August 29, 2008

Adventure Club in Australia

Sue Hile of the Australian travel firm Adventurous has been reading Adventurous Women Blog and likes the idea of Adventure Clubs so much that she's decided to start her own. If you're going to be in Perth on September 5, hook up with Sue for the big launch of her Women's Adventure Club. Click here for more information.

August 27, 2008

Extreme Tree Climbing

Remember being a kid and climbing that big tree in the backyard and feeling like queen of the world because you could see into your neighbor's yard? Well, these days the trees are bigger, the climbing is higher and the views are MUCH better. Happily there are also ropes, safety harnesses, helmets and guides. TreeHugger has an article about extreme tree climbing and some links to get you and your adventurous friends headed to the woods.

Three sites mentioned in the article:

Tree Climbers International

Treetop Trekking in Ontario

Photo courtesy of Tree Climbers International

August 26, 2008

From the Blogs: Weird Fruit Fun

Treehugger has a nice article to introduce you to the pros (and cons) of some fruits from around the world: the creamy biriba, the famously stinky durian, the mangosteen (all the rage on food blogs), and the beautiful salmon berry.

SeriousEats has an article about the jackfruit, "the largest tree born fruit known to man." The jackfruit is said to be not only large but odoriferous -- though not as smelly as the durian.

Finally, SeriousEats also gives us a post on pulasans and rambutans. These red, spiky, hair fruits look a lot like toys my kids throw at each other. Said to be protected by vicious fire ants, fruit lovers think they're worth the effort.


updated 1/19/2012

August 25, 2008

Motorcycle Misadventures

I've been building a list of helpful links on the lower right side of this blog page. This resource is a work in progress but at the moment you'll find sites to help you with everything from getting your passport to finding a corn maze to locating the world's best fireworks or America's weirdest roadside attractions.
The newest link is for motorcycle lovers. Motorcycle Misadventures is a blog offering reviews, tips, news and everything else for women who want to hit the open road on two wheels.
Want to know more about getting your motorcycle license? Click here.

Photo courtesy of American Honda

August 22, 2008

Why We Need Adventure

Over at National Geographic Adventure Blog, Laurence Gonzales, the author of Everyday Survival and Deep Survival has posted #5 in his Deep Survival series. This article, entitled "How Hypersensitivity Can Save Your Life" makes some interesting points about new experiences and how they train your brain to help you survive (just don't let the crocodile story put you off).

"...When you go to the wilderness or an exotic land, what you’re implicitly saying is: Surprise me. Seeking novelty and surprise, doing what you’re not used to doing, is a prescription for triggering that ancient perceptual richness that helps us to live more fully."

Read the full article here.

updated 1/19/2012

August 21, 2008

Labyrinth Event in San Francisco

From Roberta Sautter, Veriditas

The Women's Dream Quest, will be held October 28-29, 2011 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. You get to spend the night IN the cathedral, which is very cool. Click here for more information.

Adventurous Woman: Anchor Leaves News Desk to Follow Her Dream

Kathy says goodbye to follow her dream
Local news anchor going to Indonesia to help Red Cross

Posted By Ben Benedict on

Kathy Mueller, following her own destiny, wrapped up 20 years in media this week to take the long walk to the other side of the table. She’s off to Banda Aceh, Indonesia where the 2004 tsunami hit hardest to work with the Red Cross as an information and community outreach delegate...

...Upon completing her five-year anchor commitment last fall she made the final decision to get into humanitarian aid and began making phone calls that got the people’s attention in Ottawa. She began studying French and took a course in international humanitarian law.

“I was doing what I could to be involved. I also applied to do a basic training course and the person in Indonesia at that time decided to go back to school. I’m not running off to save the world. It’s something that’s been stewing in my mind for a few years and it seems like the right time. I’ve gone as far as I can here and its time for a new challenge.”

Read the full story here.

August 20, 2008

Labyrinth: A Maze or Something More?

