If you ask a scuba diver why they dive? You might never get a clear answer.
Because for many of us there isn’t just one answer. For some, it may be a passing interest, for others, it is a hobby enjoyed on the annual vacation, for the rest, it is a passion or even a career.
I can openly say that those in the “passing interest” category are few and far between.
It seems that once a person takes those first breaths underwater then things change. For me it happened 10yrs back, little did I know back then that my fun scuba diving trip with my best friends in Andaman Island will be the start of something.
The first breaths I took underwater changed the direction of my life. The ocean, in a matter of speaking, took my breath away. The ocean and scuba diving led me to the part of the world I would never have explored had I not become certified.
The people I have met along the way have come from all areas of the world and have added a great deal to my life.
Now I’m an Advanced Certified scuba diver and have been lucky enough to dive in spots ranging from Mexico’s Cenote to one of the most marine-diverse spots on the world, Raja Ampat in Indonesia. Each dive brings something; whether it’s excitement from witnessing your first hammerhead shark or just the relaxing pace of gliding alongside a manta ray, scuba diving really does open up a whole new world and can double your travel opportunities.
Here are few things that I learned after scuba diving and I wish you know them too
1. From the moment you take those first breaths underwater your world becomes bigger, 70% bigger if you take into account that water covers that much of our planet. This can be overwhelming as it means there are even more adventures awaiting you in life. You can’t actually dive this whole 70% but you get a big idea!
2. You’ll never forget the first breath you take underwater; it’s a mix of amazement, adrenaline, fear, and doubt. As you plunge into the water, the tanks and gear suddenly seem weightless, you nervously raise your arm above your head and slowly immerse into another world where noise, light and everything around you seem so different yet vaguely familiar.
3. Scuba diving opens up a whole new fantasy world with creatures and sights only seen on TV and movies. As scuba divers, we are weightless and move in three dimensions. We are aware of our breathing. our perception of distance is altered. As a Scuba divers we visit colorful underwater “rain-forests”, explore shipwrecks old and new, and some even venture into the challenging realm of caves.
4. Scuba diving is safe. but As with any other adventure activity, a certain level of risk is involved. The reason learning to scuba dive takes a while, costs money, and is worth doing it right is, so that in the rare event something does go wrong, you are fully trained to handle it. I’ve had over 70 dives and, for the most part, they have all been smooth. Whenever there was a challenging dive, it reminded me of how important it is to not only get certified but keep improving on your skills. I’ve since taken some specialist diving courses that PADI offers, such as night diving, wreck diving and nitrox, each one designed to improve my scuba skills and make more of the underwater world accessible. Maybe one day I’ll be able to take some time out to do a Divemaster course, because let’s be honest, living on a tropical island and spending your days diving does sound like the dream, right?
5. I am brown and Like my complexion, and I love to keep it this way. But after getting into scuba diving I got to know that there are soo many harmful chemicals in sunscreen lotion. For eg benzene, is a highly toxic chemical to coral reefs, algae, and fishes. Always Opt for reef-safe or natural sunscreens. As a rule of thumb, go for mineral sunscreen (or baby sunscreen as they only use mineral ingredients for these – quite an interesting fact, by the way, don’t you think?). Just make sure they label it as non-nano particles.
6. Take Only Memories & Leave Only Bubbles: When you are diving you are surrounded by unique biodiversity. You feel like touching them or even taking a piece with you. But please keep those feelings checked and never take anything. The underwater world is like a living museum, just appreciate its beauty, learn from it but don’t steal it.
7. The more we love our sea, the more we are willing to ensure them and their occupants. When scuba diving, Remember it’s there world it’s there house, and we are a spectator in their world. And like a good spectator, just watch them live. Don’t interfere. Let them live in harmony, and basically appreciate being a piece of it even if for just an hour at once.
8. There is an unlimited number of places and ocean creatures to explore out there. Diving has opened me up to a new sense of adventure. I never want to go to the same place twice! Even if I go to a destination I have been to before, I want to see new and different parts of the ocean.
9. Life underwater is beautiful and what makes it even more amazing is that being there in that moment, makes you feel like you are a part of it too. Away from the clutter of daily life, I found the calm of the sea almost unbelievable, a place I didn’t want to leave.
The vast nothingness of the ocean and the ever-widening silence made me come to terms with the real motive behind life. Is to line at that moment, it didn’t matter to me whether I would get into my dream job, in that particular moment I swear, nothing mattered anymore.
It was as if life had suddenly stopped in front of my eyes. As if all my worries and anxiety had come to rest.
All I could see and potentially all that mattered then was this beautiful underwater life buzzing with excitement around me. And being able to feel all these surreal emotions were true, for lack of a better word – heavenly.
It was more beautiful than any city, any town, any sunset that I had ever witnessed in this life before
10. You’ll build a new relationship with the natural world. Scuba diving is a beautiful experience, but also a humbling one. Once you enter that world you start to notice how incredible and fragile it is all at once. You dive down to the seabed and watch wildlife all around you. There are no other humans in sight except fellow divers. But you notice plastic wrappers, bottles, and other human trash in this place where humans are welcome only as visitors. It’s pretty confronting to imagine that in this environment where we are so vulnerable and new, we are already spreading our shitty by-products.
11. The depths of the beautiful blue sea not only helped me get rid of my fear, but it also taught me some of the most important lessons of my life, lessons I still follow to this very day.
I learned that something can only trouble you as much as you allow it to trouble you. The day you decide you are bigger than your problem, the problem will cease to exist.
The countless fishes and sea creatures dancing around me taught me that I am an extremely small, almost negligible part of this big universe and if I am so tiny and small, my problems are probably not even a fraction of me.
So, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether ten years from now you own that big beautiful house on the beachside, it doesn’t matter whether you earn in dollars or pounds, all that matters is YOU, and YOUR happiness.
If every once in a while, you’re able to take a dive into the roaring sea and catch a glimpse of the setting sun, you’ll be fine, with or without that penthouse on the beach.
Take back an experience of a lifetime!
There aren’t many sports that say that they have the ability to change lives. The beautiful ocean will overwhelm you with its vastness. Are you a scuba diver? What has scuba diving brought to your life? Do you agree with some of my points? Let me know in the comment below.
I have created a small gift for you all, a scuba diving calendar which you can easily download here.