Archive for category Big Adventure

Amazing Aruba!

I arrived in Aruba at 2 pm today, worn out from a few nights without sleep and a long travel day. Getting off a plane in a tropical paradise always invigorates me for a while, the warm ocean breeze and the smile that it brings just seem to wake me up, but it didn’t last long. I was asleep within an hour. My room at the Hilton is beautiful with a comfortable bed, great balcony, and no noise. Perfect for an afternoon nap.

The cab driver on the way in recommended a place called Juanchi’s Burger, and I headed over for dinner. Juanchi’s is just half a block away from the hotel on a street filled with clubs and restaurants, all of which were booming and full of people in costume for Halloween. The area has a great feel, I’m already in love!¬†juanchi

Even though the place is nice, with a hookah at some of the tables and a great looking menu, I didn’t expect much. Every culture has things they do well. I drink in Irish bars, but I don’t eat there. I loved the coffee in Greece and Costa Rica, not so much in Canada. And I have said many times that the thing we do best is the cheeseburger.

I used to make the mistake of ordering burgers in other countries until I discovered that they were all just terrible compared to a cheeseburger in the good old USA. Honestly, the best burger in Greece or Thailand or New Zealand is not even in the same league with a typical bar burger in Minnesota.

But I have finally found a burger, thousands of miles away from America, that stands up to the best burgers we have to offer. It doesn’t look like much, almost a large food stand, but Juanchi’s Burger is awesome! If you are coming to town for the PPC Poker Tour Championship this week, it is definitely worth walking over on dinner break.

I had a moist burger on a soft egg bun with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, bacon, and barbecue sauce that was out of this world. Now there are two great places to get a burger on this earth. America, and Juanchi’s!

The costumes, the nightclubs, the great hotel, and the excellent $2/5 game in the poker room, all made for a great night. Now I’m off to bed to sleep it off and get ready for the start of the tournament series tomorrow with the first tournament and the kickoff party!

You can learn more about the PPC Aruba World Championship HERE.

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Fight of the Century!

I just heard a news story about a Kangaroo named Big Buck, who is terrorizing a neighborhood near Brisbane. I had my own experience with a badass roo that we called Gunshow, and I’ll put him up against Big Buck any day. It’s Rooweather vs. Pouchiao! But with WAY MORE ACTION!

Here is Big Buck, apparently showing off whatever muscles he thinks he has.

And here is Gunshow, who we photographed about 20 miles outside of Melbourne. He was not afraid of us, and in fact looked like he was about to come fight us if we got any closer. Pic taken from about 25 feet away.

gunshow

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m taking my guy Gunshow in this fight by TKO in the second round. He’ll probably mess up Buck’s other ear and leave him looking like a busted mule. I was close enough to clearly see that Gunshow was taller than I am, and I estimated 6’2″ and well over 200 pounds. They claim Big Buck is 6’5″ and 210, but sensationalist news media probably overestimates his size. I think Gunshow is not only bigger, but definitely tougher. Just look in his eyes. You think he’s afraid?

Buck looks confused, skittish, and meek. Gunshow looks like a badass, and I can assure you that he was ready to whip my ass if I kept walking forward, not intimidated by me at all. He held that stare for a good fifteen seconds, looking right into my eyes. We need to make this fight happen.

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The Last Hurrah

As I write this I am sitting on an 8th floor balcony in Peurta Vallarta watching the sunset over the mountains. It’s a perfect 75 degrees with just a hint of a breeze that carries in the salt smell of the pacific ocean a few hundred yards away. My pina colada is perfect. When I’m done writing this I’ll take it with me into the hot tub that is conveniently located out here on the balcony. I’ll be the first to admit that my life has not been hard these last few months. I never forget how incredibly lucky I am to be able to have so many incredible experiences and live a remarkable life.

Since I was quite young it has always been my goal to have unique experiences, see the world, and collect stories. There have been sacrifices along the way, risks I took when I was younger, the lack of any significant savings since Black Friday, A lack of job security and certainly some injuries and illnesses that could have been avoided if I had simply stayed home and watched television. But the stories wouldn’t be the same. The life wouldn’t be so rich. And regardless of the tough times, the sacrifices, and some close calls along the way, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I’m the luckiest person I know, and no amount of hard work changes that fact. Sure, I put in the hours, I studied, I worked hard, but I also took advantages of opportunities that very few people have ever had. I was born a healthy American male, big enough and healthy enough to be safe in situations that would be reckless for many people. I had a good education and good parents who raised me well and tolerated my rebellious ways about as well as anyone possibly could. I met the right people, and I started playing poker and studying the game at a time when there is a lot of money to be made.

