A highlight reel


The past week marks one full year that I have made the life-changing decision to leave my paradise home of Hawaii, and made the crazy move to the other side of the world in Saudi Arabia.  I am so happy I went outside of my comfort zone and ended up at KAUST, because it has been such an incredible experience.  I have met wonderful people, done awesome research, and been to some AMAZING countries. I just wanted to make a quick post highlighting some of the amazing things I have seen and done, so I can reflect and appreciate all of the planning that goes on behind the scenes.  In the past year I have been to 13 fabulous countries.  I have checked off some major bucketlist moments. I have gone on safari, bathed elephants, visited countless temples (Bali/Thailand), mosques (Oman, Saudi Arabia), and churches (Greece), cage dove with great white sharks, swam with whale sharks and manta rays, explored waterfalls, hiked, laughed, swam, dove, snorkeled, and adventured in so many incredible places. Here is a video I made highlighting some of these favorite memories.  In no way is the intention of this video to brag about all the places I have been, but to inspire you to go out of your comfort zone and take a risk. I have found that the hardest decisions have ended up having the largest positive impact and lasting impression in my life. I have no idea what I will do next year, but I can only hope that it will be half as amazing at what this year has brought.

Oman’s Grand Canyon, where we hiked with a tent and food and trekked along the canyon wall
Wadi Bani Khalid, Oman. We drove to the wrong wadi at first, but eventually found this gem.  It was incredible with amazing white canyon walls, a waterfall, and even little fish who ate the dead skin off our feet.  We followed some locals to show us the way.
Camped illegally on this beach (with permission of Salem to sleep in front of his house) but woke up in the middle of the night to see turtles nest and even hatchlings emerge!
The Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

Sandboarding on the dunes outside of Dubai.  We drove in an off-wheeler and “dune bashed” in the desert before watching a cultural show.
When we were hanging out on the beach and came across a camel!

Solo weekend trip to Jordan was incredible, my first time seeing ruins like this.
First views of Petra after a little hike
Trying to befriend some camels
Probably one of the best views/hikes on this entire planet.  This was one of the highlights of my whole life 🙂
Floating in the Dead Sea should be on everyone’s bucketlist.  I could not stop giggling to myself- the feeling of being so buoyant is CRAZY 
Found out I have a fear of baboons while I was in Bali
Karsa Spa in Ubud, Bali was the most relaxing and amazing day ever. I cannot wait to get back here!  
Took a local ferry to save money, it was delayed four hours, and the locals wouldn’t let me rent my own motorbike so I had to rely on one man to take me aroun the whole island be by tourguide
The coolest beach I have ever been to.  My tourguide said that this hike is too hard for girls- so I went ahead and did it (of course)
Had to find some tourists manta rays to get the boat driver to take me to these sculptures. Such an amazing day on the sea

Never would have thought I would learn Hawaiian in Saudi Arabia
Seeing THREE whale sharks in one weekend definitely was a highlight of my time here
Not to mention all my close encounters with manta rays!

Not my first safari, but seeing David’s excitement at all these elephants melted my heart. I love when people are stoked about nature!
Had an amazing time walking around the streets of Cape Town and eating a great vegan breakfast in Bo Kaap
My first time ever seeing penguins in the wild!  I was so happy look how cute they are!
Another “best moment of my life” was swimming with great white sharks!  Our boat lucked out and saw 7- which was a record for the year!!
Quick trip to Egypt for field work, but I loved the local stores and all the colors
Sunset in Santorini with David was such a special moment. Definitely add Greece to your bucketlist!
The famous Oia blue rooftops on Santorini was a dream!
Walking around temples in Bangkok, Thailand was so fun and so beautiful


  1. Lyndsey,

    The paragraph before the video was so inspiring and a tear jerker. It’s not about bragging but truly about great life experiences, beyond your wildest dreams, when you step out in faith outside your comfort zones!

    Thank you for inspiring words. Love you sweet, beautiful, inquisitive, brilliant, brave, articulate, driven, inspirational you.

    Love you,


    Mary E. Peterson 24 Garfield Street, Unit #5 Saco, Maine 04072 Cell: 207-939-2017 marypete333@icloud.com



  2. What an anamizing year you have had I am sure there has been a lot of hard work.Sure looks to me it has been a lot of fun also.Keep up living life to the fullest it fits you well.Thank you for sharing as close as in will ever get to any of these places.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s