So you might be looking at this and thinking, what the hell do sea caves have to do with literally anything? Well, living in San Diego, beaches and ocean-side cliffs are prominent areas to frequent. There’s a nearby location everybody visits called Sunset Cliffs, and it’s known as the perfect viewpoint to watch a sunset on the water. Little did I know until recently that that same area is a common adventure location for people willing to trek to sea caves.
The common phrase “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?” is a real one. No, no, I didn’t jump off any cliffs. But I certainly could have never faced my fears alone, either. And in this case, I don’t think the usual connotation of that phrase reflects things accurately, if I’m being honest with you. If my friends jumped off a cliff, I honestly probably would, despite such a question trying to steer me away from following suit. Now, I certainly would be scared, but I trust my friends immensely to not lead me into anything involving immense danger. I guess that’s why I eventually changed my mind when my friends said they were going to check out a sea cave and asked if I wanted to come along.
The trek down was no paved path, and the route involved rock-hopping and wading up to our thighs in water (in December, mind you, even here the water is COLD). There was a slip here, a cut there, and a cave that served as a rite of passage before reaching the actual cave we were looking for.
I’m afraid of heights. I’m claustrophobic. This was certainly not something I would have chosen to do on my own. Yet somehow, when we reached the cave and looked up at the sky through the immense hole in the ceiling and watched the sun set through the entrance, I felt grateful that I had friends who pushed me to get out and do something adventurous.
What would I have been doing if I had not gone with them? Sitting at my computer and procrastinating on homework? That’s not a story I’d find myself telling anyone when I got older. But the time I climbed down a steep path, hopped from rock to rock in the water, crawled through a dark cave, and ended up in a massive cave that hardly anyone else has been to or even heard of? Now that’s a story I’d rather tell. On my way back to the road and cliffs above, I could see I’d gained some confidence. The cold water no longer bothered me, I didn’t feel the cuts. The heights didn’t grip me with terror, but instead, showed me the beauty of the sunset from higher up.
Now I’m not saying to go and be reckless and stupid. However, sometimes it pays to take a measured risk and just go for it. Sea caves and the most random of other places await you if you’re willing to explore them. And sometimes a push from a trusted friend just might be worth taking.