Spirit – Day 19 of the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project

Some places have the power to make even the most die-hard agnostic reconsider their position. Have you ever been in a place where you felt more alive or more connected to nature, the universe, or a higher power than anywhere else?

I would have to say, cliche as it that watching the sun come up over Macchupichu and viewing the ruins high in the Andes with the first light of morning was one of those breathtaking experiences that made me wonder at the nature of ourselves as human beings and if they would have been able to accomplish what they did had they no belief that in a higher power.

Another example that I can think of as being close to nature was a little closer to nature than I wanted to be. We were in Belize and had taken a snorkling trip to swim with nurse sharks, sting rays etc. Once we got to experience that thrill we were left to swim around the reef and see whatever we could. It was pretty wild, we saw barracuda, clown fish and a sea turtle which I kept following to a more secluded part of the reef. There weren’t too many fish in that section so I figured that I’d swim back toward the boat. That’s when I saw a grey shape slowly approaching in the distance. It’s hard to say how far away it was, maybe 75 feet or so until I realized that there was a shark swimming towards me, and not one of the it’s okay to swim with these guys kind of sharks. This was some sort of reef shark, the kind that would make me end up on one of the Shark Week specials on the Discovery Channel. There was nothing I could do but watch as it kept swimming towards me, my stomach had the same feeling you do on a rollercoaster before it takes the huge drop. It’s sad to think that my last words would have been “oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit…”. I’ve never been more relieved than when the shark veered and went behind the reef. I swam as calmly as I could back to the boat and let my pulse slow. That my friends, is what I call being close to nature.

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