Some use the terms labyrinth and maze interchangeably but there are differences. A maze, like a corn maze, is a puzzle of multiple paths, dead ends and separate entrances and exits.

Looking at the picture above, you will notice that the labyrinth's winding pathway does not have dead ends and is not hidden by high walls. In fact, you can see the layout of the entire design at a single glance. Ultimately, where a maze is a fun way to lose yourself, a labyrinth can be a way to find what you have lost.

There is only one path in a labyrinth and it takes you to the center of the circuitous design. To exit, you must reverse your steps and the entrance becomes the exit. A walker who allows her mind to become peaceful as she travels the labyrinth's path will experience an inner adventure. According to, "...there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning when you follow the return path back out of the labyrinth. Symbolically, and sometimes actually, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received. "

Dating back as far as 5,000 years, labyrinths are found around the globe in many cultures and many spiritual traditions. To find a labyrinth near you, use VeriditasWorld-wide labyrinth locator.

If you are housebound or you need a break at the office, try a virtual labyrinth walk. Labyrinth Online offers two virtual options. The first is modeled after the famous design found in France's Chartres Cathedral. You can “walk” this labyrinth by visually following the ball along the path. The second, classical labyrinth, offers a shorter virtual walk.

Photo credit: Roberta Sautter, Veriditas
updated 1/19/2012

August 18, 2008

Get Lost in a Corn Maze

If you've never been lost in a corn maze you've missed out on the most fun a corn crop can offer. Farmers around the world have been strategically removing stalks to form miles of twisting mystery on the ground and fabulous pictures when viewed from above.
The mazes I have visited provide guests with "maps" (like that helps), a few clues along your route as well as communication areas and tall flags if you need assistance. Some have games and other entertainment to distract you along the way. This kind of fun is limited to late summer when the corn is high and usually lasts until late fall. Many add some spooky effects for Halloween.

To find a corn maze near you, check The Maze a corn maze company with over 330 member mazes worldwide. This is perfect for adventure groups!

August 15, 2008

Adventurous Woman: Adrienne So, Harnessing the Jiggle

Adrienne So isn't all that fond of her breasts, she figures that they're only useful for a few years and then they're just a nuisance. In a burst of creativity, Ms. So decided that there had to be a way to put her "girls" to better use and the concept of powering an iPod by harnessing the jiggle was born.

"As I rode public transportation to the office, my messenger bag slung uncomfortably across my chest, I thought, "Why not put the girls to work?" Human-powered devices are showing up everywhere, from Rotterdam's sustainable dance floor to human-powered gyms in Hong Kong. The time seemed perfect—perhaps even overdue!—for a bra that could harness the untapped power of breast motion.

The idea of an energy-generating bra isn't as crazy as it might sound. A company called Triumph International Japan recently unveiled a solar-powered bra that supposedly will generate enough energy to power an iPod. But I live in foggy San Francisco and prefer not to walk around in my underwear in public. Could someone design an iPod-powering bra for me?"
Read the entire story here.
Posted on "Slate"
By Adrienne So

Running Books

You've decided to spend the next months training for a marathon or a 1/2 marathon....Ok, you've decided to run to Starbucks and back. You've read the inspirational article at Zen Habits, you've got a pack of friends to keep you motivated. What more do you need? How about advice from a running coach? There are loads of books out there but here are two authors that are worth investigating:
First, try Maria's favorite running guru, Jeff Galloway. He's written a variety of books for all kinds of distances. Click here for books to help you run that marathon, 1/2 marathon, or just start down the road to Starbucks.

Another terrific author with a different take on long distance running is Danny Dreyer author of ChiRunning. The book and his ChiRunning technique are based on elements of tai chi that he believes allow runners to use with their bodies' natural movements to run longer distances without injury.

