Where I’ve been/lived and how I got there…
Interactive map: http://map.leonslost.co.uk
Well as some of you know I’ve gone and done something silly… Signed up to Tough Mudder on the 12th July 2014.
Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, over 1 million participants, and more than $6 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.
The team has been formed!
The training has started!
Now to ask you guys for some donations! Tough Mudder is all about raising money for Help for Heroes and while I would love you guys & gals to donate out of the goodness of your own heart I’m going to throw some crazy incentives out there to watch me suffer even more!
£100 – I will (attempt) to have an epic (most likely terrible) handlebar moustache for the event.
£200 – MOHAWK! I will visit the on site mohawk station and get shaved!
£350 – Legs (below knee) waxed
… More to come as I think of stuff and everything will be filmed for your entertainment.
Just a quick post to fill in the gaps before starting afresh!
After coming back from all that fun in the sun over in Miami & Roatan I landed a IT contract for Deloitte in Birmingham for a few months. This got me enough money to shoot off to Canada on a 1 year working via in Sept 2013.
I spent the best part of 2.5 months in Toronto having fun & looking for work before landing a job as a Lift Operator at Blue Mountain, a ski resort in north Ontario… Summary: Good people, shit job, cold, no money, free ski pass, learnt to ski / snowboard.
In March 2013 I got offered an IT contract back at Eisai for 6+ months. Took it and here I am today.
This is an old draft that never got published but basically sums up my time between Oct 2011 and March 2012 when I was in Roatan doing my PADI DM & OSWI courses!
Sorry for not updating during my last stint out of the country… I don’t really have any excuses other than I never got round to it and with ‘working’ / diving 6 days a week it wasn’t highest on my priority list.
Location: Miami, USA
Accommodation: Hostel - Miami Beach International Travellers Hostel
Highlights: Ozzie Bar, Nikki Beach, Awesome Cuban sandwich’s!, HALLOWEEN!
Location: Roatan, Honduras
Accommodation: Intern House! <PHOTOS!>
Summary: I started my PADI Divemaster internship with Subway Watersports (6-8 week program to go from Advanced Open Water to Divemaster) which basically entailed working in the store 6 days a week, hauling tanks, helping guests and getting my dive numbers up while also doing my own training for Rescue Diver and Divemaster.
Highlights: Obviously the diving & fellow interns however we also had some amazing guests during our first month… An awesome couple who invited the whole team round to their rented house and cooked a massive Thanksgiving turkey dinner and also Eugene who joined us for a big party night in town and must of spent a small fortune keeping drinks in our hands for the entire night.
Location: Roatan. Honduras
Accommodation: Still at Intern House
Summary: Me and my dive buddy Mark finished our DM and both started working for the store the next day. Our days now involved either taking customers (mainly cruise shippers) diving, snorkelling trips, kayaking (while trying to come up with something to point out when there was nothing to see) or helping out with the interns.
Highlights: Passing all the required stuff for DM, starting work, Christmas (Thanks to the bosses Kim & Ed for putting on traditional English/Canadian spread) and New Years (drinking games, midnight skinny dipping in the ocean, hijacking local resort & still going at 7am)
Location: Roatan, Honduras & Miami, USA
Accommodation: Intern House > Miami Hostel > New House!
Summary: Beginning of the month involved more of the same from month before however I had now decided I wanted to continue my diving education and work towards my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor cert so I would be able to teach people to dive! woo!
I had to leave Honduras mid Jan to go on a visa run (tourist visa is only 3 months) so I decided to pop back to Miami for a couple weeks and use the opportunity to buy myself a full set of scuba gear from the states. Also got given a long list of things to buy from everyone at work as the selection on Roatan is a tad limited and quite pricey.
Sooooo 2 weeks in Miami doing more of the same from last time (party, sleep, beach, repeat) but also some shopping and relaxing.
