The sun’s warmth clung to my body as we strolled down the beach. My feet sank into the milky white sand with each step, and the mellow breeze ruffled my already tangled hair. About 200 feet away stood a man enthusiastically waving toward my mom, sister, and I. As we approached him he greeted us with his rich Jamaican accent while tossing us three life jackets to prepare us for our next adventure: snorkeling. Twelve other people plus my little family zipped through the crystal water on a Beaches Resort boat into a seemingly quiet space in the sea. I waddled to the edge of the boat as the mask suctioned to my face and the flippers tapped the deck. I’m pretty certain the friendly employee told us to climb down the ladder and THEN embark on our snorkel journey…but my giddy brain missed that part. The moment I reached the edge of the boat my body plopped right in the water and I was off!
I had never experienced something so intriguing. Everywhere my eyes moved, there was life. Vibrant colors flooded my senses and the cool water coated my skin. I’m not sure what I expected before plunging into the water, but clearly my expectations weren’t high enough. Before this moment I didn’t give our planet enough credit. As I dipped my face into the sea again a school of yellow and black striped fish swarmed around my legs. I couldn’t help but giggle through my itty bitty snorkel tube! How could I have lived in this world for 17 years without being exposed to creation other than cows and corn in central Illinois?! In that very second I was bitten by the travel bug. With each creature that paddled by me, my desire to explore deepened more and more.
A way back, my momma called my name through her tube , and I paddled my way toward her. To my surprise, the same employee from before carefully placed a spider starfish into my hands! Within a second the little guy rolled his way back into the water. Shortly after, we were led back to the boat and our endeavor came to an end. The entire ride back to the shore, images of the previous hour bounced through my mind.
If I could offer one suggestion for a Caribbean or resort-like trip, it would be to snorkel. It wouldn’t be to eat all the food, or soak up the sun by the pool. It wouldn’t be to take a nap on the beach, or to play volleyball. It would be to snorkel. Here’s why. The instant your mask is submerged into the water, it’s almost as if you are being submerged into a different world, a different culture. The way in which the creatures and wildlife work together right in front of your eyes is in a way, humbling. Personally, I was kind of slapped in the face! This magical under the sea system right in front of me was a reminder to not get caught up in the drama of life. The positive energy in the school of fish reminded me to lift up those around me, rather than creating conflict. Finally, the strange looking spider starfish was a reminder to embrace my differences, because the world needs them. Additionally, snorkeling is typically offered in or around resorts, and is often included in the price of the hotel or a small upcharge. Click this link for more info regarding snorkeling at Beaches (Negril, Jamaica).
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