I just returned from a weekend dive trip at Tioman, Malaysia, and I am proud to announce that I’m officially a certified Open Water Diver! I had so much fun over the weekend with likeminded people and I was delighted to hear the different diving experiences shared by the instructors on this trip. My decision to get my Open Water Diver Certificate is one of the best decisions I’ve made and this is why:
1. You get to experience the other 70% of the world
The world is huge, if you think you’ve seen it all, think again. 70% of the Earth is covered with water and there is so much wonders going on in this large part of the globe. Swimming in the ocean amongst marine life is such a surreal experience. Diving not only allows you to swim side by side with marine creatures but you can also venture into caves that are underwater or visit ancient civilisations that has been present thousands of years ago but is now buried underwater. What you can find in this other 70% of the world is simply incredible. Here’s a video to entice you.
2. It takes traveling to a whole new level
Now every time you travel, you take into consideration not just what you see on land but also what you see underwater. Similar to being on land, the geographic region affects what sort of ocean life you get to encounter. For instance you would head to Sri Lanka to see the Whale Sharks, Maldives to see the Manta Rays, Malaysia to see the Barracudas, or simply travel to find the best coral formations. Furthermore, you get to meet so many people who share the same joy in diving and exchange your unique encounters. The stories are endless, so are the opportunities. Here’s CNN’s take on 50 best dive sites in the world.
3. You cannot find another activity that is more therapeutic
When you are underwater, you hear nothing but your own breathing and the underwater life. You can’t speak nor can you make any sound. I have never come across any other activity that allows such tranquility as much as diving can offer. Everything seems to slow down underwater. You tend to forget about the world. You are stripped of your means of communication. You don’t even feel any weight, physically and mentally. It’s just you floating around the ocean. I love it so much I’m addicted.
4. You learn to maintain composure in sticky situations
All divers are taught to remain calm and compose even in the most sticky situations they face i.e. being out of air underwater. This is because should a diver fluster, his life will be at risk. Thus, the key is to keep calm and keep breathing. Such a skill is applicable to life in order to handle the periodic panic attacks. This would definitely reduce stress level in society and the world can be a happier place.
5. Bonus for fellow Singaporeans: The best dive sites are concentrated in South East Asia
Being in Singapore, we are so blessed to be surrounded by top dive sites of the world. For starters, we are SO close to The Coral Triangle, which is the global centre for biodiversity. It is also known as the Amazon of the seas. The top dive sites are a short flight away from Singapore and very often, you will be able to find budget flights to the area. For instance, AirAsia offer budget flights to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia, home to world famous dive sites like Sipadan Island and Layang Layang. Not far off we also have Bali in Indonesia and Boracay in the Philippines. As compared to other parts of the world, diving in South East Asia is a lot cheaper and it hardly disappoints.
Diving is really a fascinating activity and I strongly encourage all of you to give it shot. If you are afraid let me give you some encourage. One of my dive instructors use to be aquaphobic (fear of water).
If you’re still not convinced, watch the following video. It pretty much sums up point 1 to 5.
Hopefully you will feel as excited as my dive group did when we passed our Open Water Diver Course. Thank you for the great weekend!
PS: If you want to know who I did my Open Water Course with, I did it with Gilldivers
Meanwhile, Keep calm and keep breathing
Peace & Love,