Recently I’ve been reminiscing a lot about past travels. Ahhh, my round the world trip. Back in the days when my camera shot images at approximately 5 pixels, when I had no idea about what a ‘blog’ was (well, actually I did write one but it’s terrible and I’ll never share), and when Facebook only allowed a mere 60 photos per album and it took 45 minutes to upload half this amount.
I was 24 when I put my trust in an oxygen tank to explore under the sea.
I was 24 when I did most things for the first time. It was my year. I turned 24 in Borneo, I embraced other cultures and new experiences and felt like my eyes were finally opening to the world. I was also growing up. I mean, if Taylor Swift wrote that incredibly deep song about being 22, imagine what she could achieve with another 2 years under her belt!
I just love the number 24 too. I was born on the 24th October, there are 24 hours in a day and it’s the number of fingers and toes I have…………… Just kidding.
It was one of the most special years of my life. But there was one moment which stood out amongst the plethora of eye-opening experiences that year, and that was the moment I ‘found Nemo’ in the Great Barrier Reef. I had never been too comfortable with my head under the water, preferring to keep my ears and hair dry if I could. However on my boat tour of the Whitsundays in Australia, I have to admit I felt the peer pressure to ‘man up’ and take a dive.
You are witnessing the approximate moment in which I, Hayley Griffiths realised I could do just about anything.
As I calmly took in my watery surroundings, 10 metres beneath the sea’s crest I realised that travel is the one thing which I must live for. I would never have been able to spot sea cucumbers and star fish from my desk in Crawley, but here in Australia’s largest living reef, I was surrounded by coral and sealife, most of which I had never laid eyes on before.
And then I saw him. Nemo (the happy clownfish) swimming happily by, far too quickly for me to capture. But it’s etched in my memory and will stay there forever, alongside all of the other travel memories I have built over the last 10 years (I’ve been travelling on and off since I was 18). And it doesn’t matter that no one else saw. The moment was for me and for me alone.
That’s why after all these years I’m still travelling, still sharing my (mis)adventures with the world. And I don’t think I’ll be able to stop. Ever. Because as Dory once said, you’ve got to ‘Just keep swimming’.
This post is a competition entry to win a scuba diving trip in Malta with Lowcostholidays. To find out more about Lowcostholidays, check out their facebook page.