Jump off of a perfectly good bridge, why not right? Bungee jumping has always been on the top of my list of things I must do. In London bungee jumping was on the itinerary but got taken off due to availability. So when looking for things to do I knew Jumping off of the tallest bungee bridge was something I had no choice but to do.
Now some people told me I was crazy and most just shook their heads. The main theme was that I should definitely do it now while I have the guts because as you get older the more fear and reality set in. As time got closer to go to Africa that became more than true.
There were several times I may have text Jen (more than likely drunk) and made her reassure me I wasn’t going to snap my neck. My biggest fear was not the jumping, the equipment, the possible lax standards in another country, no my one thought was that my clumsy awkward self would somehow move the wrong way and snap my tiny little neck. Jen being the trooper that she is reassured me that I would not die and we were ABSOLUTELY not backing out of this as we had told waaay too many people.
Fast Forward to South Africa the night before we were booked to go bungee jumping. We stayed at a treehouse in the forest. The treehouse was everything we wanted it to be….had we been honeymooners who enjoyed spiders the size of my head watching me shower. When we booked this beautiful Tree House with amazing views, baboons outside your window, and spiders the size of your head we weren’t completely aware how far off the path we would be and that our treehouse was 100% glamping which means there isn’t any food within an hour of the main cabin. We arrived at said treehouse starving, tired, and completely out of clean clothes.
That night we ate peanut butter crackers, ostrich jerky, and protein bars. During “dinner” at the main cabin we realized with our shotty internet connection that it would take about 2 hours to get to the Bloukrans Bridge at 8am. Meaning we would have to wake up at 5am. At this point I was willing to give up. I would sacrifice bungee jumping to get a few precious hours of sleep. Jen however would have none of this plan. We found a way to rearrange our plans so we could go shark cage diving and she was going to get me to the Bloukrans Bridge even if she had to drag my grumpy butt out of the spider infected tree house before sunrise.
We managed to survive the night after jen bravely made sure all the huge spiders were outside the treehouse safe and sound. She even broke her “no spider left alive” rule and got the spiders out with a strainer and a pot. The next morning we woke up at 5am tired and grumpy (ok maybe that was just me) and drove 2 hours to get to our bungee appointment.
We arrived at the bridge right on time with empty stomachs. The problem with waking up at 5am is nothing is open to eat. So I ate the remaining peanut butter crackers and Jen refused to eat anything in fear of throwing up during the jump.
When we arrived FACE Adrenaline got us all suited up and ready to jump. The scariest part of the jump for most is walking across the bridge. The jumping point is on the second tier of the bridge. They have a DJ and equipment on the bottom part underneath the actual road. It was surprisingly a nice set up. I basked in the walk underneath the bridge looking below and jen threatened to push me off if I didn’t stop talking to her.
Somehow I managed to be jumper number 1. Not exactly my favorite idea but a theme Jen and I have is that I pretend to be the brave one when it comes to heights. I try to avoid acting scared so Jen can panic alone in silence. Being jumper number 1 left me no time to freak out or think of all the ways I could snap my neck.
I had decided weeks before jumping that I was going to make my jump emotional. As cheesy as it may sound I wanted to turn my fear of letting go and literally jumping off of a bridge into a moment of truth for me. I was going to think of all the things that hold me back, get me down, or things that have happened that are out of my control. I was going to leave them on the bridge. Jumping off of that bridge would be a moment of pure freedom and bliss. It would be my own moment.
Jumping was everything I wanted it to be. As you can see in the video I hesitated at the beginning, not out of fear but rather I had not been given the chance to clear my head and leave it all behind. Once I was able to do that, I gladly jumped off that bridge and free fell toward the river below. In that moment, I had never done anything better in my life.
I highly recommend Face Adrenalin bungee jumping. They made sure we were completely at ease and had no questions. Most of all they kept us alive.
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Jump off of a perfectly good bridge, why not right? Bungee jumping has always been on the top of my list of things I must do. In London bungee jumping was on the itinerary but got taken off due to availability. So when looking for things to do I knew Jumping off of the tallest [...]
