There’s no better time to travel than summer. Vera Koo is an avid traveler, and has written about many of her trips in her blog. Here is a collection of a few of those journeys! ~ verakoo.com
Vera Koo: On Hiking the Lanikai Pillbox in Hawaii
Vera Koo learned a lot more than what it takes to get to the top of the Lanikai Pillbox hike in Hawaii. She discovers what time does to us all, if we’re fortunate enough to get there.
I took an elective course in horseback riding while I attended college. I am not naturally athletic. My family did not raise me around sports. And I did not have a background in horseback riding – unlike my husband, Carlos.
Carlos and I started dating a couple of weeks before I went to college. He’s always been very active and sporty, and he’s done equestrian most of his life. Throughout our 53 years of marriage, Carlos has introduced me to so many outdoors activities and sports. We’ve enjoyed horseback riding, downhill skiing, windsurfing, water skiing, camping and hiking.
Throughout it all, he’s been my guide. Carlos would introduce me to a sport, support me as a I gained competency in the sport and serve as my safety net.
Click here to continue reading about Vera’s adventure in Hawaii.
Adventures with Vera Koo in India
Vera travels to India, and brings us along in a journey to a country that shares both extreme poverty and wealth.
While much of the Western world was celebrating the holidays with festivity, light, family and gifts, I fulfilled a life-long dream of visiting uncharted regions of the Eastern world last fall. My passport has seen many stamps during the last 65 years, but India has, until now, not been amongst them and between the holidays, I joined friends in our quest to see spectacular Eastern architecture, the remnants of a great trading empire, and maybe, if we were lucky, ride an elephant or two!
While once the capital of the spice route, today India’s poverty is overwhelming. As the world’s second most populous country with more than 1 billion people, it also is technically the largest democracy in the world, but there are millions living in sheer devastation. This creates a very unique tourist experience as we toured palaces, temples and extraordinary cities filled with lavish opulence. Prior to our visit, the Taj Mahal was, in my mind, massive and somewhat generically beautiful. But the day we visited India’s most iconic destination, it was misty and the white marble mausoleum seemed to rise out of the fog. It was breathlessly stunning, the sort of awe-inspiring size that is beyond any expectation.
As a lifelong student of the arts, the craftsmanship of the entire city was as moving as the story of the builders and their buildings: Artists created a legendary façade fit to honor Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, as the Emperor invested nearly 2 decades and the entire national budget to remember his wife. After completing the construction, the families and artists stayed in Agra. As such, Agra is the only place where they still have the particular style of art, passed from generation to generation much like the skills in our industry.
Continue reading about Vera’s experience in India, here.
Sightseeing in Alaska: Some Rules Are Meant To Be Broken
In Vera’s travel adventure to Alaska, she breaks a few of her personal rules, and has a fabulous experience.
I do not usually like to mix business with pleasure. I traveled across the globe for competitions during my 15-year professional shooting career, and I almost never went sightseeing or exploring during my trips to practice or to compete. My stance of not mixing business with pleasure applies to my other business endeavors, too. However, they say sometimes rules are meant to be broken, and I put my stance aside during a May trip when I went sightseeing in Alaska. I was there on a business trip related to my book, “The Most Unlikely Champion.”
I had 2 days free at the end of my trip, and I decided to engage in some sightseeing. Along the way, I was reminded of a lesson: Sometimes the most memorable and powerful experiences are the ones you least expect.
Sightseeing in Alaska
One of my sightseeing days was an extravagant affair that included a helicopter ride that escorted me to dog mushing and Herbert Glacier.
Click here to continue reading about Herbert Glacier, and the other sights Vera saw while in Alaska.