How I WON the Best Dive Job in the world 2010 (Part 3 of 3) How The Best Dive Job Changed my Life. Guest Post by Kenzo Kiren
Living the Dream
So here we are, almost exactly 3 years since touching down in Bali for the first time and what an exceptional 3 years it has been. After my 7 month experience that shaped the life I live today, I went on to travel South East Asia. Backpacking through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines back to Bali, then out to Japan to visit some family. At that point, my passport was out of pages and nearly expired so a quick trip back home was necessary before setting out to Australia. Once touching down in the land down under, I followed up with another unforgettable year first working on the great barrier reef doing day trips and overnight luxury liveaboards. The working experience was nothing like that of Bali but was an incredible opportunity to enhance my knowledge and experience as an instructor.
From the Great Barrier Reef to Playa Del Carmen
After work on the Great Barrier Reef, I bought a van and road tripped down the East coast, all the way to Sydney and eventually the world famous Great Ocean Road. The sights along the way were unforgettable, both on the surface and underwater. I dove world famous sites like the Yongala wreck, Julien rock and Southwest rock, seeing a vast variation of marine life including, dolphins, seals, whales and several wicked shark encounters. The memories and experiences in Australia alone are enough to write a book, but for now I’ll keep it short and sweet. Luckily, just hours before my flight to Perth, I, along with my accomplises, were able to sell my van and, from there, I set out to my next dive job location on the Ningaloo Reef in Coral Bay. For the next 6 months I was working whale shark and manta ray tours. It was epic! Coral Bay will forever have a special place in my heart and I will certainly be back one day.
Eventually, my one year working visa came to the end, so I, once again, did a short stint in Japan then back home for another quick friends and family reunion. After some soul searching, spinning my globe wondering where to go next, eventually I found my way out to the mayan riviera in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I went for a 2 week vacation but had the intention and optimism that during that time I could find work. Luckily for me, 2 weeks later and just 2 days before Christmas, I was back doing what I love. I started my first ever resort job, which in many ways was totally different from my previous dive jobs but once again furthered my development and experience as a PADI instructor. Playa del Carmen is a special place where you have a bounty of reef diving, the world famous island of Cozumel and the ancient mayan fresh water cavern/cave systems know as cenotes. Although the location and dive sites are completely different from those I’ve worked in the past, one thing still remains the same… I love my life as a dive instructor.
Meet New People, Go Places and Do Things
So here I am, three years since it all began. As you can imagine, this journey has taken me to places I never imagined and, in the process, I have made some life long friends from all over the world. In the PADI open water course knowledge review one question asks, “What’s the purpose of the PADI system of continuing education? The answer simply states, You meet people, go places and do things”. But really, that is the extreme shortened version of something you must experience for yourself to truly understand the extent to which it is true. Once you start a life of travel, especially in the dive industry, you become intertwined in this ever growing network and in many ways, this vast world becomes very small and connected. It seems no matter where I go, there is someone welcoming me with open arms to their home and, in many ways, I extend that same invitation to people who happen to end up where I am.
One of the most wonderful things about being an instructor is you get to live in places most people only get to go for one or two week vacations out of the year and you call that place your home. You need no reminders that you are living the dream but if you happen to forget, it won’t take long for one of your guests to say “man I wish I had your life”! I will say it’s not all fun in the sun and relaxing days in hammocks at the beach. Days start at the crack of dawn and usually end as the sun sets. Having said that, you are never lacking with incredible sunrise and sunsets. Working as an instructor, you can face numerous elements of stress and physically demanding work but once you master your ability to cope with those stresses, they will never bring you down. Whatever you may face, the tranquility underwater acts as the perfect stress relief and will always overpower what you may face. You learn to become an expert problem solver, quickly realize organization and efficiency is of the utmost importance and of course you must always take safety as the highest priority. Like any job, there are always challenges, but at the end of the day, in the diving industry, you get the satisfaction of changing peoples’ lives on a daily basis!
The people of our planet have an undeniable attraction to the ocean. The problem is, people fear the unknown and rarely take the plunge and look beneath the surface and see how beautiful it really is. The greatest satisfaction is being the person to help others conquer their fears and introduce them to a world they’ve never seen before. Everyday you have the chance to show people this incredible world, explosive with life, a world which has allowed all life on earth to thrive. I take every opportunity to leave people with the lasting impression that the ocean isn’t a place to be feared. It does require the utmost respect because it is a powerful force, but the serenity and sheer beauty is something that, if every person had the chance to explore, the world would be a much different place. Now, more than ever, the oceans need our help and, ultimately, our survival depends on it.
“if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life”
So, moving forward on this windy road we call life, I don’t know what my exact future entails, but that’s what makes things so exciting. “The world is a book and those who do not travel, only read one page”. Although at this point I have read my fair share of pages, I am definitely not even close to finishing that book. You only get one life in this world and with all the beauty and wonder there is to explore, you really need to make the most of your time and not let the world pass you by. When traveling, no matter where you go, the experience alone, absorbing different cultures, seeing how differently people live from what you are used to is something that gains great perspective on your life, hopefully making you a more understanding, well -rounded person in the process. There is no shortage of places to explore on our ocean planet and the luxury of life as a dive instructor is that you have the freedom to do so. You know what they say: “if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life”! We all have our passions in life but rarely take the leap to pursue them. Our world is addicted to learning. In my eyes, the best way to learn is through experience. The true way to experience is to travel. So get out there and do it!
Missed the Previous Posts in this Series?
Part 2 – Winning the Best Dive Job 2010
- The competition is open until October 31, 2014.
- We will announce the 8 winning candidates on November 20, 2014.
- Candidates will need to be able to travel to Bali in May 2015 for a minimum of 2 months for their Divemaster training, and to compete for the selection of the Best Dive Job in the World Grand Prize winner. Please make sure that you’ll be available to travel to Bali from May 23, 2015 to July 20, 2015 before you submit your entry.
- For a complete list of prizes, check out http://contest.bestdivejob.com/prizes