Burning Man 2016: Portraits of a Camp

Burning Man 2016: Portraits of a Camp by Diana Southern and Ian Norman

I say this every year, but I say it because it’s true. The people are what makes Burning Man such an incredible experience — friends and strangers alike. I don’t know what my Burn would have been this year without that group spiral hug at the Hug Deli, the helpful strangers who lowered me back down from that MAGIC artpiece I climbed, or the hilarious nude portraits we captured of some of our spontaneously sparkly friends.

In my three years of burning, I’ve found it’s the people closest to you — your campmates — who have the biggest impact on your Burn. You camp together, eat together, explore together. You experience Burning Man together. So this year we again turned the spotlight on our campmates for a sunset portrait session in the open playa.

With 14 Burners, ample booze, and a brief appearance by “El Guaco” (I still can’t believe I missed that), Ian and I did our best to capture the spirit of our Burner family on camera.  Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Nineteen (Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky)

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Nineteen -- Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Kentucky on northtosouth.us

We may have crossed several state borders, multiple times, but we spent most of our time in West Virginia and Kentucky this week. Starry skies, friendly goats, and lakeside camping made this week memorably awesome!

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers September 13-19.  Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Eighteen (Niagara Falls to Washington D.C.)

North to South U.S. road trip recap week eighteen

I can’t even express what a good time we had riding the Maid of the Mist around Niagara Falls! Who knew you could have so much fun being soaking wet?

Niagara Falls has been on my Must See list forever, so when we left the Adirondacks, we headed west to experience the cool mist on a hot day. It was perfect. And after that it was back to the East Coast to finish off the week in our nation’s capital.

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers September 6-12.  Continue reading

North to South’s Quick Guide to Niagara Falls (New York, USA)

A Quick Guide to Niagara Falls: things to do, when to go, where to park, and more!

Planning your first visit to Niagara Falls? You’re in for a treat! Niagara Falls is one of the most fun, unique places we’ve ever visited in the U.S.

Want to plan an amazing afternoon at Niagara Falls U.S.? Get our insider tips here!  Continue reading

Escape Campervans Review: Los Angeles to Death Valley (and why we don’t recommend Escape Campervans)

Escape Campervans Review and Our Trip to Death Valley

Let’s visit a popular U.S. National Park in peak season at the last minute! Yeah, that sounds like our travel style. And that’s how our conversation started two weeks back when we decided we had to see the Death Valley Superbloom.

All advance reservations for park accommodations were full. We could try our luck at a first-come first-served campsite, but we didn’t really feel up to tent camping this trip. So we decided to try something new: the rental campervan.

Despite paying more than we should have (no thanks to Escape), we had a good time on our trip. Want to know what the campervan life is like? Keep reading to find out! (More on why we don’t recommend Escape Campervans, too.) Continue reading

The Superbloom of Death Valley National Park: A Photo Journal (California, USA)

Death Valley Superbloom Spring 2016 on North to South: a Photo Journal

After receiving substantially more rain than typical in the 2015-2016 winter season, Death Valley National Park is experiencing a rare “superbloom” of wildflowers. The last superbloom event was 11 years ago, in 2005.  Since missing this year’s superbloom could mean waiting another decade or more before it happens again, we knew we had to go see this rare event.
Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Weeks Sixteen & Seventeen (Maine to the Adirondacks)

North to South U.S. road trip recap week sixteen-seventeen

Ahhh, the Adirondacks. These two weeks were probably the most peaceful of our whole 50-state trip. Completely unplanned — as are most of our favorite trip highlights — we enjoyed a two-week stay in a private cabin at Adirondack Woodcraft Camps. We’d received the invitation from a new friend we met in Acadia National Park the previous week, and I’m glad we took him up on the offer!

Read on for the serene lake settings and wooded wanderings from our stay in the Adirondacks this summer, plus snapshots from our journey there.

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers August 23 – September 5.  Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Fifteen (Exploring the Northeastern Coast)

North to South U.S. road trip recap week fifteen

In contrast to our urban existence in NYC last week, week fifteen was filled with shorelines and seafood. Mystic Seaport, Cape Cod, Boston, and Bar Harbor were on the itinerary this week. We hit the easternmost point of the U.S. in Lubec, Maine, and since the Canadian border was so close by, we pulled out our passports to explore Campobello Island, too.

Read on for photos and details of our eastern coastal road trip experience, from Connecticut to Campobello Island and (almost) everywhere in between!

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers August 16-22.  Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Fourteen (Hershey to New York City) — HALFWAY TO 50 STATES!

North to South U.S. road trip recap week fourteen

At week fourteen, we officially reached the halfway mark of our 50-state quest. We departed Pittsburgh and set out for New York City, with a one-day stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania in between.

Being my first time in NYC, we played the tourist game and saw all the popular sites — most of which were easy to see for free! Read on to find out more about our week in The Big Apple, plus our “sweet” stop in the Chocolate Capital of the U.S.

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers August 9-15.  Continue reading

Big Island Diving with Kona Diving Company (Kona, Hawaii, USA)

Diving on Hawaii's Big Island with Kona Diving Company

If you’re a diver or if you’ve ever looked into getting certified, then you’re well aware that diving is an expensive hobby.

And since we’d been on a strict budget for a year after quitting our jobs to travel, we hadn’t been diving in two whole years! This being my first visit to Hawaii’s Big Island, I was absolutely dying to do the manta ray night dive. But first, it was time for a refresher.  Continue reading