Two years, two certifications and 150 dives ago, as I breathed my first breath underwater, I realized that something in my life had instantly and irreversibly changed. I was in complete awe of the new world I was seeing and in one of those very cliché moments, I was absolutely overcome by the beauty surrounding me – then I coughed out my regulator by accident and the guy in front of me kicked off my mask in a flurry of fins and flailing.
PADI Open Water course day one – check!
As I descended under the water the next day it wasn’t the memory of the sting of saltwater in my eyes or the general mayhem of 6 novice divers flopping, bobbing and floating their way through their first dive that stuck in my mind. Instead, it was those few initial minutes where I was at a complete loss for words. There was no denying it, the addiction had been born and since that fateful day I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I should be spending a good deal of my time under the sea rather than under the mountain of marking, planning and paperwork that my current job throws at me.
At the moment, I spend my days teaching English Literature at an international secondary school in Bangkok. I’ve been an international teacher for the past 8 years and have lived and worked in Japan, Brazil, Canada and Thailand. Teaching and travelling are my life and there is no way that I would want to leave them behind, but day in and day out, as I sit behind stacks of essays and bear witness to yet another PowerPoint presentation on the “poetry of Taylor Swift”(cough cough…gag), I find myself wishing that I could trade in my copy of Romeo and Juliet for a PADI OW manual or my lessons on similes and metaphors for lessons on nudibranchs and Peak Performance Buoyancy. Becoming a PADI instructor would allow to me focus all my energy on my passions – diving, teaching and travelling – while allowing me to cut out the less desirable extras that secondary school teaching offers (hormonal meltdowns, acne, mountains of marking, constant references to K-pop and how cute Justin Beiber is, report cards, detentions…)
Some people may wonder why I’m fighting for an opportunity that could potentially leave me with less pay, less stability and fewer benefits than my current job. The only answer I can give them is that money comes and money goes but how many people can say that they truly love their job? Being a PADI instructor will allow me be one of the few.
I’m hard working, motivated, fun loving and a bit on the whacky side. I know how to have fun but I also know when it’s time to hunker down and get things done. Bring me to Bali and you won’t be disappointed! … and hey, who wouldn’t want to spend the rest of their working life in a wetsuit…