By Maison Koepke
Back at Christchurch, most people probably only see a very small part of my life and what I like to do. It might be wearing the same hat everyday or doing the same routine but that’s only a small portion of how I really am.
Traveling has always been something I have wanted to do for quite some time. I never thought India would be on the list. But when it was brought up throughout the year, it jumped out at me immediately. I didn’t really know what to expect because I didn’t know anything about India. I’d never really thought about it – like, why would I? As a saltwater fisherman from the Bahamas, why would I think about India?
But here I am, sitting in a village far from any major city 7,000 ft. in the sky. This trip has opened so many new and different things to try. Trying new things has always been something I love to do so on this trip I have made it my mission to try everything. This includes trying every single dish I have been offered, doing hikes all day, and even trying a new type of fishing I had never done before.
This trip has shown me the beauty in trying new things because the best memories I have had here came from the moments where I opened up to try something new. I’ve never liked river fishing and I always thought it was super boring and that the fish you caught were not that big – where would the excitement be? It takes a lot more patience and traveling to really find that spot where all the fish are or so I thought. So after listening to Mr. Alter say over and over how excited he was to get fishing in India, I was sort of always sitting there thinking “sure, but it can’t be that exciting.” Man was I wrong…
I have spent a lot of time on this trip fishing and it has given me memories that will last a lifetime. Sure, on that first cast you might not get anything (not a problem for me, though). But after you get one, you get that taste. The taste to try and search for the bigger ones. You’re hooked.
So after hiking miles and miles casting in every small pool on the river, I finally got those trophy fish that make everything seem worth it. Finding these fish is not so easy though. You can’t just fish one spot constantly and get a fish every time like you’re on a reef back home. That’s why I believe the journey to these perfect spots and fish really add to the experience of catching them. That is what I have gone for – whether it be climbing huge boulders or moving all of the trees out of the way to create paths where no human has ever been before or crossing the river at waste high just to get the right angle where you might be able to cast or tread on even further. There is no designated path anywhere along the rivers below Agora, so you need to make it up the 20 foot boulders to reach the huge pools of water below a 50 foot waterfall. That’s when you’re doing it right.
So, step out of your comfort zone for once. Open your mind to the idea that a different way of living or doing the thing you love might be worth it. After all, you can’t catch big fish if you never decide to cast your line into the water.