The four scariest things I’ve ever done

I liked this theme of cataloging my enterprises.  After seeing amazing sights in nature, I immediately started thinking about the moments of courage that I relished.  There is still an apprehension in hindsight about the moments of impending sheer irrational stupidity that I now call “courageous acts.”  But in any event, here they are:

Cliff Jumping in Manila, Philippines

I’m a fan of back flips, but the 40-45 foot plummet kept me definitively straight up and down for this one.  It’s strange the moment of truth that you hit when you’re about to jump.  The longer you wait, the worse it is.  I’m a fan of the “jump and deal with it” method.

Caving in southeast Tennessee

One of the coolest/strangest things I’ve done.  We went on a four hour caving excursion.  Took us several hundred feet underground.  We all had miner’s hats with lights and battery packs.  We reached the half way point in this huge cavern and all turned our lights off.  The guide explained that if you wave your hand in front of your face you THINK you can see your hand because your mind knows it’s there.  But the reality is that without light, your brain is just putting the pieces together, your eyes aren’t offering anything to the equation.  Crazy!

Skiing down a Black Diamond in North Carolina

I’m not a great skier but I believe that I have progressed in my skills over the times I’ve been skiing.  However, my first time looking down my first black diamond was genuinely terrifying.  Terror for me is preemptive regret.  Especially if there’s a chance I could get hurt, I have no problem throwing an internal temper tantrum about doing the thing I now absolutely don’t want to do.  And just for the record, totally biffed it on my first turn and lost a ski…but it wasn’t nearly as humiliated as riding the lift back down.

The “Big Swing” in Graskop, South Africa

It was not a bungee jump, but might as well have been.  Someone had died on it 4 months before we went (which makes the adventure that much more incredible).  4 seconds of free fall gives you time to scream, take a breath and scream again before you catch.  You fall off backwards and look up the waterfall as you plummet.  Takes your breath away.  Scary, but fun.

What you got?  I know some of you have swam with sharks, sky dived, and a host of other things.  What are some of your courageous moments?

The four most amazing things I’ve ever seen

I had a new experience last week that I have to add to my “done that” list.

I hope you keep a “done that” list. I used to be super irritated that I’d always win those games of “Never have I ever” because…well, I hadn’t done anything. That’s a really stupid game to win by the way…

But I can say with pride that I’ve made an effort to expand my horizons and have had some unbelievable experiences to date.

If you can’t already tell, I’m a compartmentalizer (don’t know if that’s a word…the dotted red underline just popped up). So this isn’t about all the amazing things I’ve done, this list is specifically things in nature. (Many of these pictures are borrowed, but you’ll just have to trust me: been there, done that.)

Top 4: here you go:

Snorkeling off the Two Mile Reef off the coast of Vilanculous, Mozambique

Seriously people, schools of “dory’s” and “marlin’s” but on steroids. The water was hazy the day we went both because a storm was coming but also because the reef stirs up all sorts of microscopic bacteria that feed and fuel the reef. I’ve never been so close to octopi, eels, schools of fish nearly half my size, 8-10 legged starfish and turtles. Mezmerizing…can’t even tell you.

Swimming in a Bio-luminescent Bay in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Just happened last week. Take a close look at that picture. Those are people in the water. That light you see is the bacteria IN THE WATER. It glows when it’s moved. Fish swimming by look like streaks of lightning. I’ve never been in such a magical place before. Pictures can’t do it justice. You just gotta go.

The stars in Southern Africa

Light pollution is officially NOT overrated. When you are out in the middle of nowhere, and the moon is dark, the stars are more brilliant than you can possibly imagine. After spending two months in southern Africa, I could look up and literally get lost for hours considering how many stars there are, how bright and far away they exist and the fact that God created each one.

Rafting the Nile in Jinja, Uganda

Even our Scottish guide said that the Nile was the best rapids in the world. Seeing a class six rapid (which are so dangerous it’s illegal and unwise to even attempt rafting) was one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of my life. Sheer power thundering around you is a moment I’ll never forget.

I know many of you have had some unbelievable adventures as well. What are some sites/sounds/experiences in nature that have inspired or awed you? Pass it along!