Alexis M Spencer

lexispence10

Alexis M Spencer

I was an engineer on a long term assignment, first in Dubai and then in Qatar. During this time, I took advantage of my nice paycheck and proximity to other places to start seeing the world. After three years, I decided to take a much earned break and traveled for a year. After working about two years in New York State, I am on my way back to Dubai.



Africa » Zambia » Livingstone June 7th 2019

This turned out to be one of the busiest days of our trip, with so much to do from beginning to end. Zambia - Victoria Falls Today was the day to cross the border into Zambia and see Victoria Falls from the other side. We took our shuttle bus to Victoria Falls and then started our walk to Livingstone, Zambia via the Victoria Falls Bridge. We quickly got our exit stamp from the Zim side and walked along the bridge, each taking a photo at the border sign in the middle as well as some photos of the falls themselves, though the angle of the sun was not great. At the border office at the Zambia side was a huge line and we had to wait a good half hour to get our passports stamped. Unfortunately, ... read more
Entering Zambia
Victoria Falls - Knife Edge bridge
Sunset cruise

Africa » Zimbabwe » Bulawayo June 6th 2019

So about half of us got up to head to breakfast before our day's Rhino Trek at Matobo National Park. The service was quite slow (though food still good), so we had to rush back to the hostel to wait for our ride. And who turned out to be our guide? Jordan!!! He was back to fill our heads with more information and give us a good time. So, we piled into the truck, this time I sat in the middle since I had claimed an edge on the last time, but I sat in back (I liked being able to stand, better views and more comfortable and adventurous!). Jordan said it was a half hour ride, but at around half an hour I wondered if that was "African time" - it was not too far ... read more
Matobo National Park
Matobo National Park
Matobo National Park

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls June 5th 2019

Our 4th day of the trip was a morning of "optional activities", those we chose earlier that week. Then we would have a 5 hour drive to Bulawayo for our Rhino trek the following day, something none of us were looking forward to. Optional Activities As mentioned, another girl and I had planned to go skydiving, having pumped ourselves up for it the first dinner and following through with the sign up and then scheduling it, only to be told the second evening that it was no longer an option. Bummer. We were only allowed to choose 2 activities, though if you were smart, you could probably have fit in more. However, they were not cheap and I was glad for the limitations. Instead, I signed up for the helicopter ride over the falls and the ... read more
Helicopter ride over Victoria Falls
Helicopter ride over Victoria Falls
Helicopter ride over Victoria Falls

Africa » Zimbabwe » Hwange June 4th 2019

Day 3 was all about the wildlife. It started early with the baboons around camp attacking one particular tent across from us. I don't think they necessarily wanted anything inside, just to cause trouble. We thought whoever was using the tent was on safari because we had not seen anyone there and it was full of stuff. I think it initially started accidentally with the baboons chasing each other and one jumped on the awning and it tore, then it just seemed to become a game to them to jump on the tent and rip it to shreds. Amusing and scary. The smaller velvet monkeys were also watching the show. The guide said the monkeys are fine, but the baboons are "troublemakers" - my word, but he agreed. Painted Dog Conservation We left camp around 8 ... read more
Lecture at Painted Dog Conservation
Hwange Safari Lodge
Hwange National Park

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls June 3rd 2019

My initial Eid planned trip to Scotland fell through, so instead my friend suggested an African group tour with a local touring group he uses. The trip was to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia, with stops in multiple national parks and the waterfalls. I had been wanting to take a trip to Africa for a while now, but did not want to go solo for my first time, so this was perfect. Victoria Falls Rest Camp We left from Dubai airport at 4:30 in the morning on Ethiopian Airlines, stopping in Addis Ababa (crazy airport), and landing in Victoria Falls. I met everyone at the coffee shop after checking in and it seemed to be a good, but diverse group of people, a few of whom had quite a few to drink on the way. We ... read more
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Mama and baby elephants on drive back

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi April 21st 2019

It's been a long few months, and I'll go into some of my Saudi Arabia travels in a future blog, but for the moment, I will go into a much needed weekend of fun, rest and friends. Fortunately, at the last minute, our company gave us Sunday off for Easter, so I could justify spending two nights in a nice hotel in Abu Dhabi without having to go to work the next day. This was instigated by a former coworker of mine from Ventura who was coming to put on a workshop this week and I told her I would show her around over the weekend. So, I booked a room at a hotel near to hers that was super nice and resort-y. I was so looking forward to the weekend and even booked a massage ... read more
the Louvre Abu Dhabi
Emirates Palace
Grand Mosque

Asia » Philippines » Cebu » Cebu City April 1st 2019

Generally, I need to get away every two months to keep my sanity, especially when I get really busy. So, my friend's wedding in the Philippines was the perfect opportunity. Joselet and I used to be office mates when I first worked in Dubai, and her twin, Joevet, also worked in our company. They were two of my first friends in Dubai and showed me around often. We've kept in contact over the years, even though Joselet moved on to another company. And now - she was getting married! Despite a huge report deadline, and many other things hanging over my head, I still kept to my trip. A much needed trip. I worked in the business class lounge until 1:30 in the morning reviewing reports. Fortunately, when I made my way to the gate, as ... read more
Dubai girls!
Pool at the hotel
Me and the twins

North America » United States » New York January 1st 2019

It looks like some of the bugs got worked out of the travelblog system. Which means it is time for me to update my blog I guess! First stop: New York City to meet with the Captain. I wanted an upgrade for the 13- hour flight and asked at check-in. No complimentary ones available because she said the flight was not very full. I asked if there was at least the middle seat was empty and she said yes, so I figured I'd rough it. Well, the flight was almost completely empty and after a bit of shuffling, I wound up with a whole row to myself! So I actually got some decent sleep by laying across the three seats and I was not the only one. I actually wound up on the same flight as ... read more
Rockettes Christmas Spectular
Rolf's restaurant
Bryant Park

Africa » Seychelles » Cerf Island December 3rd 2018

For a four day holiday weekend in Dubai (celebrating commemoration day and National Day on Dec 2nd), I decided to take a break and do something fun. While I love the Christmas markets in Europe, I wanted to go somewhere close and somewhere new. I considered Cyprus, Greece, but finally settled on Seychelles. I am happy with my decision. For most, particularly in this region, Seychelles means a resort on white sandy beaches, fruity drinks while sunbathing, and without a care in the world. I wanted this too, but I also wanted to experience the culture of a new country. Cerf Island Marine Resort seemed to meet all of my requirements, so I booked. The resort had someone, Ron, meet me at the airport where he drove me to Eden Island to catch a boat. From ... read more
View of St Anne Marine Reserve
View of sunset from my room
My room

Europe » Netherlands » South Holland » The Hague November 3rd 2018

I woke up fairly early on my last day in Amsterdam. I hoped to get a small breakfast from the hotel restaurant but it was either all you can eat for 25 euros or nada. Instead, I went out for a little walk along the canals and cute streets, looking for a nice little shop to get a little food. It was a nice stroll, and I enjoyed seeing the buildings that had settled, tilted or cracked significantly. It was something we had all discussed a bit, curious as to why we didn't see many. But I think if you looked closely, you could. It is still amazing as many of these buildings are very old, built on timber piles that penetrate only into the first sand layer. I also enjoyed seeing the city workers cleaning ... read more
Royal Palace
Parliament
Oliebollen stall




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