Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The type of person who goes snorkeling

At the performing arts camp I used to go to, everybody had to take swimming each day. That's how I learned how to swim. It's different to swim in the ocean. The water can push you where you weren't planning to go. There's weird stuff on the floor of the ocean that you can get stuck in. So even though I can swim, and swim well enough to pass the test at camp to be allowed to have free swim rather than have to take lessons, I don't feel like a good swimmer. I'm scared of swimming in the ocean. Going in up to about my knees and playing with another person is comfortable. But jumping off the side of a boat deep into the ocean and then swimming around? Sure, someone else is also swimming around, but they're looking at their own stuff, not making sure I'm not drowning.

So going out into the Atlantic Ocean in a boat and jumping off the side to go snorkeling was really, really scary. Also, I don't think Josh gets just how uncomfortable it is to do fancy things. I mean, are you supposed to tip the guy driving (steering?) the boat? When you eat, are you supposed to invite him to eat with you? There really needs to be a manual about how to do fancy schmancy things.

I think the boat guy could see on my face it was my first time going on a boat before I even stepped off the dock, because he started telling me a lot about the boat and showed me around to explain all the ropes and what the boom is, and how to like, drive the boat. I got to steer and tack and everything. Wearing the flipper things was kind of uncomfortable, but Josh pointed out that was because we weren't in the water. He turned out to be right - the second we jumped in, the flippers made me feel like a powerful and kind of graceful swimmer.

It's really hard to trust that putting something over your face, in your mouth, will help you breathe and not suffocate you. I was worried a big wave would come and water would go down the pipe and straight into my mouth, but Josh kept saying there's a reason people go snorkeling in calm ocean waters. I kept picking my head up out of the water to make sure a tsunami wasn't heading in to shore.

When I talked to Danielle last night she kept telling me to relax and let things be fun, that if I never got another vacation I'd be kicking myself, and so angry at not taking advantage of this time. She's totally right. It was so hard to do though. I should really meet up with a girl gold-digger and get some advice on how to be comfortable on fancy trips. At least I'll know how to go on an airplane tomorrow. I asked Josh if I'll be more comfortable flying coach tomorrow and he laughed and swore I will be uncomfortable and wish we were flying first class.

This will sound disgusting but I am exhausted from being on vacation. I kind of just want to go home and lay around talking to my sisters. Not sure the vacation is working.


OTRgirl said...

Don't worry, vacations are known to be exhausting! It's fun to read your updates and see the world through your eyes. Sounds like it's all been interesting and a bit overwhelming, but you're handling it really well!

Good job on the snorkeling. I'm jealous. The water in northern California is way too cold for that.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've got culture shock. Seriously! It is exhausting being in a new environment where you can't stop thinking and translating what you're experiencing.
That's why babies fall asleep all the time. Input overload!

Maybe you should try to do some things two days in a row so the second day it is easier to relax and enjoy? (just don't make it another dinner with that couple!)

Kizz said...

Once I was on a long vacation with a friend and at a certain point we needed a vacation from our vacation. We needed not to be doing, seeing, hearing, finding something or going somewhere. So we found a really cheap place to stay for a couple of nights with a kitchen and a TV so we could make our own dinner and sit around in a living room. The next day we ate lunch at a pub (we were in Ireland) did our laundry and saw a really terrible American movie in the theatre (Judge Dredd). I have a lot of great memories from that trip but the taking a vacation from the vacation is one of the best.

You'll be exhausted when you get home but I think you'll also be glad you went.

Yankee, Transferred said...

It doesn't sound disgusting. I think the term "culture shock" is accurate. One time, many moons ago when I was young, I took a trip to Paris with my sister. We went, saw, ate, drank, photographed for 4 solid days and I finally said, "Enough! I need to NOT 'experience' today!" We found a beautiful park, bought some cheese, bread, grapes, and chilled water, and hung out reading and having a picnic. For an entire day. It was great.
You are on sensory overload. Totally understandable. Try to relax.

Nina said...

Ditto to the above comments - vacations are often exhausting and culture shock is also exhausting.

I think the idea of taking a day off from vacation is really good. Stay in the hotel, have Josh go pick up food (or order room service), and just watch TV, read, putter around on the internet, talk to Josh. Hopefully you'll feel "recharged" and it'll be easier to absorb and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Anonymous said...

Yes, one often needs a vacation after their vacation!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not rich by any means, but I've been fortunate to have been able to do some traveling. One mistake I used to make was to try to do and see everything. I ended up exhausted by the end and now I make sure to plan some solid R&R. It sounds like Josh is trying to make you see how awesome vacations are by making sure you don't miss anything. Talk to him about how you're feeling, and reassure him that this won't be your one and only vacation, and I'll bet he'll help you find a way to relax and enjoy. Good luck and enjoy the sun.

Anonymous said...

I agree that you often need a vacation after the vacation. I don't go on vacations to often, but after I do, I always feel like I need a couple of days off at home to do nothing and recover!