Part of Your Ahhhh Don't Touch Me!

Part of Your Ahhhh Don't Touch Me!

A first time snorkeling experience told by someone who hates fish.

A week ago I went to Maui, Hawaii for the first time and experienced so many things that I never would've thought I would have the chance or courage to do: I went to a luau, I ate fish, and I even swam with some. Well, I'm lying to be honest this wasn't actually the first time I have swam with sea creatures. I did participate once in swimming with baby sharks and stingrays at Typhoon Lagoon but I think I did to much woosey screaming and hyperventilating to make it count as a real first time snorkel event.

For someone who loves the aesthetics of mermaid life, I for one do not think I actually have what it takes to be a mermaid. Mostly because the idea of a fish touching me makes me want to gag.

This comes from the fact that I pet a dolphin long ago and it was way to slimy feeling than I thought it was going to be. Plus how could we forget Jaws the main cause of many ocean swimmers's fears and the final ruining of my mermaid dreams.


That being said, when I went on this trip and had the option of snorkeling as an activity, I finally decided I was going to face my fears and swim with some fishies gosh darn it. The mental preparation for the excursion was probably the most terrifying part as my mind was racked with thoughts such as: what if I got eaten by a a shallow water dwelling shark, what if a fish actually touched me, what if my red hair attracted a sea witch that would steal my voice, and what if I ended up in the eye of a Sharknado without my lucky chainsaw?

the terrifying possibilities were endless. However, I girded my loins, slipped on my flippers, and clumsily flopped into the ocean.

At first it wasn't terrifying, mostly because I was told that if you moved your arms around a lot the fish wouldn't bother you. So I pretty much looked like this the whole time I was in the water:

and needless to say that it did work and I was still able to see some pretty fish.

I was starting to get the reason on why people enjoy snorkeling, then of course the Godzilla of turtles started to stalk me. Now, was it cool to see the real "Crush" from Finding Nemo?

Yes, but then suddenly everywhere I went he followed. It was such a strange moment because I was struck between being in awe at a gorgeous animal following me and terrified because it was so massive. I actually had to take a break because I was tired from trying to out swim this turtle, and yes I know they are naturally slow but you try it and don't get tired!

Once I got back in the water after my mini break I decided that maybe this time I would be more comfortable, with the sea life and start to swim like a real mermaid for the fun of it. It was too convincing apparently, because five seconds later this scary dead eyed eel pops out of a coral and I am pretty sure it was about to ask me to follow it to a sea lair. I politely said no to the little guy by swimming away very quickly.

While in the process of swimming away I may have also choked a bit on sea water making the experience a little more terrifying.

When finally I got away and back to a calmer part of the area things settled down to where it was just me, some pretty yellow fish, ...and some guy with a spear swimming up behind me?

I guess you can fish in the same area where tourists are merrily floating along. And I know you can't really say excuse me with a snorkel in your mouth but you think there would be some way to tell someone "hey I'm coming up behind you with a harpoon please move".

As I'm staring at this spear the fisher had while he floats past me I then notice a string trailing behind it and attached to it which turns out to be 10 dead fish, that he had already caught,looking at me with faces that said "please help me!". That's when I decided it was really time to swim back at definitely Michael Phelps speed. Because where there is fish blood there will, probably but not very likely in such shallow waters, be sharks.

Despite all the terrible things that happened though, would I try snorkeling again? Yeah I think I would. It was a kind of creepy but also exciting experience that I would definitely try again. Just as long as there are no fishers.


Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Abyss

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10 Signs You Know You're From Michigan

You may know weird lingo, but you are proud to be a Michigander.

In a few weeks when I fly back to the East Coast from Detroit, I know I will have to adjust back to life in New England. For the last month I stayed in Michigan with my family over the holiday break, and other than constantly mixing up "soda" and "pop," I was able to fall back into my habitual ways.

However, I will never fail to express my Michigander pride to my Mainer friends.

1. We show where we're from with our hands

Oh, you're from Detroit? I'm from Lansing! *holds up hand and points*

2. You know someone who hates foreign cars

Detroit is known as the Car Capital of the World, and odds are that you know someone who sneers every time they see a foreign car. I know I do!

3. You know what a Michigan Left Turn is

This is something I have only seen in Michigan! It's hard to explain, but we essentially turn around using U-turns instead of at an intersection. My hometown has several of these and I often am confused with how to turn around in other states.

4. Meijer

Founded in Michigan, Meijer is a wonderful store for all of one's shopping needs. There are a little over 200 locations, and over half of them are in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. A few other locations are scattered across the Midwest, but it is concentrated in Michigan. I'd say Meijer is comparable to New England's Hannaford market.

5. We know how to say (and spell) Mackinac

Mackinac is NOT pronounced "Mack-in-ACK." It is "Mack-in-AW."

6. You know what a Troll, Yooper, and Fudgie is

Trolls live in the Lower Peninsula below the Mackinac Bridge. Yoopers live in the Upper Peninsula or the "UP." Fudgies are pretty much everyone else because Michiganders love their fudge.

