Malaysia · Travel

I Took The Plunge (And Loved It!)

I found myself in a motorboat, zooming what seemed like 100k’s per hour.

The waters of Tioman  were choppy that morning. Twenty minutes of holding on to the boat’s railings, felt like 20 hours. This was not my idea of fun. Was it just me or did the driver seem to be enjoying the fact that his eight passengers were getting wetter every 5 minutes?

Wearing a safety jacket, I held on to my rented snorkeling gear. Outside, the waves were high and menacing, and I wondered for the 50th time why I decided to get into the boat in first place.

Then after 15 minutes, the boat slowed down, and came to a complete stop near land. The snorkeling guide announced to the eight of us that we could snorkel here. I was lost. I had no idea how to snorkel. I did have swimming lessons when I was 10, but I had not jumped into a pool for more than a decade. How would I be able to snorkel, that too, without assistance?

I told the guide my dilemma and he explained how to use the snorkeling gear, but honestly, it hardly registered. My heart was pounding a 100 beats per minute. I was nervous. I wasn’t sure I could do it.

Just then, my inner conscience decided to speak up.

“You’re 40 this year. If you don’t do it now, when else will you do it?”

I climbed down the makeshift ladder and went into the blue-green water. It was one of the scariest moments, holding on to the railings of the boat, not wanting to let go as I had no idea how deep the water was. The guide gave me a float and I hung on to that for dear life. (Yes, I admit it!) Then he gave me a few more tips on using the gear….and asked me to give it a try.

Putting my head into the water for the first time for a surreal moment for me. The stillness, the coral reefs, the beautiful fish – and oh my goodness – it was extremely deep! I lasted 5 seconds before I put my head out again. Still, the few seconds was good enough for me to try again. I practiced breathing from the mouth again and went it again, having a much better look around. It was amazing, so lovely, a little scary yes, but so wonderful at the same time.

It struck me then, why people loved doing this. It was the best feeling in the world, and I didn’t even swim. I could understand why people would want to do this over and over again. It was one of the most tranquil moments of my life, in the underwater world. 1000 Bonus points for beautiful Mother Nature!

After 20 minutes of trying to be relaxed in the water, breathing and getting my head into the water again, I was happy with my attempt at snorkeling. Perhaps, I may even decide to go to the swimming pool and practice a little more with snorkeling gear, for next time. (Yes, there might be a next time!)

From one water scaredy–cat to another, there’s only one thing I will say. Take the plunge. Get off boat and jump into a brand new adventure. Trust me, you will thank yourself for it.


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