For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with the ocean, there’s always been something mesmerizingly beautiful about it that could draw me in for hours. I got my Open Water Dive certification in September of 2013, I was freshly graduated from high school and had absolutely no plans for my future.
I’ve tried to explain scuba diving to non-divers ever since and it’s proven incredibly difficult to put into words; the undeniable feeling of flying is the closest I’ve come to successfully explaining it and even then that doesn’t seem sufficient. I came to scuba diving at a very low point in my life, I was 18 and I had gone through the major loss of my older brother; I was depressed and couldn’t seem to find anything that would encourage me to continue living a successful life. In the decision to pursue diving, I didn’t let my depression drown me, I found a way to “breathe” underwater and it has proven to be the greatest decision I’ve ever made.
My OW certification was a fun process, I went through it with my mom and even though I say she almost killed me in the process by leaving my at the bottom of lake pleasant without air (true story), I truly believe it’s what has aided in building our mother daughter relationship; I always look forward to the next dives with my adventurous mom. Although newly certified I didn’t actually use my certification until about 10 months later on the island of Roatan, Honduras.
To me, this was a turning point, I felt this great rush run through my body and I knew I had started something that was going to be a vital part of my life from then on. Scuba gave me this source of happiness that I hadn’t had in quite some time. I was mesmerized by the wildlife and calmed by the serenity of silence surrounding me when I was submerged. I continuously found myself surfacing from a dive with a huge grin on my face and mouthful of words to exclaim about what we saw. I can fondly think back of all my greatest diving experiences and as a true diver I can admit the size of the animals grow each time we tell a memory.
For a lot of people who dive it’s an escape from reality, their addition to what they are pursuing in life, for me it always felt different. This passion that I’ve held for diving felt like so much more to me. At 22 now, I’ve been on 60 life changing dives all over the world and constantly crave submerging myself in salty water. I am convinced I was always meant to discover scuba diving and couldn’t be more grateful that I discovered it in my youth. I can only imagine how different my life would be without diving, as an expensive sport I’d probably have a larger savings, but I would be lacking the experiences that I’ve gained.
Without diving I’m certain I would never have discovered my passion for sharks, it’s this unexplainable obsession with such a powerful misunderstood creature that humans are actively killing that fuels me to join shark conservation and do my part to maintain the eco system. Sharks are NOT the killing machines that the media has portrayed them as and I could talk your ear off for hours about how beautiful they truly are, but that’s words for another blog post.
In the next few days I’m headed off to the island of Curacao, I am finally getting my Advanced Open Water certification and the pure happiness I feel towards this brings such a huge smile to my face. The AOW certification is another step into the diving world that just feels right at this point in my life. I may be 22, and to many seem like I don’t have my life put together but I am actively pursuing something that brings such comfort to me.
If you’ve never dove, I cannot recommend it enough. Scuba diving has changed my life in such a positive way and I’d love for more people to discover it’s power.