Travel Bloggers

Travel bloggers share the stories behind their favourite pictures

Suddenly it’s not just the oldies who complain about the good old days.

While most of us appreciate that home is the best place to be in the moment, it is difficult to look back on when we were free without at least a hint of nostalgia, sadness, frustration, or regret.

And yet, photos of places we have visited or would like to see some day can offer some kind of comfort, reminding us of the fun and adventures that we have had and most likely still have in store.

For expat Kiwi Sonja Bolger, family vacations abroad were priceless.


For expat Kiwi Sonja Bolger, family vacations abroad were priceless.

With that in mind, we asked Kiwi travel bloggers among the many whose livelihoods are threatened by the coronavirus pandemic to share their favorite photos from the past year and explain why they remain at heart travelers despite the current restrictions.

* We all took vacation for granted
* Franz Josef Glacier: a national treasure for foreign tourists
* Being a “travel influencer” is more work than it looks

If you’d like to share your own travel images with other Stuff readers, tag your Instagram post with #backyourbackyard and #stufftravelnz. We will offer the best on both Stuff and our Instagram account. We are happy to announce that the movement has rapidly gained momentum to provide escape during these troubled times and encourage Kiwis to support local tourism as soon as it is safe to do so.

“We spent our days enjoying each other’s company.”

A family vacation in Rhodes enabled Sonja Bolger's baby to bond with his grandparents.


A family vacation in Rhodes enabled Sonja Bolger’s baby to bond with his grandparents.

This was one of my favorite trips because it was a family trip with my husband, our nine month old boy and my parents visiting from New Zealand.

We spent our days swimming on the beach and in the resort pool, indulging in all sorts of delicious Greek food and enjoying each other’s company.

It was so nice to watch my parents with our little boy: going swimming with him, playing with him, being there when he was trying new foods for the first time and having all kinds of new experiences, and just their first family vacation in the sun enjoying with her grandchild.

Spending those extended periods of time together meant the baby was very comfortable with them too, and was so excited to see them every morning and have them read a story to them before bed.

– Sonja Bolger, Migrating Miss

“Cappadocia reminds us of the importance of adventure”

Cappadocia in Turkey is a


Cappadocia in Turkey is a “magical wonderland,” says Bridget.

We arrived in Cappadocia after navigating Africa for six months with our Jeep Gunther. We entered a magical wonderland where people lived in gigantic columnar rocks and cities built 80 meters underground. Cappadocia marked half the way of our expedition. We were 1.5 years and almost 45 countries in our three-year 90-country overland expedition.

In retrospect, entering Cappadocia reminds us of the importance of exploration and adventure. Our planet holds such diverse cultures, landscapes, wildlife and history. It’s a magical wonderland in itself.

– Bridget Thackwray, Earth Expedition

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”

For Megan, the US lyrics summarize


For Megan, the US lyrics “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” from the Joshua Tree album sum up her fascination with discovering new places.

I took this photo while driving through Joshua Tree National Park outside of Palm Springs, California. It’s just such an amazing place! If you like those prickly, Dr. Haven’t seen Seuss-looking trees yet, drive past every 50 yards for another photo.

A little further from these trees you come to massive boulders that people climb and even abseil off. There is a place to camp, or you can just return on the main drag to the greater Palm Springs area, which has plenty of hotels and a great restaurant scene.

But with the famous U2 lyrics from their Joshua Tree album [‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’]This photo sums up my love for traveling and my fascination for new places, people and cultures. Their food, their music and their traditions. I don’t think I will ever finish traveling.

At the moment travel has stalled, but beautiful places like this are going nowhere, and those who make a living working in the travel and hospitality industries have to pack our rolling suitcases and head to see them soon this virus will be under control.

“It is in these quiet moments that I often feel most alive.”

Nadine often feels most alive when she explores quiet corners of unknown places.


Nadine often feels most alive when she explores quiet corners of unknown places.

One of my best travel memories from last year was visiting the island of Menorca. It is my favorite island in the Balearic Islands because it is one of the most untamed and authentic and yet offers a lot of variety.

On this trip I spent countless hours circling the island, sometimes along the old Camí de Cavalls and sometimes on paths that clung precariously to the edge of the cliff. Every adventure was well rewarded as I came across the most exquisite secluded beaches and hidden coves along the way. Sometimes I went in complete solitude, a rare blessing when traveling in Europe in June.

It’s often those quiet moments that make me feel most alive and energetic when sitting on a deserted beach, cutting a route through a rustic forest, or ducking through the cobbled streets of a charming old village.

– Nadine Maffre, Le Long Weekend

“After we do that, we’ll all deserve a vacation or two.”


“This particular trip was so special because I reconnected with nature and learned so much about traditional culture,” says Anita.

One of my favorite trips from last year was exploring northern Albania. It was a magical journey and reminded me of the beauty of traveling – seeing and experiencing new things, new cultures, new traditions.

This particular trip was so special because I reconnected with nature and learned so much about traditional Albanian culture. Very often, and especially now, we are locked in our homes or spend hours scrolling social media, and these type of trips that force you into the wilderness with little to no reception work wonders for the mind and soul.

As soon as it has been declared safe to travel again I will because there is so much beauty in the world and interesting traditions and cultures to learn about.

Living our lives with a phone in our right hand and finding happiness on an Instagram feed is a disservice to us. After this is all over, I have a feeling that we will all be incredibly grateful for the beautiful world we live in.

I am an optimist and I have no doubt that we will recover and grow again. I think after we’re all through this we all deserve a vacation or two.

At the moment we have won the time lottery. It’s the perfect time to dive deep into personal development, learn, and do things that you love but have long since put off! “

– Anita Hendrieka, Anita Hendrieka and Traveling Balkans

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