What! Do you mean I don’t need that Ipad or social network.

The times that I enjoy the most, I find myself surrounded by forests or in parklands walking a path or  just enjoying the way the sun warms my skin. Especially when I have had my friends with me.

Doing what we all like to do is a response deeply ingrained in each of us, we all want to lie around on a sunny day, just taking in few rays, or reading a book, throw a frisbee to the dog, or just chat with friends. All of this is to me just part of enjoying life & having a good time.

I always find that doing this sort of stuff is another one of those things in life that people tend to take for granted & yes we do that a lot. Just being able to relax, to step away from the everyday stress of life and spend some quality time with friends & acquaintances is the best therapy anyone could ever ask for.

It’s my personal opinion that people don’t get outside enough nowadays. There are just too many reasons to stay indoors, there are Playstations, X Box or whatever, as well as all of our computers with their social networks, I pad’s & lets not forget the TV.

It’s these things that tend to keep you a hostage to their ability to alter reality, safe and happy whittling away your time doing nothing special. Yes we are losing the means or even the want to go outside and see the world, to see real people. I understand this requires effort, yet it can be so worth it.

Now just so you know, being the hypocrite I am, I own most of these anti social things, of which my favorite is my I Pad, although mine has an antiglare coating so that It can be used outside, I love my books all of which I can now carry on my I Pad & of course as a photographer I use it to showcase my work, “I also play games on it everyday”.

During my time working on the cruise ships I have found, that a large percentage of crew tend to take our computers out to the local Internet cafes or the local coffee shops, spending time catching up with our social networks, when we could & should be out exploring all of the wonderful places we travel to. That being said most of us tend to do just that. I personally love to go hiking and spend almost all of my time outside in the wilderness when it is close by & if not just looking around a new city exploring.

What I’m finally trying to get around to is that everyone including me! Should spend much more time outdoors doing something they like with friends or even by yourself. A favorite exercise of mine is rollerblading, I have rollerbladed in lots of cities around the world although San Francisco proved a little daunting with those huge hills everywhere, I also enjoy riding bicycles which I can hire from the ships from a very nominal fee sometimes even for free, for me it has to be somewhere I can see something while I ride, maybe even around a lake or a city.

It doesn’t matter what you do if it gets you outside, fishing, bungee jumping, lazy days at the beach, while your there why don’t you build a sandcastle your never to old to act young. So go sailing or join a dragon boat club, be lazy for a change and just read a book, throw that Frisbee. It really doesn’t matter what you like to do, you just need to get out and give it a go, you never know you might even get to know some more people.

Walking that’s “My new favorite pastime” I know I seem to be going backwards with my style of exercises’ I guess I am getting on a bit now, I think its just about time to start my second or is that my third midlife crisis. I’ve never felt old yet.

When I was younger I lived in Perth – Western Australia. I had a fantastic outdoor lifestyle. At that time life consisted of going to the beach, cable waterskiing, rollerblading & many other types of outdoor activities, I also squeezed work in there somewhere. Bike and walking paths were everywhere; with stunning views, most parks have free barbeques so that social gathering becomes a lifestyle. This is true of most places in the world, so no matter where you live there is always something to do and see. You just have to get off your butt and go out and explore it all.

The cost is going to be very little, almost nothing and sometimes it will cost you as little as time away from the TV.

As I find myself growing older and getting more set in my ways, I needed a wake up call, to get me moving in the right direction. So I have made it my resolution (not a new years resolution as I never seem to follow through on those) that I will walk everyday, not always at the same time of day, as this is not always possible for me. Sometimes I walk around a new city just soaking up what it has to offer, sometimes its just to the shops or coffee spots & sometimes its just a walk around the deck of my current ship. If I miss a day I won’t worry, I will just walk the next day. Although It took some effort I have finally decided to get off my butt & yes this took me a long time, as I was very content with who I was for such a long time. Now I have finally decided that I want to be thinner and healthier than I am, so that I can enjoy everywhere I go and see, without feeling like I am puffing & wheezing.

I also absolutely love scuba diving & I want to be able to do this right up to when I finally toddle off this wonderful planet. Saying that I have been lucky to dive in some of the better destinations around the world, here are just a few of them. Cayman Islands, Cozumel – Mexico. Key Largo – Florida, Great Barrier Reef & Townsville – Australia, Saint Tomas – Virgin Islands. Aruba, Curacao – Dutch Antilles & the Red Sea – Sharm El Sheik  – Egypt.  . I have had one and two tank dives, I have sailed on live aboard ships, some were drift dives,wreck dives, day & night dives I have loved them all. I love being underwater and now with over 500 + dives, I sometimes think I am half-fish, my dream is to have an underwater housing so that I can take my Canon camera underwater to get some of the images I see up to the people who don’t dive  to give them a taste of what I see while I am underwater.

