Christmas is just seven days away, and it finally hit me today that I will be away from my family for the holidays for the first time. Months ago when my parents offered to fly me home for Christmas I responded with a smile and a “why wouldn’t I want to spend my Christmas diving or on the beach?!” (which I quickly followed with a “I will miss you all so much though!”). Today was the day that it finally hit me that I will really miss my friends and family in North Carolina more over the next two weeks than I have thus far.

After wallowing in this new emotion called homesickness for a few hours, I looked around and realized how lucky I am to be in Costa Rica surrounded by such amazing new friends.  My roommates and coworkers really make me feel at home here. Already I’ve had three hilarious and delicious christmas gatherings over the past week, and I know that the next weeks will hold even more fun times and we will create countless more memories.

We have full boats and long days ahead, and I am newly energized to share this country and these waters with many people over the next few weeks. Each day of diving teaches me more and I gain invaluable experience leading and interacting with divers from all over the world. I feel lucky to be able to spend my holidays with my Costa Rican friends doing what I love best- diving! Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo