Redeeming Myself By Swimming With Whale Sharks

Whale Sharks in Mexico

A few years ago, I attempted to swim with whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. I was petrified and without enough warning to do anything productive, I passed out in the tank. My journey with the gentle giants ended in darkness, cut short by my fear and denial. One of the activities offered from Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is swimming with whale sharks in the ocean and I jumped at the opportunity to redeem myself after my epic fail with whale sharks the last time. Continue reading

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Gorilla Trekking In Uganda with Africa Adventure Safaris

Gorilla Trekking with Africa Adventure Safaris

I was told not to look them in the eyes. Be non-threatening. Turn off your camera’s flash. Don’t get in their way. Stay at least 5 m away at all times. Oh my God! This is real. I’m about to walk into the dense Bwindi National Forest in Uganda in search of a community of gorillas. I’m about to enter their home and hope with my life that they don’t mind. I must be out of my mind. Continue reading

Hippos, Elephants, Buffalo & More on the Kazinga Channel

Hippos in Queen Elizabeth National Park

When I planned my trip to Uganda with Africa Adventure Safaris, I was so excited about the gorilla trek that I didn’t spend much time thinking about all of the other amazing adventures I was about to experience. That all changed when I arrived. The first full day in Uganda was spent trekking chimpanzees. The next day I was on a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park searching for hippos, elephants, crocodiles, buffalo, and birds. It was a whirlwind of one unbelievable, new experience after another. Although I’ve been on a safari before, I never saw hippos in the wild and it was on this year’s list. The actual experience was far greater than I imagined.  Continue reading

Whirlwind Adventures from Israel to Uganda

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

What a whirlwind adventure I’ve been on in the last two weeks. From swimming in the Dead Sea in Israel to trekking gorillas in Bwindi, Uganda, I feel like I’ve been part of The Amazing Race. I have so much to share, both good and bad, but I’m still sitting in the airport in Israel waiting to continue my long journey home so you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer to see what’s really happening on my end. The hurry up and wait attitude of airport life is taxing, but it’s worth every second when you get to experience such things as trekking chimpanzees and gorillas, touching the Western Wall in Jerusalem, floating in the Dead Sea, and watching elephants roam alongside the road. Have you always dreamed of seeing apes in their natural habitat? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to walk through Jerusalem? Stay tuned this week for it all. Here’s a quick teaser to bring the last two weeks of my life to you.  Continue reading

2015 Bucket List Update

You only live once quote

Every year I make my bucket list more extreme. I keep thinking that life can’t get any better than this moment, yet I’m constantly surprised at the new opportunities and adventures that come my way. We are all capable of astounding things. I want to look back on my life as a magnificent journey.  My yearly bucket list is never the be all and end all for that year. If I miss a few items because something else comes up or if I have to make additions because new opportunities arise, that’s ok. It’s not set in stone and I’m not discouraged if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned; that’s a major part of the life’s beauty. Continue reading

5 Best Experiences in Antarctica

Sailing in Antarctica on Bark Europa

Antarctica is one of the greatest adventures that anyone could have. It is the final frontier, the dream of a lifetime, and an incredible journey. It will remain a top five travel experience in my life. From sailing through 1,000m high mountains of ice that towered over the ship to taking a polar plunge, Antarctica was full of dreamland experiences that are better than your wildest imagination.  To share it all with you would take me months, but I’ve chosen five of my favorite experiences to show you and take you to Antarctica with me. Enjoy the ride.  Continue reading

More Difficult than I Anticipated – Sailing to Antarctica on Bark Europa

Climbing Aloft on Bark Europa

The training on Bark Europa began almost immediately. Crossing the ocean properly with a square rigger under sail is a team effort and we were encouraged to participate. We weren’t even 30 minutes away from the fueling station and we helped with setting the sails. Enthusiastically, we moved about listening intently to the instructions given to us by the permanent crew. I wanted my adventure to be as much a learning experience as possible and I was eager to participate. Without the internet, we had to rely on the crew for all of our knowledge. Instructions were given for watch responsibilities, basic sail theory, line handling, steering, and navigation. In order to fully participate, climbing the rigging was an essential part of our training. I thought climbing would be the least of my worries since I don’t fear heights and I’m experienced in rock climbing and rappelling. As I made my way up the ladder over the growing ocean waves, I quickly felt out of my element. This was going to be more difficult than I anticipated.  Continue reading