Bloukrans River Bridge, Tsitsikamma, Plettenberg Bay, 6600, South Africa
Journeying on a Safari was surprisingly not on the top of my list when planning for my roadtrip across the Garden Route in South Africa. For my travel buddy Jen it was a high priority along with Shark Cage Diving. I of course obliged mainly because who doesn’t like animals, and secondly because she agreed to bungee jump with me. What I didn’t expect was how much I would enjoy the safari and how it would amaze me so to see such incredible wild animals.
Schotia Private Game Reserve has been ran by the same family for around 25 years and are dedicated to a true safari experience. They are about 45 minutes away from Port Elizabeth which was at the tail end of our road trip. We opted for the two day one night package at Schotia Farms which cost around $250 a piece. We stayed in a “Honeymoon suite” which was more akin to “glamping”. We had a super comfortable bed with a tent surrounding it ensuring that no bugs were making it in to disrupt our sleep. They even provided a nice bottle of red wine which we were unfortunately too sleepy to drink.
On the first day we arrived around 2 in the evening and got to head straight to our Safari. Our park ranger happened to be a super intelligent *cough hot cough* 20 something who’s dog Janga was his partner in crime. One of our first animals to see was the elephant, who could have cared less about us and instead was more concerned about the rough bush he was intent on eating.
Our Ranger made sure everyone in our group got to see all the animals we so desired. This included the white rhino. As you can see the Rhino’s horn is not fully grown. This was due to a poacher who drugged the rhinos and cut off their horns. The saddest part is the rhino horn is used to cure many ailments which has been scientifically proven to be completely false. Meaning these innocent animals are tortured for a myth.
After the Rhino’s we headed off to see what else we could find. We saw giraffe, zebra’s and African antelope (my way of saying I don’t remember their names). The Giraffe was a mother of twins who according to a ranger did not actually care about her babies. This was not her first set of babies and she didn’t mind if they got eaten by a lion. A big fan of the circle of life I suppose.
Right as the sun was setting we found the lions. Steve the alpha with the beautiful ombre, his lioness, and his son are all pictured below. The lioness was on the hunt that night looking for some dinner for Steve and Simba. The rangers were actually at a point that they were worried about Steve since you could see his ribs and he hadn’t eaten in several weeks.
We sat there for at least 20 minutes watching the sun set while the lion pack soaked up the last bit of the sun. The lions didn’t seem to mind nor care that we were only yards away. Steve yawned, Simba laid next to his father and the lioness paced back and forth looking for a possible hunt to feed her family.
That night after a delicious all inclusive dinner we searched all night looking for the lioness on the hunt. Our ranger Ryan knew she was out hunting and was hoping to catch her in the act. Unfortunately cold and tired we went to bed unsure whether the lioness was successful in feeding her pack.
During our morning drive Ryan quickly found Steve and his lionesses bounty. See in the Lion kingdom the lioness hunts for her pack and then the male gets the first pick. We found the lioness and her son eating the leftover tail a few yards away. Seems like a raw deal to me but I guess that’s just the feminist in me talking
After a delicious hot breakfast and a ride back to the main center we headed off to Addo Elephant Sanctuary. Now this is something both Jen and I really wanted to do. Unfortunately this means we did not heed the advice of others. The sanctuary is beautiful and a really great experience, however it is much different than the safari. The sanctuary is toured in a van versus an uncovered safari vehicle. We still got to see some beautiful elephants and even a lion however I wouldn’t suggest doing it the way we did. If you do not have time for the Safari I suggest the elephant park as you can drive your own car through and take your time. However if you are doing the Safari I would not necessarily suggest doing Addo since you can see elephants at Schotia.
Despite all this I was still able to get some amazing shots of some beautiful animals.
One last look before we headed off to our next adventure in South Africa….
During my time in South Africa I had many adventures; shark cage diving, Ostrich Riding, Bungee Jumping and even a Safari. My favorite of all my activities was the very first thing we got to do in South Africa, Table Mountain.
Table Mountain is all over Facebook, Pinterest and even Twitter. Pictures of it are adorning with inspiring quotes and rightly so. Any mountain top so beautiful must be visited if given the opportunity. So we set out to go to table mountain and discovered not only could you check out her beautiful views but you could abseil down the super tall mountain while you were at it.
