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.
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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

Hello World

Due to the fact that I love looking at pictures and reading other blogs from people’s travels, I wanted to create a way to compile all of those places that are now on my bucket list.  There are so many exciting places around the globe to explore and with accompanying pictures and videos, perhaps it will encourage others to find a sense of adventure as well. I feel this theme lends itself well to great discussions about other people’s experiences and places they found unique, as we all have exciting stories about both the past places we have been and those places we want to visit in the future.

Zip Line over Costa Rica

zipline Zip line above Costa Rican jungles as you dangle above a myriad of vegetation and animals below.  Explore a new side of yourself with canopy tour options that include arenal, spider monkey, and ecoglide adventures.  Exhilarating, stimulating, and adrenaline charging, this is an adventure for those who are not afraid to explore new heights – quite literally.

The height of each zip line varies but some reach close to 200m above the ground with lengths of 2 miles long and speeds that reach 60 mph; but don’t let your fear of heights hold you back!  Tour guides are there to ensure safety and point out different animal species you may be coasting over.   There are many tours available from half days to full days at a variety of prices to fit everyone’s budget.

When visiting Costa Rica, experiencing a zip line is a must.  Natives say if you go Costa Rica and don’t experience the thrill of the many zip line surrounding you, you really didn’t go.

As you look out from the platform all harnessed up, it is likely your legs feel as if they are bricks.   However, after the initial step is made, you are committing to a fantastic view and a mimicked feeling of flying, something most would say quickly takes over any initial fear.  By the end, everything is worth it and you can’t wait to do it again.


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