A: I always wanted to learn how to swim. But, before 2016, I never got the chance.
After living in Australia for a couple of years, I realized that swimming is an integral part of Australian culture. And I wanted to be part of that culture.
I will start by saying, as an adult, not being able to swim felt like a great barrier to overcome. In 2016, I took my first swimming lesson. I remember saying I could do freestyle, and then trying to do it. In swimming, you can’t pretend like you know how to do something you don’t. That’s a very humbling thing.
So, I needed to start from the beginning. I learnt how to swim for 6 months. After signing up to 10 classes, I could do 50m of freestyle. But I wanted to get better.
I then joined a squad to increase the distance I could swim and my speed. After I passed that hurdle, I wanted to stay close to something that brought me back to the water.
That’s when I was presented with becoming a lifeguard. There’s a specific opportunity for lifeguards who emigrate to Australia.
Becoming a lifesaver was my next challenge. To do this I needed to pass an exam - completing an ocean swim in a very quick time.
Long story short, I failed my first time. Then, after training every day for two hours, I tried the exam a week later and passed.
Since then, I’ve started getting into scuba diving - and got my scuba diving license!
Of course, this whole process was a big investment. But I’m proud that I can swim and that I’ll have this skill for the rest of my life.
This experience taught me to look for adventure. And, now, this is part of who I am as a person.