Lessons and Highlights of 2013

Thoughts

Goodbye 2013, HELLO 2014!

What an unforgettable year 2013 was… it felt like so much was packed into those little 12 months. 2013 year was filled with risks and opportunities of a lifetime. Through all the experiences I had this year, nothing is more precious than the people around you who have proved that they support you 110% in life. I want to personally thank everyone who supported all my crazy life adventures in 2013. Whether you simply liked a Facebook Page, donated money to help get my to Malaysia for Miss Scuba International, sent a personal inspirational note to my inbox, or just verbally wished me luck on my ventures – I honestly couldn’t have gotten this far in life without you. Two words that sums up 2013: Thankful and Grateful.

I’d love to hear from you – please comment below: How was your 2013 year? What did you learn? What were some highlights?

LESSONS LEARNED:

I learned that taking risks has its advantages.
I learned that a good friend will always come back to you in the end.
I learned that being a vegetarian was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I learned that juicing is a delicious and an exciting new addition to my healthy/fit lifestyle.
I learned that life is short, and there’s no reason to not do something you want to do.
I learned that being confident in your own skin shines brighter than anything else.
I learned that being in a beauty pageant is exhausting work.
I learned that doing hand-stands passes the time real well.
I learned how fortunate I am to have a strong, stable, and fantastic group of individuals who have my back with any wild and crazy venture I choose to take.
I learned that there are more nice people in the world then there are bad.
I learned that the worse thing someone can say when you ask them something is ‘no’ – so don’t be afraid to ask for something you want.
I learned that finding a pair of heels you can actually walk in comfortably – is like finding a needle in a haystack!

HIGHLIGHTS:

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New Years Goals for 2014

Thoughts

Two years ago, I started a tradition where I create 3 new goals/standards to live by instead of resolutions. I would rather create standards to uphold throughout the rest of my life than create a ‘resolution’ that would most likely not last the entire year. My 2013 goals were:

Visit the ocean at least once a month

Keep open and honest communication in relationships from the get-go

Volunteer for a new organization

This past year was one for the record books. I’ll describe that in the next post about my highlights/lessons from 2013. The ‘visiting the ocean at least once a month’ was a great goal – I did find myself in situations where it was the last day of the month and I still hadn’t visited the ocean yet. So I would make it a point to go out to the sea and do a morning run/workout along the strand. My new friendships and relationships this past year started off with honesty and open communication – which was very helpful when weeding out the people in my life who were not worth while. NOW – it’s time to create 3 more.

1) Travel to a new country each year – This past year I was lucky enough to travel to China and Malaysia – both of which I had never been to before. I think it’s a beneficial goal to travel the globe. I yearn for adventure and experiencing new cultures.

Monkey

Credit: Chanel Hason | Location: Mabul, Malaysia

2) Write a random post card or letter once a month to a friend/loved one – I’m very old-fashioned in that I LOVE getting actual snail mail. Move aside email, social media, and texting – let’s release that ballpoint pen on paper, stamp it, and stick it in the mailbox. If you’re lucky..you might get one from me REAL soon!

Credit: WWF

Credit: WWF

3)  Read at least one new book every 6 months – I am not much of a (consistent) book person. If I have time in a day (which is rare), it is usually right before I go to bed in which I don’t want to strain my eyes by reading. What tends to happen is that I start a book – get busy – and never finish it. So this goal will help me put aside time and dedicate it to escaping reality and indulging in good book 🙂 Any suggestions??

Credit: TalkAndroid.com

Credit: TalkAndroid.com

Cheers to a new year filled with adventure!

What are your resolutions/goals for 2014?

Photography + Science = Chanel | 2013 Summary

Photography, Science, Thoughts

looking glass

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I AM Scuba Miss USA!

Thoughts

instagrammissscuba
BIG NEWS!

After the Best Jobs in the World Contest, I got approached by a wonderful woman by the name of Ashlee Smith on Facebook. She informed me that she was the 2nd Runner Up in the 2012 Miss Scuba International Pageant, and that I would be a great representative for the USA this year. At first I was like, “Wait a minute..how did I not know of this amazing contest before?!” Well, after some research I learned that this pageant began in 2011. But, the basis of this pageant is right up my ocean conservation alley!

I turned in my application, and soon found out that I was a top contender to represent the USA in the Miss Scuba International Pageant. I was actually chatting with a long time friend today about this whole experience, and he said:

Well, I know you’ve been laying down the bricks for something like this for a long, long, LONG time. If you ask me, you’ve created this path yourself. Things happen for a reason, and this is proof you’ve been on the right path all along. Super stoked for you.
I really took this comment to heart. My whole life has been dedicated to learning and continually falling in love with the ocean. I am meant to educate as many people as possible about protecting our planet. The Miss Scuba International Pageant is made for me.

