It can’t be THAT hard, I reasoned, paddle in hand. I’d once managed to stand-up paddleboard (SUP) across a Canadian lagoon, so paddling around a man-made island on the Arabian Sea should be practically similar—right?
Ditching my shoes, I waded into the saltwater, stepped atop my noble craft, and pushed away from shore. Piece of cake.
The sea, smooth as a Persian turquoise, glided underfoot for several minutes, my confidence mounting with every paddle stroke. That’s when I hit the windy side of the island.
*Whap. Whap. Whap.*
The choppy water sent wave after wave lurching sidewise against the SUP. And despite my best efforts to correct my course, the wind seemed bent on introducing me personally to the island’s cement seawall.
The board tottered under my feet like a three-wheeled skateboard.
But I’m still standing. Ha.
Suddenly, the ocean leapt to engulf me in a blender of salt and bubbles.
After drying off, I noticed how my impromptu swim vaguely symbolized the reason I’d come to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the next stop on my mission to backpack 360° around the world in 180 days interviewing Christian students. You might say, I wanted to document how students worldwide keep their feet grounded on God’s truth while navigating the choppy waters of secular education.