Written by Kira Knight
Some would say that travelling across the Pacific Ocean at the young age of 9 months could give you the travel bug. Being someone who actually did that, I would say that that is 100% accurate. Luckily, my entire family has the travel bug, and ever since I can remember we’ve been travelling whenever possible.
Once upon a time, a long while ago, two people met in university, and they hit it off right and away. Soon they were backpacking across Europe, and down into Africa where they stayed for five years. By that time, they decided to return to the Canadian life, living in igloos and riding moose to work. It was hard at first, but soon they were riding moose as though they had never been away. That’s when my sister arrived, dropped off by a beautiful Asian stork. Then three years later, I was dropped off, but my parents never stopped feeling the need to travel, so my life as a traveller began.
The first trip I remember was when I was in junior kindergarten, and my entire family took a break from the Canadian life, and travelled down to the Cook Islands and New Zealand for a couple of months. My memory is pretty choppy, but I remember having so much fun. My sister and I would spend hours playing on the beach, finding hermit crabs, and running around before hopping into little bike seats and going for a pedal around the island.
One of my favourite trips would probably be one where we went to Belize. We began at the Lamanai Outpost Lodge, which is very remote and directly on the New River. To this day, it is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. We arrived by boat, flying past beautiful lush vegetation, and some of the most startling vibrant birds. The lodge itself was exactly how you would imagine and eco lodge to be; serene, with all of the natural wood showing, with vegetation and wild animals roaming around at their own free will. However, on the occasion where howler monkeys began howling at 5 a.m. it was no longer calm, it was irritating.
After about a week at the beautiful Lamanai Outpost Lodge, we flew down to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The reason why we chose here was because we wanted to dive. My parents had their diving licence, and my sister and I wanted to get our kiddie versions of the real deal. So, we rented an apartment, and were soon diving every day. My sister and I began the course in shallow water, learning how to breathe calmly, clear our masks, retrieve the *mouth piece*if it ever fell out of our mouths, and use the signing technique to convey messages underwater. By the time we got to deeper waters, I felt as though I could take on the world… I didn’t. Instead, I got myself stuck in a large bed of coral. How? Well, we were learning how to control our buoyancy with our breath, but then I was caught in a light current and as I exhaled, to go down, I was pulled into a bed of coral. I sat there for a good few minutes before people even noticed that I was stuck, talk about embarrassing! However, that wasn’t the end of my embarrassing moments of that particular dive. As we were ascending to the surface, I got distracted by a couple of nurse sharks swimming below us. I stopped to look at them, but when I looked up, everyone in my group had disappeared. Beginning to panic, I looked side to side, frantically trying to spot my sister’s neon flippers, I had no such luck. Then I felt someone tap my shoulder, it was the dive master, he pointed upwards and I saw my group floating just above me… they had seen my entire freak out and all I had had to do was look towards the surface. Fortunately, for me, these lapses in my judgement didn’t affect whether or not I got my diving certificate, and by the end of the trip both my sister and I were certified divers.
Since then we’ve gone on countless trips all over the world, following our need to explore and experience different cultures, returning to different parts of Africa and Europe, visiting family friends. Never have I ever forgotten how lucky I am to be in a family who not only loves travelling as much I do, but one that has the ability to do so.