Vredefort Dome: A Johnson Family Adventure



Growing up, my family had a tendency to get into exciting situations on our travels. We would find ourselves in scenarios that we really shouldn’t have been in, with no clear escape route. Like during a family vacation to South Africa almost 20 years ago, when we managed to get lost, at night, deep in a township. Or later on the same trip, when we parked our safari car a little too close to an angry African elephant, causing him to uproot a tree and come after us with it full force.

My parents always did a pretty good job of downplaying the true extent of the physical danger we faced until after the fact, by which time the euphemistically named “Hoffman Family Adventures” had become the stuff of family legend.

This knack for getting into perilous situations (adventures!) has clearly been passed down to me, because Spencer and I walked right into our own “Johnson Family Adventure” this weekend.

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February Flowers at Kew Gardens



IMG_3940 (1).jpgSometimes when traveling I make silly decisions. Like the other week, when I had a day on my own in London and decided to visit Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. I had heard wonderful things about the gardens, and they are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But I forgot to account for the fact that it was February, not a time for flower viewing. Plus it was freezing outside, and the gardens are, as I should have suspected, mostly outdoors. Continue reading “February Flowers at Kew Gardens”

Maritime and Mean Time in Greenwich



On my second day in London, I met up with good friend to check out Greenwich.  The village of Greenwich is on the south bank of the Thames, just a short train journey from the city center, but it feels like a world apart.  It is known for it’s rich maritime history, as well as being the home of the Prime Meridian, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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1,031 Things To Do Before I Die


A couple of years back, I set myself the goal to visit 40 countries by the age of 30. I am already at 35, and thanks to this yearlong adventure I am on, I think I will hit 40 within the year. So, that means I am going to need a new goal!

Now that I have dedicated myself to a year of travel, simply racking up countries no longer seems like challenge enough, nor is it quite in the spirit of truly experiencing the world. Counting that I’ve been to Mexico, when I’ve really only spent a few days in Tijuana kind of feels like cheating. I want to challenge myself to see and experience the most beautiful, most impactful, and most culturally important sites of this great planet.

Continue reading “1,031 Things To Do Before I Die”