I used to be a marketing manager at a software company in The Netherlands. Today I am a dive instructor in The Philippines. I went from staring at my computer in an office, to teaching people how to survive under water. You could call it a quarter life crisis: I quit my job and packed my bags. On a quest to a more meaningful and passionate life, I found my happy place underwater in The Philippines.
Speaking of passion: scuba diving has been one of my favorite things to do since I got ‘forced’ into it while backpacking through South-East Asia. There are many things I love about diving: from feeling like an astronaut to the serenity I find underwater. To surrender myself to a world so different from ours was scary at first, but the feeling of freedom soon became addictive. I decided to become a divemaster: mainly to improve my dive skills, but frankly also because it sounded cool. During my training something unexpected happened: I discovered I was very good at helping others get over their fears, and developed a knack for teaching. And so it happened that I became a dive instructor.
Introducing others to my passion and helping them get over their fears turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It still amazes me how people put their lives in my hands, even when they’re absolutely terrified. I love it when people who struggle in their first pool session, confidently slide through the water after only 4 days. It melts my heart to see the joy on someone’s face who has never been in the ocean before, after you take them on a DSD.
Even though working in the dive industry is not always easy, I haven’t regretted my decision to leave my old life one single moment. It’s hard work, but it’s a job that inspires me, in a place that I love. I took the first step towards designing my dream life, but I’m only getting started.
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