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 television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip. http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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