And most importantly, I caught the right cards at the right times to win a world championship this past summer in addition to a significant sum of money. My friend Chad Holloway was one of the first people I talked to after the win, and his words ring more true every day.

“It will change your life.”

I see it every day. It did change my life. I know that I play HORSE well, but the best player in the world, whoever that may be, wouldn’t win that tournament one time in a hundred. The experience not only provided me with money, a host of new opportunities, and a hell of a story, but it made me a better person. I’m even more driven, even more certain that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, and most importantly I am more thankful than ever before.

I haven’t turned down an invite to a charity poker tournament since the bracelet, and while I rarely turned them down before that, I couldn’t have spent so much money on charity events without the big win. This weekend I played two charity events, both at Canterbury Park. Kudos to Canterbury and their staff for raising over $15,000 for charity this weekend. Steve Fredlund did a great job with All-in for Africa and Keri Marsh and Kelly Day kicked ass for Protecting Paws. I was lucky to be able to help out with both events.

This last few months has been incredible. First a trip halfway around the world to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and California to celebrate the bracelet win and now this amazing all-inclusive resort in Mexico for a week. But it’s almost over. This week will just be relaxing and getting ready to get back to work, because the party is over. When I get home I start out with the Check Shove Poker Tour event at Running Aces, and as soon as that ends I’ll be headed to Council Bluffs to play the WSoP Circuit event until April 19th.

When I return home from Council Bluffs, hopefully with a circuit ring, I have a ton of work to do with lots of students wanting lessons before the WSoP, work with iNinja and Blue Shark Optics, some other interesting deals in the works, tons of training videos for Ivey League, and preparation for the World Series. I want another bracelet, so I’ll be playing as many events as possible and have already sold out a $60,000 investment package without even advertising it.

After this week, it’s back to work. I’m going to bust my ass until the end of the WSoP, and hopefully I’ll have some new stories to tell by the end and enough money to do it all over again! Thanks for reading.

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A Few Trip Pics

I am not even close to having all of the trip pics sorted, there are literally thousands of them, but I was going through the pics from Melbourne today and a few of them stood out.

This Kangaroo was about 6' 4" and came over to let us know that we were about as close as we should come to his family. He made his point quite clearly. What a beast!

This Kangaroo was about 6′ 4″ and came over to let us know that we were about as close as we should come to his family. He made his point quite clearly. What a beast!

Cute little yellow breasted bird in a park off the Great Ocean Road

Cute little yellow breasted bird in a park off the Great Ocean Road

I don't know what these birds were called, but they were stunning.

I don’t know what these birds were called, but they were stunning.

The Laughing Kookabura is hte largest member of the kingfisher family and also has the coolest name.

The Laughing Kookabura is the largest member of the kingfisher family and also has the coolest name.

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Holy Tasmania!

I was excited about the portion of this trip we were going to spend in Tasmania, but it has completed exceeded our expectations and we even talked about moving there for a few years if it was possible to emigrate. We were lucky on our five days in Tasmania with perfect weather and some incredible animal sightings.

We landed in Hobart in the evening, and most things had been closing early in Melbourne so we were thinking we might be eating the last of our bread and cheese for dinner before bed, but in Hobart things are different. There is a thriving restaurant district with Malaysian, Australian, Chinese, Thai, seafood, and even a Mexican place, all of which were open late and of excellent quality.

Our first full day in Tasmania started with the Tahune Airwalk, which was nice, and a few other short hikes. The highlight of the walks for me was spotting an Echidna in the wild, ten feet from us, and watching it wander about oblivious to our presence. They don’t see very well or have any natural predators, so they don’t really care about people and we have seen a few since then as well and they really don’t run away from humans unless you get close to them.

After the hiking we headed to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, which quickly became one of our favorite places. We purchased a special after hours deal called The Feeding Frenzy, where you are the only people at the sanctuary, you have your own guide, and you get to meet and feed the animals. We fed birds, possums, kangaroos (who we also petted), a Koala (which we also petted), and my personal favorite, a Tasmanian Devil!

The entire area drops off road kill at the center and they use it to feed the scavengers, including the devils. I held on to a Wallaby leg while the devil fought with me for it for five minutes, chewing on it with incredibly powerful jaws and growling like a dog. It was incredible, one of the highlights of the trip for me.