Please feel free to review the history of the Miss Scuba International Pageant as stated on their website:

The Miss Scuba International pageant was held for the very first time in 2011. There has been many a beauty pageant held in the past, many embracing great causes, however none yet have focused on our oceans. Life on Earth as we know it today began with our oceans. Thus, we decided that it is time that an event such as this is produced to celebrate, not only, the inner beauty and courage of today’s modern women, but also to simultaneously advocate worldwide marine conservation.

The Miss Scuba International Organization is founded by Mr Robert Lo who is also the proprietor of the Sipadan Mabul Resort (SMART) and Mabul Water Bungalows, and as such is a strong believer in sustainable development within the realms of our marine environment. He hopes that by sharing the beauty and wonders of the underwater world via beauty queens, it will enable more people to understand how fragile our oceans are and how much more we all need to play our individual little roles to make a big difference in protecting it.

The winning delegate of the Miss Scuba International competition will undertake a year of ocean conservation campaigns to educate and inspire the desire in all of us to do our best to safeguard our oceans. The pageant will also offer her a unique and comprehensive platform to launch her career and personal development.

Additionally, we also aim to promote safe diving practices through worldwide professional training organizations, and elevate international tourism and cultural appreciation. As people travel to far off destinations to dive, they also learn to appreciate the cultural diversity that makes our world such an interesting tapestry.

Low and behold – I was chosen as SCUBA MISS USA 2013!!! I definitely did a little dance of joy and happiness after I got off that faithful phone call. I can’t express how honored and overwhelmed with compassion to represent my amazing country.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

I am going to Malaysia for 2 weeks in December to compete in the Miss Scuba International Pageant. I never thought I’d participate in a beauty pageant before.. But to be honest, I view this pageant as something so much more. The MSI is sponsored by some big names in the marine conservation, tourism, and diving industries. As many of you know from reading my blog over the years, my passion is marine conservation and photography. I am hoping to gain some valuable connections within the marine conservation industry, and to of course just soak in this amazing once in a lifetime experience!

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Although my accommodation while visiting Malaysia is covered, I am personally responsible for my roundtrip airfare (~$2000), plus all of my clothing/accessories needed for the pageant ($1000+). It sure does add up… which is why I am asking for help from all you kind-hearted individuals out there who recognize and appreciate passion when you see it.

I’ve raised almost $1000 so far from so many generous kind people in my life, and even some individuals I don’t even know personally. If you believe in marine conservation, ecotourism, women in science, and environmental education – please donate anything you have to spare :

Chanel’s PayPal Donation page

(Photo: Nicole Strack Photography)

(Photo: Nicole Strack Photography)

 

 Also, please visit my Scuba Miss USA FACEBOOK page and ‘like’ it! I can’t wait to share this amazing adventure with you all!

New Years Goals for 2013

Thoughts

Last year, I started a tradition where I create 3 new goals/standards to live by instead of resolutions. I would rather create standards to uphold throughout the rest of my life than create a ‘resolution’ that would most likely not last the entire year. My 2012 goals were as follows:

 Surround myself with  more positive people- and less with negative ones

Draw More

Cook More

I can honestly say that I did fulfill all these goal successfully this past year, and will continue to do so from now on. I love the people who are a consistent positive influence in my life. I have fresh white sheets of paper waiting for a drawing masterpiece to unfold upon it soon. My kitchen is stocked with new appliances, spices, and food to concoct delicious meals with! I hope all of you

As for 2013, here’s want I want to add to my life standards:

1) Visit the ocean at least once a month– Salt water really does run through my veins, and when I don’t see the ocean, I feel like a piece of me is slowing dying. I seem to get so wrapped up with work and life sometimes, that I forget to fulfill the void in my heart for way too long. Just seeing the vast open sea, hearing the waves crash ever so consistently along the seashore, and smelling salt water in the air puts me in a safe place.

Hawaii Relaxing

2) Keep open, honest, communication in relationships from the get-go – This past year I listened to a relationship expert and her views of how men and women differ completely when it comes to dating and relationships. It seems that it’s so hard for people to be open and honest from the start of a relationship because they don’t want to scare someone off. Well, wouldn’t you want to scare them off at the beginning than find out after 2 years you both don’t want the same thing? Nip it in the butt from the start! Save time and energy for both parties.

Boat Ride

3) Volunteer for a new organization –  Life is all about giving. This past year, I got very involved with volunteering for a range of new different organizations in my local community. I’d love to continue this trend for the rest of my life. If I can also accumulate my friends and family to jump on the same goal bandwagon, it would only lead to more wonderful things.

Pasadena Jaycees Operation Santa

I wish you all a fantastic new year full of adventure, love, and inspiration.

Do you have any resolutions/goals for 2013?