WON Landing Page March 2022

Guest post: Marcy’s bucket list of adventures

I met Marcy Harris at a DIVA WOW event near Dallas, Texas, last summer. Marcy has a story to tell about how she changed her approach to life and is now living every minute as though it counts. We think she embodies our philosophy of living a full life, and we look forward to sharing her guest posts with you. ~Barbara Baird, Publisher

 

About 2 years ago, I decided that life was getting short. I don’t remember the specific reason why — whether someone had gotten sick or someone died, but it was after I watched the movie “The Bucket List,” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. I realized I had so many things I wanted to do.

I was only 54 then, I didn’t make much money, I’d been divorced for a couple of years, never had any children, and wasn’t seeing anyone. I was brave enough to go to the movies by myself, and after, I’d go to eat at places like Chili’s, if I could sit in the bar and watch TV (that was before it became the smoking area). Having breakfast at IHOP by myself wasn’t too bad. Sometimes I’d bring a book, like you see in movies, but the food always got there before I read very much, and it seemed like the book was more of an inconvenience.

Groupon and Amazon Local had been sending me deals for a while, and every once in a while I’d see one that would make me wish I had someone to go with me to whatever was being advertised. Then I saw a coupon I just couldn’t pass up.

It was something I’d wanted to do all my life. I planned on learning how to do it when I was 18, but at 18 I didn’t have the money. With the Amazon Local voucher, I could afford to do it at least this one time.

I started thinking about MY bucket list. All the things I’d told myself over the years that I was going to do and hadn’t made the time for, or set aside the money for, or hadn’t done because I didn’t have anyone to go with me. I decided to make a “leap of faith” and act on this deal, and called to set it up.

 

Marcy snorkeling

(Photo courtesy of Marcy Harris)

 

Skydiving

It was roughly a 1.5 hour drive out to the shop, and I wasn’t nervous at all. I was really excited! I knew I’d be in good hands because a professional would be with me, literally strapped to my back, the whole time. I was going skydiving!!

With concern for my 2 cats, I’d told a coworker what I was doing, and that if I didn’t call her by 6 p.m., that she should come over and feed them. If I didn’t call her by 8 p.m., she should probably call the police. You know, just in case. I’m a very responsible person. I have provisions in my will for the welfare of my cats upon my incapacity or my death. Just because something may happened to me, doesn’t mean it should compound their suffering by starving or being thrown in the pound or out on the street. They (or my other cats before them) have been in my will since I was in my late 20s. (I’m just trying to convince you that I’m not a reckless kind of person.)

Since my first time skydiving, I’ve been zip-lining, parasailing and have done a few other wonderful things.

 

Marcy skydiving

(Photo courtesy of Marcy Harris)

 

My 55th birthday adventure

I went on vacation by myself (something I thought I could never do) for my 55th birthday, when a friend backed out at the last minute. I’d already paid for my package, so it wasn’t going to be refunded. We were going to go to Curacao, the Caribbean island off the northern coast of Caracas, Venezuela, but since I was going by myself, I decided to go somewhere I thought was safer – the Bahamas. Not that Curacao isn’t safe, it’s just less known.

I decided to stay at an all-inclusive hotel, so I wouldn’t have to worry about paying for meals while I was there. That was one less worry — well, actually 2 — budgeting and where to go. I could have stayed at the Atlantis Resort. It looked so amazing on TV. The travel consultant told me there was an all-inclusive right next door, the Riu Palace Paradise Island, and I could buy an all-day pass to the Atlantis if I wanted one. That was good enough for me!

One of the reasons I picked the Bahamas over other places is because I knew it had places to swim with dolphins. Swimming with dolphins was something I had dreamed of doing my entire life. I was able to make reservations to do it on my birthday. What a great birthday present!

 

Learning to scuba dive

I still had money leftover from my original booking. I was checking the other excursions available and saw there was scuba diving. I’d always wanted to learn to scuba dive, too. Then I saw there was scuba diving while the dive master fed the sharks with you only feet away!

That was all I needed to see. I immediately Googled local dive shops around Dallas, Texas, to see if any had programs that could get me certified in time to go on my trip. Thankfully, through Scuba Toys in Carrollton, I was able to get certified in 2 weekends. I had to take the classroom portion online prior to that (about 12 hours-worth), and I only had 2 weekends before I left on my trip!

I immediately booked the excursion Stuart Cove’s Shark Adventure, and registered for the course and started the NAUI eCourse online.

The first weekend, we spent Saturday morning in the classroom and the afternoon in the pool. Then all day Sunday was spent in the pool. During that time we learned everything we’d need to learn to become certified Open Water divers.

The next weekend (only 4 days before I left on my trip), we drove out to a scuba park to spend all day Saturday and most of Sunday in a submerged rock quarry. The water was pretty clear, and lots of vehicles (boats, buses and even a plane) had been sunk (on purpose) to provide goodies for scuba divers to find and practice on. There were lots of fish, too, and some turtles.

The weekend was wonderful, except the dive shop gave me a dive suit that was 2 sizes too small! Oh, my gosh, it was hard to get that thing on! When I finally got them to give me the right size, it went on fine, but I had three Band-Aids on each hand by then. I was certified on Sunday and would be diving on Wednesday.

I was so excited to go on my trip! Not only was I going to swim with dolphins, something I’d wanted to do all my life, but also I would scuba dive while the dive master fed Caribbean reef sharks! I could live in the water, so I couldn’t think of a more perfect vacation than that.

 

Marcy swimming with dolphins_1

(Photo courtesy of Marcy Harris)

 

Actually, I thought, if my friend had come along, we would have done things separately anyway because there’s no way she would have wanted to do these water excursions. She already swam with dolphins with her kids years before. She said it was “neat” because she’d been able to do it with them, but she didn’t really want to do it again. I was really looking forward to it!

I can’t wait to tell you about the trip!

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.

     

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