Things I’m Loving

In honor of Valentine’s Day this past week (and more specifically, in honor of the leftover candy I’m sitting here eating), I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about some things I’m loving lately. Definitely taking full advantage of this sugar high to try and kick start a return to writing regularly! So, with that said…

1. SCUBA DIVING. I believe I’ve mentioned once or twice (or three times? Or maybe four? Etc…) how much I love swimming and how I firmly consider myself a water person. I’ve been a swimmer for as long as I can remember, but, weirdly, I’ve never tried scuba diving. I’m not sure if that was ever a conscious decision or if I just never got around to it, but as much as I love being in the water, I’ve only ever really spent time on the surface. For the most part, I have been fine with that, although largely thanks to following the artist Jason deCaires Taylor, I’ve become increasingly interested in diving over the past few years. Finally, in January, I decided to go for it, and signed up for the PADI eLearning course and the five initial contained dives through a local dive shop. The next day I had my shiny new flippers, mask, and snorkel in hand and was throwing myself into the first online lesson. I went full-on Hermione and devoured the online course, and on Day 1 of the pool dives, I took my first breath from the regulator (on land, even) and was instantly in love. I finished the pool dives and just need to do my four ocean dives to complete the PADI open water certification (allowing me to dive with a buddy to depths of up to 18 meters). The ocean dives can be completed locally or at a different site through a referral, which brings me to the next thing I’m currently loving…

2. TRAVEL PLANNING. January was a big month for me. While I was still just playing around with the idea of trying scuba, I was also talking with a friend about his plans to spend the spring in Indonesia. “If you’re looking for a travel buddy…” I told him, with exactly zero subtlety or chill. Luckily, this particular friend knows that I don’t offer to come unless I actually mean it. So approximately 24 hours after that first conversation, and after I had confirmed which island in Indonesia I should be flying into, I had my tickets to Bali booked and was researching dive shops “just in case” I decided to sign up for diving and needed a place to do my final dives.


RemoteRhode_Bali snip
But for real



Now, about two weeks out, I’m still reading everything I can about the location, the history, the current events, and best places to eat…anything I can find (and I’ve identified my top two dive shop options). When I travel I want to know as much as I can about everything to do with my destination, and with Indonesia being in a brand-new part of the world for me, I’m loving every second of pre-trip reading. As much as I love solo travel, it also helps to have a friend going. There’s so much more time for fun reading, when I know my accommodation is already being handled. On a related subject…

3. FRIENDS. It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s Day (ish) post without getting a little bit mushy. I love my friends. This isn’t surprising or in any way new information to me, but recently it has truly hit me how many amazing people I have in my life. In the past month I have been lucky enough to celebrate birthdays, engagements, and new babies; I have had dinner, coffee, and gym dates; I have gone to late night concerts and early morning ski trips.


SurfSet NYC with Aheli Wanders


I am so grateful that I have people who will help me book spontaneous trips to the other side of the world and who will offer to meet me at the airport when I get there. I am floored by the fact that while my upcoming trip involves only one such friend, I have multiple other people who would do the exact same thing if I happened to be in their part of the world. I am eternally grateful for the people, both local and afar, who know me as well as I know myself and for all the advice, support, and encouragement they offer me, and I only hope I am able to return the favor! I am amazed by this little global community I’ve managed to build for myself and while I hate that I can’t have all my people here with me all the time, I love knowing that they are out there, and it is beyond nice to confidently know that whenever I manage to see them next it will be like no time at all has passed.

4. MOVING. I feel like the past few months I have been almost constantly in motion – swimming, running, spinning, skiing, yoga, surfset – you name it, I’m happy to throw it into the mix. It started with a SwimTrek trip to Oman back in December. SwimTrek is basically my ideal lifestyle – this trip in particular consisted of daily boat rides on a traditional dhow into spectacular fjord-like sounds, 4k wild swimming in the morning, lunch on the dhow, 2k swimming in the afternoon, a boat ride back to the hotel, and fantastic nightly dinners. Waking up to Those Views, and spending the days in, on, and around the water was a dream, and the sense of accomplishment of finishing 6k daily was heady and addictive.




Back in the frigid New England winter, I couldn’t quite replicate the SwimTrek experience, but the need to spend my days moving and the bliss of collapsing into bed at the end of the day tired and aching in the best possible way haven’t gone away. Now, I know this isn’t necessarily sustainable and I know I have a tendency to go until I absolutely crash. I am also very aware that the yardage/mileage/whatever I’m putting in isn’t all the best quality; “junk miles” would apply to a lot of what I’m doing and there are definitely days I know I need to hold back because I haven’t fully recovered from the previous day. That said, I found 2017 really difficult – personally, politically, globally – and I spent a lot of time feeling stalled, stuck, or like I was working so unbelievably hard to break even and stay exactly where I was. 2018 has brought some relief, along with plenty of new worldwide heartbreak, but on a personal level I feel like I’ve been catapulted forward, and I am loving the sense of being in constant forward motion. My plan right now is to enjoy this until vacation and then use Indonesia to possibly re-set a bit so I’m not burning myself out. But for now? Onward!

5. WRITING. I haven’t written in a while. This is definitely a pattern with me – as always, life happened, I got busy…etc. Writing has always helped me organize my thoughts, but there were times last year when I just didn’t know where to begin, and so I kept falling further and further behind. However, in the later part of the year I managed to organize some trips to some places I was really excited about (England! Oman!) and it has been bothering me that I never managed to write them up or transfer the daily notes I took (seriously) into something more coherent than my frantic, handwritten stream of consciousness thoughts. So, I’m hoping to remedy that soon! With so many good memories I want to commit to a more permanent record, and so many exciting things coming up I know I won’t want to forget, this seems like the perfect time to try and get back into writing, and to try and commit to writing more regularly. It is truly something I love, and that definitely makes it worth effort.

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