Day 32 – Phewww!

I am at Airlie Beach – doing my dive course tomorrow in the Whitsunday Islands!!!  A MASSIVE challenge for me – I’m scared $*!#less of it!  Thanks to Ryan, my Nursing preceptor, for planting the seed of doing this while I’m here.  He basically implied that I’d be crazy not to get it.  Thank you!  Whenever people have asked why I don’t have my diving liscence, I always made up some big excuse.  But basically, I’ve been scared to do it.  I hate holding my breath underwater, and I think it stemmed from an incident I had lifeguarding many years back.  I had to dive down and get a guy from the bottom whilst I was teaching a swimming lesson one day.  I didn’t realize how hard it was to bring someone back up.  HEAVY.  I got stuck down there longer than I wanted to.  Thank goodness for the backup.  The guy started breathing, thankfully, when we brought him up, but to do this day I am paranoid about people being at the bottom of the pool, even if the deep end has no one near it.  For those of you who work with me, you know how I always try to avoid diving down to pick up that stupid brick at inservice.  I absolutely hate it!!  So here is me conquering my fears of going underwater at the GREAT BARRIER REEF.  Thank you for all of  the people who always gave me strange looks when I made up excuses – you are RIGHT.  I don’t know why I hadn’t wanted to do this before.  I’m here now, gettin’er DONE!  In 3 days I will have an actual liscence to dive internationally.  Crazy!

Airlie beach is about a 30 minute drive outside of a town called Prosperpine.  I had to fly through Brisbane to get here.  It’s amazing how much the flood is affecting the people of Queensland, even all the way up in this small town.  The shelves in the grocery stores are becoming empty.  I had an almost guilty feeling yesterday that I couldn’t do more to help.  I’m traveling happily away, so close to a natural disaster.  It feels kind of weird.  It’s definitely making me think, and realize that I want to do more than just travel.  I NEED to help people, somehow. 

Anyways, Airlie Beach is a cute TINY little town.  It reminds me of the Lahaina stip in Maui, although only about 10th the size.  Same kind of family, vacationing vibe.  It’s a tropical mini paradise here.  Lots of lush trees.  They have a lagoon that was made for people to swim in because you can’t swim in the ocean here – there’s warnings everywhere of the jellyfish.  So it feels like a little resort.  I like it here.  Not much to do, besides head out to the Great Barrier Reef!!  It’s funny becuase I hadn’t ever planned on coming up this way.  I have had a picture on my vision board of a heart shaped reef, not knowing where this place was.  It just so happens that I’m a boat ride away.  Crazy!

It was a mission in getting here, I have to say.  Hence, no blog yesterday.  I was having a “What the heck am I doing travelling all by myself!!” day.  To be honest, I wanted to give up.  I just needed a break from it all!  From things not working out, from the rain, from the no surf, from ahhhHH!!  I enjoyed a nice big burger, some beers and made some new friends at the pub instead.  Comfort food!  I rememered not to analyze my life when I’ve only had about 2 hours sleep.  I felt much better when I woke up this morning.  A fresh new day.

I called yesterday morning, early, to confirm that the dive course was still a go.  Yep!  Says the guy on the phone.  Okay then.  So I headed on up, taking the majority of the day to travel here.  When I got here, I found my hostel, unpacked some stuff then headed to the travel store to once again check to make sure it was still on.  CANCELLED.  What?!!  I just flew all the way here to do this course!!  Things just started going downhill after this.  No service on my phone, due to the floods, so I couldn’t call the travel agent in Melbourne to help me solve this problem.  I then went to sit by the beach to gain my composure before I let myself get into a panic.  It did work, although I was mega frustrated that things AGAIN weren’t working out the way I planned.  I made sure to have no expectations once I got here, but I didn’t expect this!!  Then I started feeling bad that I was feeling bad about something so small because there are alot of people in a rough place right now only miles away.  Anyways.  Back to what happened.  So I gained my composure and then headed to another travel agent, since the one I was just at pretty much told me I was SOL.  The nice lady at this next travel agent saw that I was on the verge of tears and helped me so much.  Thank goodness for kind people.  She got the Melbourne crew on the phone with me – who didn’t want to give me my money back, long story – but then we worked it out and I ended up booking something else.  Jess didn’t end up getting any commission from my bookings, even though she helped me for so long, so I bought her some beer.  I was so appreciative of her help.  They just gave me free internet here today too.  What nice people!

Today I just spent making sure everything is on for the rest of the week.  I got my course manual which I have to read through apparently all tonight?  That’s insane, but I’ll try to get as much out of it as I can.  I get to start with 3 dives tomorrow!  It should be a good day, a loooooong day.  So wish me luck!

Another seed has yet been planted in my head today.  I thought that this trip was going to help settle all of my thoughts and ideas, but it’s only making me see more of what is possible.  There are so many options!  The nurse at the doctors office today, where I had to get a medical check done in order to dive, said that she too graduated from a Canadian Nursing school when there was a hiring shortage.  She applied to a hospital in Hawaii and signed a contract for 3 months – ended up staying for 8 years.  She even said “maybe you were meant to meet me here”.  I think she’s right.  Maybe I was.  She inspired me to just write the American exam, since I’m already studying for the Canadian one.  I might just do that.  I like having options.  Who knows, it’s just another thought at the moment!  For any other nurses interested in this, she did say that they have a new grad option. 

She has helped inspire me to perhaps write my American nursing exam.  I’m definitely going to think about it.  Living in Hawaii for 4 months is on my list of things I want to do (one day).  Some more random thoughts of mine, but I really need to help people, WHILST travelling!  I’m learning that I need a community of like minded people around me and that I need to GIVE.  This blog is my way of doing that right now, but I want/need to help on a broader scale!  I know what some of you are thinking, just CHILL already lady!  But that’s not my nature.  I always want more and I can’t sit still!  At least I’m recognizing this in myself and letting myself accept it.  So if you have any ideas for me, throw them this way.  And if there’s any other Nursing girls thinking of writing the exam, let me know too.  Who knows, anything is possible! 

Enough of my random blabbering!  Enjoy your weekend!

Smile with your heart!   

I’m having a hard time uploading pics.  The internet is suuuuper slow here, so I’ll be sure to post a bunch of these older blogs when I can :)

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. Hey Jen,

    It’s Sabrina, Ryan’s friend from VGH. I came across your blog on FB and started reading about your wonderful journey! Good to hear you’re having a good time and I must tell you that you’re making me extremely jealous!! Your blog is really inspiring and I hope I’ll get to go on my own adventure like you (sooner rather than later!).

    Keep writing!
    PS- I must take half the credit for the fact that you went to take your diving course, since you wouldn’t have done it without Ryan and I’m the one who made him ;) j/k I’m just glad you did it!

    • BAHAHAHA!!! Thank you Sabrina!!! Thank you for reading this!!! and YES! You do get half the credit..hahaha i can’t believe I was so scared to try it, now I’m addicted!! So thank you!!! You guys are awesome, I hope you’re both doing well.. thank you for reading!!!! I’m gonna have to come by for a visit one of these days soon :)

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