The year 2008 was a big turning point in my life. After living in the UK for almost eleven years working 9 to 5 office jobs or other jobs that did not really fulfill me, I decided to leave and change my life once and for all.
What was I going to do? I had absolutely no clue but I was sure that there was much more to life than what I had at that time. I always loved traveling and I was dreaming of a life in the tropics with white sandy beaches and sunshine all year round... Pretty much the same dream almost everyone has.
AN UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITY
I went back to Italy, my home country, to visit my family and to figure out my near future. I was trying to find out what I could do to make my dream come through so I started to apply for different jobs abroad, seasonal or permanent.
Resort work, TEFL teacher, bar work, sales person...you name it! I applied for any suitable position as long as the job was in a tropical country.
When I had almost lost my hopes a dive school in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, replied to my job application for a Public Relation position within their Company and offered me a sales job.
I never scuba dived before but I could speak four languages fluently so I was in!
LOVE AT FIRST BREATH
I bought a one way plane ticket and one week later I landed in the land of the Mayas. Few days into the job I was introduced to the amazing underwater world of scuba diving. I always loved the sea but somehow the depths of it scared me. I was terrified but to my surprise I fell in love with diving from the first time!
What a fantastic world, I was fascinated and overwhelmed to be able to interact with the marine life. Colorful fish, amazing corals and turquoise blue water surrounded my weightless body. I was overcome by a wonderful sense of freedom. I felt like a mermaid in my natural habitat.
I came up from that dive (and all the others that followed) grinning from ear to ear. The feeling I got from diving was indescribable. From that moment on I never looked back, I found my path. I wanted to be a scuba diving instructor!
A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE
Mexico was my home for almost two years. I considered myself very lucky, I was in one of the places with the best scuba diving in the world.
Cozumel Island was only a short ferry ride away (yep the very one place Jacques Cousteau, the father of scuba diving, in 1961 proclaimed one of the most spectacular scuba diving sites in the world).
During those months I was able to dive whenever I could. On my days off I would still get up early and get to my work place to be able to join the morning dive and experience that amazing feeling and buzz I could get from scuba diving. I had the best time I could ever ask for and I was ready for the next step, leave Mexico and see the rest of the world.
BECOMING A PRO
I decided to do my Pro training in South East Asia. First destination was the Malaysian Borneo, Mabul and Sipadan Islands where I completed my PADI Divemaster internship in five weeks. Once again I felt super lucky to be able to dive every day in another world's top scuba diving destination.
It was hard work! I was diving every day three to five dives a day and study for the Divemaster exams. I loved every minute of it and when I finished I felt I reached a massive milestone in my life.
Then I hopped to the south-west of Thailand, Koh Lanta where I completed the two weeks PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC). It was one of the most stressful moments in my life but definitely worth the hard work. I passed the Instructor Examination Exam with great marks.
Finally I was a Scuba Diving Instructor.
LIVING THE DREAM
I went back to Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands on the north-east coast to do my first working season. Perhentian Kecil was my dream place. Turquoise waters swimming pool style, white sands, palm trees and no need for shoes! I was in for a great time, I was on top of the world.
This was the start of living my dream. I could not believe it myself. I can now go anywhere in the world and work. Being a scuba diving instructor gives you the chance to live in some of the most sought after places in the world and dive some of the world's top dive destinations.
I love being a scuba diving instructor and the lifestyle that comes with it is priceless. My next step will be opening my own dive resort. It is my dream at the moment. And I know I can live my dreams.
Are you dreaming about living out your Scuba dream? Tell us about it in a comment below!