Once I was back in Roatan I moved in with Mark into a house just down the road from the Intern House… it was nice having my own room and some space/quite to study in for the PADI OWSI which involves a lot more theory than DM did… Check out the photos <here>
At the end of the month I had a diving accident. 2 standard dives (1x 70ft Max 40min – 1hr Surface – 1x 55ft Max 45min) with 2 guests and another DM leading. Nothing strange about the dive, no fast accent or anything yet soon as I was back on the boat I was very dizzy & I couldn’t move my right arm or leg.
Summary of what happened: Put on O2, driven to local medical/chamber, 4 hours on O2, some random checks, no time in chamber, told I may have a hole in my heart (PFO – patent foramen ovale), had to fly to the mainland next day to get an ultrasound of my heart, put to sleep, tube down throat, woken up, told all OK, fly back to Roatan, back to work!
Location: Roatan, Honduras
Accommodation: House in Birck Bay
Summary: Stopped working now that I’m starting my OSWI with an awesome course director from Hawaii (Tim Palmer) – Lots of work, lots of theory, lots of training…. Good fun though!
An examiner came down from PADI USA to Roatan to test the groups from 4-5 of the shops on the island. It was a 2 day exam consisting of Confined Water, Open Water and class room demonstrations & teaching and also written exams…. quite nerve racking as if you failed you couldn’t retest until the examiner came back next month.
Everyone passed with flying colours and then big party afterwards!
Location: Roatan > Miami > Home
Accommodation: House in Brick Bay > Airports > Home!
Summary: After completing OSWI we continued to work towards Master Scuba Diver Trainer with our course director Tim. Again it was a lot of work as we were limited on time but overall good fun!
But alas it was time to head home… only problem was that the only cheap way I found was extremely long.
Sat 6am: Ferry from Roatan to Honduras mainland
Sat 10am: Coach from La Cebia to San Pedro Sula
Sat 4pm: Arrived at San Pedro Sula Airport… Time to get comfortable…
Sun 9am: Flight from San Pedro to Miami
Sun 1pm: Arrived at Miami International Airport
Sun 4pm: Flight from Miami to Dusseldorf, Germany.
Mon 7am: Arrived at Dusseldorf.
Mon 9:30am: Flight from Dusseldorf to London
Mon 10am: Arrived at London Gatwick Airport
Mon 12pm: Bus from London Gatwick to Birmingham
Mon 4pm: Train from Birmingham to Shrewsbury
Mon 6pm: Home, sweet, lovely, omg where is my bed, Home!
Wow its been what? 2.5 years since I’ve posted here… I’ve also found some unpublished drafts from the last bit of time so I’ll throw those up and then set a “Let’s start again!” post after them for future plans!
Rough draft: at work so no spell checking or pictures, will sort things out later. I also really shouldn’t of left this so long, it’s been a couple months now and I can’t really recall the order of things.
I will start by saying I failed… well I didn’t actually fail because I was never offically trying and you know what they say, don’t try can’t fail. What I’m talking about is the whole no flying thing. When I was in HCMC I noticed that I was rapidly running out of money and still had to get all the way down to KL for my flight home… the plan of bumming around Thailand for a month until the full moon party just wasn’t going to happen, in fact at this point I wasn’t even sure I could make it to KL and survive until the time of the flight.
The plan was to join the guys on a bus into Cambodia and then go across into Thailand and bangkok before heading down to the Islands… this was about the same price as a flight from HCMC to Bangkok but with the added cost of the Visa and the few extra days it would take it just didn’t look feasible with my remaining assets so I jumped on a plane to Bangkok and skipped Cambodia completly… not the end of the world as I do plan to go back as I missed out of Laos anyway.
Now up to 7 of us in the group (Jess, Rach, Izzy, Matt, Andrew, Julia & Myself) we hit the more backpackery / party town of Nha Trang just in time for the full moon party!
Start with the standard stuff: The hostel was alright, at first it was annoying as we booked in as 5 people but they split us into different rooms (different floors actually) but in the end wasn’t all bad. Me and Rach got a 4 bed room and a new room-mate who we adopted… Dickie!
So here’s what we got up in during our week(?) there.