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Adventure Travel and Cage Diving in South Africa: My New Nightmare

Cinco de Mayo will be a life changing day for me. It could be life changing because I am facing and conquering my greatest fear. It could also be life changing because it’ll mark the day that I never swim in the ocean again. On the 5th of May, I will be subjecting myself to cage diving with Great White Sharks. I have signed my forms and said some pretty bold statements (the boldest of which was: “I’m going cage diving with Great White Sharks!”) that will be held over my head for the rest of my life if I don’t do it. I’ve never given into peer pressure…until now.

Let me tell you a little about my current thoughts toward Great Whites: the deepest level of fear you have ever encountered. EVER.

I literally cannot look at still photographs of them. I have been known to assume the fetal position, shout obscenities, and once when I was slicing a pear I might have accidentally chucked a butter knife at the TV. I don’t know, I don’t remember it vividly, it was an out of body experience, which is probably how cage diving with the things will be.

I paid a ridiculous amount of money to go cage diving (one might say I paid an arm and a leg, but that is a TERRIBLE choice of words in this situation). In my opinion, someone should be paying ME to do this activity, not the other way around.

Ever since I signed my forms, I have woken up in the middle of the night thinking that I am in the cage. Every. Single. Night. It’s never the same dream – sometimes I have friends with me, one time I dreamed Andy Samberg was with me (or it could have been my friend Hank, dreams are so blurry and the two just look so much alike) – but it is the same emotion that I wake up with: complete and utter terror. In a frenzy I shoot out of bed and say, “I cannot do this. There is no way I can possibly do this.” It is the middle of the night that I understand what I’m facing – the rocking of the waves as I submerge into the darkest blue depths, when out of nowhere the most terrifying creature comes hurtling toward me. And not even Andy Samberg can save me.

People keep telling me this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, which is true. You only get eaten by a Great White Shark once in your lifetime.

In all seriousness – and I’m trying very hard to be serious here, I just tend to cover up true emotions [like fear] with humor and rambling – when else am I going to have the chance to do this? The older I get, the less likely I’ll do something this crazy, and I’m writing about it on my blog so that you all, all three people who read this blog, will hold me to this. If I come back and have not been in the ocean with Great White Sharks, you have permission to make fun of me until I successfully can ride through the predator tunnel at Sea World without breaking into a hysterical fit.

I’ve been assured by the company taking us to this impending doom that most people find Great Whites very graceful in their natural habitat. For now, I disagree. However, I’m sure my mind will change once I am submerged in a locked cage with the animals charging at my very being because people onboard the boat are baiting them with half a cow and a seal-shaped decoy.

The Epitome of Grace


You don’t understand how much I’m crying from the Google search I just did for images of Great Whites.

Lindsey Epperly

My name is Lindsey Epperly and I’m a travel consultant and owner of Epperly Travel, a national affiliate of Century Travel. I’m most passionate about building lifelong relationships with my clients and suppliers, discovering the globe in a way that makes me a better agent, and celebrating with my team when we reach a new milestone. One of our core values at Epperly Travel is to create fun and celebrate constantly – and I’m fortunate to be in a career that allows me to do just that. I’m proud to announce my recent achievements: landing a spot on Wendy Perrin’s WOW List as their Caribbean expert, being nominated for Virtuoso’s Rising Star Award and receiving a place on Jezebel Magazine’s Trailblazing Ten list.

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