It has officially been one week since Raja Ampat. I spent a stupid amount of hours for layover and delays, but well worth my dream trip. Although only 4 days of diving, it was soul satisfying to be back underwater.
I spent nearly 2 days of travel and spent more than I would in a month on food in Indonesia and it was all worth it. When I spend time and money on scuba diving and traveling….I don’t see it as an expense. It’s self-care because this is EXACTLY what I want to do with my life. Until the day one of these nonprofits or NGOs finally hire me for marine conservation, I’ll be hustling to make this my everyday. Just like the friends I met in Raja Ampat, Indonesia!
Since moving to the direction of travel diaries, I wanna write about the conversations I had with a few of the people I met. I like traveling alone especially when scuba diving because I am in control of my schedule and activities. There are days when I want to dive and there are days I want to just lay on the beach. Also, when scuba diving, divers tend to be really friendly and always have a story about diving.
here’s my story from Raja Ampat:
I was inspired by an independent Indonesian woman with a successful scuba diving shop. She is a strong 40 year old woman living the life she intended. Diving everyday is a choice out of pure joy, not financial obligations. She saw Raja Ampat on TV, decided she wanted to go, and 9 years later still living there and running a successful business....the only thing she misses from home is her momma. She talked about how Raja Ampat in prior years had so many whales passing through, but she hasn't seen a whale this year yet. She's had to move her business a couple times, but she possess a non-attachment and ability to pick up and start over attitude that I have too. I felt a sigh of relief for my future when I met her.
Her business partner has a similar story. He saw Raja Ampat on TV, decided to move from a landlocked city in Java to Bali to learn how to be a scuba diving instructor. He made his way to Raja Ampat and doing exactly what he wanted.
We had a conversation about Indonesian's body structure and western body structures. Indonesian have a hard time floating, while my Dutch friend and I need 4kg weights to sink. I got a good laugh at Sandy's reenactment of trying to pass the floating test for his scuba license.
And it's stories like these, which is the main reason for travel. Meeting Indonesians and listening to their stories breaks all the stereotypical images the media portrays.