islands

Have You Heard of Tuvalu?

I hadn’t until today, when I read this article in the Times, about Tuvalu being the owner of the internet’s .tv domain.

I was intrigued about this unknown country, especially when I saw this aerial shot:

Tuvalu, by Soichiro Yamamoto/Asahi Shimbun, via Associated Press

Um, can I go there now?

Tuvalu, as it turns out, is located in the South Pacific, halfway between Australia and Hawaii. It’s comprised of nine atolls (coral reef islands), and measures in around 10 square miles, which makes it one of the world’s smallest countries. It’s also sparsely populated, with just over 10,000 residents.

To me, the island seems a bit like paradise. The pace of life is slow, and most residents don’t pay rent. Instead, they live off the land, picking fruit and fishing to meet their needs.

And just look at it!

Tuvalu, via National Geographic

Here’s the tragic part, though: Tuvalu may not exist forever. The island is at serious risk of disappearing due to rising waters and climate change. Many inhabitants have already decamped to New Zealand.

Sadly, it looks like Tuvalu may be part of the list of places you should visit before they disappear. (And it’s another reminder of how we need to travel and act consciously to prevent the loss of more of these places.)

Tuvalu, via All That Is Interesting

(Top image by Soichiro Yamamoto/Asahi Shimbun, via Associated Press, via the NY Times; middle image via National Geographic; bottom image via All That Is Interesting)

A Cure for Winter

This sounds like hyperbole, but I’m convinced it’s true: I don’t think there’s a single New Yorker who’s not over this winter.

Seriously, I can’t remember a season this cold, snowy and endless since I was living in Boston.

Whenever the weather comes up in conversation—with friends, family, co-workers, people in my neighborhood, strangers in stores—everyone has the same reaction: They shake their head in weary resignation and say something to the effect of, “I’m so over it!”

My mind has been returning to these Sunlight PillsВ that I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. I’ll take one of each, please!

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(Images byВ Vaulot&DyГЁvre; found via Swissmiss)

A Private Island in Georgia

Maybe because it’s freezing in NYC and winter seems endless—but I’ve been finding my mind wandering to warmer places.

Everyone I know seems to have winter escapes on the brain, as well. Yesterday, a friend sent me this link—and I was immediately intrigued!

She and her fiance had stumbled across Private Islands of Georgia via HGTV.

When I think of private islands, I envision poshy enclaves way out in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean. (i.e. places I’d love to visit but are just a tad out of reach, monetarily, at the moment!)

But these islands look way more accessible.

And affordable.

And perfect for a long weekend with a big group of friends.

These snapshots of Eagle Island sold me:

eagle island aerial

eagle island lodge

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The flat, watery landscape is so different from NYC. I find it gorgeous, yet mysteriously romantic. And the lodge looks like the perfect mix of rustic and modern.

One other huge selling point: You can catch blue crabs there! My fave!

Who’s up for a trip to Georgia?

(Photos via Private Islands of Georgia)

Off to Eleuthera!

glass window bridge

I’m not gonna lie—I’ve been counting down for a couple weeks!

This whole year, thus far, has been pretty insane. As you might have guessed from my earlier entries, I’ve desperately been trying to survive the Long Slog. To do so, my masterВ plan mostly consisted of performing in the spring dance showcase and running the half marathon relay. Those two events (and the weeks rehearsing/training for them!) were fun and exciting. But when I signed up for them, I’d conveniently forgotten that I was still getting adjusted to my new gig (which I’m loving, by the way)—and working on a huge project that launched right after the ballet show and before the race.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to a few days of relaxing and recharging—especially with summer plans on deck and more work projects revving up. A few days of lounging in the sun, in a gorgeous place, is what I need, right now. (Seriously, how stunning is the photo above? That’s Eleuthera’s Glass Window Bridge, with the deep, blue Atlantic to the right and the soothing Caribbean to the left. Can’t wait to get there!)

(Photo via Pinterest)

Which Cat Island Would You Prefer?

Even though it’s kind of last-minute, Mal, Peter and I are planning a quick getaway for mid-May. Since we’re only going for 4-5 days, we’re thinking of somewhere pretty close—like the Caribbean. While researching destinations, I stumbled upon Cat Island, one of the Bahamas’ Out Islands. Besides its appealing name, it’s also home to gorgeous, white sand beaches. Like this:

cat island beach

But this discovery also led me to another Cat Island—which is appealing in a very different way!

Tashirojima is a tinyВ Japanese island that’s better known as Cat Island. It reputedly only has about 100 human residents—but hundreds of feline dwellers. Apparently, in the 1800s, the fishermen who lived on the island believed the cats would bring them good luck and fortune, and cared for them accordingly. Hence their population!

Today, the island has a number of cat-shaped buildings…

cat building

cat building

…in addition to their many real cats!

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For me, a trip to that Cat Island would be an allergy attack waiting to happen…but I’d still want to go, if only for a few hours!

Which Cat Island would you prefer?

(Top photo via My Out Islands, middle photos via Tofugu; bottom photos by Fubirai via Buzzfeed)