An Unplanned Journey
At the beginning of the year, I decided to change gears and travel throughout Asia with my partner. We liquidated our assets in the United States and set out with a partial plan on places to visit and things to do. We also left our schedule flexible in some countries to see where the roads might lead.
My name is Bill and for me, that road led me to the incredible discovery of Scuba Diving.
Like most long trips, things change in things like flight schedules. Although change can be annoying, sometimes it creates unwanted effects that turn out for the better.
My partner Kristy and I were expected to leave Malaysia and head to India for approximately three weeks back in February 2018. Our flights and hotels were booked and we looked forward to celebrating the Holi Festival which is one of the biggest holidays in the country. We were quite disappointed when we were contacted by our travel agent with schedule changes that created long layovers and challenges that were more difficult than expected. We were offered a refund on our tickets and decided to accept that and create a new itinerary.
We decided to visit Thailand instead which proved to be one of the best-altered decisions we ever made.
We landed in the south of Thailand in the famed city of Phuket with no plans. We were happy to have a beach, good food, and plenty of entertainment to relax by. As we began planning a route to head north, we ventured into other beach areas nearby which included a ferry ride to Koh Samui and on to Koh Tao before heading back to the mainland.
That’s when the Scuba Hook nabbed me.
Kristy had already been certified as an Open Water diver back in Texas. We were aware that Thailand was well known for diving but unaware that Koh Tao was one of the top spots in the world as we headed to our hotel.
We passed dive centres all throughout our taxi ride and stayed right across the street from Mojo Divers. I decided to get information about their Open Water course which took 3 days (1 classroom, 2 in the water). We were booked 3 nights, so I signed up and began that evening.
I have always enjoyed swimming in the ocean and have snorkelled in many places, but once I went down below the surface, everything changed for me.
The amazement of the life below the surface is so incredible with a calming effect as you glide through the water admiring the colours, geography, and sea life that shares our planet.
On my first day of diving, I had the greatest pleasure of seeing a Whale Shark. I was told by many, that it is one of the rarer marine animals to be witnessed by a diver. Well, I felt truly fortunate to be among those that seen this massive body swim so effortlessly through the water below me. Wow!
I completed my certification and now joined Kristy as an Open Water Diver. Remember, when I said how some unexpected changes are good. Well, we then decided to extend our time in Koh Tao and complete the Advanced Open Water certification together. We really enjoyed the extensive instruction that allows us to now dive to 30 meters. There is so much to see including some wrecks that are now living reefs. This is a long way from when Kristy was certified in a manmade lake.
We left Thailand and continued to Vietnam to round out our Asia tour of 7 countries. We have since moved to the European island country of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea and reside on the smaller island called Gozo.
The great part of living in Gozo/Malta is that it is another spectacular diver’s paradise with many amazing dive sites. I have been fortunate to find Dive Smart Gozo located at 6 Piazza tad-Dwejra in San Lawrenz, home of the former Azure Window and Blue Hole.
I am working towards my Rescue Diver certification and have been accepted by Dive Smart Gozo with a summer Divemaster internship. I couldn’t be in better hands with the well-respected instructor team of Oliver Bendorff and Janet Bulmer who are both skilled and dedicated to this lifestyle with over 50,000 dives between them. They have taught me so much in the short time I have been at their Padi 5 Star Dive Centre. I plan to continue my dive education right through Instructor and know that Oliver and Janet will help me succeed. I look forward to helping others in the future enjoy this marvellous underwater world.
If you ever have considered taking up Scuba, the only warning I can give is…
PREPARE TO GET SCUBA HOOKED!
I did, and it is now one of the most enjoyable decisions I have ever made. Kristy continues to dive and aspires to become a Divemaster.
Together, we hope to share our skills and experiences for years to come.