Tuesday, February 10, 2009

live life to the fullest:

25 Things You Should Experience in Your Lifetime:

  1. Live like a local for a month--You can read in books about the the culture of an area, from the traditional meal, the local produce, and the language. But you will never get the full experience. You will never smell what they smell, taste what they taste, suffer like they suffer, and laugh at what they laugh at. My 6 months in Africa was one of my favorite times abroad and I would recommend immersing yourself in a culture for an extended amount of time.
  2. Watch Whales Migrate--it's on my list. I actually plan on going while I'm here in California. I hope to see some splashes and skyhopping! Don't you want to see a 120 ton animal right before your eyes??
  3. Go White Water Rafting--There is nothing like rafting on a clean, swift, and scenic river. It is an ultimate rush. I had the privilege of going when I visited my boyfriend in Ecuador. We had a brief training course and then found ourselves in a raft, cruising over rocks and waterfalls, with two other foreigners.
  4. See Wild Game in an African Safari--Grab a safari tour out of Arusha, Tanzania and head out to Lake Manyara and Tarangire, The Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti. Experience nature to its fullest. Sit and watch a Lion on the prowl, watch monkeys fight over a mango, and Giraffes (Twigas) walk awkwardly on their stilt-like-legs. You really have to remind yourself that this isn't a Disneyland Attraction, and it is "The Circle of Life" right in front of your eyes.

  5. Fly a Plane--I plan on working my way up to that one. But it would definitely be an accomplishment.
  6. Learn another Language--Although I am a firm believer that you can get by with some words and phrases and of course a little bit of charades.. Learning another language really lets you connect with another culture on a completely new level. With a little bit of determination and a lot of studying, you could be fluent in no time.
  7. Dive in the Great Barrier Reef--Why wouldn't you want to dive into one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, though it is more accurately the world's largest structure built by organisms. With 2,800 species of fish and just about 400 species of coral you are bound to be in awe by the kaleidoscope of colors and sights beneath the water.
  8. Visit all 7 Continents--and yes, that includes Antarctica! I have yet to get to Australia, Asia, and Antarctica. Hopefully next year I will finally get my Around the World Ticket and hit them all :)
  9. Skydive--Everyone I have met who has gone skydiving can't fully explain the adrenaline rush they get. At first, I had told myself I was never going to do it but I have changed my mind and would love to do it in either New Zealand or Australia.
  10. Travel the Nile in Egypt--Witness ancient history while floating along the longest river in the world. It actually touches Ethiopia, Zaire, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Sudan but is most famous for running through Egypt.
  11. Buy and Around the World Ticket--Why not create your own itinerary with an Around the World Ticket? It is your opportunity to pick the destination cities of your choice for a better price than buying individual tickets.
  12. Swim with Dolphins--I've had the privilege of snorkeling in the middle of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Zanzibar with a pod of dolphins. A mama dolphin and a baby dolphin swam right above me as I was looking up toward the surface. That serene image will always play in my mind.
  13. Travel India by Train--India is on the top of my list of destinations. India is an incredibly intricate culture which has formed over the past five millennia. For some laughs see the movie The Darjeeling Limited which is about 3 brothers who reunite while traveling aboard a train through India.
  14. Float in a Hot Air Balloon--I have never experienced it but through the pictures I have seen and the stories I have heard, it seems to be extremely relaxing and peaceful as you float gently through the clouds.
  15. See the Taj Mahal at Sunrise-- The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India and is a renowned architectural structure which supposedly is a breathtaking sight at sunrise.
  16. 16. Visit Machu Picchu--It is believed that the initial residents of Machu Picchu died within 100 years of its establishment, due to small pox. As it is a significant place culturally and spiritually, Machu Picchu was included by the World Monuments Fund on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites.

  17. Find your own Paradise--My personal favorite paradise was found in Zanzibar. I took a ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar and found a taxi after getting my passport stamped. I told the taxi driver I wanted to stay somewhere remote but on the beach and he took me to Jambo Brother's in Nungwi. It was simply an exotic, sunkissed destination that will always come to mind when I think of paradise.
  18. Swim with Sharks--(insert Jaws music here) Probably the most terrifying on the list for me, but you only live once. I just hope I am living after the experience so I can continue with the rest of the list.
  19. Climb an Active Volcano--While volunteering in Nicaragua, the local transportation was on strike so we were unable to make it to the village to continue building the house, so we took a day trip to Cerro Negro, the most active volcano in Nicaragua. We climbed into the center of it as well as walked up to the peak. Really cool experience. There was no stereotypical hot molten lava flowing out of it so I still would love to experience that, possibly in Hawaii.
  20. 21. Cross a Country using only Public Transportation--I know some people vacation to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but honestly, one of the ways I was able to get a real taste of a culture was by traveling on their local transportation. Whether it was a truck, where you hold on for your life on the back, in Nicaragua--or a hot, smelly, packed, 14 hour bus ride across the country of Tanzania, you are bound to meet some pretty amazing people along the way. As well as be able to talk to the heart and soul of the country.

  21. Scale a Famous Peak--Learning a language is the hardest to achieve on the list, mentally. But to be able to scale a famous peak would definetly be the hardest on the list, physically. Just think of how rewarding it would be to be standing on the top of the world!
  22. Explore a Rainforest--I had the honor of being able to explore and sleep in the Amazon Rainforest. Did you know tropical rainforests account for only 7% of the world’s total land mass! Even though it may only take up such a small percentage of the world, it has over half of the varieties of plants that are found around the world (some of which, I was told, have the ability to cure cancer!!). Check out a rainforest and learn about all the healing plants tucked away in the dense, thick, tropical forest.
  23. Learn how to Make a National Dish--There is always something in the world you can relate to others with, and that is food. So why not befriend some locals and have them teach you a yummy dish!
  24. Run with the Bulls in Pamplona--So I don't know if I would actually RUN with the bulls, but I would love to watch from the gated off sidelines :) All the Power to you if this is something you could see yourself doing!
  25. Volunteer Overseas--mmm, my favorite! As you can tell, from some of my little blurbs throughout the list, I have volunteered in some of the poorest countries around the world. It has changed me as a person in ways I could never explain. It has made me more humble, more giving, and more understanding. I no longer complain about my life because I know, somewhere in the world, there is someone else who is worse off than I am. I am determined to share my photos and my inspiration with others to help promote volunteering. I believe it is the secret to bettering human-kind.

Thanks for reading along, I hope you find yourself thinking about this list and some of its items, and maybe checking one or two from the list!


The Taj Mahal