Maeve Raak

Maeve Hanley

Maeve Raak

A great big hello to my family, friends and those random travel enthusiasts that stumble upon my blog! I hope your day is going spectacular.

I'm Maeve :-) I'm a young professional that currently lives in Center City Philadelphia. My husband and I are as addicted as we can be professionally and financially to using my passport. I've visited over 30 countries so far in my 29 years of life and thoroughly plan on continuing to grow that list. I hope to use this blog to reach out to my friends and family during my travels to share stories and pictures in an effort to make me feel as if they were along for the adventure.

North America » United States » Hawaii » Kaua'i » Lihu'e July 25th 2015

We have arrived in Hawaii!! Yayy! It’s absolutely beautiful – just as we expected. What we didn’t expect was that the people would be so unpleasant. First our Hertz rental shuttle driver, than the Hertz counter lady, then the hotel receptionist, then our dinner’s waitress… our first day’s sample size has proved Kauai’s people are grumpy. We asked for a recommendation for a place to grab a quick bite to eat, and we were actually told McDonald’s is a Hawaiian favorite. I can’t tell if they were being sarcastic or serious. Maybe we were just unlucky, because misfortune continued for the next 24 hours. We arrived and went to bed early last night, it was about 3am East Coast time. We woke up at the bright and early hour of 4am. Not for any other reason ... read more
My rebellious husband
The Waimea Nature Loop
At Waimea Canyon Lookout

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu March 24th 2014

Today is the day! We get to explore Machu Picchu! I wake up to my alarm at 2:30am in the morning. Michael is growling. He couldn't really sleep as he has been affected the most by the altitude in Cusco. Cusco is 11,200 feet above sea level. It does make it difficult to breath and I find myself taking deeper breaths than normal in order to get enough oxygen. Cusco is higher than Machu Picchu, which is about 8,800 feet at Huayna Picchu's peak - so hopefully he will feel better there. Michael takes an Advil PM and a pill for altitude sickness - hopefully he'll be able to sleep in the car. Our driver is waiting for us at 3:00 am. We have to leave this early because there is a strike on the road ... read more
Peruivan Countryside - Peru Rail
Peruivan Countryside - Peru Rail
Peruivan Countryside - Peru Rail

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 23rd 2014

Cusco, Peru is over 11,000 feet in altitude. We were given coco leave teas to help sooth the sickening feeling by the hotel and we also bought some coco candies. I was told that coco leaves are used as the primary medicine in this region for a variety of ailments. The taste leaves a lot to be desired, but it was effective at easing our altitude sickness. We found a great little place to stay right in the Plaza de Armas for a little more than $100 a night, El Virray Boutique Hostal. We couldn’t beat the combination of the price and the location. Our room had an adorable balcony that opened right over the plaza looking at the Cusco Cathedral. I sat there every morning for breakfast/coffee and every evening for a few minutes before ... read more
Plaza de Armes
Saksaywaman with Cusco beyond

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima March 22nd 2014

Next up on the ‘before we have kids’ travel bucket list is...drumroll please… Machu Picchu, Peru! With excitement in January 2014, I began to research flights from Philadelphia to Peru. To my disappointment, flights to Peru for March out of Philadelphia International Airport were averaging about $1,100 a ticket. A friend of mine traveled to Brazil recently from Newark Airport by taking the Amtrak train from Philadelphia (they now have a stop), so I decided to check if I would find better fares from there. I was incredibly grateful to find a pair of non-stop tickets leaving from Newark at 2:00pm on March 22nd. I booked those tickets and a set of Amtrak tickets for the 660 train leaving from Philadelphia at 9:23am. 4 ½ hours should be plenty of time, even considering time allotted for ... read more
Two tickets to Peru!
Beautiful sunset in flight
Golden lights of Lima

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Krabi » Koh Lanta January 2nd 2013

