Archive for March, 2009

Lion’s Enemy?

March 31, 2009

You might have thought that lions in Africa had no predators – but think again. Man, and more specifically, local farmers, are at odds with the natural hunter in order to preserve their cattle. 60 Minutes took a sobering look at an underground poison industry used to control these cattle attacks, which has led to a decrease of up to 85 percent of the lion population over the past 20 years. View / read it here.

I'm protective of my fellow leos...

I'm protective of my fellow leos...

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Are You For SCUBA?

March 30, 2009

So a very exciting thing happened to me recently. My boyfriend James proposed! You know what that means? We get to plan an awesome honeymoon! Forget the wedding…we want a trip to remember after months of stressful planning and people-pleasing…

So where to go? This was a dilemma. I have been to a lot of exotic destinations, whereas James is just starting out on his world exploration. His ultimate dream destination is China, but that locale didn’t really conjure up any honeymoon-ish feelings for me. His next wish was Australia, to which I had already been (Sydney and Melbourne areas). I suggested Italy – OK, not very exotic but high on the romance scale (think Amalfi coast, wine tasting in Tuscany). James insisted we go somewhere far for our 2 week jaunt, and thought Europe was an “anytime-trip” (I’m making such an influence on him already!).

We chose to get married in late October, so we had to consider what the weather might be like in various locations. That’s Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, but since we had just visited South America, we ultimately decided to visit northern New Zealand (new to me!) and the Great Barrier Reef area in Australia (also new to me!). So while I’m heading to the South Pacific for the second time in that many years, I’ll have lots of new adventures to share and places to tell you about.

We’ve just started planning, but we’ve decided to take SCUBA lessons (now I wish I took my childhood swimming lessons more seriously…) before we go so we can check out:

Poor Knights Island, rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the best dive sights in the world, with some shipwrecks to explore…

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Possibly me, SCUBA-ing, pending official conquering of fear of water....err....

Possibly me, SCUBA-ing, pending official conquering of fear of water....err....

Of course, the Great Barrier Reef, where we’ll visit the Whitsunday Islands in Australia…

A setting so serene you might forget you don't know how to swim so well...

A setting so serene you might forget you don't know how to swim so well...

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Our SCUBA-experienced friend Duncan has told us a little bit about the ins and outs, to which I am completely new and terrified about given that I’m not a strong swimmer. So we’ll see how the lessons go and if our SCUBA-oriented honeymoon is everything we hope it will be. If anyone has tips or experiences to share about SCUBA, please do!

Photo Break

March 25, 2009

I post some of my favorite travel photos from around the world here – check it out! Each one has its own story…but some of my most favorite shots are from home base – NYC. Like these:

Sailing in the Hudson River (before you had to look out for planes).

Sailing in the Hudson River (before you had to look out for planes).

East River seagull experiment during photography class...

East River seagull experiment during photography class...

Best. Museum. Ever.

March 24, 2009

One of the most moving experiences of my life. Highly recommended if you’re in Amsterdam. Actually, it should be required.

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Bungee Tales, Part 2

March 23, 2009

So we’ve established that I arrived at the highest bungee jump in the world (at Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa) quite determined that I would most definitely take the plunge. At the time, I had no idea what “710 feet high” looked like. Until I saw the bridge:

That's hiiiiiigh!

That's hiiiiiigh!

To give some scale, that's one of those ginormous buses (which looks like a speck) toodling along the bridge.

To give some scale, that's one of those ginormous buses (which looks like a speck) toodling along the bridge.

At which point I swiftly changed my mind.

Here’s me contemplating my fate and watching jumpers from across the way (which were barely visible given the huge canyon / stream situation)…

To jump or not to jump?

To jump or not to jump?

Wait, so then how did this happen??? HELP!

Once you're strapped, there's no turning back.

Once you're strapped, there's no turning back.

…Next up – THE JUMP!