Where to plan the next dive adventure? Always the big question – this time Roatan!

As the owner of my own small travel agency and it’s sole travel agent, I plan travel for myself and others to many different travel destinations around the world.  For myself, that usually involves diving.  I always have at least one group dive trip in the works for the future but this is always the big question.  Where to next?  Where is the next big dive adventure to be?  It’s part of the fun!

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Many of you don’t know how I came up with the name of my company, Sun Key Travel.  It’s very simple.  When I was planning a vacation, both before I started diving and after, a sunny warm location was a must.  You see, the sun was the key to where I wanted to go – so Sun Key Travel was born.  Above is a picture from my winter home in Lake Havasu City, AZ and one from Long Caye in Belize.  Totally different, but the sun is huge in both places.  Thus, a place I want to be!

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For a dive destination, fun critters to see is also of great importance.  I love the life underwater, both big and small.  I feel blessed to have been able to visit some of the spectacular places where these pictures were taken such as Bonaire and Oahu in the above photos.  I also, occasionally, revisit a destination with a group of divers that maybe hasn’t been to that destination or, like me, would like to go back.  I am in the planning stages of one of those now.  Roatan, Honduras will be the first place I return to for a third time.  It is beautiful, the diving is great and it is still a very affordable trip.  Sometimes that combination is hard to find.

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Roatan has is own specialness!  Creatures large and small underwater and on land.  Beautiful sunsets like the above picture, white sand beaches and warm water.  What’s not to like?  Depending on where you are, you may see monkeys, iguanas or blue crabs.  You will likely hear some pretty noisy birds too.   Roatan is one of the Bay Islands, off shore from the mainland of Honduras and it’s like you’re in another world.  There are other Bay Islands, like Utila, Guanaja and Cayos Cochinos that also have a diving story to tell.  For February, 2016, however, it will be all about revisiting Roatan!

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What’s on your scuba diving bucket list? Mine is very long…

I was just sitting here thinking that I have been pretty lucky to visit as many of my bucket list destinations as I have, so far.  Later this year, I will cross off another one.  In November, I will be diving Palau.  I feel really blessed to get to do that one.  There are a lot of sites I will probably not ever make it to that are high on the list.  Galapagos, Australia, Coco’s Island, The Socorros, Raja Ampat, the Solomon Islands,  Wakatobi, the Red Sea & Thailand are all on the list but they are all pretty expensive.  Will I get to all of them?  Not likely, unless the Powerball gods smile on me.  However, I will probably make it to some of them before I have to quit.

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The biggest challenge right now is finding an affordable and reasonable way to get there.  Especially for transpacific & transatlantic flights.  With diving, you have equipment.  With equipment, you have checked bags.  The days of 2 free checked bags are nearly over.  Many airlines charge for all checked bags to some destinations and only for the 2nd bag to others.  Recently, United and some others have raised a second bag fee to $100 each way!  That’s a pretty handsome profit for a small amount of handling.  Another thing I had never even given a thought to when flying, is what countries I am flying over?  After the recent Malaysia Air tragedy, it is certainly something to think about.  I can’t say any of this will ever keep me from going but it’s an eye-opener for sure!

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There are just so many really special places in the world for scuba divers and vacationers, I hope you get to visit many of your bucket list destinations!  I plan to keep at it until something makes me quit.  Diving is the passion of my life and I discovered it when I was already 45.  I love it as much now as I did when I first started.  Now if the airlines would just let us enjoy our sports and our vacations by making their bag fees reasonable and still make a profit without bankrupting its travelers in the process!

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