For those that don't know, I'm getting married in April :-) Michael and I are very excited for the big day and just as excited for the honeymoon trip. We love traveling. It seemed a shame to just go to another Caribbean Island when we have 2 full weeks of vacation time. So we decided to go to a place where we could backpack and go on some adventures, but also relax on a beach and enjoy the start of our life together. We feel we deserve it after stressing over all these wedding details for the last year. So we decided on Thailand :-) And we just can't go so close to Angkor Wat without seeing it, so we're throwing that into the mix too. Anyone have any suggestions on a great place to stay ... read more

Well, for this year’s vacation we decided on the complete opposite adventure from Egypt. Lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls and vast active volcanoes – we’re in Costa Rica! We boarded our flight to Liberia, Costa Rica via Atlanta, at 5:45am today. It’s a complete coincidence that we’ll be exploring the jungle on Earth Day – a pretty cool coincidence. When we boarded our flight in Philadelphia the stewardess for Delta Airlines immediately moved Michael and me to the exit row for the journey because of his height. I ended up sleeping most of the time in wondrous relaxation. Then after our very short layover in Atlanta we boarded the 4 hour flight from Atlanta to Liberia and, once again, Michael and I were moved into the emergency exit row so that we could have a more ... read more
Joe and Michael waiting for baggage

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo » Nasr City April 9th 2011

It's Michael and my very last day in Egypt :-( This trip has flown by and I'm really disappointed that it is coming to an end. We'll just have to make the best of our very last day! Michael and I decide to hire a fairly nice Mercedes Benz SUV to drive us around Cairo for the day. We negotiated a deal for 150LE for the day. We gave the driver a list of places we wanted to see including The Citadel, Khan al-Khalili, and the Al-Azhar Mosque. We started off at the Citadel. The Citadel was the royal residence until the late 19th century. The Citadel includes three mosques, a few military museums and the Gawhara Palace. When we arrived we paid our entrance fee of 50LE and ventured up the inclined road toward ... read more
The Citadel
Michael at Citadel
Walking into the Mosque of Mohammed Ali

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo April 8th 2011

At 6:30am this morning the conductor on the sleeper train starts tapping on the door asking if we would like our tea. I thought to myself ‘Not at 6:30!’ but kindly accepted the tea, though I did not drink it. We still had another 2 hours before arriving in Cairo. I was unable to fall back to sleep after that, so I sat at the window watching the farms on the Nile. Egyptians were up and about tending to their lands pulling goods along the tracks in their self made carriage pulled by a donkey. We drove passed villages situated along the Nile. The homes really had nothing to them, but I did notice that they had very nice doors. Each home had a big iron door with intricate designs in bright colors. The rest of ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor April 7th 2011

Today Michael woke me up at 5am. 5am, I'm serious. He tells me "Happy Birthday" as if this is the opportune time. I thank him, grumble some and roll back over. He almost literally drags me out of bed and says, "We have to go to the lobby for something." This makes no sense to me, but I went anyways because I think I heard the phone go off earlier, but I couldn't be sure. We get to the lobby and a man is waiting for us with a jacket that has hot air balloons on it. O my goodness! What a surprise! I've never been in a hot air balloon before and nothing can be cooler than doing it over the Nile and all the tombs and temples of the pharaohs. Here are some of ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor April 6th 2011

I'll need a train ride to catch up on these blogs, haha. I figured I'd keep the pictures coming though. Here are some pictures from our day in Luxor. Karnak temple is the largest ancient temple in the world. The magnitude is incredible. The Luxor temple, though it is much smaller, is equally as cool because the condition of the statues are so much better. Also, you're able to see the Roman influence and the temple walls where Roman paintings were chipped away to find the ancient Egyptian carvings underneath. One of the coolest things of today was a group of Egyptian women traveling from Alexandria stopping to thank us for traveling to Egypt. A man at the temple translated for us, because Michael and I did not understand, but the women wanted a picture with ... read more
Maeve at breakfast at the hotel
Michael at breakfast at the hotel
Maeve on the balcony

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