We also were able to feed and interact with a number of other animals including Eastern Quolls, Spotted Tailed Quolls, Wombats, Sugar Gliders, Bettongs, a Potaroo, and the Tawny Frogmouths. I’m sure I missed some things on that list too, the experience was a literal once in a lifetime thing that I can’t imagine being able to duplicate anywhere. I prefer to see animals in the wild when I can, but this wildlife rehab center is really a great place and I’m glad I could meet the animals as well as supporting the cause.

Speaking of animals in the wild, we saw a couple more Echidna and another Bettong in the protected wilderness on the way to Strahan the next day, but our real treat was seeing three, yes three, Tasmanian Devils in the wild. One of them was even carrying a snake, meaning this devil had real guts because all snakes in Tasmania are venomous and are distant relatives of the cobra. I hope he enjoyed his meal, I don’t think I would.

We also stopped at Burberry Lake, one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen, and too many other mountains, lakes, cliffs, and incredible vistas to recount. I’ve driven the Vikos Gorge in Greece, the Grand Canyon, most of the coastal US and some of Canada, The North Shore of Lake Superior, much of Costa Rica and other central American countries, and for wilderness and stunning mountain and ocean views, this tops everything. I had no idea there was still a place in the world still so wild and I am so grateful that I was able to visit it.

We have figured out a way to upload pictures more easily, so hopefully I can start blogging with pictures every day or two now like I had originally planned. Internet is still a little scarce in some places, and data on my phone, when it’s available, is prohibitively expensive, but when we find wifi I can post some pics now.

The rest of Tasmania was beautiful, and our flight to Sydney was easy. Sydney is a wonderful town, more interesting than Melbourne with a ton of backpackers, a red light district, loads of great restaurants, and some high rent stuff near the opera house that was pretty impressive. Sydney is definitely a city I could live in, though the parking situation is awful. Tomorrow we land in Christchurch New Zealand and another portion of the journey begins!

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The Insanity Continues

I thought I would be updating every day or two, posting pics and talking about my adventures on this trip, but it just hasn’t been possible. Internet access isn’t great everywhere, and in Australia it’s expensive to use internet from my phone so I’ve been keeping that to a minimum, but the real reason there haven’t been any updates is because I have been simply too tired to do anything but go to sleep when I get home each day. This is a good thing, and it feels good to sleep well and get up each day ready for more new experiences.

There are definitely a ton of pictures, thousands of them, but they haven’t been downloaded from media cards yet, and I’m not sure if we will actually do that before the end of the trip. I’ll occasional pics from my phone, but the really great ones may not be available until after we get home.

The experiences since I last wrote have been incredible.

Whale watching in Maui with humpbacks right next to our boat and even swimming right under us, and yes we got pics and video, was amazing. I understand why people go whale watching now. Seeing those huge animals up close is a unique experience and we were very lucky to have excellent guides. An expert from the Pacific Whale Foundation came along on our journey in a big zodiac and answered all of our questions for hours. We spent the night in the town of Lahaina, and then flew off to the big island in the morning.

The big island is most well known for it’s volcanic activity, and that’s what we were there to see. Driving through massive lava fields, walking through a lava tube, capturing the glow of the molten rock at night in a massive crater, and an incredible scenic drive on the way to the volcanoes, were all highlights. Watching a huge pod of 50 or more porpoises was fun, and we nearly jumped in the ocean with them. We also took the inland rode back across to Kona for our flight back to Honolulu, and were able to see multiple mongoose, some amazing sea life in tidal pools, and have some of the best coffee in the world.

My coffee tour of the world is basically complete now that I have had Wallenford in Wallenford, Blue Mountain in the Blue Mountains, Poas and Terrazu fresh from their plantations in Costa Rica, some amazing coffees in Guatemala, and now Kona in Kona. I can’t imagine where I would go next for great coffee.

Our next flight after spending our last day in Hawaii was the long haul to Melbourne. It was long, but not awful and Australia is well worth it. We stayed in a small apartment in a hip neighborhood in Melbourne and were struck by the differences. The fact that so many things are similar with the same language, many of the same products, and what appears to be a similar value system, that the differences seemed to stand out even more than they do in countries where everything is different.

We commented on the lack of police presence in such a large city and the lack of speed traps even though we did a lot of driving. In almost every country I have visited over the years I have been struck by the fact that people aren’t afraid of the police. In a few rough third world places this was not true, but in the rest of the first world I believe we are alone in being afraid of, or worried about, our interactions with the police. The job of the police here is to keep people safe and enforce laws. They are not tasked with running speed traps, confiscating property, and levying fines to pay their own salaries, so there are fewer of them on the streets and those that are out and about are working to actually keep you safe. It is refreshing.

