There’s nothing like beating Taylor in a game of Get On Top 8 times in a row to let you know that your day is off to a bittersweet start.

It was the same thing today – breakfast at 7:45 AM, get up and get washed slightly before that time, and chill out for a few good minutes before heading back to the van. But it felt different. We knew that after today, there will be no more diving. So we were prepared to make this dive one of the best.

We followed the usual routine again – we arrived at the island, prepared our equipment, were called in by Richard for a debrief, and went out. I strapped on my GoPro, then strapped on my BCD and my tank, got on the soggy boat, and plunged underwater to the Turtle House.

I didn’t draw much (or draw well, for that matter). I was far too concerned with getting enough good footage for the film, regarding the documentary of my drawing and an underwater diving proposal. Good job, and congratulations Brett. I missed enjoying quality time with our instructor, Alex. I’m certified already, but having him there like a bro was, if anything, a downside of the certification.

35 minutes underwater was over, and we loaded back to the boat.

At this point, I couldn’t believe that we were done with diving. Is it truly over? I got off the boat. Why didn’t it feel like it? I set down my BCD. What will I do tomorrow, when I’m getting on the plane, but my emotions aren’t coming with me? I put away my tank, folded by BCD, took off my wetsuit, rinsed them both, along with myself. How did it pass so fast? I put on my sunscreen for the snorkeling. Why does life, day by day, pass by the same, but change entirely when you look back? I got on the boat. Where am I truly?  The boat stopped, and I jumped into the water.

I felt 10 kg lighter without my diving equipment, and darted like a madman, desperately grabbing and holding onto every precious moment I could find before they’ll fade away into memory.

Long before I noticed, it was raining, and I was all over the place. The events that took place after snorkeling until the return to the lodge was a ghost of a memory. My body was there, but I wasn’t. I was lost.

It didn’t take until an amazingly delicious dinner at Taverns and the whole night to finalize my present to Alex until I could admit that I’m not ready to go back to Shanghai yet. But tomorrow, I will be.