Suitcase and World: June 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Madagascar's Stone Forest. Tsingy de Bemaraha.

Tsingy de Bemaraha (Photo from Tourism On The Edge)

Madagascar is not only known for its flora and fauna but also for one very unique bit of landscape.  In fact, it is so unique, that ony a few similar formations exist outside of Madagascar and none are as spectacular.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Essence of Madagascar. Vanilla.

Vanilla Beans (Photo by hcabral)

Vanilla is one of the most common food flavors many of us foodies enjoy.  As a baker, I don't know of any recipes that don't call for vanilla regardless of the main flavor in the baked good.  I can't imagine a great chocolate cake without the subtle undertone of vanilla.  I also can't fathom a world without vanilla in ice cream, yogurt, or soymilk.  I love the sweet smell so much, it even scents my bathroom thanks to a vanilla reed diffuser.  On the rare occasion that I have a power outage, the candles I burn are even vanilla scented.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Cool Wildlife of Madagascar.

Fantastic Leaf-tailed Gecko, also known as a Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko.  (Photo by Thomas Marent/Caters News Agency)

When I think of Madagascar, I, like most people think of animals.  Oddly enough, I don't know what animals there are except for lemurs.  This is my opportunity to learn more about the animals that make Madagascar such a special place.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Travel Medicine. Check.

Image from
I love to travel to remote destinations but travel to the far corners of the globe requires extra thought and effort than if I were just hopping the pond and dropping in on western Europe.

One of the must-do's for remote travel is to find out what travel medicine is needed and to review my vaccination history to make sure everything is up to date.  Under no circumstances do I want to return home from a trip with an illness that could have been prevented if I had only taken the necessary precautions in advance.  I don't want to be a stupid traveler.

As far as getting medical information for travel is concerned, by go to source is the website of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (aka the CDC).  The CDC Travelers' Health website provides comprehensive, up-to-date information medical information for travelers.

As an experienced traveler, I know that I cannot wait until the last minute to get vaccine or medicine as some need to be taken well in advance of when you arrive into the country.  Others often need a series of injections separated by a specific time period between shots e.g., two shots, a month a part.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Packing List. Madagascar.

Just about the right size suitcase for this trip!  Image from

It has been a few months since I've posted anything on this blog.  I feel a bit bad about that as it makes it look like I don't care much about this trip but nothing could be further from the truthe.  I have a good excuse as I recently spent a month traveling in Central Asia followed pretty quickly by a three week trip to California to see my nephew graduate from college. As of today, I'm still working on finishing up the blog posts from my Central Asia trip. It's slow going as I'm not a good writer - I hope I can finish it before I leave for Madagascar!