It always feels fulfilling when you’re able to tick-off one dream destination from your bucket list. All the thrill, fun and excitement finally gets sealed in photos, captured in videos and logged into a diary that’s ready to last a lifetime. But even if you’ve been on the land of all the 195 countries in the world, you’ve only conquered at least 29% of the planet.
But where is the 71% that’s missing? Well, by now, you should already have a wild guess! Yes! The big chunk that’s missing lies underneath the vast blue oceans and bodies of water that’s found all over the world. So it is safe to say that if you’ve only enjoyed the sceneries, travel spots, and tourist destinations on dry land or the surface of the great rivers and lakes, you are missing much of what this beautiful planet has to offer.
Explore the Remaining 71% with Scuba Diving
Humans are built to explore the dry land. There is not a single part of the human body that can help us thrive underwater. But thankfully, with the help of modern equipment, we can now explore what’s lying below the surface of the great bodies of water that covers most of the planet, and that is through scuba diving.
Unlike snorkeling, scuba diving allows you to explore the majestic beauty of marine life in different diving spots up close. Remember those high definition National Geographic undersea documentary films that you used to watch from your hotel room? Scuba diving gives you the same feeling of awe and amazement, but this time, it’s for real! You can swim with colorful fishes and see a whole new world that’s entirely different and unique from what you’ve already seen on land!
So if you’ve been doing snorkeling in your previous travels, it is time to consider scuba diving and start on a new set of bucket list exploring a whole new world full of exotic marine life and exhilarating underwater sceneries. But before you can do that, you need a PADI Open Water Certification.
What is PADI?
Scuba Diving is like driving; you first need a license or in scuba diving, a certification before you can be allowed to dive. And you can obtain such merit from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors popularly known as PADI. They’re the world leading diver training organization with 135,000 member professionals and over 6,500 dive training sites located around the world. They are also actively promoting marine wildlife and environmental awareness through actual dive training experiences and education.
Diving Lessons: What to Look For and Where to Find One
Once you have fixed your mind that you want to do scuba diving, you can start searching for diving lessons at your nearest PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) locations and dive shops. And you also have the option to combine your new interest in diving with your passion for traveling. It means that you can train in any PADI dive shop or location around the world and not just stick to the lessons near your home.
Doing this will also open an opportunity for you to save on the actual cost of training since diving courses are cheaper in other locations. For instance, it is expensive in the US but less costly in South East Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and in less developed countries like Mexico or Honduras.
Finding a Perfect Diving Experience
PADI is not just an organization that provides certification for aspiring divers; they also offer rich travel resource through their new travel platform PADI Travel which is global in scope. It is the perfect place to find ideal diving spots depending on your preferences and level of skills. With over 300 diving locations spread all over the world, PADI’s platform can offer information and planning for adventurers and divers seeking to achieve their travel goals.
Through PADI Travel, you can find spots that allow you to stay on land and dive on a schedule during one of your trips or you can also do liveaboard. Liveaboard is for those who want to stay aboard a boat and experience the best of what diving locations can offer. You will be on the water most of the time training with the knowledgeable crew on topics about ocean conservation, local marine life and environmental conservation efforts in the area.
PADI Travel offers a large selection of dive destinations with a liveaboard option available online, and it’s one of the largest in the market. Finding and booking your first diving destination is a breeze no matter where you are in the world! And with PADI Travel’s ‘search wizard’ feature, you’ll be able to quickly choose the perfect place by selecting the kind of animals that you want to see and the month when you want to travel.
Do I Need to Be an Excellent Swimmer to be Allowed to Dive?
Diving does not require one to be an expert swimmer. But it’s a requirement for one to be able to swim and be in good physical condition. You need to be fit enough to take on the physical challenges of swimming underwater. PADI’s ‘Discover Scuba Diving Program’ is an excellent first step into the world of diving. It offers training by an instructor under relatively open shallow open water. You need to be comfortable to stay underwater, and you must have necessary swimming skills to qualify for this.
In case you want to move to a more advanced level of diving course, you can complete the PADI ‘Open Water Diver Course,’ but for this, you will need to be able to do 10 minutes of swimming or floating on the surface and as well as swim at least 300 meters with fins, snorkel/mask or 200 meters with any stroke.
How About Scuba Diving Gear?
Scuba requires some specialized gear, and it is one of the sport/recreation out there that needs a lot of equipment. But starting with the lessons only requires three things- a mask, snorkel, and fins. Most of the advanced gears that you’ll need like dive computers, BCD or Buoyancy Compensator Devices, and dive computers are available for rent in your nearest dive shop. But as you start to love diving and go through even more advanced courses, investing on your scuba diving gear would be a wise move.
Advanced PADI Scuba Diving Certifications
It is easy to fall in love with scuba diving, and if you think you finally are in love with the sport, you may want to take more advanced Diver Certification Courses. It takes time but all the time you would be spending will all be worth it! The PADI Open Water Diver Course takes four (4) days at most and requires one to practice diving skills both in a pool at first then on open water. Learning the basic manual knowledge of equipment uses, adjustments, and settings is also needed for more advanced courses.
Most courses are flexible when it comes to learning options and progress is measured based on performance. For instance, if you need more time on a course, your instructor will first ask you to assess if you’re comfortable with it before moving forward. Some courses can even be started at home if that’s what you prefer.
Your dive instructor will be with you to guide and walk you through every step and on all four (4) dive sessions needed for you to graduate. But for your safety, it is recommended that you read and study all the materials provided, and you will even be asked to complete and pass an exam.
Acquiring advanced PADI Scuba Diving certifications would allow you to explore greater depths and go into places like the cenotes in Mexico. And if being a PADI instructor is your target, taking these diving courses is the way to achieve it! Scuba diving may sound complicated, but it isn’t. You only need to invest time taking the courses required and spend money on it as well. Once you get certified, you’ll then be ready to explore a whole new world and finally be able to start off with a new bucket list that’s different from the previous ones you’ve already fulfilled!