The Lazy Way Down”

Have you ever climbed a mountain where you could see the car parking lot at the base and thought, it would be so nice to hang glide or paraglide down? After all, you put in all the work going up so you deserve it, right?!

I have always wanted to paraglide or hang glide off of a mountain top.  Although I haven’t thought far enough ahead as to how I would get the parachute and equipment up the mountain, on a clear day it seems as if the wind in your face would be both a thrill of excitement and a sense of calmness as you are all strapped in.

I was curious as to the difference between hang gliding and paragliding and after some research found that:

1. Hang gliders typically weigh more than 50 pounds and are most easily carried on a roof rack, while paragliders typically weigh less than 50 pounds and are carried via a backpack.

2. Hang gliders are completely disassembled for transport and typically require about 30 minutes to set-up and prepare to launch; paragliders are packed completely assembled and can take as little as 5 minutes to set-up and take flight.

3. Hang gliders are more streamlined and capable of much faster speeds compared to paragliders; however, due to their slower speed paragliders can typically land in much smaller fields.


While both have there pros and cons, I would be hesitant to do either due to the fact that both are dangerous.  Rising thermals of warm air can quickly make a parachute collapse and I would be scared about where I was going to land.  Perhaps with some advice from a pro and some convincing that it is safe, I would run myself off the ledge, quite literally.

paragliding-918721_960_720.jpg (960×642)”





I have always found hot air balloon rides to be peaceful.  The sense of drifting above the ground while oscillating up and down creates a sense of harmony while peering out at the horizon.  Often, balloons are found in the prettiest of places with the calmest of weather.  Not many other experiences are this tranquil.

Honeymooners, vacationers, and experienced flyers all find something to like about the idea of being suspended in the air by nothing more than a nylon sack filled with hot air, and a basket.  While I have ever only gone on tether rides (meaning there are ropes still attached to the ground), I have always wanted them to release the ropes.  I don’t think I would be so nervous but I guess there is only one way to find out.

Every year there is a balloon festival in my home town with over 300 launches during a single weekend.  It is common to see many white knuckles and the look of fear on faces as a balloon starts its ascent.

My house is situated less than a mile from the airport where the launches take place and we have had 10 balloons land in the neighborhood all at once.  As a little kid, I would wake up to the sound of the propane flames and expanding balloon as the passengers screamed down to my parents if it was okay to land in our yard.  With wide eyes, I would beg my parents to say yes.  It has become a tradition now to always be home for that September weekend where I still hope we get a full yard of balloons every year.  There is nothing better than passing that thrill on to the younger kids in the neighborhood.  Well, who am I kidding, I am still probably just as excited as them when they land!

I particularly like the idea of night flying because of the glowing effect against the dark background of the sky.  The illumination is something that creates a beautiful contrast and catches my eye every time.

Hopefully one day I will get to experience the thrill of flight.



Fly, Without A Plane


Do you crave a rush of adrenaline? A sense of nothing beneath you?  The freedom of wind brushing past you with wide open space all around you as you descend thousands of feet in minutes?

Or are you one to get to the edge and chicken out?
Do not wait any longer to get a free-spirited sense of flying. Spread your arms out and take that first step (or have someone push you!) After all, the parachute will stop you, right?..
Once you are are piled into the plane, the sense of comradery with the other flyers will certainly be good peer pressure.  Let’s face it, you don’t want to be the one that takes the plane ride back down.
Every thing happens so fast.  Both in your head and on your way down.  Everyone has preconceived ideas about what it will feel like and these mental images keep transforming into something more thrilling than the prior with every second that goes by leading up to the jump.  But before you know it or have time to compose those thoughts, the hatch opens and off you go.
So why do people do it? To overcome fears? To push their limits? To do something that not many people can say they have ever done before?
I think it is a combination of all three.  There is a sense of empowerment when conquering our intrinsic fear of heights and danger.
In my eyes however, there is only one danger.  The danger of becoming addicted.
Photo credit:

The Deep Blue Is Calling You

The international “okay” symbol made by clasping the index finger and the thumb is all that needs to be known.  Well, perhaps the out of oxygen gesture could be of benefit..

Waves, fish chomping on algae, and you breathing from the regulator are about the only sounds you will encounter when embarking on an underwater SCUBA adventure.  Bonaire, a sleepy island off the coast of Venezuela is where I first learned to scuba-dive.  The beautiful tropical colored coral and schools of fish that gracefully swam by as if I wasn’t even there will forever be imprinted in my mind.

People are mystified by the underwater world.  To some, it resembles a sense of the unknown which is frightful and intimidating as they peer into the dark sea surface from above.  To me, it signifies the exact opposite.  I find scuba to be relaxing and a harmony of the many species that make our oceans thrive.  As the waves wash over me and I take slow deep breaths, I am fascinated by the abandon ships, and dive sites right before my eyes.

Experiencing life from above the ocean’s surface means experiencing only half of what the world has to offer.  A whole new perspective awaits, and do you hear that?…that’s the sound of the fish calling your name.  So put on your wet suit and strap on some fins, you have a second world to explore.  A world that does not consist of trees or air or buildings or pavement.  A world that is unfamiliar to you.  A world that cannot be found in your phone or on a TV screen.  This is a world as though painted in a picture; something that you will always treasure.

I challenge you to create your own picture of what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.  After all, no two images will be created equal.

Fredericksted Pier underwater