it’s a very much loved family home, whose owners have opened their doors for guests to experience a “slice of life” on a private ranch in Africa.


The feel here is beautiful, totally wild and very much “at home.”  You’re yards away from the Il Pinguan lugga – seasonal river bed –  that traverses the Laikipia plateau, for 100 miles, before feeding into the Ewaso Ngiro River. The Il Pinguan acts as a water access point for the ecosystem that includes 200 year old acacia forests, herds of buffalo, elephant, gazelles as well as their predators the lions, leopards and cheetahs.  This makes it it one of the best places in Africa to experience the wild, magic of this exceptional land.


This isn’t your resort stay, with fences around the pool and property.   Though you have a pool and a tennis court, this is Africa for real.  Here you’re in the WILD.  It’s open and fenceless and the wildlife you see is conducting its everyday life  – and there’s no lack of it!  Every minute is exciting,  as you have no clue what you’ll see next.


This is the African wild.  It’s a place that will rejuvenate your senses and emotions.   For the faint hearted,  its worth knowing that there is 24-7 security in case of wayward lions.


So if you’re ready for a trip of a lifetime visit Pinguan House.


Powerful Virtual Trips Because Human Nature Seeks Adventures & Travels

Almost every human, at his or her essence, loves adventure and travel.  You’ve likely met people that consider themselves “home bodies” yet, when they’re pressed, you’ll discover that most  meet this need for travel and adventure in ways other, than what we typically  consider “travel.”

They may love going into the city and seeing the sights and hearing the sounds, before returning to their abode, or taking a drive through the countryside or into an unknown area that’s close by home.

There lies within all of us this “pull” to discover and explore – and with that in mind, who is better than sharing their adventures and taking us along on a virtual trip than bloggers?

Whether you consider yourself a person with deep wanderlust, a host to travelers in your room rental, B&B or resort,  at VacationDiggs we believe that each of us can and should experience more of life’s magic by sharing in the journeys that these wanderlust bloggers  offer.

8miles from home

A Man, Woman and Dog seeking happiness through adventure. Sacha, Jmayel & Eden packed up their lives in the UK to digitally capture the world in their own unique style. 8 Miles from Home are currently traveling Asia creating a Cinematic Travel Vlog about their adventures with Eden the Dog.  … more

Finding the Universe

A a blog about life and travelling, photography, places and people with a dash of humour.    more….

World Tour Stories

When Alex and Taru met back in the fall of 2009 in there  hometown Barcelona, they instantly knew that their lives were going to take a dramatic turn. After only a few weeks of dating they decided that they wanted to take Alex’s sailboat out for a journey across the oceans of the world.

And when the thought of actually releasing themselves from the normal stressful city life with obligations and mental distractions grew stronger, they knew that this was what they were meant to be doing.  This is their story.  … more

Take On the Road

A blog celebrating travel, food, beauty and lifestyle – and eating our way around the world, one dish at a time! … more ..

The Vagabond Adventures of Lucie, Lachlan & Bow Wow

 The Vagabond Adventures team is made up of Lucie (the Scottish lass), Lachlan (the Australian bloke) & Bow Wow (the African dog).

Lucie & Lachlan’s mission is to travel the world with their faithful hound, Bow Wow, helping communities through trade, not aid, and in support of wildlife conservation.  They share their experiences of the world’s wonderment and peculiarities with you by going to extraordinary places and leaving with insight, new skills, friendships and Vagabond Treasures! Their journey is documented through writing, photography and film.

As they travel, we they search for traditional craftspeople that they may develop products with to market and sell through their online shop, Vagabond Van. In this way, their aim to help communities be self sufficient and maintain vanishing handicrafts. Where possible they encourage the use of recycled materials, adding to their unique story which each product has to tell and minimizing its impact on the environment.
more …

Anywhere But Home: a [travel] photography blog

24 year old girl celebrating an infatuation with the whole wide world! Based in Seoul, exploring Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa ♥


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Shaun and Erica are highschool sweethearts traveling the world, leaving no rock unturned, while adding stamps to their passport, one country at a time. …more

The Constant Rambler

Here you can get travel advice along with playful stories from a rambling couple along with the occasional chime-in from their nutty pets.