There are plenty of people out there already doing these things. I am not writing this for them or even for you, I am writing this for me I know that is selfish of me, so if you want to come along and get outside and reclaim your old life. Well then let’s get to it & hopefully I will see you in the park.

Please let me know what you think, as I think I would like it.

Either way I will still be walking everyday.

#7 Australia The Lucky Country

As the Queen Mary 2 moved closer to Australia. I started to get a little homesick. No matter how much I traveled this beautiful planet I would always want to return to what I personally considered the best place in the world to live, I have been lucky to live in many places throughout this wonderful land. At twenty-four I traveled around on a motorbike from South Australia stopping everyplace I could until I ended up in Perth (Western Australia) where I spent the next fourteen years of my life, having lived in and visited almost all of the major city’s Australia has to offer. I have also visited many of our smaller yet more beautiful place this wide country has to offer some of my all time favorites were Byron Bay, The Gold Coast, Whitsunday Islands, Hervey Bay, Cairns, Townsville, Port Lincoln, Port Neil, Tumby Bay, Kalbarrie, Collie, Margret River and numerous others to many to mention here.

                On this trip with the Queen Mary 2 we docked in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney.

PERTH

Having already lived in Perth, I decided to stay onboard on in port manning and gave my option to visit this city away to another crew member, I did manage to go out just before we sailed to stock up on all the things I have missed from the local supermarket. So nothing exciting enough to write about this time as well as no time to take photographs.

I will tell you a little about this beautiful city. Reflecting onto the Swan River, which curls around the downtown city area as well as Kings Park magnificent parkland adjacent to the city. The Swan River winds its way through numerous parks and residential properties creating stunning backdrops from either bank of the river, none more spectacular than the city view from south bank. Perth is a place of white sandy beaches 19 in all and a lively and trendy lifestyle.

While living in Perth I worked as a motorcycle instructor, high-rise window cleaner, roof carpenter, This is also where I learned how to become a croupier honing my skills until the day I started on the cruise ships. Overall I fell in love with the place, the people, and the general vibe that Perth exudes.

Adelaide

While I have also lived for short periods in Adelaide and having grown up in South Australia, I always yearned to travel to other places, Adelaide is called the city of churches I always thought that was because there are more sinners here. (Ha, Ha not really)

Adelaide is also a very pretty place to live and a lot of my family still live there and thoroughly enjoy everything that it has to offer.

Well back to the Queen Mary 2. I stayed onboard here as well as I was able to get my Sister and brother-in-law Sue & Charlie as well as my niece Samantha and her partner Pedro and his parents onboard to see the inside of the QM2 we spent the entire day just walking throughout the grandeur that the QM2 exudes. It was a spectacular day seeing family I had not seen for such a long time.

PS it was raining cats and dogs outside so I didn’t miss sight-seeing around the city this time.

Sydney

I have been lucky to visit Sydney on many occasions; I have made the journey in cars, planes and ships. Staying for short or long periods, walking or driving.

As you know the cruise ships tend to be here one day and gone the next, this time we got to stay in Sydney overnight. I stayed onboard for the first day and night again doing in port manning for another crew member, giving them the chance to see everything I get to see whenever I get home to Australia, I spent the second day, moving through the city taking photographs and visiting some of my favorite cafe and restaurants before boarding a ferry across to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

As I wandered around the zoo, I started taking pictures getting some keepers( Zoo Humor)  The best were the kangaroos as well as the bird sanctuary, which were both walk in enclosures. All the other animals seemed to be on a time schedule if you wanted to see them you had to go at a certain time.

                      I did find the enclosures and cages there quite depressing.

Previously I had been to one of my favorite zoos in Singapore. All of the animals were easily seen, as the only fences are to keep the people away from the animals, which are kept in by moats of water that allows the visitor to be closer and see more while traveling around the vast interior of the zoo. After about an hour in Taronga zoo I had seen enough and went back to the ferry platform.

On our trip back to the city I was lucky enough to see the Queen Elizabeth (our sister ship) pulling out from her dock at Circular quay in downtown Sydney, I got some great shots of her turning around ready to start her new journey as well as some nice shots of the Sydney Opera house and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I got back to the city and after walking throughout the city again getting a few cups of coffee as well as a great meal I headed back to the ship and met up with my friends before we cast off from the dock and headed out through the crowded waterways off to our next adventure New Zealand……….To Be Continued.