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Wild and Wonderful Experiences

Updated: Mar 23

We have all heard about the amazing experiences you should do when you are in your 20s and 30s but you can do these at any age! OK, so it is easier to do them when you are younger with little or no commitments and also not being wise enough or thinking about the repercussions of what might or might not happen. Now wiser, there are some things that I would highly recommend, others knowing now what I do, wouldn't dream of doing again or encouraging others. Then there are the ones that well... was enough the first time! Which Wild and Wonderful Experiences have you ticketed off your must-do list/bucket list?

Me with a Python Snake, Jamaica ©MDHarding

Wild And Wonderful Experiences

Driving A Super Car

While working onboard cruise ships cruising around the beautiful islands of Hawaii. I had the incredible opportunity while in Maui to hire a Chevrolet Corvette convertible. Only one-month-old, racing red, and now available to hire. Who wouldn't want to drive their dream car? There was one place I was looking forward to seeing - Haleakala Crater. A dormant volcano measuring 10,000 feet above sea level. The road is long, windy, and in some places narrow. Today it is one of the most visited attractions and is especially popular at sunrise.

Today I can still hear the car rental guy asking "where did you go?" "To the crater, It was really cool!" "What?!"

It was an incredible day. Where is the most awesome place you have ever driven to?

Little Red Corvette at Sunset ©MDHarding

Sky Diving Experience

On my third contract at sea, I must have been a little bored or life a little dull, as I agreed to go on a tandem sky diving experience. What on earth was I thinking? This experience definitely removed the cobwebs from between my ears. One minute we were being shown the safety briefing the next parachutes attached and sitting on the floor of a small two-seater Cessna plane with the door open at 12,000 feet. A bright blue sky with the occasional white candy floss cloud drifting by. It was hot on the ground, and the air circulating in the plane was a welcome relief. I was sweltering with the parachute strapped tightly in the cramp stuffy space.

Signaled, I moved closer to the door, having a brief second thought, we were dropping like a stone. It is a strange sensation, that is hard to comprehend. You have no sensation of falling, other than the thrusting of air in your face and the ground getting closer! It felt like a lifetime but in reality only seconds before the parachute was released and we were gliding to the ground below. My heart beats rapidly even thinking about it now, many years later. It is one for those that crave adrenaline rushes!

I don't regret doing it but I'm relieved it's over and the experience will live with me forever. Not one I will be repeating. Have you ever done a skydive? What was your experience like? Would you do it again?

Sky Diving Experience in Hawaii ©MDHarding

Dangerous Animal Encounters

Tessa the "Esso" Orange Siberian Tiger in Aruba. Housed in an enclosure by the Seaport Marketplace. It was very tempting to be so close to an incredible wild animal. Tessa was fed, and the floors were washed of blood before we were each asked to sit by Tessa. The moment was fleeting but I still remember how coarse her hair was. Born at Dartmoor Wildlife Park, England, and appearing on television commercials in the U.K. Tessa was later transported to Aruba to live. Her life was cut dramatically short in 2004 at only 13 years old.

I know from experience that this can be seen as an opportunity and being young I didn't know better. Today we are all knowledgeable and more aware of how animals are t