If you like Dryer's approach but still aren't sold on the whole running thing you might want to check out Chi Walking.

updated 1/18/2012

August 13, 2008

Yes, You Can! Start Running

You have the desire to start a new running habit but a little extra motivation would be helpful. Zen Habits has a lot of great articles on improving your life. This particular essay will help bring out your inner runner: "How to Go from Sedentary to Running in Five Steps"

August 11, 2008

Start Running

I have always disliked running. In junior high, when we had to run to qualify for the President's Council on Physical Fitness award, I always got a cramp. In high school, I just avoided the whole thing by taking bowling and archery and golf.

So, you can imagine my thoughts when my walking partner suddenly started looking amazingly fit and, when pressed, she admitted that after our nightly 3-mile walk she went on to RUN a couple more miles. I was disgusted but after thinking about it (for a month or so) I decided that maybe I should give running another chance.

I was not (am not) a natural runner. I started by running the distance of two street lights and then walking one. There were an alarming number of body parts that jiggled uncomfortably. Nevertheless, after a few weeks I could run whole BLOCKS at a time and my body jiggle had improved. After three months I could run three miles.

I'm not going to lie to you and say that I LOVE running. I have yet to hit that "zone" where running is bliss. (Marathoner Maria tells me that I just don't run far enough.) But I will admit that I'm in much better physical shape and that running helps psychologically too. If I don't run for a few days, I feel the stress build-up that only a nice run with my little running group can alleviate.

If YOU are ready to pick up a new healthy habit, I have two suggestions:

First, start slowly. Who cares if you only run a couple of blocks for the first month(s)? Starting slowly will give you a nice sense of accomplishment and it won't be so unpleasant that you avoid doing it all together. When you're comfortable, you'll naturally start extending your run.

Second, start with friends. It's hard to avoid running when your running group is standing on your driveway. It's also a pleasant way to divert your attention from your body and breathing to a friendly conversation. The perfect thing for an adventure club!

(By the way, the two cool characters above are my running companions after the Komen Run 5k. I'm the beet-faced one in the middle.)
1/13/09: This post is featured in the outdoor literary magazine, In The Mist, volume 2.1.

August 9, 2008

Adventurous Woman: Evelyn Carlson Pilot Extraordinaire

Evelyn Carlson, an outstanding pilot, instructor, university professor and nurse has a story worth reading check it out here at Baby Boomer Blog.

August 8, 2008

Adventurous Woman: Marathon!

My friend, Maria, decided she wanted to run the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall of 2007. She had never done a marathon before and spent many, many months training for the event. This is her story:

AWB: When did you start running?I always enjoyed being active. My main mode of exercise was tennis starting in high school and continuing until my 20’s. My inspiration for running came from my father. He started running when it wasn’t the “thing to do” but I would watch him get up every morning and run 1 mile at our local high school track before going to work. I admired this in him and tried to emulate this in my life. I started running in college, although, it was painful and something I did not enjoy. In fact, I wasn’t very consistent. I couldn’t run more than 2 miles. I remember coming home for a weekend, from college and asked my dad if we could run together. We went out and I huffed and puffed my way to the 2 mile mark. He just smiled at me and encouraged me to keep at it. There was something inside of me that kept bringing me back to run. Over the next 20 years, as I concentrated on my family and my job, I “took a break from the whole concept of running.”

AWB: What made you want to do a marathon?
Three years before my oldest daughter was to move out of our home, I was at a Christmas party and was talking to an avid runner. This man ran in 100 mile events and I was very intrigued with the conversation. I made some comment to the effect that, when my daughter moves out I would love to train for a marathon. The words came out, but I never shared them with any other person other than my father, not even my husband. Somewhere inside I had this voice that kept bringing me back to running. About 1 year later, a young woman I work with—age 25, began training for a marathon. I overheard her talking to other staff saying that she was never athletic but had adopted the method of Jeff Galloway. His method entails running 4 minutes and walking 1 minute throughout. At this time I was 47 talking to this 25 year old. But, within the next year I learned of 3 women my age who trained and successfully ran marathons.