On this journey of friends, family, and pets they have wanted to share their adventures with the world. This blog is  fed with tales of our joys and sorrows, challenges and successes, disappointments and victories.

They have always loved traveling. Whether it be by plane, train, or automobile for a quick weekend trip or an epic adventure just say the word and their bags are packed. … more

Wandering Chronicles – travel advice & inspiration based on the adventures of a wanderer

She has a severe case of wanderlust. When she travels, she feel alive. Her goal with her blog is to offer you great travel advice and inspiration based on her personal experiences and adventures, while promoting responsible tourism. ….more

Wanderlust and the Girl

In 2008 she quit jer job and transformed her life after a life changing experience in India. She’s been traveling around the world ever since. This travel blog is about her travels through 36 countries and her continued pursuit of the world’s wonders.  … more

Snaps and Blabs

Child of communism in a land where bananas were a luxury winter item, this bloger ended up scarred for life and with authority issues. After living on three continents, having three children, right now she’s in the third year of traveling around the World with my family.  … Join her

I hope you took some time to check out these magnificent blogs.

If you’re a host to guests, think about how you too can educate and entertain, your visitors by sharing information on your blog, that is more about satisfying the desire of online travelers to  learn and experience your city, town and gain insight into your values about things like the environment,  the people,  and reasons you fell in love with your home diggs.

Bon Voyage!

Beach, Jungle & Hippy Vibe

That’s Montezuma Costa Rica for you.


Voted by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 destinations in Costa Rica,  Montezuma is a gem of a location for an “earthy” vacation experience.     It’s a place to escape to if you’re longing to hang out barefooted for days on end, going to yoga classes,  eating at veggie-eateries,  and imbibing in life’s natural medicinal herbs.

Montezuma is an endearing Costa Rican beach town that invites you to rest and relax. The Pacific ocean is wonderfully warm and wild.  Immerse yourself in the ever audible jungle and boho vibe.
Tourist attractions include plenty of R&R, surfing, canopy tours and the “artsy” beach culture.  Plenty of yoga classes, volunteer opportunities, festivals, eco-friendly, veggie-friendly eateries, and neo-Rastas sharing their uplifting, mood altering herbs.
The locals here endearingly refer to the town as “Montefuma.”  Getting down to business though Montefuma is like much of this region with lodging that is not always first class and the eateries not of a Michelin star caliber.   Despite these slight “inconveniences”  Montezuma is where you will want to stay barefoot and walk the gorgeous coastline to the rhythm of nature.
And if you’re looking for the best of both worlds,  a hippy lifestyle combined with accommodations at the most luxurious property in the area, then check out  LunaticLounge.
“Monkey Business at LUNATICALounge”
Pictures say more than words – you’ll find over 148 photos and a slide show about LUNATICALounge at
For other Montezuma properties check out Montezuma Accommodations.

Escape to Mykonos

It’s 37 degrees in Texas and the weather doesn’t look like it’s going to get warmer anytime soon so I really need an escape, even a virtual one.

Here goes ….. a photo-scape to one of the most stunning places on earth ~ Mykonos Island, Greece.

Overlooking gorgeous Panormos Bay sits the private community of Mykonos Panormos Villas and shown below is the main residence, in the community, whose name is Anassa ~  a place that looks like heaven to me right now — with idyllic, traditional whitewashed style,  spectacular water views,  and amazing outdoor areas. Ahhhhhhh! Paradise.



























Discover more about Anassa and the other fabulous at Panormos Bay Villas  or if you’ve already decided and want to rent this incredible home visit Anassa and promise that you’ll send  some photos of your adventure.




Top 10 Once-In-A-Lifetime Vacation Destinations

Choosing a vacation spot can be tricky at the best of times, let alone when you’re searching for a once-in-a-lifetime break.

Whether it is for a honeymoon, an extended break or just satisfying your global wanderlust, we are blessed with a breadth of options.

