HOA logoHOA destinations

Photos and story by Vicki Hoefling Andersen
High on Adventure, March/April 2020



Posted at the Samoan Hideaway Beach Resort Hotel in Western Samoa

Photos by Vicki Hoefling Andersen


1. Thou shalt not expect to find things as thou hast them at home, for thou hast left thy home to find them different.



Guatemala church demonstration


Blending ancient beliefs with modern Catholicism, the Maya make offerings of copal incense, tobacco and flowers on the steps of the Church of Santo Tomas in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Inside, rows of votive candles honor departed loved ones. Agnostic though I am, when I visit, I burn copal and light a candle in memory of my father. (Highlands of Guatemala   HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa09oct/Vicki/GuatamalaHighlands.htm)




2. Thou shalt not take anything too seriously, for a carefree mind is the beginning of a vacation.


Isla Mujeres


Isla Mujeres, Mexico (Isla Mujeres: Island of Women 



3. Thou shalt not let the other tourists get on thy nerves - for thou art paying out good money to have a good time.


Guatemala tourist taxi



They call them 11-passenger vans, but in Sayaxche, Guatemala, I gave up counting at 19.
Fortunately I was in another vehicle, and the overloaded van didn’t sink our ferry across the Río La Pasion.
(Life Along the Rio La Pasion  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa07oct/Vicki/Rio%20La%20Pasion.htm)



4. Remember thy passport so that thou knowest where it is at all times - for a man without a passport is a man without a country.





Looking at Guatemala from atop Structure A at the ancient Maya site of Xunantunich, Belize,
(Belize: The Western Frontier  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa07jun/Vicki/Belize.htm)



5. Blessed is the man who can make change in any country, for lo, he shall not be cheated.



Guatemala computing on cell phones


Bargaining in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala (Highlands of Guatemala  (HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa09oct/Vicki/GuatamalaHighlands.htm)



6. Blessed is the man who can say thank you in any language - for it shall mean more to him than any tip.         

(I’d like to add Hello, Please and Excuse Me as the minimum words every traveler should learn.)



Snowmobiling on Mt. St. Helens


When you’re begging your buddies to help dig your snowmobile out of a Mt. St. Helens snowdrift,
sometimes there just aren’t enough ways to say “please” or “thank you”!



7. Thou shalt not worry. He that worrieth hath no pleasure - and few things are ever fatal.



Puerto Vallarta



Daydreaming at Playa Olas Altas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa05jun/vicki/PV3.htm)



8. Thou shalt when in Rome, do somewhat as the Romans do. BUT - if in difficulty - thou shalt use thy common sense and friendliness.



Renaissance Faire Valhalla


Renaissance Faires are the perfect place to do as the locals do. Dress in “garb” or not,
but definitely practice up on your “good morrow” (hello), “prithee” (please) and “gramercy” (thank you).
(Renaissance Faires  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa06jun/Vicki/Faire.htm)



9. Thou shalt not judge the people of a country by one person with whom thou hast had trouble.



Guatemala Piedras Negras army


Trouble: Not. Returning from a four-hour jungle hike uphill and back from the Maya site of Piedras Negras, it was disorienting to find a dozen members of the Guatemalan army hobnobbing with our boatman on the bank of the Usumacinta River. Border between Guatemala and Mexico, the river was once a drug route into Mexico, but army patrols have made it a safe(r) place to visit. We invited them to share our lunch, which proved to be a jovial event.



10. Remember thou art a guest in every land. Yea, he that treateth his host with respect shall be treated as an honoured guest.



Fiji kava ceremony


After the paramount chief of Naselesele, Fiji,  accepted our sevusevu (gift) of waka (dried root of the yagona plant),
his warriors prepared a formal kava ceremony welcoming us into his village.
(Exploring Fiji with Captain Cook  HighOnAdventure.com/hoa11jun/vicki/fijicruise.htm)



New Zealand Maori Powhiri ceremony



Visitors to a Maori village who pass the challenge of a grimacing, shouting, eyes-bulging,
tongue-darting warrior are greeted with the song and music of a powhiri,
formally welcoming the visitor onto their marae, or sacred grounds.
(Maori: Life in the Ring of Fire  highonadventure.com/hoa12dec/maori_life_in_the_ring_of_fire/maori.htm



Throughout your travels,wherever they may take you, always remember “Getting there is half the fun”, and a lot of adventure can definitely be found in the journey.

Guatemala Naranjo Jungle



“Misplaced” in the Petén jungle of northern Guatemala (one hates to say “lost”), our driver/guides hacked a path through the thick vegetation for our vehicles and we finally found the “road” to the ancient Maya city of Naranjo. They had been to this remote site before, but the jungle quickly swallows seldom-used paths making a sharp machete and a stout tow chain must-haves for the excursion. (Lords of the Petén, Guatemala  HighOnAdventure.com/Hoa06apr/Vicki/Peten.htm)


Guatemala El Mirador



A half-hour whirlybird flight north of Flores, Guatemala, over the nearly impenetrable jungles of the Petén, Paul and Jan Lorraine touch down at the Maya site of El Mirador. The other option to reach this active archaeological dig is a multi-day trek on horseback. Chartering a bird out of Guate City didn’t seem such a bad option.


Truffles the toy rabbit


Special added section: Air Travel Commandments

Actual Observations from a Recent Trip

1. Thou shall look where thou is walking through the terminal and not plunge headlong into fellow travelers while staring at your cell phone.
2. Thou shall take control of small ones under your charge. Screaming, running over people’s feet, and laying on the ground  throwing tantrums in line is offensive and unacceptable.
3. Thou shall not allow a ‘babe in arms’ to grab something out of another person’s backpack. (Yes, Truffles survived the encounter.)
4. Thou shall not hog seats while waiting at the departure gate. Purses, laptops, backpacks and suitcases do not need their
own seats, especially when travelers are searching for a place to sit down.
5. Thou shall obey rules for size and quantity of carry-ons. Two parents, two toddlers, four suitcases hooked together in a
long luggage train, two oversized diaper bags, a baby carrier and a stroller should not be considered “carry ons.” And if you
are passenger number 184 to board, consider gate-checking your items before holding up the boarding process while you hunt for sparse space in overhead bins.
6. Thou shall check with your neighbor before taking over the armrest or reclining your seat. I’ve had food and laptop knocked off my tray, as well as being thunked in the head while reaching for something under the seat as someone flopped their seat into the fully reclined position.
7. Thou shall not put thy feet anywhere other than on the floor. Feet do not belong on the carpeted compartment divider wall nor on the armrest of the seat in front of you.
8. Thou shall not hog a beverage holder belonging to another passenger.
9. Thou shall obey instructions to put electronics away before take-off. The flight attendant should not have to remind you that this really does apply to you.
10. Thou shall shower before cramming one’s self into public transportation.


  Yes, she fastens her seatbelt for all take-offs and landings. And
yes, she had her passport handy when the ticket agent in
Villahermosa, Mexico, asked for her “documentation.” You
should have seen the look on his face when I actually handed it
to him ... he was still laughing when I headed for our gate.
  Rabbit doll looking out airplane window  
Truffles watching the world pass
beneath her window.




HOA logoHOA destinations