My entire life I have been afraid of water.
I hate lakes, rivers, oceans and I’m terrified of any sort of water activity. I know how
to swim but I simply hate not knowing what’s below me in the water or feeling overpowered
by waves, currents, or rapids. I’m also not very good at being adventurous.
I try to be. I’ve always craved an adventurous spirit but I have a hard time pushing myself
to be brave. I know the reason I have a hard time being adventurous is because of my fears.
My fears dictate my willingness to do or not do something. I studied abroad last year in Rome Italy.
During my semester there, we visited the island of Capri. My friends and I decided to do a
boat tour around the island with the hopes of seeing the famous Blue Grotto. When we
arrived to where the Grotto was, Alfonzo, our Italian tour guide who was convinced I
was Italian, told us “The Grotto is closed…but for you…today..It is open! But go quickly…and
don’t tell anyone!” Swimming illegally into one of the most beautiful places in Italy..why
not!? But because of my extreme fear of water it took a lot of coaxing for me to swim over
to the grotto. I mean we are talking big waves, 50 meter swim, no life jacket, tiny opening,
Mediterranean Sea…the works! Well, our group swam over and there was a chain that we grabbed
onto and pulled ourselves in. Once we were in it was very calm! I couldn’t really appreciate
the beauty as much as I would have liked because I was focused on treading water, staying alive,
and not freaking myself out. I didn’t even look down at the water because I was terrified
of what might be lurking in the cave! Well..the waves were getting bigger so we needed to
leave. Emily helped me get out of the cave but with my horrible timing, a wave came in
right as I was leaving. I swallowed a ton of salt water and got knocked up against the
wall. Thank God there was a staircase right by the entrance to the cave so I was able
to pull myself up and get my breathe. After a few minutes, I jumped back in the water
and swam back to the boat. Emily noticed I was all cut up. I hadn’t felt a thing and
it was so worth it! It’s been a year since my illegal swim at
Capri. The scars on my left leg are a daily reminder, not of the pain that came with swimming
in the Blue Grotto, but of the adventures I had during my semester in Italy!