People are also very warm and kind here, and common sense seems to be much more common here. The incredible materialism of the United States also looks ridiculous when viewed from the perspective of another country where people have what they need and aren’t killing themselves to get more. Working 50 or 60 hours a week, taking one or two weeks of vacation each year, and striving to get that raise so you can buy that new car to drive to work every day is truly insane. You can’t enjoy a life that you are throwing away, no matter how nice your house is. Work is fine, it’s necessary, and it can be rewarding, but we do far too much of it to buy things that don’t make us happy.

Our first full day in Melbourne we took a ride on an old narrow gauge steam train called The Puffing Billy. The line was created in the early 1900s to move people and produce to and from the Dandenong mountains, and now it runs as a tourist attraction. The train was a great way to experience the scenery up in the mountains and we had an excellent bush walk before our return trip as well.

The next day in Melbourne we took off for a drive down the Great Ocean Road. It was the most amazing scenery I have ever seen, and I have done a lot of scenic drives in my life. There are literally breathtaking sights around every corner for hours. We stopped at a few beaches and saw some incredible sea life, then took a wonderful bush walk at Shelly Beach to look for wildlife. While we saw some birds and sea life, the Koalas that my wife wanted to see were nowhere to be found. We did see an Echidna, known as a spiny antereater, but no Koalas and the wife was disappointed. I told her that it would work out, like it always does. We didn’t find a sloth to take photos of until out last day in Panama, and after hunting for them for a week!

On the drive home we passed two Koalas sitting by the side of the highway, I laid on the brakes, and my wife was out of the car before we were completely stopped. It’s rare enough to see them on the ground at all, but one of them sat and looked at my wife while she talked to him and took pictures from less than 20 feet away for a few minutes. The pictures are amazing! Once people driving by saw what was happening a crowd started to form, with at least ten other cars behind ours and before long some fool tourists ran right up to the Koala, scaring him back into the woods, but we had our time alone with him and a ton of great pictures.

It’s time to get up and head out to a market here in Tasmania before we drive across a huge national park and spend the night in Strahan. More to report on soon including our up close experiences with more koalas, penguins, devils, and more adventuring than I have time to write about this morning.

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Just A Quick List

When too many things pile up, and I don’t know how to cover them all in one blog post, I simply make a list. This is one of those times. It’s late and I’m too tired to cover things with the depth they deserve. Have a list.

1. My wife got sick the day before the trip. Probably food poisoning. She’s feeling quite a bit better now, but the packing was haphazard since she was not around for much of it. I think we got all the important stuff. I need more socks, but I think they sell them here.

2. The flights were long, but uneventful and smooth. We are now in Hawaii. Any flight that gets me to Hawaii is a winner.

3. I invested $55 in Jason Root last week, and he quadrupled my money. Within five minutes of finding out that I had won $200, I sent it renting a 2015 Camaro to drive around Oahu. It was fun. Thanks Jason!

4. The surf on the North Shore is amazing. We saw waves well over 20 feet today and the surfers were loving it. Watch the sunset there if you get a chance.

5. We love food trucks, and we saw at least 30 of them on our tour of Oahu today. The one we stopped at was awesome.

6. Today’s photos are just from my phone. Much better pictures that my wife took will be coming soon, but we haven’t downloaded them from the media cards yet.

7. Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial are amazing. What a powerful and sobering experience. Highly recommended. Being right over the sunken ship with over 1,000 sailors still entombed in it will really put things in perspective. The whole exhibit is great, and I was impressed with what a great job the Navy did with it.

We are headed off tomorrow to Maui for a whale watching expedition with Scientists from the Pacific Whale Foundation. Really looking forward to it.

I had never seen one in real life. A selfie stick!

I had never seen one in real life. A selfie stick!

I don't know what this is, but I'm not eating it...

I don’t know what this is, but I’m not eating it…

74 years later, oil or fuel still bubbles up from the wreck.

74 years later, oil or fuel still bubbles up from the wreck.

A powerful memorial with the names of those lost on the USS Arizona

A powerful memorial with the names of those lost on the USS Arizona

Some of those who survived the sinking of the Arizona have chosen to have their ashes interred at the site so that they can be with their brothers.

Some of those who survived the sinking of the Arizona have chosen to have their ashes interred at the site so that they can be with their brothers.

