Click SUBSCRIBE to receive email updates when new blogs are posted.

In late 2005 I went though a "what am I doing with my life" slump. Then it happened... i-to-i travel sent me their regular newsletter, only this time, it included a live/work program for Australia. I have journal entries dating back to fifth grade writing about Australia. I talked to my boss about this three month program and started to budget. It gave me a goal...something to look forward to. It definitely drew me out of my slump.

I started to date Alex toward the end of 2006. He showed interest in coming along which eventually turned into a solid plan. However, it didn't make sense that I would be working 40 hours a week while he was off playing with kangaroos. Instead, the three months turned into seven weeks including New Zealand and Fiji in the mix. The remainder of the time requested off was scattered around in other areas of the world for scuba diving trips and action packed adventures.

Needless to say, I am far from being in a slump these days. While the original "big journey" is over, we are keeping the travel bug tame with shorter trips and future planning. You can view our previous trips with the links below the Options section to the right.

Asia » India » Andhra Pradesh February 14th 2012

By day five I had seen enough to make the thoughts in my head unprocessable. I know we have poverty, diseases and starvation in the States. I know that we don't display our poverty for the world to see and that other countries think that all Americans are wealthy, while in reality we do have a considerable number of issues to work on. However, as far as I know, we're not to the point of loin cloth wearing, no clean water, people sleeping in streets that are covered in animal and human excrement. Maybe this makes me a bleeding heart, but it completely broke my heart to see the things you might watch in a documentary right in front of my face. It's near impossible to truly grasp how real the issues are in other parts ... read more
Baby in Village
Photo Credit:
Woman carrying material on her head at a construction site

Asia » India » Andhra Pradesh » Kakinada January 19th 2012

To say I love it here would be an understatement. We always called it "McCloskey Time"... here it's "India Standard Time." Either way = late/own agenda. The food is incredible. Alex thinks I have a tastebud disorder because I'm constantly complaining about bland food, but that's never the case here... unless someone tones down the spice because I'm American. I wasn't raised to be religious. My parents did not baptize me and I'm awkward about God, but my Dad did raise me to be a spiritual, loving, kind being. While I couldn't tell you what it is or how it all works, I do believe there is something bigger than us all out there. Without a book to guide my life, I am trying to live my life in a way that I can be proud ... read more
Master Airport-Sleeper
Layover in Frankfurt, Germany
Airport Greeting

Asia » India » Andhra Pradesh » Visakhapatnam January 18th 2012

I've been in India for a bit over a week and honestly, I'm avoiding my blog because I don't know where to start. Even just this little explanation has taken around a half an hour to write because I keep trying to elaborate, but it feels impossible. I'll start you off with this video... we didn't do anything other than show up in the neighborhood to see a clean water project. We had fun taking pictures of the kids and elderly women then showing them on our digital cameras. Would have been even better if we had a portable printer to give everyone a copy.... read more

North America » United States » Michigan » Jackson November 21st 2011

With the encouragement of my neighbor, Kathy, I decided to apply for the Group Study Exchange (GSE) program through Rotary. I didn't know much about it other than you had to be: • 25-40 years old • Non-rotarian • In your field for at least two years I didn't know if I would qualify or if I had the right experience they're looking for, but I figured the worst that would happen was that either I wouldn't get accepted or that I would get accepted and come home to no source of income, boyfriend or place to live, but at least have the experience of a lifetime. There is no way that you can spend a month in another country and not have some kind of life revelation. Since I was learning about the program pretty ... read more
Gary - Team Leader

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans June 16th 2011

ATTENTION (If you read nothing else in this entry, please scroll down and read the part about Loren and the links I won't regret it.) HOTEL: Ambassador Hotel, Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA AIRLINE: Delta THURSDAY This trip came about when I found out that not only is my friend Megan heading down to New Orleans for a convention, I had $600 on my college refund card. All I heard was "plane ticket." And if you're not familiar with it, you should definitely check out Trip Advisor. I set up a watch for it to alert me when ticket prices dropped. Instead of paying close to $500 for my plane ticket, I got it for less than $300 roundtrip, taxes and fees included. It's rare that we have ... read more
To-go beer
Crazy Lobster
Bourbon Street

I had a comment asking about the food and drink and as far as that goes, unfortunately we were staying at an all inclusive dive resort so the only food and drink we enjoyed was what they made us. The Port Royal beer was good, but I'm no beer connoisseur so other than, "good," I'm not sure how to describe it. We ate a lot of excellent, fresh, seafood! The snapper was probably the most memorable. When we went into town, we had intentions of stopping at a local bar for a drink, but didn’t have time. …Heading home today, but not without a little excitement at 4:30 in the morning. Lucky for Alex and I, we had just finished packing and put our bags outside of our room to be picked up when the power ... read more
Waiting for luggage

Last day of diving. We got to check out a sunken ship. The top of it was around 65 feet deep and the bottom was a bit lower than 100 feet. I love wrecks. There was a huge moray eel inside one part of the ship. This ship was purposely sunken, which is obvious because it is in one piece, but it has been there long enough that it is covered in growth and fish. Huge groupers swam around it. We swam through part of the ship, but I didn’t attempt to go throughout the inside of it. We have to fly out tomorrow and needed to spend as little amount of time that low as possible. The second dive was shallow, easy, and nice. One of the other divers, George, spotted a scorpion fish. These ... read more
The Gang
Scorpian Fish
Grouper Skull

**VIDEO NOTES** (Videos are below the text) Divers and Dolphins - 20 seconds in Diver One: Can anyone tell if they're males or not? Diver Two: Let me...I've got a little lesson I can give you later. Diver One: Has anyone seen a pecker? Divers and Dolphins - 1 minute in Watch the dolphin in the upper left corner. I didn't see it while I was videoing, but it jumped backwards out of the water. Music by The Dirty Heads During our first morning dive, Alex was busy finding lion fish everywhere. Marlo, the dive master, was killing them as they were found. We watched one nassau grouper swallow a lion fish whole after Marlo did her deed with the spear and we watched three other fish peck at another lion fish until his head was ... read more
Nassau Grouper
Bank in Utila
Barber Shop

Today I’m skipping our two morning dives so I can get my online homework done for the day, buuuuuuut…….the internet isn’t working. So that’s cool. Apparently us Americans used three days worth of their very limited bandwidth within a two hour span last night. The internet provider cut us off for 24 hours. We do three dives a day. On the evenings that we do a night dive, we skip the after lunch dive. Since we'll have spare time before the night dive, we’re heading back to mainland Utila to check things out. That’s why I opted to do my homework this morning; the night dive doesn’t start until 6:30pm, then dinner, then we’ll be whipped. Breathing that tank air takes everything out of you. .....Walking around here at night is neat, but you have to ... read more
Sign in town
Getting ready to jump in with the whale shark
Waiting while tanks are unloaded from the dive boat

Today our dive leader let me borrow his dive computer. It’s the first affordable computer sold to divers called the Skinny Dipper. It tells you how long you’ve been down, your depth, and the time you have left to safely dive. No memory, no beeping, no buttons, no fancy graphs, warnings or features. Bare bones necessities and it is great. Plus, it works, which is a major improvement from the one I rented. I couldn’t get down at first because I got rid of some of my weights on the previous dive. Alex followed the wrong group and was long gone before I got down. The boat driver gave me another weight and I buddied up with our dive master, Marlo. She carries around a three-pronged spear. There are these awesome looking Lion Fish that are ... read more
Scuba Crew
Mi Amore

Tot: 6.951s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 20; qc: 87; dbt: 6.5868s; 87; m:apollo w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 6.7mb