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The Dolphin Whisperer: When I Grow Up

When I was little, I thought you could do a million things as a grown-up. I didn’t get the idea of a one-track career. My parents towed me along as they traveled the world, and I thought each place would provide a different job for me.

I was asked countless times what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I always used my default answer: a ballerina. But one day that changed. My parents and I were in the Sea of Cortez on one of our many trips, and I blurted out, “I know that dolphins can speak their own language, and when I grow up I’m going to figure out what that language is!” There was happiness all over my dad’s face; I know now he was probably thinking, My daughter is taking after me!

When I was growing up, my dad worked as the president of the World Wildlife Fund in Mexico City, and my parents often took me out of school to go on trips with them. We would take a helicopter into the jungle to listen to wild chimps, or travel to the Arctic Circle to look at the glaciers. We also went scuba diving in Belize through the Blue Hole, danced around a totem pole in Alaska, and went on numerous trips in the Sea of Cortez, where we swam with dolphins and sea lions. Given all these amazing experiences, who wouldn’t have wanted to be a marine biologist? I certainly did.

I traveled to many countries and always dove in headfirst. As I grew older, I forgot about my dream jobs, but some of their allure is still with me today. I still love photography, and maybe someone (probably not me) will someday decode the language that dolphins speak.

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