Don’t Forget To Breath
Continuing with BootsnAll.com and their 3o Days of Indie Travel Project. I present you with Day 6…. FEAR!!!!
Prompt #6: FEAR
Just as travel can be fun and exciting, it can also have its challenging, or even downright scary, moments. Being in a new place pushes us out of our comfort zone and makes us face our fears. Tell about a time you had to face your fear when traveling, and what was the result.
I was born and raised on the beautiful tropical island of Maui. No matter what far corner of the world I am in when people hear this their faces light up with the same look of awe. This look of awe is almost always followed by the same questions. Do you surf? What is living in paradise like? Do you eat nothing but ahi poke? The answer that shocks the most people is that I DO NOT LIKE FISH!
I do not eat them and I do not like looking at them in the ocean. Snorkeling is not my thing. My heart starts beating in ankle deep water as the brightly colored beast swarm around me. This is not to say that I do not enjoy the ocean. In fact I love the ocean. I love the waves. The bigger the better. I love the mammals that live in the Pacific. Just not the slimy fish with there beady eyes and of course not the massive Tiger Sharks that have a tendency to take a small sample bite out of the passing human.
Yet somehow I found myself agreeing to go SCUBA diving while in Bali. As the day approached I was utterly confused about how I got myself into this situation. A friend has said we were going on a road trip and that in two days we would go diving on a shipwreck. It was almost as if I had no choice. He knew of my fears and I think in his own punk rock way he bullied me into facing them without me even realizing it.
When the morning of the big day came I was surprisingly calm. I just kept reminding myself that there was nothing in the Indonesian waters that could eat me, unlike at home. I tightly grabbed onto my guides arm and stuck my head under the water. My usual hyperventilating started but I talked myself down. I managed to go down to more than 3o feet and only freaked out a few times. I learned that as long as I did not look into the vast dark blue of the deeper waters and ignored the fish that appeared to be bigger than my own torso than I was okay. In fact I enjoyed it and felt so accomplished that when we cam up from the dive I agreed to go on a second dive later that day.
I am not sure if I will ever go SCUBA diving again but knowing that I was able to overcome that fear if only for one afternoon made me feel great. It was more rewarding than other adrenian rushes I have survived, like white water rafting over a 21ft waterfall. This was a personal fear that I have dealt with my whole life.
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