One Spring Break Southeast Asian Style Please
One tradition I do love about being a teacher is getting a spring break every year. We also get a little over a week here because of how the calendar is structured, so those extra days are just icing on the cake. And a yummy cake it is.
One of the things we wanted to do when we came abroad was to experience exotic, crazy places that we wouldn’t normally be able to see in a short visit from the states. I think we hit the nail on the head with this destination. A very non-traditional way to enjoy my favorite tradition of the teaching profession. Check out my view for four days.
Not. Too. Shabby. One from the other side.
Oh, just one more won’t hurt.
This lovely gem is on the east coast of Malaysia and is called the Perhentian Islands. All it took to get there was:
Taxi to airport + propeller plane to edge of the mainland + teeth chattering, spine rearranging boat ride to the island = vacation time (Did I say I forgot my motion sickness meds? Yup, I did.)
When I tell you that there were less than 25 people at our little “resort” (hahaha…less “resort” and more freshmen dorm), I would not be lying. The only way on or off the island was a boat that came 2-3 times a day (depending on the weather, how people are feeling, how the stock market was doing…you know, the usual factors that determine whether a boat could travel or not). It was like waking up on the set of Lost, minus the polar bears and mysterious smoke monsters.
There was lots of reading, sleeping, and sighs of contentment to be had while we were there.
But we didn’t just lay around for the whole time because during my deserted island adventure I went SCUBA DIVING!!!!
Scuba Steve hasn’t got anything on me! Check out my cool scuba diving look.
I’ll tell you the truth. I wasn’t scared at all. Just super excited.
Then I realized that I actually had to do that breathing under water thing and I got a little freaked out. I mean, I’m not a fish or a mermaid or something! I’m an air loving person for goodness sakes! As the instructor was trying to explain the basic skills to me, I could hear him talking, but it was like my brain couldn’t really comprehend exactly what the words meant. Kinda like the teacher from the Peanut cartoons. Exactly like that. But luckily my friend Julie, who is practically a professional diver, might have seen the hint of panic on my face and translated for me. She offered that I should breathe out of my mouth like I had a cold, instead of through my nose. Oh. Now those words made sense. Breathe out of my mouth like a had a cold. Yes, I could do that. Thanks, Julie!
So after I had my moment of panic, we headed down under the water. The instructor stayed with me the whole time and Julie told me later that she was right behind us the whole time, but honestly, I kinda forgot about Julie because I was focusing on the whole breathing bit. Such a good friend, right?
Underwater it was just like diving into an IMAX movie! We were literally swimming with massive schools of fish! There were baby clown fish playing in the sea anemone and it was so very quiet! I found out that we were under water for 36 minutes, which is pretty cool considering most sitcom television shows are only 30 minutes with commercials. We dove down about 36 feet, which sounds much more impressive than when the instructor said 12 meters. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I surfaced I realized that I hadn’t taken my right hand off the mouth piece the entire time I was down there! Maybe I was still a little tiny bit afraid it was going to pop out. Maybe.
I was all smiles after the dive though. And those tanks of air are pretty heavy in case you were wondering.
So, all in all a pretty amazing vacation. Did anyone go anywhere fun for spring break? Do you like to try new places every year or do you look forward plopping your booty in the same beach chair every year?