TODAY.com: Looking for Family Adventure? #AnswertheCall in Vanuatu

 

Thank you to TODAY.com and TODAY Parenting Team for sharing my story: “Looking for Authentic Family Adventure? Answer the Call in Vanuatu.”

Making lifetime memories is the hope of many family vacations. But where to go and what to do that brings you together and makes all your senses come alive? I found thrilling adventures in Vanuatu that included walking along an active volcano, scuba diving to deep depths while surrounded by American history, flying through the jungle and meeting local people who shared their way of life which is so different from my own.

Tanna Volcano Vanuatu by Lisa Niver

On the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, we stayed at White Grass Ocean Resort and they arranged for our tour to Mount Yasur volcano. It was truly awesome to stand so close to an active volcano. We heard it rumble, we felt it shake, we saw the sparks of lava and smelled the smoke.

Lowinia Village in Tanna Vanuatu

Annie was our host and guide in her village, Lowinio Kustom Village, and greeted us with flowers. As we walked, she shared the fruits they harvested from the trees and the medicine of the plants in the jungle. We saw the cooking house and tasted laplap. They cook sweet potato, taro, cabbage leaves and coconut. I loved meeting the children and watching their dances. I was able to teach them to hula-hoop. We shared smiles and laughter. We also visited their school and our group brought many materials for their classroom including pencils, notebooks and children’s books.

On Santo island, you can relax on a pristine white sand beach.

Champagne Beach, Vanuatu
Champagne Beach, Santo, Vanuatu

I could not pick if I loved Champagne Beach or Port Olry more! Which would you choose?

Port Olry Vanuatu by Lisa Niver
Port Olry Beach, Santo, Vanuatu

I love scuba diving and explored the S.S. Coolidge wreck dive in 2007. I loved being back underwater at the same site in 2019. Sadly, this ship sunk in Espiritu Santo on October 26, 1942. Aore Adventure Sports took me diving on the wreck, Million Dollar Point and explained the World War II history of the area and the importance of the South Pacific in the battles.

Lisa Niver scuba diving Coolidge in Vanuatu

I love to listen to live music and in Espiritu Santo, we heard several bands that I loved. The Bamboo band was comprised of an entire family and the string band was superb too! The most unique live music experience was the group of wonderful women who make music in the water!

Make sure to have time to explore Éfaté where you can mail a postcard at the Underwater Post Office and zipline through the jungle!

Wherever you choose for your next family vacation, I hope it brings you less time on screens and more time together laughing, meeting new friends and trying new things.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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