Travel Rollercoaster – A Journey From Guatemala To Hong Kong

The good news is we made it to Hong Kong in one piece. It was not nearly a perfect journey and the effects of the 3 days of travel plus a 12 time zone difference are still weighing heavy.

#OneWayTicket Starting with #HongKong #Taiwan #Macau #China overland to #Mongolia and so many more. Have you been there? Live in any of these country? We'd love to hear your tips :) don't forget to follow along with our journey www.KarinasExtraordinaryLife.com. #Travel #Asia #GirlsvsGlobe #Wanderlust #Travelgram #traveltuesday

#OneWayTicket Starting with #HongKong #Taiwan #Macau #China overland to #Mongolia and so many more. Have you been there? Live in any of these countries? We’d love to hear your tips 🙂 don’t forget to follow along with our journey http://www.KarinasExtraordinaryLife.com. #Travel #Asia #GirlsvsGlobe #Wanderlust #Travelgram #traveltuesday

 Guatemala

We woke at 5am on the 26th after only 3 hours sleep. Continue reading

Fishing With Popcorn, Virginia, USA

Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook, Virginia, USA - Karina Noriega
Our wonderful couchsurfing host and good friend, Julio. -- Karina Noriega

Our wonderful couchsurfing host and good friend, Julio. — Karina Noriega

Our couch-surfing host, Julio, led us to the water’s edge outside his home-town in Virginia, introducing us to the rather bizarre local attraction at Smith Mountain Lake. A number of years prior, thousands of carp began migrating to the Smith Mountain Dock and Lodge when locals and tourists began feeding the fish rather unusual treats. Where my experience fishing in Ontario, (Canada) as a little girl always involved the use of specialized equipment like fishing lines and tackle, never in my life had I thought to use salted popcorn as bate. Why did my grandfather spend all that money on expensive lures when all he needed was Orville Redenbachers?

Fish fry, anyone? --SmithMountain Lake, Virgina -- Karina Noriega

Fish fry, anyone? –SmithMountain Lake, Virgina — Karina Noriega

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My Encounter With A Celebrity – Blue Ridge Parkway, USA

Falcor, the actor. Thanks to www.icanhascheezburger.com for reading my mind! This photo was too perfect to not share!

Falcor, the actor. Thanks to http://www.icanhascheezburger.com for reading my mind! This photo was too perfect to not share!

For those of us who were raised in the 80’s, the movie, “The NeverEnding Story” contains some iconic images that have been burned into our brains for life. For me, the heroine of this tale was Atreyu’s mighty Luck-Dragon, Falcor. I had countless dreams as a child where me and my white dragon-dog were soaring high in the clouds, fighting evil doers the world abound. Tell me he wouldn’t be the best pet ever?! Remember that scene at the end of the movie when he was chasing the bullies through an ally in New York? I can think of a few people I wouldn’t mind hunting down with a flying dragon. Can you?

I never really expected to find an actual live creature, who embodies all of my deep seated dragon fantasies, while road-trippin’ across the USA. I am happy to report that I had the pleasure of meeting a real Luck-Dragon in the flesh. As it turns out he doesn’t actually have the ability to fly and he is neither dog, nor dragon, but man, is he ever cute!

Entering the Blue Ridge Parkway: America's Favourite Drive. USA -- Karina Noriega

Entering the Blue Ridge Parkway: America’s Favourite Drive. USA — Karina Noriega

Karina and I were making our way through Virginia down the famous Blue-Ridge Parkway when we decided to follow a sign that lead us to a little alpaca farm called Peaceful Heart Alpacas. The owner Linda was kind enough to give us our own private tour of her property, and she even introduced us to a friend of hers who made my dreams come true. Continue reading

Capital Punishment: A School Room Lesson on Route 66

We pulled off the historic route 66 in the tiny Oklahoma town of El Reno, to explore an old school house that had been standing since the late 1800’s. Karina wandered about the building in awe of all the authentic antiques while I took video footage, documenting the experience. The heat in the schoolhouse was oppressive so I quickly snapped my camera shut and proceeded to hop over a row of two-hundred year old desks, making my way back outside. This should have been a straight forward goal to accomplish; however, I ended up complicating things a little with my clumsy nature.