You can actually touch part of the Arizona. Powerful stuff.

You can actually touch part of the Arizona. Powerful stuff.

Of all the sad things we saw at Pearl Harbor, this might be the saddest.

Of all the sad things we saw at Pearl Harbor, this might be the saddest.

Sunset on the North Shore. Lucky shot that turned out pretty good.

Sunset on the North Shore. Lucky shot that turned out pretty good.

If you are break dancing in six inches of water, you should watch out for rogue waves....

If you are break dancing in six inches of water, you should watch out for rogue waves….

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Thank You Google!

I’ll be using a chromebook for my posts here. A cute little thing I got on sale for $150. It’s not the chromebook Pixel that I love so much, but it is actually a reasonable fill-in and at $150 I won’t be so sad if it falls off a glacier or into a volcano or gets eaten by a whale, all things that could reasonably happen on this trip. With a new chromebook, you get 100 gigs of extra storage on your Google Drive, but I already have a ton of that because I got a free terabyte when I bought the Pixel. The really good news is that I got 12 from flights worth of GoGo in flight internet access, which means I can write blog posts ¬†from the air!

I could sing the praises of chromebooks all day long, and have spent a few days doing just that, but in this case it’s the free internet access on my flight that I’m really pleased with. So…

Trip Update #1 –

I’m on a flight to Seattle. From there we connect to a flight to Hawaii. I did not expect to be posting anything this early in the trip, but I’ve got three hours to kill so maybe a little introduction to the trip and how we ended up on this journey would be appropriate.

I play poker for a living. Most of you probably know that. When I have a nice tournament win on the road, I make it a point to buy my wife something nice. Depending on the size of the victory it has been anything from a gourmet lollipop to a beautiful opal necklace. This summer I had by far my biggest win ever when I won the $10,000 buy-in HORSE World Championship at the World Series of Poker. After it was over and I had a chance to talk to my wife (she was up watching the final table livestream until 5 am, I asked her what she wanted this time.

We have friends in New Zealand that we have wanted to visit for a few years now, and her response was simply “New Zealand!” which was fine by me. I love to travel, and she has caught the travel bug from me and loves it as much as I do. We figured two weeks in New Zealand was a reasonable amount of time, maybe a little longer. I like to spend a month in a new country if I can, but there isn’t always time or money to do that. After a month in Greece I had only scratched the surface, but after a few weeks in Belize I felt like I had hit most of the high points.

Flying all the way to New Zealand on a 16 hour flight just didn’t sound like much fun, so I checked Google maps to see if there were some interesting places to break up the flight. Lucky for me, Hawaii was right in the middle, which leads me to a brief aside.

I have been to 49 states. The only state I have not visited is Alaska, and I would really like to go there. It’s time to be done with states and get serious about piling up countries! But. My wife is only at around 40 states, and does not want me to go to Alaska until we can go together as our 50th state. She’s been working hard to visit as many states as we can, but I’m impatient. We joke often about how I’m going to find a way to surprise her with a trip to Alaska. This may in fact happen.

One of the states she is missing is Hawaii, so stopping there for a few days will be perfect and get another state off her list and it gets me one state closer to Alaska. The only other place to stop on the way back is Fiji. It’s much closer to New Zealand than the US, but it does break up the flight some and it was an excuse to spend a few days there relaxing, see a unique place, and add another country to my list.

Once I had added five days in Hawaii and five days in Fiji to a trip that was already going to be seventeen days in New Zealand, the trip started to get out of hand. Were we really going to fly around the world and not go to Australia when it was so close? Of course not. Another country off my list and some new places to see. And Tasmania sure looks interesting, and flights from Melbourne are less than $100. How can I not visit Tasmania when I have flown around the world and it’s only a thirty minute flight away?

I know my wife has always wanted to see the Sydney Opera House, so why not spend a few days in Sydney? Then some friends who live in California heard we were booking this trip and suggested that we stop and see them for a few days on the way home. We have to fly right by them anyway, so we might as well stop by and they did offer to show us a good time in the bay area, so we couldn’t turn that down. Now you can see exactly how things got out of hand.

Counting the small flights in Hawaii we will have thirteen flights, a conservative estimate of 30,000 miles traveled, and we will be away from home for 43 days. Lucky for us my wife has a photo shoot in Mexico at the end of March and we are booked at a resort there so we can relax. Kind of a vacation to help us recover from our vacation.

