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In dramatic narrative form, Phil Keoghan transports the reader from the Yucatan Jungle to the depths of an underwater cave to the top of an erupting volcano. But this is no armchair traveler book. It is an urgent call to action, inspiring and enabling people to overcome fear and seek out memorable experiences of their own. With his fresh and compelling N.O.W. philosophy, No Opportunity Wasted will help us all dream more freely and live more fully.
|Product dimensions:||6.46(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.73(d)|
About the Author
PHIL KEOGHAN is currently in his seventh season starring as host of the Emmy-winning CBS primetime series, The Amazing Race. Keoghan also stars in and produces the N.O.W. (No Opportunity Wasted) reality television series. He has been profiled in People magazine and TV Guide and has been featured repeatedly on Oprah.
WARREN BERGER is a longtime contributing editor at Wired magazine, and his writing also appears frequently in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, GQ, and Men's Journal.
Read an Excerpt
WHAT IS NO OPPORTUNITY WASTED?
I am underwater and in the dark, stranded somewhere deep in the bowels of a sunken ship that lies abandoned at the bottom of the sea. At the moment, I don't know which way is up or down. Inside a watery cavern that was once this ship's ballroom, my body is suspended sideways; the only thing that keeps me from free-floating is that I'm hanging on to the side of an anchored table by my fingertips. In the not-too-distant past, before this luxurious ship sank to the floor of the sea, this table was probably a spot where passengers shared cocktails and conversation. Must've been swell. But now it's just me, hanging on for dear life. I am beginning to wonder if this could be the end. I'm 19 years old. I try not to panic. If I get too excited, my breathing will become irregular, and this will cause more problems with the regulator on my scuba air tank (I've already sucked in a few mouthfuls of salty water). I'm painfully aware that I have a finite amount of air in that tank, and that every minute I stay here, clinging to the table, is another minute lost. Should I be using these precious minutes to try to swim my way out of here? Maybe. Except I have no idea where to go. The inside of this ship is a labyrinth-all watery passages of indistinguishable gray silt walls, everything looking the same in the darkness. I would get more lost trying to navigate that maze. So I'm just staying put for now, hoping that help is on the way. In the meantime, I'm alone with my thoughts. And they are not pleasant ones. For example, I am becoming extremely conscious, for the first time in years, of the claustrophobia I first felt years earlier, as a small boy. My mind flashes on an old image: the dark inside of a box, held over me by a couple of my young pals. They were just fooling around, but inside the box I was overcome with terror, flailing my arms against the cardboard until the boys let me out. Of course, everything was fine once the box was lifted; I laughed it off with everyone else. My current situation, unfortunately, is more worrisome. The mind races at times such as these. Mine is filled with not just memories and fears, but questions. First and foremost: How the hell did I ever get myself into this mess? The only answer-it's not a good one, I know- is that it's hard for a 19-year-old to resist an adventure, especially when it's part of his job. I'd just landed a dream gig working on a local New Zealand adventure TV show, and this happened to be one of my assignments: to dive down to where a sunken cruise ship lay abandoned, the waterlogged remains of a terrible accident 2 years earlier that had forced people in elegant evening attire to jump ship. Before this dive, I was giddy with anticipation. The 22,000-ton behemoth promised to be a kind of lost world, untouched and unseen by the public since the calamity had occurred. I was also undeniably nervous. I'd never done anything like this and wasn't sure how well I'd take to being underwater, in the dark, and in a confined space. To make matters worse, I wasn't qualified to do a dive like this, didn't have a safety line, and didn't even have proper light sources. None of this stopped me from strapping on scuba gear and diving right in, following close behind another diver from the salvage crew. We swam down 20, then 60, then 100 feet. Gradually, I caught sight of the massive ship, lodged on its starboard side in the ocean floor. It was breathtaking. I'd have been content to swim around studying the exterior of the shipwreck, but the diver I was following-one of the only people who'd been inside the sunken ship previously-quickly swam toward a small open porthole, lunged through it, and vanished into the ship. Without hesitating, I followed him down that hole. Soon we were gliding through the liquid corridors of the ship. It was dark, but with the light of our flashlight we glimpsed a strangely beautiful world, embalmed in a monochrome film of silt. We swam into the ship's ballroom, where much of the interior remained intact but was now turned sideways-including the tables and chairs still bolted to the floor and a crystal chandelier that swayed from what was once the ceiling. I noticed floating suitcases and wondered what was inside them. We were supposed to wait there in the ballroom for an underwater camera crew to join us. As we settled in to wait, my fellow diver signaled to switch our lights off to save battery power, and everything went pitch- black. Time passed as we bobbed silently in the cold and eerie darkness. The camera crew didn't show up. We weren't sure what to do. Should we look for the camera crew? Maybe they were lost. At that point, we made the mistake of splitting up-the other diver went off to look for the crew, while I stayed behind to see if they would show up. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was in a very vulnerable situation now: I had a limited air supply, and no idea where I was in this ship. I don't know how long I was alone like that. But I know that at a certain point in time, the aloneness, the uncertainty, the darkness, the quiet, and the claustrophobia all came together and had a powerful effect on me. For the first time in my life, I felt the grip of panic. Which brings me back to where I began this story: hanging on, and trying not to think too much. And yet I couldn't stop thinking...I thought of possibilities and scenarios, some hopeful and some bleak. I was riding a kind of emotional seesaw: One moment I was up high, reassuring myself that "it's okay, someone will show up soon, just stay calm." The next moment, I felt myself descending to the bottom of the seesaw, the dark side where reason gives way to panic, and where doubt ("How do you know anyone's coming back?") overrides faith. Gradually, the seesaw became unbalanced, with fear outweighing all else. And along with fear, what was slowly seeping into my mind was a feeling of regret. What if it did all end here- with me pathetically clinging to this little table (I can even imagine the absurd headline: "Man Drowns in Shipwreck-Two Years Later!"). What if I never got to do all the things I'd been planning to do-all those crazy things I'd dreamed about while growing up? If it's hard to say goodbye to the life you've lived, it's even harder to say goodbye to a life you have yet to live. But I was beginning to say that farewell-the seesaw was down for good, it seemed-when everything started to cloud up and dissolve. And what came next was...nothingness.