844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Deep Panic (Komodo National Park, Indonesia)

For an updated version of this post, go here.

April 17th, 2009 - Yesterday was a bad day. It should not have been, but it was. How can someone have a bad day scuba diving in Komodo National Park, one of the best dive sites in Indonesia, if not the world? I’ve come to a realization: me, scuba diving, and strong underwater currents do not mesh. When I really exert myself while trying to breathe underwater I find my breathing becomes quite labored. 

How can I describe the feeling? Put on a snorkel and mask. Run quickly up about twelve flights of stairs. Sprinkle in a moderate to severe impending sense of doom. Breathe normally. At one point the endeavor resembled a sort of underwater rock climbing exercise, as we were moving from one rock to another against the current. That can get exhausting. But hey, I did get to see an eagle ray, a ghostpipe fish, a crocodile fish, a few rare nudibranchs, etc. Normally, I would have been ecstatic to see these things (especially the eagle ray) but at that moment my focus was on avoiding panic and a loss of bowel control.

The situation was exacerbated by the fact that there were some other more experienced divers on the trip. I was afraid that I would force everyone to surface prematurely. Luckily, our guide can breathe underwater for days on one tank. He is quite remarkable on air consumption and allowed me to utilize the spare regulator attached to his tank. So after sucking air like a crack whore fiending for a fix I was forced to basically piggy back on the divemaster (literally). I felt like a baby manatee refusing to leave the protection of its mother’s side. Awesome. My self-esteem may need an adjustment.

So my dream of becoming a divemaster has taken a hit. Looks like I will have to revisit my backup plan. Does anyone have a connection with the New York Ballet? Time to dust off my leg warmers.

Nothing like a post freak-out feast to calm your nerves. Purchased from the local market it just does not get any fresher than that.

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim