This week, we asked some of our female writers to explore how the themes of “Eat Pray Love” have played out in their own travels. Today, Associate Editor Amy Alipio writes of how her first time scuba dive became a spiritual experience.
On a trip to Curaçao, I signed up for an entry-level scuba certification class. Wearing all that heavy dive gear for the first time–the buoyancy jacket, the tank, the goggles, the fins–it was all I could do to keep upright as I waddled to the dock. Did they give me the right size tank? What if I just sank to the bottom? Did I test all the gear correctly? What if I forgot everything the dive instructor taught me to do?
But then a splash and a brief struggle with equipment–and suddenly I found myself breathing, underwater. I felt as if I’d entered a vast cathedral pierced by flickering sunlight. A school of silvery fish swam by leisurely, like a line of gray-habited nuns. All those pre-dive worries, all that heaviness, floated away with the bubbles percolating from my regulator. The only sound was my breathing, in and out, like a prayer.
Photo: Scuba diving can be a religious experience. By Wes C. Skiles, National Geographic
You can follow Amy on Twitter at @amytravels
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