There are some moments in life that don’t seem real, even while you’re experiencing them first hand. They feel like out of body experiences; you know it’s happening, you can feel it happening, but it doesn’t feel like it is happening to you. Does this make sense? Probably not. I’ve told you before, I still struggle to explain exactly how it felt.
If you’ve already read my blog post about swimming with humpback whales in Tonga, then you’ll already know that for me, it was a life-changing experience. Words escape me when I try to write about it. Even months later, I am still in awe of it all. It was, irrevocably, the best thing I have ever done.
So, if I haven’t already inspired you enough to travel all the way to Tonga in whale season to see for yourself, here is what you can expect once you do it – 4 ways that swimming with humpback whales will change your life!
1. You will become an advocate for the ocean
Most people will say that they love the ocean, but this isn’t the same as being an advocate for the ocean. As humans, we’ve well and truly taken our privilege for granted and as a result, we’re damaging some of the most valuable parts of our natural world.
The ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth and produces over half the oxygen that we breathe. With this in mind, it’s pretty simple to understand that if we keep polluting our ocean, we will pollute ourselves. Marine plastic pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing us and if we don’t act now, our whole future is in jeopardy. So, the question is, how do we make more people care about it?
Let me tell you this – if everyone had the opportunity to swim with a humpback whale in the ocean and really spend some time in their world, they’d see that it was worth saving. If not for ourselves, then for the millions on millions of creatures that call it home. I have always considered myself an advocate for the ocean, but after swimming with the whales it has really, really become a part of who I am.
2. Your perspective will change indefinitely
I am always seeking ways to change my perspective. In the past few years, as I have made the transition towards a more conscious, sustainable lifestyle, I have learnt that perspective is one thing that will always challenge you. Sometimes it can be a very confronting thing, but usually, this leads to positive change. For example, my journey towards a commitment to veganism has seen my perspective challenged and changed in more ways than I can count. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worthwhile.
Swimming with humpback whales will change your perspective indefinitely. It will change the way you see the world and your place in it. It will make you feel more connected to nature than ever before, and from this, you will develop a respect for our natural world that you didn’t even know was possible. It will bring you so much joy that your negative thoughts and feelings will seem insignificant. It will really change the way you feel about the world.
3. You will place greater value on experiences
I used to think things would make me happy. I’d spend money on new clothes, new shoes or new makeup, and expect that after making the purchase I’d finally find the happiness I was looking for. I mean, who wouldn’t be happy with four pairs of brand-new Nike joggers? Well, my bank account, that’s for sure.
It took me a long time to realise this, but material items really mean nothing to me. I spent so long thinking that having the latest outfits, or the most expensive makeup, would make me a better person in my own eyes. I really couldn’t have been more wrong. I mean, I don’t even wear makeup!
There are some people who think that owning a designer bag worth thousands and thousands of dollars will make them happy, and that’s okay. If that’s what floats your boat, then you do you. Each to their own.
But the thousands and thousands of dollars spent on a new season Chanel handbag just baffles me. You know what you can do for thousands and thousands of dollars? You can spend a week swimming in the South Pacific waters of the Kingdom of Tonga with one of the biggest marine creatures on the planet.
Experiences are priceless, especially when they provide you with a deep connection to our natural world. Experiences may not be physical objects that can last a lifetime, but they become memories which will last a lifetime. Experiences are the spice of life, and you should try to make your life as flavoursome as it can be!
4. You will fall in love
I’ve spent my entire life surrounded by humpback whales. Being from Eden, on the NSW Far South Coast, whales have always been a huge part of my life, and my identity. Travelling to Tonga and swimming with the humpback whales gave me a sense of connection like I’ve never felt before, like everything had come full circle.
I’ve always loved whales, but I didn’t realise just how much until I got in the water with them. Their gentle nature and curiosity has to be seen to be believed. Their intelligence is very underestimated, especially that of the young calves. When you’re in their world, you feel a sense of complete connection and ease. I still have trouble describing it, but those who’ve swum with them too will understand.
Trust me, you’ll fall in love. In love with the ocean, with the whales, with your own life.