Across every continent there are truly unique, must-see destinations you should consider for your next trip. From the historical, metropolitan capitals of Europe to the roving landscapes of rural Uganda, we take you through ten once-in-a-lifetime locations.

Barcelona, Spain
The Catalan capital, Barcelona is one of Spain’s most metropolitan places. Centuries of history hang on every street corner, and those with an interest in the arts will find plenty to see and do. From the spires of the Barri Gotic, and Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia, visitors can absorb the gothic grandeur that gives Barcelona its distinctive feel. Its beach has been ranked as one of the top ten beaches in the world, and with warm sunshine all year round, conditions are perfect for taking in everything this magnificent European city has to offer.

Maine, USA
One of the most scenic locations in the US, Maine has been a favorite destination for all manner of retreats for years. The wider New England area is one of the most desirable places to be in the US, on the north-eastern tip of the country. Its national parks, shores and harbors give you plenty to do and see. Bordering Canada on its northern front, Maine is a corner of the country far removed from the bustle of city life. For a relaxing retreat with an outdoors focus, Maine is definitely worth considering.

Pemaquid Lighthouse and Cliffs; Maine, USA

Donegal, Ireland
Ireland is renowned the world over for its friendly, welcoming people. Irish culture resonates with people of Celtic origin around the world, and for many visitors it can feel like a genuine homecoming experience. Donegal is one of Ireland’s most scenic counties, and one that shows off Ireland’s rugged natural landscape. The history, art and music of the region make Donegal a mecca for those with an interest in Irish culture and heritage. A must-see destination for any globetrotter, Donegal is located to the west on the Irish border.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Few places on earth are as grand as Machu Picchu. Sited 2500 meters above sea level, Machu Picchu is located in Peru’s Urubamba Valley. Known locally as “The Lost City,” Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca settlement that still bears many of its original features to this day. Expeditions to Machu Picchu on foot can take several days of trekking through the valley, which houses the magnificent Urubamba river. For anyone who appreciates outdoor vacations, the trip to Machu Picchu is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Paris, France
The famous “city of love,” Paris is an ever-popular destination for old romantics the world over. Of course, there’s so much more to France’s capital than its cultural connotations. A center of European art, cuisine, history and culture, Paris has streets that are paved with centuries of stories and intrigue. A historic hub of the continent, Paris tells the story of millennia of human civilization, through its art, architecture and period features. From middle-age castles and Châteaux to the famous Arc de Triomphe, Paris is famous the world over for its remarkable sights – both for couples and families embarking on a trip.


Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Formerly Brazil’s capital city, Rio De Janeiro today is one of the most frequently visited cities in the world. In the coming years, Rio De Janeiro will play an instrumental part in hosting both the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016. The city is known as the party capital of Brazil, and its beaches and scenery represent the country proudly. Nestled at the heart of one of the world’s few exploding economies, Rio De Janeiro is a vibrant, lively place to spend your vacation.

Dubai, UAE
Dubai has boomed like few other destinations in the last decade, thanks to its increasingly liberal approach to trade and commerce and swelling oil revenues. Its perfect white sands and audacious skyline tell the story of this emirate’s recent past, and Dubai already welcomes tourists in their droves seeking luxury vacation stays. A portal to the Arab world, Dubai offers a unique experience for holidaymakers. Its stunning scenery mixes heritage with Dubai’s thoroughly modern, fast-paced style, creating a memorable destination for any type of visit.


Bwindi, Uganda
The Bwindi nature reserve in Uganda isn’t a location many people will be familiar with. But it has more than enough appeal for those looking for an amazing life experience. A natural habitat for some of the world’s most stunning wildlife, the Bwindi region is famous for its wild Mountain Gorillas. Bwindi Forest is one of the most diverse habitats in Africa, home to many unique and interesting species. Safari trips to Bwindi are becoming increasing popular, especially among newly-weds and those marking special occasions with their vacation.


Bali, Indonesia
Imagine perfect beaches, stunning blue ocean and an island paradise. Chances are, what you’re thinking of looks like Bali. An island in its own right, Bali has been inhabited for several thousands of years. Today, it relies heavily on tourism, yet it remains exclusive enough to retain the feeling of escape. Its local arts, culture and crafts make Bali an intriguing place to those from the West, and its temples and shrines are some of the most spectacular in the world.

