A very last-minute trip
I was sitting in a plush red fold out seat in Leeds, West Yorkshire at the interval of “Hairspray – the musical” scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook when the dive centre where I’d been expertly taught to dive (S’algar Diving, Menorca) posted a picture of them all packed up ready to fly to the Maldives and I commented “I’m so jealous! Wish I could come too”
To which Sylva, the manager of the center, replied without sarcasm and in complete sincerity, “Well, why don’t you?”
I sat in my seat at the theatre staring into space, unable to come up with any real reason not to and thought, “Why don’t I?”
I had just returned from working on cruise ships – the reason, in fact, I had learnt to dive over a year ago, so when docked around the world I could find a dive centre and explore the depths of the sea as well as what the land had to offer in that port – and I had a completely clear schedule for a few weeks.
Entering into a conversation with Sylva shortly before the curtain went up for Act 2, she very kindly agreed I could go and said that she was thrilled that she would have more young people on the trip as there were already two other under 21s booked on the live-a-board and she was sure we would all have a great time together – and we did.
After the show, I returned home, started packing and talked to my dad about my impromptu decision. He has dived for years and was a bit gutted he wasn’t going.
I said, “So come then. What’s stopping you?”
He made the usual excuses about work and leaving my mum alone.
“Mum, won’t care!” I said – at which point she shook her head vigorously, excited at the prospect of a week alone – “and as for work, you have loads of holiday days you haven’t used this year. Just do it!”
He disappeared for about 20 minutes and practically bounced back into the room telling me he’d booked our flights from Manchester the next morning. “Less than 6 hours from now” he said excitedly like it was some kind of achievement to have booked them so close to our departure.
So after very little sleep – partly due to packing, partly due to us being too excited – we headed off to Manchester airport for our very long journey to start our very last minute trip.