Tag: bali

Eco Gallivant – Soft adventure and eco-voluntourism

Well. Isn’t this a surprise! I haven’t written a post in FOREVER!

Because…. I have been very busy. The result of all this busyness is a new business: Eco Gallivant.

It is a culmination of:

  • A near drowning
  • Swim lessons
  • Learning to scuba dive
  • Volunteering in Quintana Roo and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve – collecting data for Coral Watch
  • Becoming a rescue diver
  • Volunteering in Indonesia doing reef restoration
  • Becoming a partner in a non-profit – Sea Communities, in Indonesia
  • Traveling to Indonesia three times in the last year to dive and work.

 

 

And thus:4625550367_8af44ea360_o copy

Creating Eco Gallivant with my friend Kathleen – soft adventure treks for women of all ages. We will be volunteering in the host community with reef restoration while learning the culture, craft, food, art, and teaching some English on the side.

So please jump over to our website, and please pass the link on to any women who you think might be interested! I would be so appreciative.

And don’t worry guys. Once we have this down pat, we will extend invitations to men as well!

Thanks for the visit!!

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Blue Oblivion – And Where Are the Sharks?

We may spend the majority of our lives with feet planted on Terra Firma, but that, in reality, is not the planet we live on. We live on Oceana; about 71% of our planet’s surface is water covered, and most of it is briny.

And in the sea, under the surface, you can be oblivious to any turmoil above. It is calm, ethereal, other worldly. Why all this talk of water? I was in Bali this past spring. I came to dive, to relax, to spend time with friends, and to look for sharks. When I arrived at the Sea Communities compound in Les Village, I began my query. I asked Garri, my friend and host who had been living and diving in Les for a year, if he had seen any sharks. His response was a succinct no, never. I asked Fandy, the dive instructor visiting from Java. No, he hadn’t seen sharks on the northern coast of Bali in some time. I asked Gombal and Pak Eka, fishermen from Les Village. They said I had a good chance of seeing some dolphins in the sea just north of the village….

The Holy Spirit Snatch

My friend Amanda has a favorite line she says often, and with gusto: “The universe conspires!” I do believe it does, if you look closely enough, you will see it. Don’t make any rash pronouncements about how and why things happen. If you are open-minded enough to let one step lead to the next: to simply let things and events and twisting turns in the path ‘happen’ as they will, you will notice the universe conspiring!

Something occurred last week that came as a total surprise to me. Was it my subconscious working behind the curtain, unbeknownst to me? Maybe. Or, quite possibly, it was what Anne Lamott calls “The Holy Spirit Snatch.” Lamott, one of my favorite writers, is a person I would probably label as “religious.” She refers not only to her spirituality on a regular basis, but also to events that occurred while teaching Sunday school, or something her minister said, or words pronounced by Jesus. I am in no way religious, but I would certainly call myself spiritual. So I know what she is talking about when she says an event occurred by way of the Holy Spirit Snatch: something grabs you and sends you hurtling down a new path that you didn’t even know existed a minute ago.

I was supposed to go to the Dominican Republic in April to begin dive master training. I received my certification as a rescue diver from this particular dive shop/instruction center in January. I had made arrangements to continue for a week in April and then again for four more weeks over the summe,r to achieve the next certification.  When I got there in January, I found I didn’t like the safety protocol of the program. I didn’t like the town where it was located. Republica Dominicana was beautiful, but I didn’t want to go back. It took me a few weeks to come to the decision, but one night I sat down and cancelled my flight, which had already been booked a few weeks earlier.

Then, I set it all aside. I would think about where to go on another day.

Over the next couple weeks, I sort of thought about it, in a very abstract way. I thought about diving in Mexico, but I had already made a plan to complete the dive master certification in July with a shop I was familiar with and respected there. I thought about all the beautiful places to dive that I hadn’t been to yet: Seychelles, Fuji, Australia…..

Then, along came the Holy Spirit Snatch. I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, and looked that way quickly, but there was nothing there. When I turned back, I had clicked the button on the computer that read: “purchase” and I realized I had a plane ticket in April for Bali. I really don’t know how else to explain it.

And it felt right. It didn’t feel risky. It didn’t feel irresponsible. It didn’t feel ill considered. Even though you could say it was all of those things! Pondering risk at that moment, I reminded myself that taking a risk actually opens you up to a world of possibilities you have yet to consider. Something new.  Something fomenting. And, as Neil Gaiman says, “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”

So off I go.

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The Bali Sea

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When leaving home for a distant place became less about brawn, women finally had the opportunity to venture out on their own. No longer were we stuck at home, waiting for our men to return and tell us stories about lands far away and people so different it was difficult to imagine what their lives were like.

Now, even a lone woman traveler is not unusual, though we still have certain limitations that men don’t have. Care does have to be taken with our personal, physical safety; certain places and situations avoided. But overall, thankfully, it is a big wide world open to us.

J. Kottler, in Travel That Can Change Your Life, stated: “… travel is an altered state of consciousness… transporting you not only to another place, but another dimension…”