Location: Great Harbor, Jost van Dyke

This morning, I woke up to Noah’s new plastic pig making a snorting noise in my ear. I’m pretty sure that everyone on the boat has learned that I am able to sleep at any time and place without being woken up, even by the most creative methods of slumber disruption. I have been mastering this art for years. Today we had kind of a chill morning where we learned about mangroves and how essential they are to ecosystems in the BVI. Then, we went to a restaurant called Foxy’s for lunch. I got a burger as I have been craving meat all trip. We proceeded to walk to the “Bubbly Pool” to record the growth of some recently planted mangroves and swim in the not-so-bubbly “Bubbly Pool.” After racing back to the boat to anchor before dark, the boat played my song while taking Hibiclens showers (spaffy on all major streaming platforms, so check me out), which was super exciting for me.

As people are starting to realize that this priceless experience is coming to an end, I have started to do more reflecting on why I wanted to come here. Em asked us this question a couple of days ago, and ever since then, I’ve been trying to figure it out. I think that it’s a mix between wanting to just do something amazing and also wanting to grow personally. Something about living on a boat with little-to-no connection with anyone else is liberating and fosters an enormous amount of introspection. It has definitely helped me realize some things about myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have learned how to manage some emotions that I have never really tried to deal with before coming on this trip, like comparing myself to others, and I am proud of myself for that. I’m insanely thankful for this experience, as it has connected me with interesting people from all over the country (and beyond), which has given me insight into different ways of life. I have learned a lot more about life and what it means to be alive on this trip than I ever have before. Although that sounds extremely cliche, I have always struggled with being present with what I am doing, and I have found moments during this trip where I have been completely immersed in what I am doing. Now that I have a taste of how that feels, I will make sure to find more moments like those in my life and make the best of even the little moments. I have been journaling this entire trip, which is extremely unlike me, but I have a few pages dedicated to some of the most exciting, breathtaking, funniest, and present moments on this trip. I know that whenever I am struggling with feeling like I can’t enjoy things, I will be able to look at those pages in order to bring my mind back to how I feel right now. I think writing things down has helped me find a greater appreciation for what I’m doing because I’ll read it and be like… hold on… I’m in the British Virgin Islands, helping the community and making relationships with people I would never meet otherwise. I’ll read that sentence over and over again and realize how much of a blessing being here is. I’ve never seen myself grow in my life as I have on this trip before. The song “rock + roll” by EDEN just came on, so if my girlfriend is reading this, she’ll know how much I miss her right now. Overall, I have made some unforgettable memories this trip so far, and I have grown in ways I never would have predicted for myself. I am so thankful for the opportunity, and I am excited to see what these last couple of days have in store for me and the rest of my boat. I am going to miss this fantastic group of people, as they have been one of the main inspirations for my personal growth.