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In 2010 I was lucky to be able to get scuba certified while backpacking with Costa Rica outward bound. I did a month long trip with them that involved backpacking, white water rafting, and a trip to Panama for 10 days to get scuba certified. Unfortunately all the pictures from this trip were lost along with the camera it never made it home with me, but since then I have been diving in the keys and my all time favorite in Bonaire. I had just turned 18 when my father called saying that his current girlfriend wouldn’t be able to make the trip if I would like to take her place…..Let me spell this out this trip was already paid for all I had to do was change the name on the tickets and I would be leaving in 2 weeks to fly to Bonaire
Twist my arm I’m going
Only a slight problem my passport just expired………..I had two weeks to get an expedited passport and even if you pay the money it isn’t guaranteed that the passport will make it in time. Right away we started the process. To get an expedited passport you go through a company generally and they are responsible for talking between the government and you to speed the process up well this works pretty well if the agent you’re working with actually keeps in touch with you. That’s right the agent assigned to me completely disappeared on me for about 4 days not a single word and in the grand scheme of this 4 days was a lot. We contacted the company and learned he had gone on vacation and instead of having someone cover for his clients he just left them sitting. That same day we were assigned a new agent.
Fast forward a few days it’s the day before I’m leaving for Kentucky and guess what magical parcel showed up in my p.o box that’s right my passport! We are all set and I’m boarding a plane to Louisville to start this adventure. If the passport didn’t show in time instead of 10 days diving in Bonaire I would be spending 10 days with my family in Kentucky. Not the worst thing to happen but diving come on guys tropical island or Kentucky in November I know where I’d rather be. I spend about 2 days in Louisville before we head off to Bonaire.
I don’t know about you but I LOVE airports, I love the people watching, I love the feeling of the plane leaving the ground where you’re not anywhere but everywhere all at the same time as you soar high above the clouds. I have never been nervous on a flight, turbulence never bothered me as long as I had a window seat I was set….Well I guess there’s a first for everything the turbulence on this flight at one point I seriously thought we were going down, at least my last sight would be pretty ocean right not such a bad way to go. Well a few hours later we land right where we are supposed to in the small little airport of Bonaire. So side note here with flying I love flying but I have no trust in an air company getting my luggage anywhere so I only take carry ons. While everyone else waited on their luggage to be brought out I was soaking up the tropical air. We stayed in Buddy dive resort and I can honestly say in the 10 days I was here I made friends I would stay in touch with for years (we are still friends to this day!) So onto the juice stuff the reason you are reading this and I thank you for taking the time to get to this point lets recap those 10 days diving in this tropical paradise!
While here we rented a truck because most days we just went around the island to the different dive sites and on 3 days we had boat dives. If you’ve never been to a dive resort it’s not like a normal resort you think of normally it is all geared to diving so we had unlimited access to tanks and the truck that was rented was one from there and there is a restaurant attached ohh ya and you are RIGHT on the water and we had a home reef and all. On the non-boat dive days I used my Olympus waterproof camera which works great! Unless of course you dive deeper than it can go then it becomes a problem on the days we went out on the boat for about 50$ you could rent a nice underwater camera from the gear shop for 3 days so most of the photos you see will be from that camera!
Traveling is such an amazing opportunity that I believe sometimes we forget to make the most and learn from every experience. My first day I had a very eye-opening experience first thing in the morning. This is probably the most memorable moment from all my traveling so far and I have carried it with me since. I had gotten up and ready and started wondering around the resort I was searching for something and I asked one of the people that worked there. I didn’t say good morning or asked how they were I just asked my question. I will never forget the look he gave me then he took a deep breath and asked how my morning was and that it was polite to talk and not demand, and just to slow down. It completely took me off guard, but we need to be caught off guard and to this day I stop and I ask how someone’s day is or just a simple hello. That’s part of the magic of traveling you go to learn things you never knew you needed to.
Bonaire is absolutely gorgeous and all the reefs are protected around the island as part of the Bonaire National Marine Park. I never wanted to leave the water and most of the time I didn’t if we weren’t diving I was snorkeling in the water. They had to pry me out before our plane left you could say I was a little salty (que drums). Alright, alright I know you don’t want my fishy jokes.
We did 2-4 dives every day depending on how long each was and there are still so many spots left to explore. If you have never been diving it is something that should be on the bucket list even if it is to just try it once. There is no other activity that matches up to it. We continued through our week spending our days in the water and evening exploring downtown. Unfortunately, we missed the farmers market that takes place on the island, but did you know Bonaire is only like 50 miles from Venezuela so they are able to get different goods from there! Then one night we did a night dive we went to a nearby reef. If swimming in the ocean during the day makes you feel small imagine not being able to see past your arm when its outreached. We carried flash lights along with us but the real beauty started when you turned them off. Somethings you can’t convey through a picture and this was one of them. When you turned the light off every move you make irritates the bioluminescent leaving a glowing trail for only a few seconds. Right at the very end of the dive we say another amazing sight. A sea turtle the size of a dining room table was sleeping among the corals.
Times fly’s when you’re having fun and this trip was no exception. The days went by to fast but many friends were made in the process along with many memories.