TODAY.com: Looking for Family Adventure? #AnswertheCall in Vanuatu

 

Thank you to TODAY.com and TODAY Parenting Team for sharing my story: “Looking for Authentic Family Adventure? Answer the Call in Vanuatu.”

Making lifetime memories is the hope of many family vacations. But where to go and what to do that brings you together and makes all your senses come alive? I found thrilling adventures in Vanuatu that included walking along an active volcano, scuba diving to deep depths while surrounded by American history, flying through the jungle and meeting local people who shared their way of life which is so different from my own.

Tanna Volcano Vanuatu by Lisa Niver

On the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, we stayed at White Grass Ocean Resort and they arranged for our tour to Mount Yasur volcano. It was truly awesome to stand so close to an active volcano. We heard it rumble, we felt it shake, we saw the sparks of lava and smelled the smoke.

Lowinia Village in Tanna Vanuatu

Annie was our host and guide in her village, Lowinio Kustom Village, and greeted us with flowers. As we walked, she shared the fruits they harvested from the trees and the medicine of the plants in the jungle. We saw the cooking house and tasted laplap. They cook sweet potato, taro, cabbage leaves and coconut. I loved meeting the children and watching their dances. I was able to teach them to hula-hoop. We shared smiles and laughter. We also visited their school and our group brought many materials for their classroom including pencils, notebooks and children’s books.

On Santo island, you can relax on a pristine white sand beach.

Champagne Beach, Vanuatu
Champagne Beach, Santo, Vanuatu

I could not pick if I loved Champagne Beach or Port Olry more! Which would you choose?

Port Olry Vanuatu by Lisa Niver
Port Olry Beach, Santo, Vanuatu

I love scuba diving and explored the S.S. Coolidge wreck dive in 2007. I loved being back underwater at the same site in 2019. Sadly, this ship sunk in Espiritu Santo on October 26, 1942. Aore Adventure Sports took me diving on the wreck, Million Dollar Point and explained the World War II history of the area and the importance of the South Pacific in the battles.

Lisa Niver scuba diving Coolidge in Vanuatu

I love to listen to live music and in Espiritu Santo, we heard several bands that I loved. The Bamboo band was comprised of an entire family and the string band was superb too! The most unique live music experience was the group of wonderful women who make music in the water!

Make sure to have time to explore Éfaté where you can mail a postcard at the Underwater Post Office and zipline through the jungle!

Wherever you choose for your next family vacation, I hope it brings you less time on screens and more time together laughing, meeting new friends and trying new things.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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