My friend Liza is the adventurous soul who encouraged me to apply to teach in Thailand with her. She is also the genius who suggested I get an ENO hammock before we left. Purchasing that pink and purple double-nester was the best damn decision I ever made. Our ENOs quite literally became our homes. After our first night's sleep in our hammocks on Koh Samet, “ENO” became a verb. Thus began our quest to ENO far and wide. Over the next few months, we ENO-ed in parks (local and national), sunflower fields, on many a beach, jungle, and even, stupidly, on dimly lit riverside street corners.
We learned a lot in our early ENO days, the main lesson being to trust our instinct. If a gut feeling told us not to ENO somewhere, we didn't. In fact, the biggest source of danger we ever came close to encountering was animals: monkeys, killer ants, mosquitos, baby sharks and insects I previously never knew existed. We built up our ENO skills for months in preparation for an ENO trip of a lifetime. We spent the first two weeks of summer vacation in utter bliss, island-hopping, sleeping in our hammocks, bathing in the ocean and living mostly off rations of nuts and berries we had carried with us.
Whether my love for the sea stems from growing up on an island or visiting the Outer Banks every summer of my life, it was certainly solidified when I arrived at the University of Miami. After being certified in the Floridian keys, I truly came to love the sport in Thailand. The silence that exists underwater in unlike any on land; the inability to speak leaves you alone with your own thoughts. Koh Tao, specifically, provides awesome reefs and cheap day trips. I then took my certification one step further in Indonesia where I became deep-water certified.
"They tried to bury us but they didn't know we were seeds."
Coming away from this monumental day in history, I still had qualms over whether or not to write an opinionated political post. But in hindsight, it is more clear than ever why this fight for social justice can and should appeal to everyone. Regardless of race, class, gender or sexuality, we should all believe in equality. Never before have I been a part of such a peaceful crowd of such high numbers all rallying together for social justice (a whopping 600,000 people marched on Washington alone).
It wasn’t until after the march that I was acutely aware of why I marched. I marched for human rights. I marched because I believe in a future for our planet and because I want to raise children on this Earth. I marched because I believe in unity through diversity. Love, warmth and acceptance were palpable in the air on this historic day.