SNORKEL VENTURE CLIENT JANET ROBINSON SHARES HER VERY FIRST EXPERIENCE OF SNORKELING IN THE TROPICS OF INDONESIA.
When I told my family that I was going on a snorkeling adventure to Indonesia, they questioned my sanity.
‘Mom, are you sure about this?’ They said. ‘People like you don’t travel.’
They were right.
I had worked my entire life, raised three darling children and aside from two-week vacations with my family, I had never traveled before.
Having recently retired at the grand age of 65 I now have many years ahead of me to rest, enjoy and do all of those things I previously hadn’t had time to do. My one regret in life is that I had always wished that I had traveled more, I’d seen the most wonderful documentaries about the world’s oceans and fondly looked back on vacations to the Florida Keys where I’d been snorkeling many years ago.
One afternoon I was catching up with my daughter over coffee and we were talking about our calendar plans for the year ahead. She suggested that I should do something crazy this year, start a mid/late-life crisis which would surprise everyone who knew me.
‘Go on mom, go for it whatever you want to do!’. She said. ‘Surprise us!’.
Her words hit a chord and when I got home later, I started thinking more about a traveling adventure. I had my doubts as the thought of traveling alone filled me with dread, but I started researching on the internet and something caught my eye.
Six months later and I was checking into my flight, the destination – Bali in Indonesia.
Arriving into this foreign land had butterflies in my stomach. The humidity that hit me as I stepped off the plane and the instant kind and charming nature of airport staff dissolved the tiredness I felt from the long journey over. This was just the beginning of my exotic adventure.
A day later and I was wiggling my toes on a white sandy beach. Turquoise water gently lapping around my ankles and the warmth of the morning wind blew at my hair. I was in paradise.
I had arrived at the Komodo Resort in a far-flung part of eastern Indonesia, after checking into my charming beach bungalow (and a mint and lime mocktail later!) I headed to the resorts on-site dive center for my induction and briefing about the day to day running of my snorkeling trip.
I became acquainted with my snorkel guide who would be with me on each of my daily excursions. We examined detailed maps of the outlying islands and range of snorkel sites we would visit, gazing at flip charts brimming with a variety of marine life, all of which I would (hopefully) be seeing on my stay. I couldn’t believe I was doing this, but with excitement and trepidation, I jumped in.
Over the course of my week in Komodo, with the help and support of my guide, I experienced and did things I didn’t think possible. I learned that leaving your comfort zone is the BEST thing I could have done and should have done years ago.
Learning to snorkel properly had me gliding over a spectrum of color, encountering tropical fish I had ever imagined. I also gained a huge amount of confidence the more time I spent in the water, improving my technique and general fitness. Even towards the end of the vacation, I was taking part in yoga classes. Something my kids found hilarious.
‘Mom, doing yoga?’. They said with open jaws.
Now back at home I look back on my trip with the most wonderful of feelings. This might sound silly, but I firmly believe that my vacation has given me a new lease of life, I feel there are no boundaries, despite my age, for me to experience and see things I previously felt unimaginable.
The biggest problem I now have is having to wait to go on my next snorkeling adventure.