Amanda is a badass in all aspects of the word. She’s a travel addict, and has been to over 30 countries, where she has been cage-free shark diving, road tripped across the United States, stood on the top of Mauna Kea, jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, touched the ancient walls of Troy, got a rickshaw ride at Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival, and countless more stories to boot! She is also a member of the United States Air Force, and we are so inspired by her service and commitment to our country.
Her advice? “Do it. Don’t wait. Take the trip. See the sunrise. Jump out of that plane. The opportunity may never come again.”
As a traveler and adventure enthusiast, you have been to many amazing places! Where do you currently reside? What are your favorite adventure activities there?
I moved to Columbia, SC from Oahu in Mar 17 for work. I love being in nature and hiking, but I equally love exploring cities and culture. We’ve gone to Charleston, Savannah, and Atlanta so far and just started exploring those amazing cities, as well as our own. We hiked around Congaree National Park and have gone on runs around the city near the river, just checking out the amazing old homes and public parks.I’m used to hiking all over Hawaii, so I can’t wait to venture out more and see what the South has to offer. I have a list of at least 4 waterfalls I want to see and mountains I want to climb.
What are some of your favorite stories from your travels?
Stories are the best part about adventuring. I’ve almost gotten stuck on two mountains in HI (the hikes up there are pretty unofficial and can get pretty hairy). I’ve touched the walls of Troy (yes, the ancient city) and read to my friends from the Illiad (which was what it was written about). I’ve walked around in a Kimono in Kyoto during the Cherry Blossom festival and got a rickshaw ride around a bamboo garden while Japanese people took excessive amounts of photos of us. I’ve jumped out of a plane dressed as Captain America. I’ve seen the volcano in HI pouring lava into the ocean. I’ve stood on top of the highest mountain (Mauna Kea…Mt Everest is the tallest peak) and watch the sunset on top of the world and then saw the best star gazing on the planet. I’ve walked on Abbey road, I’ve cranked Guiness at the Guiness factory on St. Paddy’s day and I’ve kissed under the Eiffel Tower when it sparkles. I could tell you stories for days (if you want more, just ask….but 31 countries will do that to you).
We see you recently went on a cross-country road trip. How long did it take you? What were some of your favorite sights along the way?
YES! The cross-country road trip was so much fun! I wish I had more time. We spent 12 days going from coast to coast. My favorite sites along the way were Disneyland (I’m a kid at heart), Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend and route 66 (I got to stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona and there was even a girl (my Lord) in a flat bed Ford (I didn’t even know this was possible until I started researching our routes). I had no idea the SW part of the country (around Page, AZ) was so gorgeous. When we saw Antelope canyon, there were signs for the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon. I could have stayed there forever. I want to go back at least 5 more times to see all of it. After we stayed in Roswell (yes, it’s full of corny alien things), the legs of our drive got longer and less touristy, so by the end of it, we were ready to be out of the car.
How has adventure changed your life for the better? Do you have any advice for people who are interested in incorporating travel and adventure into their lives?
Adventuring makes me feel alive. I love getting out of my comfort zone (please note: cage free shark dive) and going beyond my limits. I love the thrill of experiencing something new (I don’t like repeating things, there is so much to see and experience why do it twice?) and expanding my horizon of understanding of the world. Adventuring and traveling teaches you more about yourself than books and getting to taste the food and see the sights is so much better than just reading about it. My advice for people wanting to travel and adventure is DO IT. Don’t wait. Take the trip. See the sunrise. Jump out of that plane. The opportunity may never come again and you don’t want to look back when you are 80 and wonder what it would be like to eat a French baguette in the streets of Paris people watching (it’s amazing). Traveling can be as inexpensive as a tent and a tank of gas. Hiking takes two legs (ok and some knowledge of where you are going and possibly a pass, but you know what I mean), but standing on top of a mountain having accomplished something and being reminded how small you are compared to the universe is priceless. Maybe you will hate it…but you will never know until you try and then you can find out what you truly don’t like (my food limits include fish with heads on them….I don’t like making eye contact with my food).
Where is your next adventure?
Well my next adventure is this weekend. I am going to go chasing those waterfalls I mentioned before. The big trip this year? Cuba hands down. I want to smoke a Cuban, while drinking a Cuba Libre on Cuban soil
Check out her blog: seekingbadassery.com
Follow her on Instagram: @iamamandajoy
At This Adventure Life we celebrate the lives and stories of the people who live life fearlessly. #livefearlessly