Fast forward to when I was eighteen years old and living in Hawaii. I had left on my first solo adventure and was doing work-trade to spend a summer on an organic pineapple farm in the rainforest of Maui. A lot of magic occurred that summer but one pivotal day was when I found myself swimming among a group of 5-7 sea turtles. They glided by and around me in the middle of the ocean and my heart swelled so much, I fell deeply in love. The day before I flew home from my adventure, I went to a tattoo artist with the sketch he had created for me weeks prior and had him ink my right foot with the Polynesian turtle who solidified my admiration for these creatures on my physical body. Knowing what I know now, I would have simply told my father, “Monsieur Tortois made me do it!” when he threatened to disown me for breaking his number one rule: no tattoos.
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