Let's hear it for the girls!!
Check out some inspirational stories from my girl buddies all over the world.
This isn’t a feminist/sexist blog about why girl divers are better than boy divers. Far from it in fact since I’m surrounded by guys on a daily basis, I credit my colleagues for helping me become the guide and Instructor I am today. What I do hope to achieve though is to inspire more girls to try diving in 2017 as I think there’s still a bit of a belief that it’s a male dominated sport, where you should be big and strong (2 things I’m not!) to participate. So, I contacted a few of my girl buddies from around the world to get their story on why they decided to learn scuba diving and the impact and opportunity it’s had on their lives since, starting with one of the most water loving girls I’ve ever met……
Diver Level: Open Water Scuba Instructor
Approx. number of dives: 200
1. Why did you decide to learn to dive?
Ever since I was a kid I loved being in the water, I was snorkelling since I was 7, I could just be in the water all day until I was shaking and my lips turned purple, then my parents had to grab me out! Couple years ago I tried scuba diving on a summer holiday, and I simply just LOVED IT. The sensation of breathing underwater was an unforgettable experience. I was amazed how easy was to swim along with the same fishes I used to stare from the surface. It just felt like I was meant to be underwater, I was flying… On that day something has changed in my life. I have decided I want to become an open water diver, actually much more…I wanted to become an instructor. So good, they can just dive every day! … That’s it, I only tried diving, and now I want to do it every day. Hahaha
2. How has your life changed since being a diver?
I planned my next holiday on the PADI course. I made sure I take a long enough brake to be able to do my advanced course too… And boom, couple weeks later I was certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver. I was in fish-heaven, the amazing life you see once when you jump in the water and start to breath from the regulator. I felt free, relaxed, and extremely happy. You just forget everything else. My instructor was awesome, made me feel like I want her job! So in the next few months I became Rescue Diver and Emergency First Responder (“ My name is…your name” ) - inside joke ;-) . After returning from my holidays, I could not think on anything else just how to succeed my master plan… Soooooo, I quit from my full time job and went to live in Thailand where I became a Dive Master, and later on : Open Water Scuba Instructor! After a week of my certification I WAS TEACHING OTHER PEOPLE TO DIVE! I really hate 9 to 5 jobs now…hahah
3. Any struggles along the way? I felt very comfortable in the water since the beginning. My instructor was very patient and so knowledgeable, was impossible to have any struggles with her. Ohhh yeah, I remember: in the Rescue Course I found it hard to pull the victim on my shoulder…I could not get the right move for ages! haha Other thing, I had a hole on my ear drum when I was a kid and I was worried that I won’t be able to scuba dive because of that. But everything is fine, sometimes it takes longer for me to equalize, but I learnt how my body works now.
4. What would you tell other non-diving females thinking about learning to dive? Scuba diving is definitely not for just man… If you are able to swim, you should just do it already. The course is fun, you learn a lot, not just about diving, but about aquatic life, you will never look at the water how you used to before. It can totally change your life. Trust me!
5. What’s your favourite dive site/location and why? My favourite dive site…all of them! It is just a different experience every time. Once you see pairs of eagle rays coming from the big blue, then you swim with turtles, sharks, big schools of different fishes… But if I have to name a couple: Shark & Yolanda (Sharm El Sheikh), Jackson Reef (Sharm el Sheikh) – the amount of fishes and colours, can’t believe to your eyes. Chumphon Pinnacle (Koh Tao)- big schools of barracudas, many white eyed moray eel, groupers… White Rock (Koh Tao), HTMS Sattakut Wreck (Koh Tao) The list could be never ending… End of the year I’m planning to dive Sri Lanka, Maldive Islands, Indonesia, Philippines…so many more to come!
Huge thanks to Szandra for taking the time to share her story with us. I've been lucky in that I got to meet Szandra before she got qualified and am proud to see how she's reached her goal within only a few years. She's living her dream and that's what it's all about!
Tune in next time for more stories from some awesome girl divers!