7. We have two seasons

The two seasons are winter and construction season. Our "spring flowers" are orange construction cones! Not to mention that winter is great because the snow fills up the many potholes infecting the roads!

8. Your sports affiliation

The rivalry between Michigan State and University of Michigan football is real. But one thing is for sure: both teams support each other when up against Ohio.

9. You love Superman ice cream

It's the best tasting ice cream, and originated in Michigan. It's traditionally blue, red, and yellow. I have yet to see it offered in New England.

10. Weird weather

The Great Lakes really funk with the weather. It can either bump weather away from the state, or trap it inside. We've had mornings where it snows, and by the evening it's all gone!

One thing is for sure, and it's that we are proud Michiganders.


Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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13 Tips To Survive Your Next NYC Trip Like A Local

This will help you be more prepared for your big trip!

I got to go to New York City for the first time a few days ago with a group of my friends and I had an awesome time. Even though I made great memories that I’ll keep forever, by the end of the trip I had learned some things that would definitely have been useful before I got to NYC. Here’s my tips for your vacation to the Big Apple:

1. Pace yourself.

New York City is huge and what may seem like a few blocks on a map can end up being a long walk. Even if you decide that you don’t mind a longer walk, make sure you pace yourself. Walking too much the first day in the city can make you sore for the rest of your trip, which isn’t fun.

2. Get an unlimited Metro card.

If you’re only in the city for a few days and can calculate exactly how many times you’ll ride the subway/buses and how much that costs, then you can put money on a normal Metro card.

But for peace of mind and increased flexibility, an unlimited seven-day metro card is perfect. You can hop on and off the subway and buses whenever you need to and won’t have to worry about your money running out.

3. Plan your trip before you get there.

My friends and I had an idea of the sites we wanted to see but didn’t really figure out exactly what we wanted to do and when until we were riding the subway into Times Square. Our trip still worked out- we saw everything close to us the first day and then saw what we missed from there for the rest of the trip. But it would’ve helped if we’d had a solid plan earlier.

4. Bring a reusable water bottle.

Walking a lot means you’ll need to be hydrated, but bottled water is expensive in the city, so bring your own and refill at water fountains (the New York Public Library and the United Nations are both free to go into and have clean ones) or ask for a cup of water if a restaurant allows that (Chipotle does) and refill with that.

5. Walk when the New Yorkers walk.

When crossing the street, there will be a moment when the little red hand is still up, but people start walking. That’s because the people who live and work in NYC know that the little walking figure is coming since the light is red, so they get a head start at crossing the street. Don’t bother waiting for the little walking person, or you’ll hold up the people behind you. Just walk.

6. Avoid carrying a bag.

Even sites that seem less major, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, have bag checks whenever you go in, so try to keep the bare necessities in your pockets. If you absolutely need to carry a bag, try to make it a small one and be prepared to open it whenever asked.

7. Clean bathrooms are rare.

The random deli we ate in had a bathroom, but it was disgusting. In contrast, Chipotle had a rather clean bathroom. The best restroom I found, though, was at the New York Public Library. Attractions, even free ones, will most likely have the cleanest bathrooms. After that, trust a chain restaurant first. Remember that a dirty bathroom won’t kill you though.

8. Always carry hand sanitizer.

After using the subway, touching souvenirs, and taking selfies, you’ll want to use hand sanitizer before eating, especially since the restaurant you’re in might not have a clean bathroom to wash your hands in, as mentioned above. Always carry hand sanitizer with you for those moments and for any other gross, unplanned things that might happen.

9. Time and money are related.

You might save money by staying in New Jersey, but you might also spend half an hour getting into and out of the city every day. A tour of the UN might be awesome, but it also might take more time and money then exploring by yourself. Decide how much time and how much money you want to spend on attractions and accommodations because often these things are related.

10. A lot of attractions are free.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the New York Public Library, the 9/11 Memorial, Fearless Girl/Charging Bull, the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Station, the United Nations, Rockefeller Center, Alexander Hamilton’s Uptown Estate, Times Square, the Staten Island Ferry, and Central Park are all free. Some of the museums have suggested donations, but you can always pay less depending on your budget. Google other free attractions for the season you’re going and you can find some great, cheap gems.

11. Bring a phone charger.

Google maps will be your best friend while getting around the city, but if you’re in the city for a long time, you’ll want to have a charger handy. A small portable charger that can fit in your pocket or bag is a great way to make sure you don’t get stranded anywhere.

12. It's ok to talk to strangers . . . sometimes.

You don’t need to talk to every person you see, but we did end up having a great conversation with an older gentleman when we asked if we were on the right bus. We spent the rest of the ride talking to him about everything from his recent operation to have a pacemaker put into his passion for writing poetry. His name was Frank, and I’ll always remember that brief bus friendship that made the end of our long day brighter.

13. Keep calm and enjoy yourself.

With all the hustle and bustle of NYC and knowing that your time is limited, it’s easy to just jump from place to place in a crazed desire to see as much as possible. However, you’ll enjoy your trip more if you walk a little slower, and calmly take in everything around you instead of snapping a picture and rushing on.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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