Sometimes you feel like you don’t belong somewhere. As though everything else is enormous but you alone microscopic. You feel like you’re not worthy enough to be standing there. Somehow, these feelings might have made you feel as though I’m talking about a very negative thing. And rightly so, these feelings are judged to mean very bad thoughts or experiences. Recently, in a raft ride at the Na Pali coast of Hawaii, I felt all those things. But the funny part is, I had the time of my life.
The Na Pali coast is a huge mountainous coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Getting there by drive isn’t possible because one third of the island is not drivable and that so conveniently happens to be the Na Pali part of it. Hence, the only way to get there was by boat. Although there were catamarans (sail boats), being the expert adventurers that my father and I are, we decided to take a bumpy and ‘you will TOTALLY get wet’ raft.
After about 45 minutes of a description guaranteed journey on the raft, we sighted dolphins. The dolphins weren’t as playful as the ones you might see in Sea World. They weren’t twirling around or anything. Just swimming and breathing. Bummer. Turns out ‘social animals’, like dolphins, are just animals that aren’t scared to be near you. They’re not animals that would come to you and say “Hey! How are you doin’?” or “I like your earrings.” Maybe that’s why humans are considered ‘social beings’.
Once the early morning sun had been replaced, rocky mountainous beaches replaced the sandy beaches. This wasn’t a very normal coastline because when I say ‘mountain’, I mean it quite literally. The mountains were towering high. One of the mountains, our guide tells me, is taller than the ‘Empire State Building’ in New York. As stunning as that mountain was, the sea caves created due to the friction between the waves and the mountains were even more unique. As our raft went into those caves, I was awestruck by the the illuminated Copper Sulphate Blue water, which happens to be my favorite color of ocean. The friction created so many other natural wonders like high arches, most of which looked like they had been carefully carved by the most skillful of people. Being the city girl I am, I have grown very disconnected with nature and its true self. Before, I thought of nature as a destructive being, capable of haunting things. How wrong I was. If not for those ‘haunting things’, I wouldn’t be writing this at my own convenience.
Later, we stopped at an inhabited ancient Hawaiian town on the coast and settled down for lunch followed by snorkeling. We toured the little town whose culture and history was very similar to many Asian countries. The ancient Hawaiians danced a sacred dance, prayed to gods based on their natural powers and weren’t discovered until a Westerner found them. Sound familiar? The only tragic difference being: their fate turned out to be different.
After lunch in that town, my mom, dad and I decided to go snorkeling. My parents don’t know how to swim, but they have to do everything, right? So, they were wearing all the snorkeling gear and standing by the raft, while I went actual snorkeling. A bit of an overstatement considering the fact that this was the first time I snorkeled. Now, floating over nearly 40 feet of water with wild fish might seem terrifying at first, but when you get the hang of it, you will not want to leave the water at all. I was one of the last four people to finish. The fish in the reef were just awesome. Not the modernly used, rotten ‘awesome’ but the very literal ‘awesome’. The one that means to be in complete awe of something. While snorkeling, you are aware of every breath you take. You are in command of every one of your senses. Unlike most times, you are controlled by your body, not your brain. It takes away everything but the peace within you. And yes, I’m talking about snorkeling, not death. It is definitely something everyone should have on his or her bucket list.
A trip back wrapped up the tour. If you ask me to go on that tour with you, the left side of me will reject. Let me explain why. Everyone loves ice cream (At least I do). If I give you ice cream everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will enjoy it for the first couple of days. Later, you’ll get bored of it and will want something else. Anything but ice cream. Beauty has the same effect on you. If I go back there, I am afraid that I will get used to that caliber of beauty and I will stop appreciating it. The left side of me doesn’t want that.
But my right side is a rebel. It will long for it. It will want to go back. It will want to see the beauty again and again.
I do not know, for sure, what I would pick. I do not know, for sure, if I would crash waves. Again.