Ever since I was a little kid, I was obsessed with the water. My mom used to tell me stories about how she would take me to the pool, and I would spend 90% of the time with my head underwater. That is, until she invested in a pair of goggles for me, to which she claims she never saw me again after that. As an aside, I personally hated my goggles, and had to pretend that I was a special mermaid princess that required underwater glasses. Only then did I feel a little less dorky when wearing them.
But I have always had an obsession with the water. It came from my love of being in the water, and my love of aquatic life. There’s something so fascinating about the creatures under the sea, maybe it’s the mystery that comes along with not really knowing what’s out there, but hearing everyone speculate. As I’ve mentioned so many times before, I am obsessed with mysteries and with the unknown, and I can only guess that my love for the ocean and the sea and the water comes from knowing so little about it.
In my lifetime, I’ve been to multiple aquariums, ventured on numerous water rides at the amusement park, and have most certainly spent my fair share of time down at the Jersey and Delaware beaches. But, sadly, I have never gotten the chance to fully experience what the ocean has to offer, at least not yet. The most tropical place I’ve been is Florida, and even then my explorations of aquatic life were limited to petting the sting rays at the zoo. I would love nothing more than to be able to venture somewhere tropical, put on a wet suite, and explore the depths of the ocean, even if just for a couple of hours.
It is for this reason that I knew I had to put go scuba diving on my bucket list. I want to be able to say that, at least once in my life, I was able to explore something so unique and unknown to me and to the rest of the world. It’s one thing to be able to share experiences with someone based on the monuments you’ve visited or the streets you’ve walked. However, it’s a completely different feeling being able to recount tails only special to you. Almost like trying to explain how your favorite book or favorite song makes you feel to someone else. It’s hard to describe but being able to talk about it and remember the experience is a greater joy than the book itself. That’s what I feel like scuba diving would be for me, and that is why I’m so inclined to do it.
The closest I’ve ever been to “scuba” diving, and I used that term extremely loosely, is when my friends and I along with my classmates ventured to Wales for an outdoor expedition trip. The trip consisted of canoeing, cliff diving, repelling down moutons, building our own rafts, white water rafting, and coasteering. Coasteering, for those of you that are unfamiliar, is where you ultimately scale the coast of the ocean in order to reach a destination.It reacquires a lot of teamwork, especially when the 6-8 foot waves rise up 150 feet in front of you and you have to cling to each other to brace for impact. At one point, we had to cross the jetty we were on and return to the shore, a process that required us to swim about 200 feet to the shoreline. Upon swimming, my friend and I encountered a massive wave, and were quite literally thrown against the shoreline (if it wasn’t for the helmet I was wearing I probably wouldn’t be here typing this, it was that bad). However, once we managed to miraculously pick ourselves up without a scratch, we found we were face to face with several seals that had ridden the wave to the shore with us. It was magical, and so unlike any experience I’ve ever had before.
I would love nothing more than to some day in the near future be able to say that I, Kimberly Shelton, explorer for the day, had successfully explored an unknown part of the world, and saw things that only I would remember in my lifetime. It is for that reason that I’ve added scuba diving to the many of my life goals, and why I hope to be able to cross it off that same list someday soon.