This past summer I decided to not only try something new by signing up for my first Rustic Pathways trip, but I decided to fly across the world to Cairns, Australia to commence a two-week-long journey on a liveaboard diving in the Great Barrier Reef. I signed up for this trip with a fear of heights, being underwater, sharks, and the dark: a seemingly terrible combination for a trip that involved all four of those. Yet, the second I met my leaders and group members all of my fears washed away. They pushed me to test my fears and try new things which ultimately led to the two most amazing weeks of my life. This trip definitely was constantly action-packed and left us with very little downtime but as an adventure seeker, I was very happy with how it was coordinated. We got a little bit of time to wander around Cairns (and go bungee jumping!) but only a few days into our trip we were in the classroom getting our open-water certificates and getting ready for our trips out to sea. We then packed our bags and headed out to the reef which was, obviously, the highlight of the trip. I saw so many amazing animals and ecosystems that left me absolutely speechless and felt so at home surrounded by a crew of incredibly friendly divemasters and dive instructors. I would say one of the best parts of the trip was being able to swim with Dwark Minke Whales (contrary to their name, they are quite massive) who were beautiful and incredibly friendly.
Coming home from this trip left me pretty sad to see all of my amazing new friends go but ultimately it has left me with countless new passions and a plethora of connections all around the globe!