As a dive instructor I’m often asked what I love most about diving. It can be hard to explain why it fascinates me so much, especially to non-divers. And while I don’t believe that diving (like any activity) is for everyone, I do think that everyone should at least give it a try.
I never had any interest in it, and I ended up loving it so much that I became a dive instructor. Here are my top 5 reasons for scuba diving:
The majority of our planet consists of water
Ever wondered why our planet Earth is sometimes called the blue planet? That’s because 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. That’s right, only a little bit more than one quarter of the surface is available in the form of land for us humans to live on. Of all that water, 96.5% flows within the oceans as salt water. That basically means that no matter how much you travel, you have no idea what the vast majority of our planet is actually like if you don’t (scuba) dive. My old buddy Augustine of Hippo once spoke the wise words “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” I would like to add that those who do not dive, only read one chapter. For me, traveling wouldn’t be complete anymore without also taking a look under the surface.
Coral reefs are disappearing as we speak
We may very well be one of the last generations that can witness marine life as we know it today. According to National Geographic, half of the Great Barrier Reef (the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem) has been bleached to death since 2016. Coral bleaching, triggered by climate change, is happening on a far larger scale; it’s a global problem. Nat Geo compares it to a forest after a devastating fire. Our great grandchildren, or even our grandchildren, may only be able to see coral reefs through photo or video footage. So let’s not waste time and enjoy those corals while we can (and why not do our part to protect them while we’re at it). If you want to find out more about coral bleaching, there’s an awesome documentary called Chasing Coral available on Netflix about this topic.
It fits perfectly within your lazy beach holiday
I don’t know about you, but when I go on holiday I’m usually exhausted and I just want to relax. I’m the kind of girl that can lay on the beach with a drink in hand for days (if not weeks). But as much as I love doing absolutely nothing, I usually feel pretty guilty about my laziness at the end of the trip.
Until I discovered scuba diving. It’s the perfect activity to combine with a beach holiday. Depending on your location, you often don’t even have to leave the beach. If your travel companion(s) are not divers, that’s ok too. You can split up for a few hours, go for a dive or two, and be back in time to have lunch together. Or why not convince them to join you on the boat to do some snorkeling? Warning: they might get jealous of you looking so much cooler than them.
You can travel solo without being solo
Traveling solo but not sure how to meet people? You could get a bunk bed in a cheap hostel. You could go on Tinder. Or you could go scuba diving! There’s no easier place to make new friends than on a dive boat, because you’re basically stuck with the same people in a very confined space for the whole day. Not sure what to say to break the ice? Just asking people how their dive was or how long they’ve been diving goes a long way. Everyone on a dive boat or in a dive resort shares a common interest so you always have something to talk about.
You don’t need to worry about how to spend your evenings either, because most divers love to hang out for a few beers at the end of the day. If you’re not a diver yet, signing up for an open water course is not only a great way to meet new people. Chances are you’ll make friends for life.
It’s the closest you’ll ever get to being an astronaut
All things listed above are great reasons for scuba diving, but none of them are the main reason why I love it so much. For me, scuba diving is like dreaming. I often compare it to going into space! You literally enter a different world, where we humans cannot exist without special equipment. Where we can fly. Where we see the strangest creatures, in every color and shape imaginable. These creatures show signs of intelligence that we don’t even fully comprehend.
Even with all our fancy scuba equipment, the vast majority of the oceans remain impenetrable and undiscovered by us. It’s vastness fascinates me, and even exploring such a tiny part of it makes me feel like an astronaut. It’s not just getting out of your comfort zone, it’s stepping out of the world as we know it. This is what makes scuba diving so special for me, and why I love teaching others how to dive.
This list is of course only a reflection of my personal reasons why I’m obsessed with scuba diving. I’m curious to hear about yours, so don’t be shy to leave a comment!