I have 3 children, but once my oldest daughter, who has a disability, moved out of our home, I started to re-evaluate my role in life. I was her primary caretaker and she required a lot of attention and supervision. Any hobby or activity that required a commitment was out of the question while she was in our care, so when she left, I had this huge void in my life. I had 2 younger children, but they too were more independent. I began asking myself certain questions. How are you going to spend your time? What are some things you would like to accomplish in your lifetime

AWB: What training technique did you use?I developed a nice friendship with a co-worker and we decided to run 1 day a week after work. We started with 1 mile and I suggested we try the Galloway method. I can remember our feeling of triumph when we went from 1 to 5 miles. We were very methodical. After weeks turned into months, we found ourselves running 8 miles. I finally said, why don’t we try a 10K race at the next Marine Corps Marathon. (At this point I was not focused or thinking of a marathon). So that’s what we did. The day of the 10K is the day I decided I would run a marathon the following year. I remember standing at the starting line amongst throngs of runners and thousands of spectators –what a thrill. I remember looking around and seeing all of these people coming out to cheer for us.

The critical moment came when I looked to the right, and saw another huge line. One simple thin rope separated the 10K runners from the marathon runners. I looked and saw myself in so many of those people. I turned to my friend and said, “We can do this. Let’s run a marathon next year.” Shortly after this I said the words out loud to my husband.

Shortly after that we joined a training group. This is very important and something I highly suggest for running a marathon. This particular group adopts the Galloway method and it’s free. They are called the Bethesda Rebel Runners. They meet every Saturday in Bethesda, Maryland and anyone interested is encouraged to join. (They can be found on yahoo groups.)

AWB: How did you keep yourself motivated during the training and during the marathon itself?Once we joined the group, motivation was not an issue. I can’t stress enough how wonderful it was to be involved with the group. The members were so friendly and supportive. Each Saturday we met in a circle and the more experienced runners supported the “babies.” I was in awe to learn how many women ran 10 plus marathons, and traveled all over the world running marathons. The members were from all walks of life, and getting acquainted while running and sharing all sorts of stories, took the pain out of the runs. As you may know, running stimulates endorphin production, so it gives you a feeling of well-being. We would also run all over the Washington, DC-Virginia area. Ten miles took us to the National Zoo; 16 miles took us to Reagan National Airport. I never thought I would run from MD to DC to VA. I took in the beauty of our nation’s capital and met wonderful people along the way. After each run on Saturday, I would call my father, as I drove home, to tell him how far we ran and how I felt. He was so encouraging and excited for me. I know if he had the opportunity, this would have been something he would have wanted to do himself. Several weeks before the marathon, my father passed away. This was a huge loss to me. I especially missed those “after run” conversations. But on marathon day, I felt him right there with me, and I thought of him and my family as I crossed that finish line. The next best thing of crossing that line was to see the faces of my family and how excited they were for me.

This group prepared me for the marathon. Physical training was one piece of the equation. I was physically prepared for the marathon. Hydration, diet, dealing with heat, cold, and rain, timing, and what to carry on your person as you are running all come in to play. We discussed mentality throughout, especially toward the end. Each week I learned something new as part of the preparation, and with that built confidence that I was actually going to do this.

AWB: Do you have any advice for women who would like to run a marathon?
For me, this was a personal and spiritual journey, as well as a physical feat. I wasn’t competing with anyone but myself. You have to really want to do this. It is a commitment of time—so make sure the time is right for you. I ran amongst young mothers, single career women and older women in their 60s who still come and look adorable in their running skirts.

AWB: What’s your next big adventure?I am still running with the group, but not training for any races. I love to run and enjoy my running friends, but I want the flexibility to go away during the weekends. Running is a hobby, and I can see myself doing this for many years. I may or may not run more races. This past Christmas my husband and I received tennis rackets from my second daughter—and so after many, many years of not playing, we are back on the courts. I am not sure what my next big adventure will be, but I am very open to listen to that little voice inside to see what it says.

August 7, 2008

Get a Passport Card for Your Wallet

NEW!! In 2008, the government started producing a passport CARD that will fit in your wallet. The card will help at land and sea ports when entering from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. However, the card can’t be used for air travel. If you already have a passport you can apply for the card as a renewal and pay $30. If you don’t have a passport, a card will cost you $55 if you’re an adult and $40 for your children.

