Whenever I told someone I was going on a cruise, they would look at me in jealousy. Everyone wants to go on a cruise; they want to eat, sleep, basically not have any obligations for the five days you are inaccessible by anyone who might “need” to speak with you. However, as jealous as someone may be, I know I would have been more jealous if someone told me about the parts that weren’t included in the cruise. The memories I had from the cruise were not of the incredible food influenced by the sea expanding beyond our ship that made my stomach expand or the beautiful lull from the engine that made my eyelids feel heavy even at three o’clock in the afternoon. My memories are from the times when my feet were completely divulged in the sea water that the boat rested naturally upon. My memories were not made because of the amount of money someone spent in order to make everything look perfect. They were made because of the priceless perfection no one person could create.
The ship took its dock in Cozumel. Ever since I was little, my parents told me of their incredible adventures diving in the ocean; and for a child who wanted to be either a mermaid or a dolphin when they grew up, just being under water was gratifying enough. Our family arrived to the fisherman dock around 10. By 10:15, we were surrounded by blue sky and water. For an hour, our instructor, Philip, had us sit on the roof of the little boat and discuss our safety. Try staying focused on the tanned, leather-skinned man when there was the opportunity to see dolphins engulfing you; doesn’t work.
Finally, it was time to suit up. Our vests were too big, the masks smelled like old leather, but nothing could bring down the excitement within me. Phillip helped me to the side of the boat and laughed when I after I fell into the water, I refused to remove my eyes from the deep sea beneath me. Slowly, he let out the air in each of our vests. Deeper and deeper we went, the sunlight becoming less and less apparent. Soon, I could not see any color besides blue; every shade of blue anyone could think of. My skin no longer obtained its pink tint, and became a monochromatic palette. My hair lost all of the red the sun had highlighted. Even Philip seemed to have lost his tan.
Completely enveloped by the cool water, I was able to relax my body for the first time ever and allow nature to hold me. Philip guided us further away from the boat into a coral tunnel. Fish surrounded us. Their scales reflected off what little sunlight could pass through the water, arrows telling us that more was to come. Little fish swam between my legs and under my arms, grazing just close enough to touch my skin. Bigger fish swam with more caution and stared over the reef to get a better view at the aliens we were. As we made our way out of the tunnel, there was suddenly nothing. The harder I tried to see something, the more I realized that was it. I realized how small I was in this massive tub.
After two more dives, it was time to get back to the big boat. Looking out the window, I saw the view of the ocean I had come to admire, and yet, I now seemed immune to its intensity. I knew the best view I would ever get of the beautiful waters would not be by merely sitting above it. I wanted to be in it, and I knew one day I would.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.