We are often asked by our non-diving friends and relatives to explain to them why we scuba dive… what drives this passion that all divers have about the sport.
Well, instead of telling you the reasons why I dive, and why I have been diving for over 25 years, let me give you a list of reasons why YOU should learn to dive and become a certified scuba diver.
Why should I learn to dive?
- The World is over 70% water. This means that there are more places in the world where diving is possible than those where it isn’t. What does that mean to the average diver? Well, it means that no matter where you live, or where you travel for vacation, you will never be more than a few hours away from great diving – yes, even lakes and quarries offer fabulous diving… just make sure it is allowed.
- You will make tons of diver friends. Seriously! I would say that about 70% of my friends are divers. Not just here in Playa del Carmen, but also in every other place where I have lived, diving has always helped me make some great friends. Of course, not every diver you will meet will become an instant best friend, but ask any active and serious diver how many of his/her friends share their love for the sport, and you will be pleasantly surprised. This also means that you will always have someone you enjoy being with willing to go out for a dive over the weekend, or to take a diving vacation (don’t you just love the word “Vacation”?).
- The whole family can take up diving together! Yes, that’s right! As long as everybody is over 10 years of age, in good health (Of course, as with any activity, your family doctor should be consulted first), everybody can swim (and you don’t have to be an Olympic level swimmer. Just be competent in the water and comfortable), you and every member of your family can take up the wonderful sport of scuba diving. Which will in turn make vacation planning so much easier! Just go to a nice tropical destination and be sure you book your dives beforehand!
- It is easier, cheaper and safer than what you may think. The sport of scuba diving has evolved much over the past 30 years. While it used to be considered almost like an extreme sport, today, diving is one of the safest activities you can do as long as all the rules are followed and it is done properly. Diving doesn’t care about age, gender or body shape. Underwater, we are all the same! When you do a training course, you don’t have to buy every piece of equipment at once. Most dive centers will have rental equipment for you to use when you book dives with them, so don’t worry about having to spend thousands of dollars in gear just to get started.
- When you are under water, you will see things that the majority of the people of the world never get to see in real life! You will see the most beautiful colors you never thought existed, some of the most beautiful animals that you always dreamed about being face to face with, and you will see that sharks are not man-eaters. They are misrepresented, and they should be respected, admired and protected, not feared. It doesn’t matter where you dive. Be it a tropical reef like those we have here in Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, a cold lake in the North or a cold water reef like in the Pacific North West (USA & Canada) or UK, you will find the most amazing things ever (not just fish and coral.. think historical wrecks as well).
- Feel what astronauts feel when they are in outer space. When we dive, and we are properly weighed and neutrally buoyant, it is as if we are floating in space. We feel as though we were in real zero gravity. We can say that the weight of the world comes off of our shoulders! Even better, when we do a drift dive, we feel like we are flying across a whole new planet filled with new and interesting creatures!
- You will become Aquaman! Well, not really, but you will get to breather under water! Even though we don’t get to talk to ocean creatures with telepathic superpowers, we get breathe underwater! Imagine! How cool is that?! So basically, if you become a scuba diver, you essentially become almost like a superhero!
- You will become an Ocean Ambassador. What does this mean? Well, you will be a part of an elite group of people across the world who do everything in their power to make sure that all waterways – be it the ocean, lakes, rivers, swamps, etc. are protected and that the creatures that inhabit these areas are protected as well. We need clean waterways, and we need healthy coral reefs if we want to protect our species as well! Not to mention we want to keep having beautiful places where we can dive.
- You never stop learning. Even after you become a certified diver, there are still dozens of courses which you can take that will keep expanding your knowledge and skills. Courses like nitrox, advanced open water, rescue diver, deep diver, even – with sufficient experience- cave diving!
Once you become a diver, the world is really your playground!
There are some caveats. Don’t be fooled by the super cheap courses offered at many dive shops. Get your training with a reputable instructor, at a reputable dive center, and don’t be afraid to ask your instructor about his/her experience as a diver and as an instructor.
Enjoy diving, and see you under the water!