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Few places have the draw of the Galapagos Islands, particularly for those with a fascination for animals and the natural world. Studied by Charles Darwin in his seminal works, the island is home to colonies of birds and other wildlife, including the famous giant tortoise population. Today, the Galapagos remains a popular destination for those choosing destinations for their vacation, in addition to an essential home for some of the world’s most endangered species.


Out of these 10 which one would you pick?

Slow Travel

2538_screen_shot_2013-03-31_at_6.36.38_pmA few years ago a friend launched a website called Slow Traveller.   It featured many vacation rentals and articles on enjoying and appreciating where you are by truly slowing down.  I didn’t realize how vacation rentals fit into what she was calling slow travel as vacation rentals meant to me a villa in a destination such as Cabo San Lucas or a luxury Paris apartment rental.   There was a sense that a vacation rental does slow down your trip, or in my view even inconvenience it,  as the option of buying groceries,  eating meals at the home and not being surrounded by crowds of people at the pool seemed to take away from the type of vacation that I enjoyed.

Last year,  after some dramatic changes in my life,  I needed to get away from work and the city and go to a place that was “out of the way” where things were calmer,  the ocean was close by and that I could afford for a few months.  Costa Rica had always been a dream destination of mine.  I was intrigued by the beauty of the country and that it has been named the happiest place on earth.

The combination of natural beauty and friendly people were all the reasons I need to make a decision.   It took me 20 minutes of searching the web for a long term vacation rental in Costa Rica.   I had no concern for location aside from wanting it to be in Costa Rica and preferably by a beach, though the mountains would have done too.

The apartment I found was in a small town called Playa Grande.  I had never heard of it.  The photos of the house, a duplex,  looked pretty and Playa Grande itself simply gorgeous.

A week later I found myself on a plane heading towards Costa Rica.   A few hours later I was in what seemed to be a jungle, with sounds of howler monkeys around me,  waves from the ocean rumbling the ground and more butterflies and birds than I have ever seen.   There were few cars and I learned quickly that there were few people too, partly because Playa Grande is off the beaten path and because it was the rainy season.   Both facts I didn’t know until I arrived.   I really needed a rest.

Playa Grande Costa Rica

The next month I stayed in the apartment,  bought food from the local store,   walked on the beach,  spoke to a few of the locals.   I didn’t do much else.   There were no distractions aside from being with myself, my busy mind and the sounds of nature.   The time passed extremely slowly.

I met a man on a bike one day.  He and his wife had moved there after winning a trip and had decided to stay.    He told me how his kids loved it, went surfing after school each day and when they did go back the States felt completely out of place because of all the stores and the material items that we clutch to.  The conversation resonated as I realized I hadn’t picked up a phone,  used a computer,  gone into any store aside from the  grocery store … a shack … for a month.   During the conversation a male howler monkey walked right by us.

I stayed there for 2 more months.   Each day swimming in the ocean,  walking on the  beach,  talking to a few of the locals,   never venturing further than Playa Grande, despite the beauty that I knew existed in the rest of the country.

Playa Tamarindo itself,  the most famous of the towns in the Northwest Region of Costa Rica, was only a short   water taxi ride.   I didn’t go there.  I surfed.  I swam. I took long walks on the beach.  I rested.  There was no wild night life.  No drinking.  Nothing but slowing down to feel nature.  And I did.

For the first time since my childhood I could hear the rhythm of nature.  From the intense thunderstorms — that happened for a few hours every day,  to the monkeys, crickets,  birds and my own footsteps walking on a road that barely a car would go on.  Nights were pitch black.  So black that I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

One starts to notice things when you slow down.   Things that were always there.   It was during this time that I figured out what my friend had meant by slow travel.  It wasn’t simply about the vacation rental lifestyle of being in a house with all the amenities.   It was much, much more.

To discover more about Slow Travel in the NW part of Costa Rica here are some vacation rentals for you to choose from