In the schoolhouse there was a sign posted which highlighted numerous rules and regulations that applied to students and teachers. One rule specified that female teachers were unable to be married and retain their job. (Very interesting!) A story for another day! El Reno, Oklahoma, USA – Karina Noriega

In the schoolhouse there was a sign posted which highlighted numerous rules and regulations that applied to students and teachers. One rule specified that female teachers were unable to be married and retain their job. (Very interesting!) A story for another day! El Reno, Oklahoma, USA – Karina Noriega

These hateful, wickedly archaic style desks have the chair mounted to the table with a thick metal bar. I understood, mistakenly, that the two were connected with no moving parts between them. The chair appeared to be sturdy with a seat capable of supporting my body weight.

The evil, pain-inducing desk. El Reno, Oklahoma, USA – Karina Noriega

The evil, pain-inducing desk. El Reno, Oklahoma, USA – Karina Noriega

Ultimately I learned that the desk was in fact, a trap, and I was dead wrong to take my safety for granted. When I stepped on the seat it suddenly folded up sending my foot launching toward the floor seconds after I slammed my leg hard into the backrest of the chair. My whole body let out a howl likely resembling mating calls typically sounded off by wolves and coyotes. Although, I will say that no pack animals came to my rescue.

Wow, did that ever hurt! Continue reading

Hotter Than Hell – Death Valley, California

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California, USA -- Karina Noriega
The Devil’s Golf Course is a huge salt pan on the floor of Death Valley, located in the Mojave Desert. The area was once covered by Lake Manly and when the water evaporated all that remained behind was salt chalked full of minerals. Because the area now remains dry, the salt flat is subject to weathering and erosion processes which sculpt the salt into magnificent formations. Quite the sight to behold. Death Valley, California, USA -- Karina Noriega

The Devil’s Golf Course is a huge salt pan on the floor of Death Valley, located in the Mojave Desert. The area was once covered by Lake Manly and when the water evaporated all that remained behind was salt chalked full of minerals. Because the area now remains dry, the salt flat is subject to weathering and erosion processes which sculpt the salt into magnificent formations. Quite the sight to behold. Death Valley, California, USA — Karina Noriega

We arrived in California’s Death Valley National Park just in time to watch the blazing sun fade away behind the mounds of rock and sand. We opted to sleep in the car rather than pay for accommodations as we had done without issue for most of our five month road-trip across the USA. Our extensive experience traveling through deserts in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, had proven to us that the oppressive heat produced by the desert sun is always replaced by cool, comfortable air following dusk. We had yet to experience a desert which continues to roast its inhabitants the whole night through. The inferno formed in California’s infamous Death Valley produces record temperatures so high that it would leave Lucifer himself climbing the walls in search of an escape. It is located in Mohave Desert where the rain shadow produced by the Sierra Nevada mountains blocks all wind and weather systems from reaching the valley. This land is renowned for being the hottest place in the entire world and the driest in all of North America.

We didn’t want to overheat our engine so we only ran the air-conditioning intermittently. Basically we endured the heat until one of us begged the other to be released from the torture chamber. Death Valley, California, USA -- Karina Noriega

We didn’t want to overheat our engine so we only ran the air-conditioning intermittently. Basically we endured the heat until one of us begged the other to be released from the torture chamber. Death Valley, California, USA — Karina Noriega

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Travel Partners From Hell -Charleston, South Carolina, USA

So there I sat, unhappily crammed in the backseat of a toaster-like sedan with three medium to large sized odorous mutts, all of whom were tremendously excited about their pending car ride. I contemplated asking their owner how much RedBull he had given his dogs before unleashing them on my lap, but I resisted my urge for sarcasm. The dogs bounced happily from window to window, scratching my legs all to hell, while periodically slobbering on my face. In my books pain, doggy breath, all combined with unwanted kisses, are the perfect recipe for disaster. However, Karina and I were both ecstatic to have been offered a lift to our desired destination, so there was no room for complaints. Obviously the dogs did not sense my overwhelming distain for their species and in all fairness, they did reserve their seats before us so technically, they had first dibs on the window seat.

