In the winter of 2002 nearing my thirties, high on life and looking for adventure and change beyond what 8 years of life in New York city had to offer I decided to go searching… Searching for a life that was a little more in tune with nature and less in tune with my semi satisfying job at an international travel company. Little did I know that that would initiate my path to becoming a PADI Divemaster.
Passport and round the world ticket in hand. I packed up my life and set out for what was meant to be one year of unplanned and unforgettable adventure and experiences. Not really knowing what I was looking for, just knowing that it needed to involve a warm climate, the sea, nature and generally being outdoors.
My first stop was Europe…though not a long one… then Thailand which most surprisingly started to meet most of my aforementioned criteria and in a time frame that was most unexpected. I went to Thailand especially to dive. Having always been enchanted by the sea but also having always lived in a city meant that I never had the opportunity to pursue that passion. Now it seemed to be the time and place.
During this time I had never considered becoming a divemaster however it didn’t take long for me to realise that the more I dived, the more courses I did and the more I learned about the ocean and scuba diving in general that it was fulfilling me in a way that I never knew was possible. Diving became a passion and an addiction, but a healthy one fortunately. ☺
Having the opportunity to interact and learn from other divers, divemasters and instructors was also inspiring. Meeting like minded people who thrived on learning about our much under explored aquatic world. I was inspired not only by learning about marine life but about tides and currents and the physics and physiology of diving also. An equally fascinating side to the underwater realm.
And finally there was also just that feeling of complete and utter peace, calm and tranquility that only comes from being weightless, silent and fully absorbed in just breathing and being…underwater. It’s a world that induces a natural state of meditation. A feeling I think that for all those who dive regularly will understand. The more time I spent in the water the more I realized that this was the direction I was looking to move towards.
By becoming a PADI Divemaster I found what I had been searching for. That was 13 years ago now. Only 0.3% of the worlds population has ever had the privilege to experience scuba diving. This incredibly small number carries all the more impact when one considers that the oceans cover a staggering 71% of our planet. It is cliché but true that we know more about the surface of the moon then than the bottom of the sea.
I (and most likely you if your reading this ) are some of the truly fortunate people in this world. To have been given this opportunity and choice to pursue a life in diving. I feel as inspired and awed by the ocean now as I did when I first learned to dive almost 17 years ago.
It is the Earths greatest natural resource. I feel strongly that we as divers, are natural ambassadors to the ocean and we should use our privilege to continue spreading the word of marine conservation and protection. After all we would hope that this awe inspiring and incredibly amazing “other world” will still be there for future generations to enjoy and protect, and what better way is there to do that than by becoming a PADI DM!