It had been a long flight out to the Cayman Islands; however, the sight of the ocean and the prospective snorkeling trips filled my heart with excitement. I knew my family felt the same way because their traveling scowls immediately faded as soon as they caught sight of the sparkling ocean right outside the airplane window. We made it! The locals greeted my family after our flight touched down and appeared just as delighted to see us, as we were to see them. As our cab driver drove us to our resort, he gave us some insightful history lessons about the Cayman Islands and revealed various sightseeing locations. He also told us “we could go to Hell”; there is literally a place in the Cayman Islands called Hell where you can send your friends and family a post card. Although we had a blast joking around and conversing with our driver, we were anxious to leave the luggage in our hotel room and go snorkeling.
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The resort was beautiful and everyone was so welcoming, but my family practically ran to our bus to make it to our snorkeling tour on time. We finally had time to relax once we were situated on the catamaran. Sitting on the deck, I looked out into the brilliant scene that lay before me and knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The sight of clear sky, shining sun, and limitless ocean that laid before me will forever be held in my memory as the image of perfection. As we got closer to our snorkeling destination, the waters transformed from a deep, cobalt blue to a clear, turquoise color. Eventually, our boat trip was over. I rapidly dressed into my snorkeling gear and splashed into an entirely new world.
Immersed in crystal clear waters, I opened my eyes to an underwater world of limitless beauty. I was the sea’s prisoner, encased by Caribbean water’s shackles of tranquility. My senses, alive with the sight of one of the world’s greatest wonders, forced me to continue to explore the ocean further. A school of fish led me out to a coral reef and I became entranced by the vision of countless colors dancing around me. As I swam closer to the illuminating spectacle, the blurs of color began to take form. My eyes darted from one sea creature to the next as various fish investigated the unfamiliar visitor that had wandered into their territory. Some were startled, while others were just as intrigued as I was. Gradually, the fish became accustomed to my presence and continued to go about their own business. I began to lose track of time as I continued to discover new sights that textbooks couldn’t even begin to do justice.
The sound of a horn signaled the end of our snorkeling expedition. Swimming back to the boat, I thought about all of the wonderful sights I had already seen on, and surrounding, the islands. I had never felt more grateful for the gift of travel my family had once again bestowed upon me. Traveling is what opens one’s eyes to the opportunities our world gives us to witness something that will take our breath away. The Cayman Islands was where I realized that I am just a small fish in a vast sea full of countless wonder and endless possibilities.
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