Step one, find the Seychelles on the map
Does it ring a bell when someone says “the Seychelles”? If someone had asked me five months ago I would have said no. It is a shame though because the Seychelles is everything you would want a tropical island to be. In my opinion, it’s even more beautiful than Hawaii. If you want to see nature and experience animal behavior like never before, go to the Seychelles. On land there are few predators, and because of this you will see fruit bats fly around in daylight! Underwater is just as amazing if not even more so because of the diversity of colorful fish – never has a vacation been this fantastic. This is all because of GVI, who gave me this opportunity and made me see things I never would have seen without them. With GVI I got to survey fish around the reefs of Mahe Island; we measure the amount of fish on the reefs to see if the fish are threatened. To do this you need a bit of training in the water and on land, so we started in the water just to get a feeling of the area we had to survey. When I first descended I saw next to nothing; there was a batfish just around the boat but nothing of considerable size caught my attention. There were a couple of small fish in the area however they did not seem that exciting. The fish I found less interesting turned out to be some of the ones I had to survey, and taking a closer look I realized that they are actually much more colorful and beautiful compared to the larger fish, and there are a lot of them! My opinion of large fish vs. small ones changed drastically! Now large schools don’t appeal to me as much as the butterflyfish.
One would think that the GVI expedition is all about diving, working, and counting fish, however this is not even close to the truth. You get to live with 30 people who are there for the very same reasons as you. They all want to study fish, live in the tropics, and dive. When I say that you’re living with 30 people I mean you’re going to sleep in the dorms with seven others and you have to clean the bathrooms together, cook together, and help each other fill tanks for the next day’s dives. Those duties aren’t really that bad; they need to be done and they don’t take long to do. I actually think they were a good thing because when I had too much free time I got bored! Also, when you spend a lot of time with new people you can’t help becoming new friends. The friendships you make when you are eating, sleeping, and basically doing everything together are entirely different to a normal one; it’s more like a relationship between siblings. Even if you haven’t spent your entire life together, the “short” time you spend together makes them feel like brothers and sisters.
All in all every aspect of my vacation in the Seychelles was amazing and fantastic. The people you live with want the same as you, and therefore you thrive together so well you wish they could all come back home with you! At the same time the nature of the islands is incredible, and if I get another opportunity like this I would definitely do it again.
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