Although I love boats, trains, and even bicycles, my favorite way to explore a new place is on foot. In a place as sweltering hot and humid as Vanuatu, a slow stroll along the coast road opened my eyes to things I definitely would’ve missed if I were whizzing past.
Like these children squealing and laughing as they leaped in the cooling waves of the Coral Sea.
And this oh-so-homey line of laundry flapping gently in the salty breezes.
Emerging from the heavenly shade of the bush, I came upon this pretty little village set at the foot of towering hills and overlooking the tree-lined beach.
The brightly colored homes cheered me no end, and if it weren’t so blooming hot I could picture myself happily seated on one of those benches, visiting with a dear friend or just watching the world go by.
I wandered down to the beach and had a lovely visit with a sweet grandma who was babysitting various village children under the shade of the trees. We talked about goats and chickens and gardens and grandchildren and how wonderful the ocean water feels on hot days.They told me their names and the name of their village and laughed heartily at my attempts at pronunciation. A linguist I am not!
I waved good-bye and continued on my way, casting a wary eye up at the sky as I hustled along the path, hoping to outrun the storm.
Alas, I kept getting distracted by cute little kids and tidy gardens and chickens scratching in the underbrush.
I felt like I’d wandered into a Dr. Seuss book as I ambled down this tree-lined lane, marveling at the incredible root system.
And I loved these rustic stone steps leading into a sunny yard dotted with various palms.
What is your favorite mode of transportation when exploring a new place?