NOTE: As of June 1, 2009 you’ll need a passport or a passport card for border crossings into Canada and Mexico.

Updated 1/18/2012

August 6, 2008

Get Your Passport

You dream of international travel but you’ve never left the country. You went overseas in college but that was so long ago your passport has long since expired. What to do? Make today the start of your next big adventure—get yourself a lovely navy blue booklet that proves your citizenship and your identity. Get your passport!

For first timers, the passport home page, will tell you how to apply and what documentation you'll need.  Already have a passport but need to renew? The link will tell you about processing fees and application processing times.

NOTE: As of June 1, 2009 you’ll need a passport or a passport card for border crossings into Canada and Mexico.

Updated 1/18/2012

August 4, 2008

Countdown to the Olympics: A New Perspective

Sure everyone is going to watch the Olympics but did you ever want to see the same event from a completely different point of view? This summer you can follow the games through the eyes of Americans, Australians, the British, the Canadians and the Chinese by clicking on the links below:

From the American perspective (NBC)

From the Australian perspective (Austrialian Broadcasting Company)

Olympic news from the British perspective (the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC)

The Canadian perspective (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC)

From the Chinese perspective (China Central Television, CCTV)

August 2, 2008

A List of Adventure Suggestions for a New Adventure Group

If you're thinking of starting an adventure group and aren't sure how to find adventures, I have two suggestions. First, ask your members what they've always wanted to try. Second, print out this post.

What follows is a small part of my adventure club's Master List of Adventure Possibilities. It's very eclectic because our membership is quite diverse. It doesn't hurt that all the ideas are from "anonymous." I'll never tell who wants to learn to pole dance!


Guided kayak trip
Nature hike
Bike trip
Day trip on motorcycles
The Bahamas
Downhill skiing
Corn Maze
Cross country skiing
Jet skiing
Helicopter ride
Hot air balloon ride
Hang gliding
Sky diving
White water rafting
River tubing
Snow tubing
Ice skating
Deep sea fishing
Swim with the dolphins
Horseback riding
Play paintball
Play laser tag
Ropes courses
Rock climbing
To the race track
Attend different religious ceremonies
Go to a hypnotist for past life regression
See a psychic
Tea at the Four Seasons
Film Festival
Street Painting Festival (participate!)

Wine Tasting
Behind the scenes at the zoo
Haunted tour

TEAMS:Team: Softball
Team: Soccer
Dragon Boat

Relay for Life
Avon Breast Cancer Walk
Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
Do secret good deeds at night

LEARN:Bartending lessons
Scuba diving lessons
Theatre workshop
Cooking class
Watercolor workshop
Flower arranging
Learn to give a massage
All the Las Vegas games
How to be a Black Jack dealer
Tai chi
fly on the trapeze
Run a ½ marathon
Car repair
Pool or Billiards

BODY:Brazilian Dance workshop
Pole Dancing
Belly dancing
Hula dancing

OTHER FUN STUFF:Watch the Wizard of Oz while listening to
Dark Side of the Moon

August 1, 2008

Countdown to the Olympics: "China Road"

How much do you really know about China? For most of us the world's largest country can be summed up with a few basic concepts: Communism, product recalls, and ancient Chinese secrets. In reality, China is an enormous place with a surprisingly wide variety of ethnic groups, beliefs, hopes and traditions.

In China Road, NPR's Rob Gifford travels the length of China's Route 312 -- their equivalent of our Route 66 -- from it's eastern origin in Shanghai to it's western end on the Kazakhstan border. In the course of covering 4,825 Kilometers (2,998 miles), Gifford introduces us to China's rich history, culture, and people. Interviewing everyone he meets (truck drivers, talk show hosts, prostitutes, Amway salesmen), he helps the reader build a new perspective into the country's past, present and future. I guarantee that after travelling with Rob, you'll never think of China the same way.