Growing up, my family never traveled outside of the United States, but that isn’t to say my family didn’t travel. My family went on so many road trips across the country during my childhood, so while I didn’t get any exposure of other countries, I learned a lot about my own.
Due to the nature of a job that I’ve had in the past and how many different states I’ve lived in since I turned 18 years old, I have seen more than half of the U.S.. I’ve been lucky enough to see 36 of our 50 states. Growing up, I gained this mentality that I didn’t want to explore other countries until I had the chance to learn and experience all of my own. Silly, I know. I shattered that old mentality of mine in April of 2018 when my boyfriend and I traveled to Central America.
This trip was life changing for me in many ways, but one stands out as the biggest. I was able to overcome my fear of the ocean. Yeah, I said fear of the ocean. I grew up 45 minutes from the Pacific Ocean and my mom grew up a beach baby, yet I was terrified of the ocean. Even as a kid, I refused to go in the water and preferred picking up shells along the sand. As a 24 year old, I still hadn’t gone deeper than my knees in the ocean. I had a huge phobia of flying over the ocean or being on a boat in the ocean.
All of this changed though as we hopped on a plane and flew to Roatán, Honduras. I was scared of being over the ocean, as well as being scared of landing on an island. Not only were we flying to this island, we were also taking a ferry to another smaller island 30-45 minutes away, Útila, Honduras. So, there I went conquering 2 fears within a 24 hour period.
That’s not all though. I did mention I had never been in the ocean past my knees didn’t I? Well, my boyfriend convinced me to take a beginners scuba diving course and become a certified scuba diver. Crazy right? You bet!
My first time full body in the ocean was a 200m out and back swim to another dock off the scuba centers dock. I looked at my instructor with wild eyes when he told me to hop in and do it and said “Have I mentioned that I’ve never been in past my knees?” He quickly got ahold of my dive master and had him swim with me so I would feel safe.
Once that was done, I felt better but still really anxious about the whole breathing under water thing. Guess what?! It turns out I feel much better underneath the water than I do on land!!! Shocking right? It was so peaceful under the water. My anxious mind slipped away, and I just concentrated on my breathing and all the beautiful sea life around me.
I never thought I’d enjoy scuba diving. I never thought I’d enjoy being in the ocean. I spent my entire life terrified of it, but now I can’t wait to go on our next diving adventure!!