One of the strangest and most memorable opportunities that I've had was going to the Dead Sea.
I was not on the Jordan side that I described in the book Striker, but the rest of my experience was pretty accurate.
In my younger days, I was a swimmer. I went to the state champions as the butterfly component of a medley race. That's not to say that I was fabulous at butterfly; it's just to say that most swimmers didn't choose to train in that particular stroke. I liked that stroke because I could breathe with each kick, and in the breaststroke (where I could also breathe), I did something funky with my leg that would get me disqualified. So there was that.
My college didn't have a lap swim team, but it did have a synchronized swim team--water ballet. I was game. It was good exercise. But it was harder work than the butterfly. One semester, I traveled to the Dead Sea. Imagine my surprise when I could lift my leg straight up into the air effortlessly. (I'm the blonde in the picture above; that was 1987.) You can see I'm not sculling or working for it. My arms are floating out to the sides. I could NOT sink. --I also couldn't swim. And yes, every tiny bit of me was on fire from the salt.
Memories of beauty and serenity tend to be fleeting. I find in my travels and work experiences, it's the difficult and even painful things that stay with me. In Striker, I talk about experiments with memory and DNA in a mice experiment. All four of my children are avid travelers, and I wonder if I didn't perhaps imprint my DNA with memories of amazing (and painful) opportunities, like my float on the Dead Sea.