Koala’s, Camels, and Dragons, Oh My!

One of my friends recently told me that sometimes in this new homeschooling world their family – kids included – will read my blog. So I asked what they might be interested in reading about and they wanted to know about what animals I had seen. So, Addie and Cailin, here it is – a blog post all about animals! As a fun bonus on this adventure grab a map or a globe and find where I was in the world, and we are going to go all the way around the world!

I have been lucky enough to travel literally around the world and while traveling around the world I’ve been able to see and interact with a lot of different animals. While I’ve included some pictures on a bit of a highlight reel below, it doesn’t capture the wonder that comes with it. Seeing an eagle fly in the wild, watching a whale breech, or a kangaroo hop along with it’s baby in it’s pouch. The world is full of incredible creatures. A notable mention that is not pictured below was when I went swimming with dolphins in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of that onboard with me right now.

The other part that I don’t have pictures of are the times that you are onboard and look out the window and see whales in the distance or see dolphins playing in the waves from the ship. I was at the gym the other day, looked out the window and just that was happening – dolphins just jumping along having a wonderful day. Alright, are we ready? Here we go!

Riding a donkey in Santorini, Greece
The city of Santorini is up on a giant hill, to get up it you have three options: walk, take a little tram thing, or ride a donkey. I obviously opted for the donkey. While riding a donkey in itself isn’t that crazy it was certainly a memorable experience and it also showed how people from different cultures use animals. (Sorry the picture is blurry!)

Jurong Bird Park, Singapore, Singapore
When we were in Singapore last year I ended up on a completely random tour to a bird park. Do I have any long-standing interest in birds? Not at all! What I found though was an incredible day filled with the colors and sounds of these beautiful creatures!

Komodo Dragons, Komodo Island, Indonesia
These are not the fire breathing type of dragons and from what I know they have no relation to Mushu. They are actually a type of lizard that can grow to about 8 and a half feet long and weigh up to 200 pounds! They are massive and they are all over this island.
Fun fact: You can’t tour the island on your own – you have to go with a guide so that the dragons don’t attack you!

Sea Turtles on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
There are incredible fishes and coral reef (that will really cut your feet) along the Great Barrier Reef. However, when I was snorkeling and looked down below me and saw a giant sea turtle just cruising along it took my breath way. Even more crazy was that I was able to swim down to it and touch it. This particular day I went out to Fitzroy Island which is about a 45 minute boat ride away from the city of Cairns. To go swimming on the reef it is recommended that you wear a “stinger suit” which is what I am wearing and it protects you from jelly fish stings!

Kangaroo’s, Wallaby’s, Koala’s, Penguins, and Crocodiles of Australia
Australia is home to so many wonderful creatures as well as a whole bunch of snakes that are venomous and can kill you. Considering I have a slight fear of snakes I have put my focus more on seeing the more cuddly looking creatures of Australia – aside from that one time I pet a baby crocodile! A few years ago I was able to visit the Australia Zoo which is where I met a kangaroo and saw a kangaroo hop along with it’s baby (called a Joey) in it’s pouch. That same year Stuart and I were able to meet a koala in Cairns which is also where I pet the small crocodile. And, most recently I met a wallaby at Featherdale Wildlife Park outside of Sydney and saw the one species of penguin that is native to Australia, quite aptly called the Little Penguin, playing about.

The animals of Alaska: Whales, Bear, Eagles, Sea Otters, Seals, and Dungeness Crab!
Alaska is one of the most incredible places on earth. Not only do you have incredible scenery with mountains and glaciers, but you have all of these wonderful animals. And, while all the pictures below were from when I was on various tours you can also see whales as you are sailing along on the ship and I have seen more eagles than I can count while just walking around in port.

Eagles flying by Mount Roberts in Juneau, Alaska

Swimming with Stingrays and Lemon Sharks in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
In 2016 Stuart and I were lucky enough to go on a snorkeling tour in Bora Bora with stingrays and lemon sharks as well as all of the other incredible tropical fish. Lemon sharks will not attack you, but it was still a bit freaky to think that I was swimming with sharks. At one point the crew of the boat we were snorkeling off of gave us some little bits of bread to feed the fishes. Stuart had climbed out of the water and at one point I noticed I was surrounded by fish only to look up and see Stuart throwing the bread right by me! Lastly, I’m sorry I don’t have some stunning underwater pictures of the sharks and stingrays. Unfortunately I do not have an underwater camera, but am grateful for a friend that snapped this one of Stuart and I.

Riding Camels in Petra, Jordan
Petra, home of the search for the Holy Grail (and the inspiration for Stuart’s hat) and one of the seven wonders of the world.
We are walking along into the city and there are people everywhere trying to get you to ride a camel. I think this sounds like great fun so we negotiate $40 for two camels. Stuart at this point hadn’t ever ridden a horse and so while riding a camel is a bit like riding a horse (but you are up way higher) he hadn’t ever done that. What ensued was one of the best, most fun, and happiest memories of my travels and arguably the best $40 we’ve ever spent.


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2 thoughts on “Koala’s, Camels, and Dragons, Oh My!

  1. Wow Iris. Great job. Addie keeps saying “more, more”. Cailin says “impressive”. Both of us really appreciate the pictures and think little koala MacBeath is so cute. The map treasure hunt was cool.


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