Shravan Kumar had visited the Cambodian island of Koh Rong where he has accomplished his bucket list of free diving at night, to witness and swim with plankton in the Gulf of Thailand.
What are Planktons?
They are living organisms both plants and animals that are constantly drifting with the ocean currents. They are the food for fish. The planktons glow because of bioluminescence and are actually a defence mechanism to evade predators.
His inspiration for travelling and adventure found its origin from a random trek with college friends. The trek introduced him to nature and was his inspiration for the bucket lister, Shravan to take up to trekking as a passion.
He recalls, watching the Discovery and National Geographic Channel during his free hours and the innumerous blogs. Snorkeling and diving in every country which he travelled to, introduced him to the beautiful life underwater which is the reason behind Shravan take up diving and eventually a bucket list on it.
To finance his travel expeditions, Shravan started taking up projects on product and event photography. He started organizing treks although not enough. He even gave up on some his habits for his passion. His preparations started 6 months prior to his Cambodia trip. Planning for the trip was based on information from the internet.
“I had reached a beautiful island named Koh Rong in Cambodia.”
After arriving at his hostel named, La Mami he packed the necessary belongings for a hike into the untouched rainforest. The bucketlister was planning to reach the Long Beach popularly known as the 7 km White Beach which is supposed to be a private beach.
The La Mami is a scenic hostel on the Koh Tui Beach with single and double rooms ranging from 400-800 to 500-1000 rupees a night respectively. The place is operated by an Italian lady, Laura who specializes in traditional food. Shravan is a vegetarian and had issues with food on his previous trips. However, the bucketlister recommends that if you’re a vegetarian with a history of allergies, La Mami is the right place for you.
A fellow mate from the hostel informed the bucketlister of the something called the plankton dive on the island. A boat was supposed to pick Shravan from the 7km White Beach after sunset and take him to the diving spot where he could swim with plankton.
The bucket lister agreed immediately. He trekked through the forest for 1 hour which was infested with venomous snake species – cobras, Russell’s Viper, the Malayan Pit Viper, Banded Krait and the White-lipped Pit Viper.
The locals advised him to take a boat but not trek. But Shravan was hard bent on trekking. The bucketlister was used to trekking in India and had already witnessed a lot of snakes already and knew about them very well.
“It was the best beach that I have visited till date. White sand and green turquoise water. I was feeling like being in heaven.”
Shravan spent the whole day on the beach with two of his Israeli friends he had met. But after a while, his friends had to catch the evening ferry to the mainland, and so they departed.
Fortunately, Shravan met 3 Germans and an Australian on the boat, who were all on board for the plankton dive.
The boatman stopped the boat in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand. The water was pitch dark and the boatman had asked the four enthusiasts to jump into the water with nothing but a diving mask. There were no guides, no safety measures and on the realization, all were reluctant to dive, without any safety.
Everyone had backed out. But the bucketlister realized that this was it. It was now or never. If Shravan stepped back he would be missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness a marvel of nature.
The bucketlister grabbed the mask from the boatman and dived right into the water lit up by the bioluminescent plankton.
“As soon I went inside the water, I was mesmerized to see my hands glowing green.”
Shravan still runs out of words to explain what beauty he had witnessed that night, underwater. He stayed in the water for a few minutes without taking his eyes off of the beautiful creatures.
In an instant, he jumped out and called on to everyone who had backed out urging them to dive for he knew it was safe.
Shravan accepts that it was one of the best adventures he has ever had. He has become a believer of the fact that one can only witness such a heavenly sight only if he/she willing to take risks.
The experience has him wanting to witness and swim with more of plankton. His outlook towards life has changed drastically. Now, he believes that Life is all about learning new things and the more one learns the more one lives.
He recommends Travelling to be on one’s bucket list for it is the only way to learn and live.
“One gets the best returns (a.k.a best learning) on one’s investments. Travel with the intention of exploring yourself is the best way to know about your strengths and weaknesses. Travel will introduce you to yourself and help you discover what you really want to do with your life.”
Shravan has his next bucket list in place with a time-frame of accomplishment attached. He wants to where he wants to take a motorbike road trip to Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya in November 2017. Shravan wants to backpack across Europe, Africa and South America for a year in 2018. The bucketlister wishes to become a certified rescue diver by October 2018 and dive at Beqa Lagoon, Fiji to witness the 8species of sharks that lurk in the waters.
Adventure is out there! If you feel there is an adventurous soul in you and have an idea in mind for your bucket list, why don’t you tell us about it? And If you’ve already accomplished it, you’re a bucketlister. Get in Touch with us and we will let the world know of the bucketlister amongst us.