Once upon a time, a ten-year-old girl moved into a new house in San Francisco and received three boxes of hand-me-downs from an older cousin. Rather than the usual hand-me-downs of sweaters and pants, she was given three incredibly heavy, filled-to-the-brim cardboard boxes stuffed full of old National Geographic magazines for kids. That girl didn’t care that the magazines were old and yellowing with torn edges and bent pages. She didn’t care that the articles were written from before she was born. She didn’t care that the people in the pictures wore funny clothes from the ’80s and that the “send-in-your-artwork” contests were long overdue. With a voracious appetite, she devoured articles on voyages to Antarctica, exploring the Serengeti, trekking through the Amazon, and even build-your-own-bathtub-boat races in Vancouver. She learned about Koko the Gorilla and her kitten All Ball, about pumpkin carving, sandcastle building, cow herding, and how zippers were made. When the girl finished her mountain of magazines, she would start again from the bottom of the pile and re-read everything all over.

It’s been almost fifteen years since then, and after moving a couple more times, those magazines now sit in the corner of my parents’ basement, gathering dust. Out of the hundreds of articles I read, I can honestly say I only remember one or two. But what I do remember is thinking, “I want to do this one day. I want to explore the safari, the jungle, the ocean; I want to see what these explorers see and do what they do”.

Therefore this blog is exactly that: it is me, checking off a bucket list I made when I was ten.