My Top 8 Experiences

People tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves to do things before they’re 30. As I have about 2.5 years before than milestone, I sort of understand their mindset. But on the other hand I think that’s a good way to stress yourself out! Surely life doesn’t suddenly implode at the age of 30… Right?! That being said I do have a “want to do list”, but I don’t think there should be a time limit, which if exceeded; I have failed miserably at life. Thinking this way will hopefully save me from the impending doom and probable anxiety attack on my 30th.

Some people would call this a bucket list, but I think the term “bucket list” (i.e. things you would like to do before you kick the bucket) seems a little bit morbid. “To do list” seems a little friendlier. As I have a bajillion things I would actually like to do, I’ve shaved it down to my top 8. There’s no specific order to these, just a list. So here it goes…

  • Visit all 7 continents – I’m well on my way to that goal, as of December 2012 my last unvisited continent will be Asia. I know I’m doing things slightly backward.
  • Go on an African Safari and see the big 5 – I think growing up with the Lion King being one of my favorite movies and obsessions probably motivated this one. I guess the Discovery Channel didn’t help either.
  • See OVERHEAD (not in the distance or horizon) the Aurora Borealis and/or the Aurora Australis – I am so incredibly obsessed with this that I check religiously. Yeah I know it’s a little sick haha.
  • Cage dive with great whites – This was supposed to be my 26th birthday present to myself that I never did. I ended up quitting my job and taking a 2.5 month jaunt through Europe and North Africa instead. I guess I cant be too mad at myself. Regardless though, I’m still strangely drawn to this, thanks shark week..
  • Speak Japanese with a Japanese person while in Japan – I spent my 4 years of high school and another 2 in university studying the Japanese language. I gave up an opportunity to live in Japan my senior year of high school because I was too afraid. (definitely my one and only life regret..) So for the last 14 or so years it’s been a dream of mine to visit Japan. It boggles my mind as to why I haven’t been yet.
  • See the red crab migration on Christmas Island in Australia – This would have to be another side effect of watching the Discovery Channel as a kid.. I’ve been intrigued with this since I was in elementary school.
  • Trek the Himalayas – Who wouldn’t want to see with their own eyes the largest mountains on earth??
  • SCUBA dive with Whale Sharks – This is another trip that I’ve been toying with for the last 3 years or so. Ever since I got SCUBA certified I’ve wanted to do this.




Diving In The Florida Keys

A couple weeks back I decided I needed to take a break from Buffalo and took a quick trip down to the Florida Keys. I spent a few days SCUBA diving with Rainbow Reef Dive Center on Key Largo and had a really great time.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is an absolutely incredible dive experience. The water is pristine and filled with fish and amazingly colored corals. It’s also the only coral reef system in the continental US.

Beautiful Corals on Molasses Reef – Taken with My Olympus and Underwater Housing.

If you decide that diving or or even just snorkeling here is for you, then you absolutely need to charter a boat. You cannot merely swim out to the reefs as they are at a minimum of three miles from shore.

I highly recommend having rainbow reef take you. They not only dive the reefs, but they also do deeper dives out to several of the amazing wrecks in the area. You must have the proper certification level however, and provide your dive log book as they are strict about that.





First Post!

This beautiful plant is called a Haleakala Silversword, it grows exclusively on the slopes and crater of Haleakala Volcano in Hawaii. This endangered species grows for up to 50 years in one of the harshest environments in the world. The plants life cycle ends with a single flowering of big maroon flowers.

My first excursion to Hawaii was devoid of any flowering specimens. The only thing I ran into were the corpses of long dead plants. I was more than a little disappointed by this.

On my second trip however, I was fortunate enough to come across dozens of them flowering. Coming to the realization that I was one of a few to see these plants, in full bloom after their ~50 year lifespan, really blew my mind. It got me thinking that if I hadn’t taken a chance and visited a second time, I would have missed this rare and beautiful sight.

Taking a chance is often rewarded with unexpected and unusual delights.