The imperfect perfection of living abroad
So, here I am, two weeks away from leaving this amazing place I have come to call home. It feels like only yesterday that I quit my job, packed up my house and left my life behind to travel halfway across the world for this six month adventure.
This journey has been an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ve made new friends whom I know I will now have in my life forever; I’ve had experiences only offered to a select few and I have learnt so much about myself while being away from everything I once called home.
When signing up for this internship, I had no idea what to expect. But diving everyday on a tropical island… I couldn’t ask for more. Life here on camp is hectic. We wake up at 6am running between duties, cooking, cleaning, classes, and of course diving, not hitting the sack until well after 8pm, it’s quite tiring, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. This routine grows on you and the people here make it all worthwhile. At the end of each month, saying goodbye to new friends is the hardest, it’s the realisation that we are not here in paradise forever and one day our time will come to head back to normality. I know on this day, when I leave, I’ll be a total mess.
I have so many amazing memories of this place to keep with me forever, so to make a long story short – I have dived with turtles, rays, sharks, and dolphins; I have sailed the Indian ocean on a private catamaran; I have pet the world’s oldest tortoise; I have zip-lined 7kms over tropical rainforests; I visited the island where Castaway was filmed; I’ve flown in the smallest plane across the biggest ocean; I have a selfie with a gigantic moray eel; I have husked coconuts; I have huddled under an umbrella trying to not get pooped on by two million squawking birds; I have had a rat run across my face while I slept; I have lost and found my GoPro on the bottom of the reef (twice); I have driven a car on the craziest, smallest roads I’ve ever seen; I camped on a secluded island beach after an hour snorkel to get there; I spend most of my time underwater, upside-down with my head in coral; I have drank island rum with the locals at a beach party; I have taught marine biology to orphans; I have cooked for an army of people; I have cleaned more than I ever have in my life, and ever wish to again; I shower in the coldest showers everyday; I have absolutely no privacy and am constantly surrounded by mosquitoes….. But I love every single minute of it!!
Soon I must start packing my things as I leave for Thailand onto the next leg of my journey, having left a (hopefully) positive impression on these people who once were strangers, and having my life changed for the better after having met them.
I have no expectations, only open arms for where my life is now headed.
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- Cape Town
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