Although my friend Jen is deathly afraid of heights (yes she is just as scared as you are) she agreed to do it. See something I greatly admire about Jen is that no matter how scared she is, she never lets fear stop her from an adventure. So she agreed to slowly climb down a mountain by what we hope were state of the art ropes and harnesses.
When going to table mountain if you are not going to hike then make sure and purchase tickets in advance online for the cable car. You can skip a line of 3 hours just by having the tickets on your phone.
The Abseiling team from Abseil Africa was already at the top of the mountain when we arrived and it appears they are there most weekends. It is best to schedule an appointment ahead of time but look for them just in case you decide you want to take a stab at danger once you get to the top. The Abseil Africa team is very professional and helps you feel entirely comfortable during your abseil experience.
First while climbing down you have to climb backwards which is not the best feeling. You have to learn to trust that the rope holding you is not going to let you fall to your death. After that it is a matter of learning to have some fun by trying some jumps while you climb down.
Overall I absolutely loved the feeling of abseiling the mountain and getting to see the Table Mountain view from a different perspective. Just a tip if you decide to go abseiling, you do have to hike back up! It’s about a 20 minute hike and there are some beautiful views. If there is a way to bring your camera, do it!! Also don’t forget to tip the Abseil Team!
As I have mentioned over and over, I LOVED my short time in Iceland. Well, part of the reason it was so enjoyable is which Reykjavik Hostel we chose to lodge at. I love a good deal which means I don’t mind staying in a hostel or an Airbnb rental. In Iceland, we chose the Kex Hostel which just happened to be an Old biscuit factory (How cool is that?)
To find the Kex Hostel I started at hostelworld.com to check out reviews. It was a decent price and we had a group going which meant we would only have one person in our room who we didn’t know. Not too bad for a hostel.
When you arrive it is along the waterfront with a breathtaking mountain view. Now to get to Reykjavik the best thing, if you are not renting a car (which I highly recommend), is to take the Flybus. For around $20 you can get to your hotel/hostel in Reykjavik on a very comfortable bus. It takes you directly to the hostel which is barely noticeable only by a small door right next to a Dominoes frequented by drunk hostel goers.
Upon entering the hostel you immediately notice all the funky decor. The Kex Hostel is an Old Biscuit Factory full of life and history which shows through in the cement walls and industrial beams. The walls are filled with maps of places you want to go then surrounded by books of places people have been. Check out the gym or get a haircut in an old style barber shop.
The Living Area
The rooms are nice with bunk beds that each have an electrical plugin, which I believe to be completely necessary. The beds are not the most comfy I have ever slept in however for a hostel not bad at all. There are lockers which can be nice if you do not know who is going to be in your room. The great thing is the room operates off of a key card lock which keeps anyone out of your room who doesn’t belong.
The bathrooms are available on each floor with several single room showers or toilets. If you shower in the early morning or evening time then the water pressure and temperature are perfect. However in rush times you will definitely feel like you are at summer camp once again. Tip: If the shower you are using doesn’t have good water pressure, try again. We found that there were certain rooms that had better shower heads.
The Kex Hostel had a kitchen on each floor with plenty of room for several people to cook. It was also a great spot to hang out at later in the evening if the common area was overtaken by the drinking crowd.
In the common room on the main floor, you will find many picnic style tables to hang out at with fun board games and cards available to play. If you are alone it’s a great place to sit by the window and gaze at the snowy ocean and mountain view or to curl up and read a book. The common room was everything I wanted in a hostel area.
The Kex Hostel restaurant was my favorite part of the hostel. They had amazing local draft beer with perfect appetizers to pair with your Ale. My favorite appetizer was the Bacon covered dates and the sweet potato french fries. They held us over perfectly while we waited for the rest of our group to be ready for dinner most nights. They also have amazing burgers. My favorite was the freedom burger. However, make sure to ask them to cook it well done unless you like the inside of your burger still mooing.
The Kex Hostel is a destination spot for the city of Reykjavik. There were certain nights when they had live music and people were pouring in. It was a very fun atmosphere but extremely busy. I would highly recommend the Hostel to anyone visiting Reykjavik.
