[dropcap3]1. Finishing my PADI Divemaster in Venezuela[/dropcap3]
Learning to dive in a country like Venezuela was an adventure in itself. When I started, I didn’t know a word of Spanish. Even as I learned, words like ‘decompression’, ‘buoyancy’, and ‘regulator’ aren’t typical words you would know in a second language. In addition, safety and organizational standards are slightly lower in small cities like the one I was working in. Through the divers on our boat I was able to learn a lot about the country, the language, and of course life underwater!
[dropcap3]2. Riding an elephant in Laos[/dropcap3]
Elephants are my favorite animal, and always have been. Seeing an elephant was a long-time bucket list item. In Luang Prabang there is an amazing ecotourism venture for elephants who have lost their ‘jobs’ since the mechanizing of the forestry industry, so are given a place to work and live by giving tourists like me a tour of the beautiful Laos landscape. My elephant was older than my grandmother!
[dropcap3]3. Riding down to Dawson City, after a 2500km journey[/dropcap3]
One of my finest personal achievements and growing experiences. Cycling 2500km from my hometown of Calgary to the vast and wild Canadian north was a unique travel experience. After years of traveling to far-flung and exotic locations, being a tourist in my own country and doing something I had never attempted before (tour biking) was a truly wild and challenging experience.
[dropcap3]4. Surfing With Dolphins in Byron Bay[/dropcap3]
The days that we were in Byron Bay the wind was all on-shore on the main beach, so there was no surfing there. Without a car, it was a bit of a trek to Tallow Beach, especially carrying our surfboards. The winds were fierce and carrying the boards was brutal. While out waiting in line, my friend Matt saw some fins bobbing around, and began asking about sharks. But when more and more fins popped up, it became clear they were dolphins. When they started jumping and playing in the waves, it was even clearer. Knowing that the dolphins were surfing and playing in the waves the same way we were was the coolest surfing experience I’ve ever had.
[dropcap3]5. 2006 World Cup in Germany[/dropcap3]
I traveled around Germany for the World Cup in ‘06. While I was unable to get into any games, the Fan Parks were always a blast, and it was always so much fun to party with people of all different countries and cultures that were all having the trip of a lifetime.
Photo: Felix Francis