Before skydiving was invented, there was just diving. If meeting whale sharks up close has never crossed your mind, but the idea is suddenly sounding quite spectacular – you’re in luck. To all adventurous spirits out there, here is where and when to plan your diving trip.
The Behemoths of the Deep
When we talk about the mysterious creatures of the deep ocean, whale sharks surely dominate the topic. These exceptional and solitude-loving giants typically reach 40 feet in length and can weigh up to 20 tons. You know, pretty much the size and length of your usual school bus…no big deal. Despite their five foot jaws and hundreds of sharp tiny teeth, these gentle creatures eat only small fish and plankton.
Mystery Is Their Middle Name
Beyond their anatomy and feeding habits, we still know little about these creatures of the deep. They appear seasonally in places like the Philippines, Mexico, Belize, and Australia, which makes it really difficult to predict where and when they will show up.
The Perfect Diving Spot
Although most diving spots to meet whale sharks are often cramped with tourists, there is one place that is still relatively secluded, and you can freely swim among these primordial giants. That’s in Indonesia’s Cenderawasih Bay. Located about 2,000 miles east of Jakarta and along the northern coast of West Papua, this protected area is Indonesia’s largest marine national park. Despite covering around 5,400 square miles, there are very few villages in the region.
Whale Sharks Bring Luck
The fishermen there have put out traditional floating platforms, bagans, that whale sharks have grown to recognize. In an area near the village of Kwatisore, where you will find one of the hotspots for diving with shale sharks, fishermen believe these sharks bring them luck since they keep other predators away from the bagans.
When planning your trip there, expect a series of short flights within Indonesia, and don’t forget to be respectful of this protected area.
Five 2020-Approved Christmas Vacation Road Trip Ideas for Families
2020 hasn’t been the finest of years, and you’re probably longing for a getaway trip with your family. Even though conventional air travel is still restricted and is widely discouraged, there are still ways to change up the scenery and do something fun with your loved ones. How about a road trip! These five ideas are all 2020-approved, so you can give them a chance without worrying about irresponsible travel.
1. Visit a Theme Park
Nothing says Christmas like going to a theme park and taking in all that festive energy. However, given the situation, it’s possible that many theme parks will be closed or work at limited capacity (like Walt Disney World in Florida) to ensure visitors’ safety and health. So, if that’s something you’d like to try, you need to plan in advance and book your tickets.
2. Get Off the Beaten Track
Some of the best trips are spontaneous, so why not make yours as remote as possible? Hop in the car, grab a map, pick a destination that is under the radar and not as touristy, and get driving! This type of road trip is not only safe for your family but also a responsible way to travel during a global pandemic.
3. Explore the Area Outside of Town
Living in a big city can often make you forget about the beauty outside of its borders. Why not go exploring on a road trip right outside of the city? For example, if you live in the Washington, DC area, you can take the three-hour drive to Chesapeake Bay and enjoy the beauty of the seemingly endless shoreline. Or, if you live in Chicago, you’ll love the hour-drive to Lake Forest, IL. There’s so much to see!
4. Combine Road Tripping With Hiking
Staying active is always a good idea and if the weather and your gear allow it, combining a road trip with hitting a trail is simply the best of both worlds. Make sure you have the necessary outdoor gear and hit the road!
5. The Ultimate Road Trip Experience: Rent a Camper
A road trip that involves a camper and a family is probably as 2020-approved as it can get. Plan to take more time off and if your kids are old enough, ask them to join in creating the itinerary. It will be a fun experience on and off the road! Plus, you won’t have to worry about accommodation, and you will have a place to cook your meals. A win-win!