Saturday, 26 March 2016

Living away from family



I have been living away from my family now for about 3 years. There was a time in between I went home to Australia to visit once. My sister and her fiance have also visited me once in Jamaica and once whilst here in Mexico. But it isn't the same. 

Me and some crazy family in Jamaica!

I grew up in a small town, on a farm. My mum, dad, brother and sister are all very close; we may not speak every day but we know we can count on each other. Growing up we would always be helping dad on the land rounding up sheep or cows, helping in the shearing shed, fixing fences whatever he needed. We would also help mum, however the jobs were less exciting, washing the windows, dusting, cleaning our rooms haha. When we had finished helping with the days chores, the end of the day, or days of rest on the weekends would be for playing games. Monopoly was a family favourite/the worst game for relationships ever! There was also an Australian farming board game named 'Squatter' we would play a lot; but my Rams would always die. As we have grown up, the tradition of playing games together continues, mainly with a deck of cards or the occasional game of chess or backgammon. 

My sister and I in Cozumel, Mexico. 

My parents have announced they are coming to vacation with me in Jamaica next month and couldn't be more excited! The first time in my 3 years living away that they will come to visit. I can't wait to show them the beautiful country but I also hope they bring a pack of cards. 

Awkward family photo....omg this is from years ago! haha

My brother and my sister in law were married right before I left Australia. Now I am an aunt, to a beautiful little girl named Savannah; I think this is the hardest part about living away. Your family knows who you are, your flaws, your qualities, what gets to you the most, what your values are and many more. Although you may change over time with different experiences, you are who you are inside. I have so much love for my niece. She is gorgeous, energetic, super smart and obviously exhausting. I hope I can be closer to her soon so I can win the title of 'favourite aunt'. I remember meeting her for the first time over Skype. I was so excited, staring at my phone, sitting on the streets of Mexico, I was so upset I couldn't be there. But I cannot wait for all the times I will be there. 

Meeting my niece on Skype! 

I am now trying to plan my sisters hens night in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is an honor to have the task, but again, a much harder one whilst living on the other side of the world. As much as I talk to them and know they are there for me, it isn't the same as being near. 

Meeting Savannah in the flesh....gorgeous girl! 

xx

Friday, 25 March 2016

Night Dive in Cozumel




Caribbean Reef Octopus

I remember when I first started diving. I did a Discover Scuba Diving course in Indonesia when I was on vacation with a friend. I was hooked immediately after seeing all of the different colour fish and corals. I got my Open Water certification at home in Australia but wasn't very confident. In fact I had butterflies in my stomach before each dive, it was more of a personal challenge I had set myself. I never dreamed of ever doing a night dive!!


Spot-Fin Porcupinefish

I have only done night dives in Jamaica and in Mexico, both in the places I have worked. Here in Cozumel I have been blown away with the dives. We see a ridiculous number of lobsters and crabs. Moray eels come out to feed, I know they sound creepy, but they are fine. Every now and then you'll see turtles sleeping or a nurse shark swimming around. I have a weakness for the small things, nudibranchs, pipefish, pipehorses etc. and recently the night dives have been like gold for them! 

Spotted Moray Eel.

Caribbean Reef Squid pretending he's something else...

Last week, I found the first black flatworm here that I'd ever seen. The next night dive I did I saw 2! I also loooove seeing baby scorpion fish, everyone calls them ugly, but I have a soft spot for the scorpion fish, especially their babies. The star of a night dive though, is the octopus! No matter how many times you see one, you never get sick of them. I have just got home from a night dive where we saw about 6 octopus, including the smallest one I've ever seen! 

The coral spawning, the cloud of 'smoke'...

The black flatworm!
Tonight's night dive was possibly my last in Cozumel. I leave for Jamaica in a week. If plans work out I will be heading home to Australia with my fiance'. If not we will return to Cozumel. 
If anyone is ever considering doing a night dive, I definitely recommend Cozumel! 

Sculptured Slipper Lobster..and a banded butterfly fish.
Shhhh Hawksbill Turtle sleeping...

*photos compliments of Dean and Janine, a wonderful couple on a night dive with me*


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Grateful


As a scuba diving instructor I am incredibly lucky. I get to travel the world and work in different places. I see some of the most amazing animals underneath the water that continue to surprise me. I get to meet people from all over the world, not just as diving clients but as coworkers. Of course like any job it is not all sunshine and rainbows, the pay is not the best, it can be extremely tiring and of course different people can turn it into a bad day or week. 


We are in the middle of Spring Break; as Mexico is a very popular tourist destination, particularly for Americans, we are super busy. My boss has given me the day off to recover from a bit of sickness and I can't help but reflect on my work. 

Tracy, Jason and Me! I love these two! 
MERMAIDS! Linda, Kait and Carrie for a fabulous week or two of diving.
An extremely fun group of people! A couple of generous people gave me a regulator, I will never forget. 


Me and Leslie for her 300th dive!
I am posting this in appreciation for those people who are kind and pure. I have just spent the last week with an incredible group of people from different parts of the states. They were so kind, thoughtful and spoke so highly of me I couldn't be more grateful. Of course these are not the only ones. I have been lucky to have a group or a few individuals who I have really clicked with during their stay, some of whom I have emails and keep in contact, and some who I will probably never see again. Now I have never been one for goodbyes, infact I really suck at them, so I felt I should say this. Sometimes, you will have no idea the impact or impression you have left on someone. I can clearly say that I have met many people who have had such a great impact on me, that might not even know it. For these people I am grateful.