USA TODAY Photo SlideShow: The Vast Expanse of Nothingness!

 

USA TODAY 10best: Clear your mind in these open spaces made for exploring

Get out there

Mongolia by Lisa Niver
Mongolia by Lisa Niver

Traveling by van in Mongolia

One Camel in Mongolia by Lisa Niver
One Camel in Mongolia by Lisa Niver

For eleven days, I traveled by van in Mongolia. Two hours outside of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, there were no more roads, street lamps or electricity poles.

One camel in the distance

When they told me I was going to the vast expanse of nothingness in Mongolia, I asked, “How will I know when I get there?”

They said, “You will know.”

Gobi Desert Dunes by Lisa Niver
Gobi Desert Dunes by Lisa Niver

The Gobi Desert

The goal of our van trek was to walk in the sand dunes of the Gobi Desert.

A ger, our home in Mongolia by Lisa Niver
A ger, our home in Mongolia by Lisa Niver

Sleeping in gers

Each night we stayed in different gers (you may also know them as yurts) along the route to the Gobi Desert.

Bayanzag, the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia by Lisa Niver
Bayanzag, the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia by Lisa Niver

Bayanzag, the Flaming Cliffs

This area in the Gobi is called the Flaming Cliffs, Bayanzag, Bain-Dzak or in Mongolian, Улаан Эрэг, and it’s where many dinosaur fossils have been found. An America paleontologist, Roy Chapman Andrews, discovered dinosaur eggs here in the 1920s.

Polar Bear at Nanuk Lodge by Lisa Niver
Polar Bear at Nanuk Lodge by Lisa Niver

Walk with polar bears

If you’re interested in wildlife, perhaps travel to the northern reaches of the planet where you’ll be outnumbered by animals. At Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge near Hudson Bay, I walked with polar bears with Churchill Wild. It was one of the best bucket list adventures I’ve ever experienced.

 

Arctic Landscape with Polar Bear by Lisa Niver
Arctic Landscape with Polar Bear by Lisa Niver

Touch the Arctic

I took four planes to arrive at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. There was nothing else around for miles and miles.

Polar Bear at Hudson Bay by Lisa Niver
Polar Bear at Hudson Bay by Lisa Niver

Polar Bear at Hudson Bay

Ride the Arctic Rhino (a lunar rover-like vehicle), spot a polar bear and walk with wild animals.

Wolf seen near Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge by Lisa Niver
Wolf seen near Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge by Lisa Niver

Wolves walked with us, too

During my time at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, we saw over a dozen wolves.

Polar bear from Churchill Wild Walking Adventure by Lisa Niver
Polar bear from Churchill Wild Walking Adventure by Lisa Niver

Arctic beauty

As we drove in the Arctic Rhino and walked in single file to see the polar bears, the landscape seemed surreal.

Rocky Mountaineer Train on bridge by Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer Train on bridge by Rocky Mountaineer

Over the river and across the bridge

If the Arctic isn’t your scene, perhaps traveling by rail through the Canadian Rockies will be more your speed. You’ll feel like you could stare out the giant train windows all day.
Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer

Hells Gate from Rocky Mountaineer Train by Lisa Niver
Hells Gate from Rocky Mountaineer Train by Lisa Niver

Welcome to Hell’s Gate

We traveled along British Columbia’s Fraser River and were able to see Hell’s Gate in southern Fraser Canyon.

Reflections from Rocky Mountaineer by Lisa Niver
Reflections from Rocky Mountaineer by Lisa Niver

Reflections on the lake

During the day, we saw bears, eagles, osprey and the reflections of the clouds in the calm, blue-green waters.

Sunset from Rocky Mountaineer Train by Lisa Niver
Sunset from Rocky Mountaineer Train by Lisa Niver

Sunset from the train

In addition to spectacular views, we saw the historic Spiral Tunnels and Craigellachie, where in 1885, the “last spike” united the East and West of Canadian railway track.

Snowy Peaks from Rocky Mountaineer Train by Lisa Niver
Snowy Peaks from Rocky Mountaineer Train by Lisa Niver

Snow in the peaks of the Rocky Mountains

See the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies and the remote vistas of Canada’s West.

Zebras in Tanzania by Lisa Niver
Zebras in Tanzania by Lisa Niver

Watching zebras in Tanzania

For wide-open spaces in warmer climes, a trip to Tanzania and Kenya might be in order. I saw these zebras on the first day of my African safari in Tarangire National Park with Abercrombie and Kent.

Hippo Pool in Tanzania by Lisa Niver
Hippo Pool in Tanzania by Lisa Niver

Hippo pool at sunset

It was a treat to be allowed out of the safari vehicle to walk around high above the hippos. As the light faded, we went back to our mobile tent camp, Sanctuary Kichakani, and heard lions roaring around us during the night.

Lions in the Serengeti by Lisa Niver
Lions in the Serengeti by Lisa Niver

Lions in the Serengeti

Early in the morning, we saw these four lions. Soon after, one of the lionesses killed an antelope.

Giraffes in the Maasai Mara by Lisa Niver
Giraffes in the Maasai Mara by Lisa Niver

A family of giraffes in Maasai Mara

After visiting the children at Enkereri Primary School, we passed by this family of giraffes. The Chief of the village near Sanctuary Olonana, Richard, invited me to teach his warriors in the Maasai Mara how to hula hoop.

A Parade of Elephants by Lisa Niver
A Parade of Elephants by Lisa Niver

A parade of elephants

We spent hours watching elephants in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. Some of them were practicing fighting, some were eating and all were moving along towards the water.

See the full article on USA TODAY

Lisa Niver's article on USA Today 10best
Lisa Niver’s article on USA Today 10best

Watch my videos

From my 1st African Safari:

From Churchill Wild:

From Rocky Mountaineer:

 

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)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

We Said Go Travel

We Said Go Travel