Nikki : Top Three Travels

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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while Mary is on maternity leave, this guest post is brought to you by Nikki!

It may come as no surprise but I have three travel loves — food, photography and a great companion.

My husband, Michael, and I will spend hours before our trips browsing through countless blogs and travel sites, seeking the best places to eat and drink.  Focusing on food, ambiance and location, our mission is to find those amazing hidden gems. As far as capturing our trips, my Canon 7D is typically slung around my neck.  Luckily my “assistant” is happy to tote around an occasional second lens and tripod in his backpack.

I can’t help but to think about the age old question that I’ve heard time and time again “so, what’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled to”? This is such a loaded question because each place has its highs and lows.  So, upon reflection, I will share with you (a few of) my favorite adventures.
Hoi An, Vietnam – This place is an incredibly well preserved ancient trading port on the coast of the South China Sea.  It’s  home  to some of the nicest people, delicious food and amazing landscapes.  One afternoon we rode bikes through the nearby farmland, passing farmers tending to their rice paddy fields with water buffaloes.   Little kids ran out onto the narrow roads to shout “hello hello” in their newly learned English and giggled when we gave them a drive-by high five.  We stopped by a “coffee house” or rather a house that served coffee, for an outstanding Vietnamese coffee chilled with ice chipped off from an ice block that served as their refrigeration system.
Sahara Desert, Morocco –   Before we arrived to the desert outpost town of Merzouga, we happened to stop and see Fantasia – a coming of age festival – where eligible men in traditional dress raced horses.  I think most of the audience was surprised to see Westerners witness this ancient tradition.  Once in Merzouga, we rode camels out into the desert with the glowing setting sun on our back, traveling deep into a world without noise or modern amenities, ate a traditional tagine dinner prepared by our local Tuareg guide over a fire, and slept under the glowing milky way.
Paris, France – Outside of NYC, this is my favorite city.  I love how you can visit world class museums during the day and become a local at a neighborhood restaurant at night.  We recently traveled to Paris in the fall with friends and had an awesome dining experience at Je Thè…Me.  After a very tasty 3 course meal, we ended the night with the owner who poured our wine glasses with a special reserve from his private wine cellar,  toasting to traveling friends and incredible food.
 

Nikki was bit by the travel bug and hasn’t found a cure. On weekdays Nikki and Mike (her husband) work at a hedge fund in NYC, and on the weekends they travel around the world exploring new places, cultures and cuisines. Take a look at their Virginia wedding on the family farm and follow Nikki’s adventures on instagram here.

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