U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Twenty-Two (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas)

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Twenty-Two -- Sanibel Island, Everglades National Park, Key West, Mobile, Jackson, and Little Rock

We got off to a rainy start on week twenty two of our road trip, but the sun always comes out eventually in Florida. Walking on the uncrowded beach of Sanibel Island, airboating in the Everglades, and a three-night stay in Key West wrapped up our Florida time before we turned back north to begin our long trek back west.

Stops in Mobile, Jackson, and Little Rock spaced out this week’s drive, and with only eight states left on our road trip itinerary, achieving our 50-state goal was now in clear sight!

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers October 4-10. Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Twenty-One (Georgia and Florida)

Departing Myrtle Beach and continuing south, we started this week with a stop in colorful Charleston on our way to Savannah. The dreamy moss-covered oak tree scenery continued into the sunshine state, where we stopped to visit family, got a live-action dose of Harry Potter, and went to see a movie star in rehab. SPOILER ALERT: It was a dolphin!

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers September 27 – October 3. Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Twenty (Tennessee and the Carolinas)

North to South's U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Twenty -- Knoxville, Asheville, Myrtle Beach, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Making our way south, we kicked this week off in Knoxville, Tennessee. Then, after hitting up yet another national park (pictured above), we explored the hip town of Asheville on our way to Myrtle Beach.

Note: I’m still catching up on our weekly road trip re-caps! This one covers September 20-26.  Continue reading

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One Epic U.S. Road Trip: 50 States by Plane, Train and (mostly) Automobile

One year. One couple. One small car… Fifty states.

We hadn’t originally set out to explore our entire home country, but location independence is a beautiful thing. See how our 6-state plan turned into a 50-state quest on our 2015 road trip in the U.S.! Continue reading

How to Successfully (Not) Plan Your Campervan Trip in New Zealand, Plus Our 3-week “Itinerary”

How to Successfully NOT Plan Your Campervan Trip in New Zealand on northtosouth.us

We’ve learned from experience that creating a definitive schedule for a road trip is pretty silly, and since camping without planning is an easy thing do in New Zealand, we approached our 3-week campervan trip with no campground reservations and vague plans to explore the country from north to south. With the assistance of the Camping NZ App and recommendations from several local contacts, we decided what to do and where to stay as we went.

In the three weeks we spent in New Zealand, we drove entirely around both the North and South Island, experiencing some of the best New Zealand has to offer — without receiving a single infringement along the way. Here we share our guidelines for an unplanned, yet well prepared, campervan trip in New Zealand. And at the bottom of this post, you’ll find our “un-itinerary” — the unscheduled list of places we stayed and things we discovered along the way. Continue reading

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

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.
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