Overcoming fear at the Great Barrier Reef,Australia


Great Barrier Reef“Get in the water, woman! Get in the water!” No, I am not Allie, from The Notebook, being encouraged to jump into a modest, safe pond. I am Barbara Anne, and I was being encouraged to jump into the middle of the unknown, Pacific Ocean.
“What if there are sharks!” I wailed to my boyfriend, who was treading water nearby.

“Then I will save you,” he replied calmly with a grin.

“Now come on!”

As he dove underneath the surface of the water, I hesitated. On one hand, I was absolutely terrified of sharks; but on the other hand, when would I ever get the chance to dive in the Great Barrier Reef again? I held the snorkel mask to my face, and stuck my head under the water to see what was beneath me. I shrieked, and successfully swallowed enough salt water to forcefully come to the surface immediately, sounding like I had bronchitis, lung cancer, and asthma combined.

“What’s wrong!” Morgan, my boyfriend, replied, looking anxious.

Unable to keep the smile from escaping, I replied in excitement,“It’s so beautiful!” and dove right in.
Though the allurement of the reef persuaded me to jump into the water, I immediately felt fearful again. I spent the first ten minutes swimming in circles, constantly looking for dark, shadowy figures that could be lurking. I looked like I was trying to chase my flippers; unsuccessfully at that.

However, after ten minutes of no sharks appearing, my nerves began to wane, and my eyes finally opened to the true enchantment of the Great Barrier Reef. I had never seen such a multitude of vibrant colors; I wished that I had two pairs of eyes, so that I could see everything twice. I spotted fish and coral of every size, shape, and color, and all were absolutely remarkable. I followed a sea turtle around, pretending that I was a baby duck following my mother. I explored small crevices to find small fish seeking refuge in hiding places. I forgot about my phobia of sharks entirely, and gave my heart to the reef completely. For a rare three hours, I truly knew what it meant to live in the moment. Even more than that, I became the moment. I transformed into a part of the Great Barrier Reef, a living and breathing organism like everything else. I began to wonder if the creatures that I was seeing looked at me with the same sense of amazement. I wondered if they had fears, like me. I wondered what it was like to be able to swim in such an incredible and breathtaking place every day. The reef made me so curious. I decided that the animals I was seeing were quite lucky to live in such a wondrous place.

As the captain called us in, I swam back in a daze, hypnotized by the images I had seen that day. From the fascinating people I met, to the brilliant animals and coral I saw, to overcoming one of my largest fears, my day spent at the Great Barrier Reef was one I will never forget, nor regret.

About the Author: Barbara Anne Scheibel is a Childhood Education major at SUNY Oswego. I absolutely love traveling, children, and writing.

Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter our next Travel Writing competition and tell your story.


From Inspiration Travel Writing Contest

We hope you enjoyed this entry in the We Said Go Travel Inspiration Travel Writing Contest. Please visit our Travel Writing Contest page: Click hereto learn more and share your story. Thank you for reading the article and please participate by leaving a comment below.

4 responses to “Overcoming fear at the Great Barrier Reef,Australia

    1. I would most definitely suggest that you give snorkeling a try! Fear only lasts in the moment, but regret can plague you forever. There is a whole other world under the water just waiting for us to explore it 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We Said Go Travel