The month is coming to a close soon. Three months ago, I said, “I still have time… my Instructor development course doesn’t start until June.” It’s almost June. It’s crazy to think that only 6 months ago I finished my dive master course. And now, I’m going to become an instructor. I never thought in a million years, that I’d even be a dive master, let alone a diver! I started my Open water in April 2012, right here in Ao nang, because my dad thought it would be a great idea. I love animals and did a lot of work with Dog shelters in Chiang Mai, so dad thought, why not try diving? I was so nervous, so shaken at even the thought of being underwater. Sure I loved swimming (in a pool) but the ocean? It’s just… so big and there are sharks in there! When I did my confined open water in the swimming pool, it seemed really easy, I was relaxed, I thought, well this is no big deal. The day after that, I did my first open water dive (IN THE OCEAN!). I jumped in where the waves were really high and panic started to set in. I was really regretting my decision. My instructor jumps in after me and says “OK, are we ready?” For some unknown reason, I said, “YES”. And off we went.
The minute my head was submerged underwater, I was introduced to a whole new world! The panic was gone. The water, crystal clear, fish just… everywhere! I literally lost my breath and then had to think back, must keep breathing, must keep breathing. On my first dive, I felt like I saw the universe. Octopus, squid, scorpion fish, lion fish, trigger fish, even the sea cucumber fascinated me! I quickly did my skills and then our instructor took us through this cave. It was dark and eerie but beautiful all at the same time. When the day was over and we were on our way back to Ao nang, I can still think back to the most amazing feeling I ever had, my head filled with incredible images of our dives and my heart trying to make some space for my new found passion. I don’t know if it was the sea water or my smiling that was hurting my face. You really have to experience it, to know the feeling you posses when you’re underwater. It’s beautiful. And it’s never the same! Every dive is something different. And all of this would not be possible if my dad hadn’t sent me down here to dive. I am really grateful for being introduced to this world. When you find a job that you love to do, it doesn’t feel like you’re working at all. Every day I am meeting new people from all around the world, taking them on underwater adventures and showing them the greatest pleasure that I know! But now… soon… I get to certify people to become divers. Show them the beauty of my office, and hope that they will feel as I feel when I am diving every day.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICHARD PARKER