I really didn’t intend for this vacation to get so out of control, but I don’t regret a bit of it. We’ll be run ragged by the end of this trip, but it will be worth every bit of busting our asses to get everywhere we want to go and worth every nickel we spend. I would rather be broke with some great stories to tell than have money in the bank and not know what to do with it. With that spirit in mind I booked helicopter trips, whale watching excursions, wildlife trips with scientists, cave tours, glacier hikes, and everything else I could fit into the trip while giving us a day off every few days just to chill out and recover.

The first trip highlight for me has also already happened. My wife surprised me with a limo to take us to the airport. She told me that the cab would arrive at 2:30, and when it arrived it was a stretch SUV limo. Thanks doll, what a great way to start off the trip!

Backpacks full of gear in the back of a limo. I love it!

Backpacks full of gear in the back of a limo. I love it!

Oh, and don’t call it the trip of a lifetime, I hate to think that this is it, the greatest trip ever and that nothing will top it. I’m not old enough for it to be all downhill from here. It will be my longest trip in terms of miles traveled, but I’m hoping there are many more like it on the horizon and that some of them are even more incredible than this one.

Thanks for reading, I’ll update in a few days with pics and stories from Hawaii.

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A Great Adventure

For the next month and a half, this blog will become a travel blog. Except for tomorrow night’s podcast, that will be mostly poker related. On Monday my lovely wife and I leave for what we have been calling “The Big Adventure”, bouncing around the world for 43 days. If you are not interested in travel, come back in mid-March. If you are interested in new places and adventures, then stick around and enjoy the lack of poker talk.

My wife is a professional photographer, so I’ll put a few pictures in each blog post as well as a description of some of the things we’ve done and places we’ve seen. I would like to say that I’ll post something every day, but that’s tough to do. I can do an entry every few days though, and that will make my job easy with multiple days of adventuring to talk about.

This trip will be safer than a lot of my previous adventures, though it will also be a lot more expensive. It started out as two weeks in New Zealand, but once you are in New Zealand, you might as well hit Australia for a few days, you know, since you came so far already. And once you are in Australia, you might as well hit Tasmania for a few days, and maybe get up to Sydney to see the famous opera house. You know, since you’ve already come so far.

And if you’re flying that way anyway, you might as well stop in Hawaii, especially since the wife has never been there. And it’s kind of on the way anyway. And on the way back the only other way to breakup the flight, unless you want to stop in Hawaii again, is to go to Fiji. It’s beautiful in Fiji, might as well spend a few days right? I mean, once you’ve already come so far.

Then some friends in California said we should stop by since we have to have a connecting flight from Fiji somewhere on the West Coast anyway, and we hadn’t seen them for awhile, so we booked that too. And you don’t fly all the way to New Zealand just for a few days, so we booked 15 days there and at least five days everywhere else, because you might as well stay awhile if you’ve already come so far.

Of course, if you fly literally half way around the world to a place you might not get back to, you should make sure you don’t miss any once in a lifetime opportunities. Which means you might as well book both those whale watching trips, feed that Tasmanian Devil in the nature preserve, tour the glow worm caves, take the helicopter tour, walk across the glacier, book the zodiac ride through the glacier lake, see the penguins in the wild, hike the volcano, and holy crap I’m getting tired just thinking about all of it.

So I did. I booked it all. We have days off sprinkled in here and there, but most days are going to include big adventures and amazing photos. I’ve done month long trips many times, but never to so many different places for such a long time. We will see 6 or 7 different climates and be living out of backpacks. I still don’t know how we are going to fit all the gear into two packs.

When people hear about my travels, they so often say things like “I wish I could do that.” I always think “You can, just do it!” I hope with some of my travel blogging I’m able to inspire a few people to stop wishing and just book a flight. Start somewhere cheap and easy like Puerto Rico, Iceland, Costa Rica, anywhere in the Caribbean, or Alaska. Buy the Lonely Planet Guide to wherever you are going and study up on it, that’s half the fun. Then go have some adventures of your own and never stop.

Keep booking flights once or twice a year to somewhere you have never been. See the world and be changed by it. We live on an incredible planet and even the most well traveled have seen so little of it. Stop sitting at home and get your butt on a plane! I’ll help if you need it. Try skyscanner.com for flights, tripadvisor.com for hotels, and your Lonely Planet book for advice on what to see when you get there. I won’t be of much help until late March, but after I get home I’ll be happy to help you find destinations, cheap flights and hotels, and provide information on everything from vaccinations to rental car insurance. Go!

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