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Wild Encounters – Encounters in California, USA

Fern Canyon, Redwood State Park, California, USA - Karina Noriega

There’s this game that we play. It started on our very first road trip when we drove across Canada. 10,000km is a long way you see. *(We are at 20,000km across and back in the U.S!) So the way it goes is that every time you see an animal crossing sign you have to put up one of the corresponding charades signs that we made up. It’s our superstitious way of protecting ourselves (& the wildlife)- our explanation is that as long as we always do it then we eliminate the chance of a collision. It’s really just a silly game, like all the other stupid things we do when engaging on these long distance adventures and so far, it has worked like a charm.
Not for a second has it taken away from our wildlife viewing experience though. Without ever leaving the safety of our Tank, we have seen:

Elk Target, Redwood State Park, California, USA - Karina Noriega

Elk Target, Redwood State Park, California, USA – Karina Noriega

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Summary of Our Journey Across The USA – (World Nomads Scholarship Entry)

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, USA - Karina Noriega

The contest deadline has come and gone. Our submission is now being reviewed by the travel journalism experts at World Nomads. We are going up against hundreds (if not thousands) aspiring filmmakers from around the whole globe.

The pressure has now shifted to the judges and mentors who can select only a single submission for one of the best prizes out there: A chance to attend, film and share Mexico’s cultural mega-festival, Dia de los Muertos. More than a chance to travel, this is the learning opportunity of a lifetime. April and I are beyond eager to receive mentoring and feedback by seasoned travel journalists. Plus, I have not so secretly always wanted to experience this event.

So let’s make the decision a little easier for the World Nomads panel. Please show us your support by clicking like, leaving your comments and sharing the video (preferably through the blog -> https://karinasextraordinarylife.com/2014/09/22/world-nomads-film-scholarship-entry <- Use This Link)

Don’t forget to read up on why we believe we should win and what it means to us. (On the YouTube comments sections)

~ An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega ~

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Manifesting Magic – A Film

Manifesting Magic Stage, Ontario, Canada - Karina Noriega

It has been a crazy week for us. First, if you read the latest blog, we received an invitation to come to New York City to help film a movie! Coolio 😀 So we have a very tight deadline and one of the largest countries in the world to drive across. *Stress* Of course we do not simply want to drive all the time. We are trying to do and see as much as we can because this is a “Road Trip” not a 25,000km “Car Ride”.

Our lives as we now know them, are dependent on opportunity and the willingness to chase our dreams at all costs. So despite the rush, we have buried ourselves into our computers for the last week to create the MOST extraordinary film (about our road trip so far) to enter into the World Nomads Film Scholarship competition. Our week has consisted of 16 hours a day in a diner (and a LOT of coffee) in the little known town of Caldwell, Idaho (home to many of the kindest people on earth).

We don’t want to sabotage our chances by posting the film on the blog. Normally these things require ‘an exclusive look’. The submissions were done through YouTube so if you want the sneak peak, please go to our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/KNExtraordinaryLife Please make sure you LIKE it and leave all your COMMENTS of support and encouragement below the video to show World Nomads that we got what it takes!

In the meantime, here’s a bonus film for this week:

Manifesting Magic 2013 was an inaugural music, art and healing festival held near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I was invited to give a workshop based on my first blog (www.thirteensquared13.blogspot.com). It was a massive personal challenge for me and truthfully an overwhelming success. In appreciation for the opportunity, April helped create a promotional video for future Manifesting Magic projects.

~An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega~

Show your support by sharing, liking, commenting and subscribing 🙂

Christ of Ozarks – A Film

Passion Play, Christ of the Ozarks, Arkansas, USA - Karina Noriega

Another extraordinary film by April Beresford for www.karinasextraordinarylife.com

In small town in Northern Arkansas, we stumbled upon an entire religious theme park is dedicated to the life and death of Jesus Christ. The volunteers here not only took us in as we journeyed through, but they shared their time and passion with us.

This is an outsider’s look at the place and people of ‘Christ of the Ozarks’.

Music by Keith Symanowitz

Camping with Jesus, Christ of the Ozarks, Arkansas, USA - Karina Noriega

Camping with Jesus, Christ of the Ozarks, Arkansas, USA – Karina Noriega

~ An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega ~

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