I find Apo Island so amazing that it’s worth the struggle. Getting to this piece of paradise was a perfect metaphor for my life. Read on to find out why.

(If you like awesome beach shots, scroll fast all the way down; if you want to know the story behind those pictures, read slowly.)

Apo Island is a wonderland of dramatic seascapes, superb landscape, and rich biodiversity. Most travel bloggers I met told me the sea turtles would greet you ‘good morning’ at  the island’s shores.

That would be a far cry from our previous snorkeling experience where sea turtles were elusive, or plain unfriendly. Who wouldn’t want to see sea turtles wave ‘hi’ even just once in their lifetime?  I’m sure neither I nor my friends want to pass that up.taunted by the waves

Sea Turtle Chasers Brave the Waves

Splashes from sea water slapped my face at every wrong turn of the boat. My lips tasted salty from the brine of the ocean. The thing is, I doubt there could ever be a right way to navigate those churning waves.

The wobbly boat we were riding felt safe while we were at the harbor (like most vessels). But as we were sailing in the middle of the sea, barely seeing our destination, fear clutched my heart.

Is this what leaving your comfort zone feels like?

To distract my mind, I tried to think of something else. But here lies the problem, I’m not good at picking distractions.

I thought of the valuables. The camera we bought a week or two ago was fairly new, unscratched, and obviously, with zero ROI. We bought it to take decent pictures for our commercial websites and earn from them.

Then, I began thinking about my macbook. It’s 3 years old. I was strangely glad I didn’t bring it with us. Wait. Stop right there. What an incredibly useless thought.

If the boat capsized and we died traversing the rough seas from Dumaguete to Apo Island, my possessions, big or small, wouldn’t matter. Even the mourners at my funeral wouldn’t make sense. The dead and obviously deaf me wouldn’t hear their cries.

This paranoia got stronger as the waves remained violent. I was beginning to regret going when I realized I was never alone in this trip. I looked around me.

The Party of Four

Apo Island Party of fourIn front of me, Jool was quiet. Perhaps accepting our fate and wishing we’d reach Apo Island safely. She didn’t scream as loud as I had anticipated. I was certain our situation was freaking her out but she sat with poise and charm, tossing her fears into the sea.

Rob was sitting across Neil, getting more slaps from the sea than I did. He didn’t curse the waters despite his famous branding, ‘the hater‘. Instead, he spoke of random anecdotes that often cracked us up. The introvert was unsurprisingly unmoved by our situation.

Neil, meanwhile, was grinning and cheering, enjoying each bump we successfully crossed. This guy must be made up of a weird set of genes. He could turn awfully dangerous situations (at least in my eyes) into a big joke.  He could laugh in the face of menacing waves.

Melodrama alert: I was never sailing alone. We were all in this struggle together. Anyone who wishes to reach something so beautiful wouldn’t mind getting slaps along the way. Or in our case, wouldn’t succumb to fear in the face of rough or roaring seas.

P.S. No, the sea turtles didn’t show up, hiding themselves well into safety. But we have experienced Apo Island in its most unusual, picturesque form. I guess nature rewards those who put up with her tantrums.

Apo Island seascape Hello from Apo Island playing with Apo Island Waves seascape and landscape Splashes from Apo Island

By Issa

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