Yes, I am leaving Reunion. For those of you who haven’t been following me on Facebook, I have been sailing around the world by crewing or Global HitchHiking, on other people’s boats. Since May, I have been on Prince Diamond with Brian Domander and Carol Letman and thus far we have sailed from Darwin, Australia to Reunion, stopping at Christmas Island, Cocos Keeling, Rodrigues, Mauritius, and now Reunion. Tomorrow we take off for Madagascar, stopping first at Ile Saint-Marie. We had planned to leave on Monday, the 24th, but in passing conversation with our next-door neighbor in the marina, found out that the swells will be 4-5 meters on Monday, which won’t be ideal for leaving the island. Leaving Reunion will be bittersweet for me. I’m ready to see Madagascar, but I will miss this little French island I have come to know a little more intimately than I thought I would.
It’s been a fantastic couple of months. I only intended to stay here a week or so, but we realized that we wouldn’t make it to Richard’s Bay, South Africa, in time for Brian and Carol, my shipmates, to make it home for Brian’s daughter’s wedding near Toronto. So, they asked if I would be willing to wait here in Reunion for them to go and return, a period of two months. At first I was a little disappointed, but then I started thinking about what a great opportunity it would be for me to focus on some things I needed to get done. Here are a few of them.
Studied for and passed my Comptia Security+ Exam!
I had spoken to a friend about some consulting opportunities, since my sailing kitty has started to get low. He mentioned that consulting in the Security area was pretty hot right now and he might have some work for me if I passed the Security+ exam, giving me a Security+ Certificate. I brought many of you along on that journey as it was a bit of a challenging endeavor for me. It has been 2 years since I have worked in the Computer Consulting industry.
After I began studying the materials, however, I started realizing I was already familiar with many of the topics covered since I have been doing Network Administration and Consulting work for the past 25 years. There were some specific topics that were a challenge for me to learn, mostly in the coding and cryptography arena, but in the end I was able to pass the exam and get the certificate. And I have already been given my first 100 hour project to cut my teeth on!
Took an online course!
One of my favorite people/blogs to follow is Tim Ferris and his blogs and podcasts. I was listening to this one in particular, which spawned a flurry of activity and learning and interest by me. I spent 90 minutes listening to this and probabaly another 100 hours following the suggestions and courses and reading materials from this single podcast. It caused me to follow Kevin Rose, who I have listened to a bit since then and he inspired me to download his free app, Zero, an app that helps you track your intermittent fasting, something I’d been hearing about for months now and am now using regularly. I’m almost afraid to listen to their podcasts now as every time I do, I learn so much and I spend a lot of hours trying out and exploring their suggestions. One of Kevin’s suggestions was this course:
It’s a free course on Coursera and couldn’t have been more timely for me. I graduated from BYU in 1993 and it’s been ages since I thought about what it takes to learn new things. It really helped me as I was studying for my Security+ exam. It also helped in my personal life as I started thinking about goals I set and making sure I set them around processes rather than products. I highly recommend taking this course to become more aware of how we learn and how to more learn more effectively.
Started a blog!
In my blog post, Adventures In Happiness, I detail how I was inspired by a facebook friend to start writing a blog again, particularly in conjunction with a couple of books I’m working on about my travels and one about Global Hitchhiking. So having a couple months of downtime was great to figure all of that out and get going on blogging again. I’m sure it hasn’t been as fun for you as it has been for me, but hopefully you’re enjoying it.
Another project fell into my lap!
An older customer of mine emailed me, needing help with one of their projects and I was able to spend 30 hours working on that project while I was here. This will also be a nice addition to my sailing kitty.
I got to know Le Port and Reunion!
Le Port, Reunion, is definitely not a town I would have chosen to stay in for 2 months in Reunion. There are many other cities in Reunion that have more to offer. But I’ve really enjoyed my time in the weekly farmer markets, my daily walks through the neighborhoods, and the beautiful scenery of small neighborhoods and beaches along the way. And the people here are quite beautiful as well, as they are throughout Reunion.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Reunion, yet, then you’re really missing out. Brush up on your French and come check out where much of France visits when they want to escape without having to change hemispheres. I had never heard of Reunion before this year, but it is a majestic place. Thanks to a wonderful friend of mine, we took a helicopter ride a few days ago and it blew me away as we traveled from the ocean-front airport, to a spouting volcano, through mind-blowing mountains and the amazing Trou de Fer. I took pictures of Trou de Fer from afar and then posted more information about it, but never imagined I would actually be able to fly into it via helicopter. Wow! So incredible. I apologize for the quality of video. I was in the middle back seat and was trying to take video around everybody else with my phone. I hope it gives the jist of how cool it really is.
And here are a few pics from the Helicopter Ride:
Here are some pics I took of Reunion, just this week. I’m looking forward to the pics I’ll be taking in Madagascar!