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