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By Lauren Landers
When I look back at my childhood, the thing that stands out were the annual trips my family would take to the Bahamas. Beginning years before I was born, my grandfather would take my family (his 6 kids and their families) on a 2-cabin sportfish to the Bahamas each summer for a few weeks. I was only months old when I came to the Bahamas the first time; my parents and grandfather pulled a drawer from his bedroom and that was where I slept on my first trip.
I have faint memories from my childhood trips, but the stunning, clear water took my breath away every time. I had my favorite spots, I knew which bars had the best [virgin] pina coladas, the ring toss games, the sharks, and our favorite snorkel spots. As most teenagers do, I went through a phase in which I still loved going, but didn’t want to participate in anything; snorkeling, fishing, or motoring, and would sleep most days. But it was still where my heart was.
In middle school, my mom mentioned something about marine biology and from that point onwards, it was what I wanted to study at college. Fast forward a few years and I decided to move to Fort Lauderdale to attend Nova Southeastern University. I began freediving and started training for my captain’s license.
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