It’s been just over 24 hours since I left TRACC and Pom Pom Island yet it feels like I’ve been gone for much longer.
When I first got to TRACC, I really didn’t know what I had gotten myself in to. I was strongly questioning how I was going to make it a full 6 weeks there, but I embraced the experience and fell in love with it.
Pom Pom Island truly became my home.
After just a couple of weeks, I felt like I had been living there for ages. It was hard to think about the life I had left in LA.
I grew to love living in my little tent and being outside pretty much 100% of the time.
I looked forward to having a drink on the jetty while watching the sunset and playing Juno (aka jetty Uno) with the rest of the group.
By the end of it, I didn’t want to think about leaving that little island. And to be honest, all I’ve thought about since I left is when can I go back!
Before I went to TRACC, I was an Advanced Open Water diver with 23 dives under my belt.
I was shaky and nervous when I would dive. I constantly struggled with my buoyancy and control. I had been wanting to up my dive certification and really learn to become a better diver for a long time.
Now I am a certified Rescue Diver and my confidence in the water has grown exponentially.
I am so much more comfortable while diving it’s incredible! I know that I still have a lot more to learn, but that will come in due time.
I’ve been pondering the thought of becoming a Dive Master and possibly working leading dives. Talking with the Dive Masters at TRACC and at the other resorts has made me really envious of their jobs.
Seriously! You get to dive everyday and show people all of the amazing creatures in the ocean.
I’m pretty sure this WILL be happening in my future.
Working with TRACC has taught me so much about our oceans too.
I knew they were in jeopardy, but I had no idea there were so many things we can do to help them.
I really enjoyed working underwater planting coral, identifying fish, extracting Crown of Thorns, and everything in-between.
What was even better was being able to see some of the progress the different projects were making and hearing how excited the staff would get when they saw new fish in the area.
This experience has really opened my eyes to a whole new world and has shown me that we can really make a big difference!
Last but not least I have to talk about the relationships I made at TRACC.
Without this, my stay wouldn’t have been anywhere near as wonderful as it was.
A few different people came in and left while I was there and every time it felt like I was losing a brother or sister.
When a couple of staff members left for a short break, I couldn’t wait until they got back. After being around them for a couple weeks, I felt like we had been close friends for years. They were my girls!
I’m going to miss my morning girlie jetty talks with another volunteer. We were there for each other to listen and chat about the goings on in our lives. She was also the person that helped me achieve my goal of hitting 100 dives before I left…..even with her sore ear!
I celebrated my 33rd birthday while I was at TRACC too, and everyone went above and beyond to make it a great day. I really didn’t know what it was going to be like, but this birthday will be an extremely hard one to beat.
I’ve always made great relationships while traveling, but what was built at TRACC is something different.
This group was my family. They have given me so many great memories and have left me with such a good feeling inside. I miss them terribly, and can’t wait until the day I get to see them again.
This experience is definitely one I will never forget. Thank you to TRACC and all the amazing people associated with them for giving me this opportunity and making my stay so wonderful. You are all so beautiful.
‘Til we see each other again……Cheers!
If you want to have an amazing experience and help rebuild the coral reef at the same time check out TRACC’s website for more info.