How to Score Travel Perks… Skydiving, Swimming with Sharks, and More
People who know me well are familiar with my life motto, “Above all, life should be fun.” So it comes as no surprise when they continually ask me what my favorite activity as a travel writer is.
That’s like asking someone which one of their children they love the best! You love them equally but differently. It’s the same with the fun things you get to do as a travel writer. The amusements are as varied as the locations you visit, but I always manage to find something to love everywhere I go.
Let me tell you about four of my favorites…
1. I held my breath for two seconds as we lingered in the open side door of the plane before lunging out. At 15,000 feet – the most you can jump from without oxygen, the 120 mph wind in my face made it hard to smile. Yet I could not stop. The one-minute free fall while skydiving in Oahu, Hawaii was pure adrenaline. When the chute was finally deployed and we slowed, the view the coastline below was one I won’t easily forget.
2. I was turning Japanese, I really think so. Remember that 1980s song by The Vapors? Well, I really did it. While traveling throughout Japan, I booked a three-hour Geisha makeover in Gion, Kyoto. White clay makeup, adorned black wig, heavy layers of ceremonial clothing including the traditional kimono and obi sash, and don’t forget the six-inch high geta sandals which made it almost treacherous to walk on the cobblestone street to the shrine.
3. Face-to-face, swimming with blacktip reef sharks in Bora Bora looking for their next delicious tidbit. No worries, it wasn’t me. The blacktip doesn’t feed on humans. They were looking for a handout from our guide who’d been with us all day as we navigated through the crystal aqua water to snorkel amidst colorful coral, swim with stingrays, feed sharks, play with a baby octopus, and eat a traditional grilled feast on a deserted motu islet.
4. The small guide plane tugged us higher and higher into the air until…snap! The rope was released and we were hang gliding over the Outer Banks in North Carolina. With the coast beneath and the wind in our wings gently coaxing us along, the feeling was so sublime and peaceful and I was even able to converse with my tandem pilot. Until he decided it was time for the “roller coaster” bit. Up, up, up and then the tummy-drop down. I was like a small child, squealing, “Again! Again!”
Did I mention that I did all of these this year?
I cannot imagine a job I’d enjoy more than being a travel writer. I’ve done so much, and yet there’s still so much I want to do.
How about you? Even if adrenaline adventures are not for you, there are lots of other wonderful experiences available to travel writers, from luxury resorts, spa treatments, history and arts, gourmet meals, cruises…. the list goes on.
Let the fun continue!
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]