My Amazing Journey to the Starting Line

Our guide was a true expert on all the animals in the park. We saw lots of elephants, towering giraffes, a cheetah, a leopard with a baby cub, lions with their cubs, and even rhinos! We would stop and watch them live and interact. Sometimes the animals would come right up to our vehicle--even lions and elephants. Wow! After the safari, we flew back to Cape Town, and I had to spend several days in a hotel to make sure that I did not have COVID. Every expedition member who tested negative for COVID got to board a bus that took us from the hotel to the dockside to board the JOIDES Resolution.

How did I feel when I tried this way of getting around?:

I have always enjoyed flying. It is an incredible feeling to soar higher than the mightiest birds and above the highest mountains. I never take for granted such unique opportunities to see Mother Nature at her best. Just imagine: As recently as 100 years ago, the mightiest king or most ruthless emperor could not trade their kingdoms or empires for the kinds of sights that present-day travelers get to enjoy every time we take flight in a plane.

The view from the plane allows me to look down on our planet from miles away. I always try to get a window seat as it provides a front-row seat to the beauty of Mother Earth. In fact, I like to play a little game when the plane takes off so I can get into the thrill of lifting off the ground. Want to play it with me? Here's how it works. I try to imagine what someone who lived before plane flights would say and feel. One of my favorite heroes is Leonardo da Vinci, the great inventor, creator, and artist of the Renaissance.