Memories attack me violently from every street and corner I walk. My mind slips away on long trips of nostalgia. Feelings of melancholy hurts my body when I’m in the sea. I thought I just came here to work! I had no idea this was going to be an emotional roller coaster.
Dahab. My beloved paradise is still a paradise, but not mine anymore.
It’s similar to visiting an ex boyfriend. We used to share everything and we (thought we) knew each other so well. But now it’s awkward, we’re like strangers. We don’t know what to talk about without avoiding sensitive subjects. Hugging each other feels strange, not quite right, even though we’ve hugged a hundred times before.
I’ve lived in Dahab for over two years. It’s been my home for a very, very long time. I dedicated every hour of that time to the sea and to freediving. They meant everything to me.
I was the one who felt relief when I broke the surface and felt the water against my face. It was my safe place, my refuge. The fish were my friends. I couldn’t go more than a day without longing to the blue freedom of freediving and the colours of the reef. I needed water, and it felt like water needed me. Then something happened. The magic went away. Where did it go?
I’ve had some of the best times of my life here in Dahab-the-paradise (It really is – seeing it with new eyes I can only see good things). I have so many friends here and so many seem so happy to have me back. A few has asked me to stay. But I couldn’t stay again – not without a goal. I’m just not the kind of person who could stay at a place just to hang out.
I feel like I need to take decisions, but I’ve never been so indecisive before in my life. I want to leave Dahab and freediving and never come back. Or I want to spend another 6 months in Dahab, get back into freediving, and try for the world record again. I don’t think this is the time to decide anything at all.
Again, I can compare it to a love story; The hard part is to accept that it’s over and it will never be the same again. But there’s no need to be sad that it’s over. Better to be happy it happened.