Travel Blog

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I am not a shopper at home and even less when I travel. If I bring back any souvenir at all, it must relate to somebody I met, an event I attended or an experience that changed my life.

On the island of Ua Huka (Marquesas Islands) I bought a Tahitian ukulele. I met the old man who made it. He is the last one of the ukulele sculptors on the island. In Kenya I bought a beaded intricate necklace used by Masai women during their traditional dances. I bought it from a woman who comes from the village of Umoja Uaso ("unity" in Swahili, the Uaso Nyiro is a nearby river). The village, founded in 1990, is an all-female matriarch village located near the town of Archers Post in Samburu County, 240 miles from the capital, Nairobi.

Twelve years ago, I helped a refugee family from Myanmar to adjust to their new life in Salt Lake City. To this day they are still a second family for me, and I have a strong bond with one of the daughters. When I visited Myanmar, she asked me to bring her back a traditional Burmese wedding dress. Looking for the dress added a meaning to my trip.

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Growing up in Madagascar and Senegal, the ocean was my playground. And then in my early 30’s I moved to Salt Lake City and discovered the mountains. I have a lot of respect for both the ocean and the mountains. They are my physical challenge, my relaxation, and my spiritual escape.

Back in 2012 I was able to realize one of my ultimate dreams, see both Mount Fitz Roy and Cape Horn. Along with my sister we started our trip with two days in Buenos Aires, a city vibrant with many interesting neighborhoods. From there we flew to El Calafate, gateway to Los Glacieres National Park. After a boat ride along the Perito Moreno glacier, we made our way to El Chalten, mecca for any hiker and climber. It is the gateway to many trails surrounding the peaks of Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy. It is for Argentina what Chamonix is for France. What a site! A dream come true. We then headed back to El Calafate and flew to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. We boarded the Stella Solaris for an expedition cruise to Punta Arenas, Chili. We sailed through the Beagle Channel, stopped on an island inhabited by a huge colony of Magellanic penguins and luckily, thanks to good weather, we were able to reach Cape Horn by zodiac and land. Another dream come true. I did not cross Cape Horn on a sailboat as I had dreamed but setting foot on this iconic rock was a thrill. After a day in Punta Arenas, we flew to Santiago where we ended our trip.

Travel is the gift that keeps on giving. The memories stay alive for ever.

Keep on dreaming…

I would be honored to help you plan your next vacation wherever your dreams might take you! Please contact me at (801) 483-6533 or to view my full travel biography, please click this link.

Bon Voyage!

Murielle Blanchard
Black Pearl Luxury Services
A division of Morris Murdock Travel
(801) 483-6533
email me