August 11, 2016 in Inspiration, Traveltips by Sunny Jansen

Scuba diving: life lessons from a turtle

August 11, 2016

Sunny explores travels (8)

As a diver you learn a lot about yourself every dive. Scuba diving teaches you practical things that you can also apply on life in general. Like to stay calm under pressure, to trust your instincts and to respect your personal limits. Every diver knows to begin their dive against the current. This also works in real life: getting the hard part of work done first, means the rest of your day will be easier! Under water I learned not to fight the forces of nature, but to work with them. Every dive gives me new lessons about myself, about the stunning under water world and their inhabitants.

With an open mind and attitude marine life can teach you a lot. Turtles can provide great life lessons. My first intense turtle swim was in Hawaii. In Hawaii the turtle is called a honu. The honu is considered an aumakua, or guardian spirit. The honu is also a sign of good luck. As the last remaining reptile indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands, the turtle is viewed as a symbol of endurance and longevity. Legend tells about a green sea turtle, Kauila, who could change herself into a girl to watch over the children playing at Punalu’u Beach on the Big Island. When Kauila’s mother dug her nest, a fresh water spring surged upward, quenching the children’s thirst. Kauila is the mythical mother of all turtles.

After reading about the honu, I really wished to meet at least one turtle during my stay at the Big Island. One of my first days under water, I was fighting the current. It was exhausting. Then I saw a honu. He was also swimming against the current, but he was not fighting it. Very relaxed the honu swam forward, got drifted back, and swam forward again untill another wave pushed him back again. Despite the current he kept swimming in a relaxed way and remained on track. I watched this turtles way and realised that he knew where he was going. He had a goal or destination mind. Heading for his destination, he was going with the flow. He worked for it, but also he accepted the situation as it was instead of fighting it or trying to change it. This openend my eyes: you can reach your goals also going gently with the flow enjoying the ride. Effordlessly. After meeting this honu, so many more turtle lessons followed. Life is a continual journey, constantly evolving and changing. You can fight the changes, but you also can accept them. You can move with the current, but still following your own path like the honu.

Every time I see a turtle, it makes me happy. Here are 10 wise turtles I photographed in Hawaii, the Galapagos Archipel, Jordan and Egypt.

Sunnyexplores turtle 2

Sunnyexplores turtle 3

Sunnyexplores turtle 4

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Sunnyexplores turtle 6

Sunnyexplores turtle 7

Sunnyexplores turtle 8

Sunnyexplores turtle 9

Sunnyexplores turtle 10

Sunnyexplores turtle 11

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