Big shout out to all of my friends in our big travel group who let me use their pictures! Thanks to Jen Yeung my travel soulmate, Brian Merrion a fun guy who roots for the wrong Oklahoma team, and Ben Rodgers a super talented Industrial designer whose work can be viewed here.
Also feel free to check out my often travel buddy Jen’s Blog. She’s great at telling our stories, as is, with all the funny and quirky details.
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As I have mentioned over and over, I LOVED my short time in Iceland. Well, part of the reason it was so enjoyable is which Reykjavik Hostel we chose to lodge at. I love a good deal which means I don't mind staying in a hostel or an Airbnb rental. In Iceland, we chose the [...]
Iceland still holds my fondest travel memories to date. It was a beautiful winter wonderland full of adventure, delicious food, and beer. I loved every second of it and I highly recommend that you visit there yourself no matter what time of year. I have picked my favorite things to do and put them below. With so many epic things to do how can you go wrong?
Iceland had so many new delicious foods to try I didn’t have time for all of it. We did try a few new things including whale ( I know it’s controversial) and even puffin. They had quite a selection of food from Korean to American so you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for a good place to eat, the Kex Hostel was absolutely amazing. They had delicious hamburgers and amazing appetizers, if you go you must try the bacon wrapped dates and for me try the reindeer bites. They were completely out of reindeer bites when we were there and I’m still upset about it!!
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
In 2004 former President Bill Clinton visited one little hot dog stand and it has been a popular staple in Reykjavik ever since. Make sure you try a lamb dog the way they come which is perfect after a long night of drinking.
Go on a road trip
Our time was short on the road and I wish we had made more time for exploring. What time we did have we were able to see so much beautiful landscape it left me longing for more:
The Gullfoss waterfall is definitely a must see. I insist you make time for this. It was oh so cold, with a strong wind blowing icy water and snow in our faces. Despite the cold, we stayed just to be in awe of the beauty surrounding us. If you find yourself there in the summer make sure and send me a pic 🙂
Geyser Hot Springs
Ok so my opinion on this might be less favorable however as cool as I thought the geysers were…don’t go out of your way to see them. It is definitely a fun sight to see but it’s not as crazy beautiful as the other sights we could have made our way towards instead.
Since our road trip was only a day long, we did not get to go on a hike. A few friends in our group opted to go the next day while we went snorkeling and I was insanely jealous. They not only saw a beautiful waterfall but also got to climb around the edges of the fall, their pictures were breathtaking!
One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to get a sky view. Luckily there is a perfect viewpoint from the Hallgrimskirkja Lutheran Church. The Church is beautiful and for a few dollars, you can take an elevator to the top of the Church which allows you to see all of Reykjavik. It’s a must do in my opinion.
Walk around the City
Reykjavik is a smaller city with a funky vibe. Make time to stroll through the city and see all the graffiti artwork on the buildings. They had a few fun bookshops and tons of breakfast cafes. My favorite place was a fun little cafe tucked away called Grai Kotturin. Make sure and Order the cafe au lait, you won’t regret it.
Play in the snow
If you don’t have at least one snowball fight and make one snow angel I am going to be sorely disappointed in you! Release your inner child and relish in the winter wonderland surrounding you. My favorite memory is our group running out to the shore and playing in the snow. It was innocent and magical. Don’t deny yourself this simple pleasure.
My friend Jen has a knack for finding the goofiest things for us to do. This time she managed to find a national museum for penises. It is fairly small but you will find tons of different penises preserved for you to see. Watch out for the Olympic team who had their you know whats preserved in gold.
Dog sledding in Iceland was such a pure and beautiful moment I will be sure to hold it in my heart for years. The dogs live to pull and love to sled so watching them is pure bliss. If you are lucky you might just get a show from mother nature. Read here for more of my Dog Sledding Adventure.
The Kex hostel where we lodged was right by the waterfront so were able to check out the mountains and beautiful waterfront daily. Something about the icy air and still snowy mountains was so peaceful.
Have you been to Iceland? What was your favorite activity?