After our boat docked on the shore of Apo Island, we started to prepare on what we came for: snorkeling and swimming with the turtles. You will see different species of turtles that swim freely even on chest-deep water. However, we have no underwater camera to be used during snorkeling. 😦 Good news is, the guide has a GoPro available for rent. Bad news is, it is worth P1,200 and we are short of cash. Seriously? We even came to the point of begging even just to get one shot each!
It made me realize, is it really worth it? Will my experience be affected if I don’t get one photo underwater?
When I found out that we will have no camera to be used underwater, I had the inane thought that nobody would see that I had gone swimming with turtles. You know, if it isn’t uploaded on social media, it never happened. That kind of mentality. What a silly thought! It has always been about Facebook and Instagram. But when I saw the underwater world with the corals, colorful fishes and of course the turtles, I just savored the moment. I could not believe how close I could get to them. It was then that I realized that enjoying every experience is what that really matters.
I think it’s all about the photo now, and not the experience itself, like going to other places just for the photos (I am guilty for this.) Travel for me should be about the people you meet and the impact they have on you. It’s about overcoming challenges and learning new things. I’m actually thinking of not bringing a camera or a phone on my next travel, I wonder if I can do that!
I love photography but sometimes when I go to places I just put my camera down and take what I call a “mental picture”. These snapshots are the most precious since they will always be there in my memory. I only take my camera in case I see something beautiful or worth-it. I’m finding that aspect taking away a small part of my enjoyment of the experience though.
And also while traveling I feel so pressured to make the most of every moment by rushing to every tourist spot to take photos and not make memories. I forget to appreciate what it is I am actually doing. Social media turned my life into daily doses of documentation.
I know I take a lot of photos wherever I go, but I think there can be a balance. What I try to do is snap a few photos here and there and call it good because I still want to enjoy myself. I remember the last time I went to a concert; everyone was watching the performance from behind their phones, instead of being present. And the sad part is I saw myself doing that,too.
So to the guide with a super pricey GoPro rental and to Apo Island, thank you very much for the reminder to live in the moment!