Making Koh Tao and Ban’s my home
I’ve met quite a few PADI Instructors in Koh Tao who have a similar story to mine – I went on a quick holiday to a tropical paradise in Thailand, I became a dive professional and I never returned home.
Is it that easy? What about all the responsibilities I had back in the ‘real world’? What about climbing the corporate ladder… the white picket fence… the money? These are all legitimate questions which we have been brought up to ask ourselves. “Look before you leap. Think carefully before taking action. Better safe than sorry”.
So let’s tackle some of these concerns together.
Is it that easy? Dropping everything back home was much easier than I thought. Flight tickets were refundable or changeable. Property, cars, and material possessions could be stored or sold. Relationships with friends and family could be maintained online and in fact, moving abroad gave the same circle of people a place to visit overseas. I will say that becoming a dive instructor took some hard work (mixed with a lot of fun) but it was well worth it!
Responsibilities in the real world? Believe it or not, living life in a tropical paradise doesn’t release me from responsibility. As a dive professional I am responsible for the development of divers who are training in an environment they have no natural right to be part of. As an ambassador for the reef, I hold a deep sense of responsibility to protect our ocean planet. Most importantly it has become my responsibility to tell everyone I meet that “the real world” is really wherever and whatever they make it.
The white picket fence? I traded that for a white sandy beach. Enough said I think ?
Climbing the corporate ladder? I think the desire to do this comes down to progression, achievement and recognition, all of which I get in the diving world. When I started diving, I saw PADI’s Continuing Education Flowchart and I set my goal early to become a Divemaster (to a 13 year old the title just sounded cool). When I got there, I wanted to become an Instructor, then a Master Instructor, then a Course Director. Check, check, check… I grew as a person, achieved my goals and was recognized by PADI. I was even lucky enough to continue my personal growth representing PADI Asia Pacific for 8 years as Territory Director and Examiner. In other words, if you’re keen to be a student for life with an abundance of opportunity to recreate yourself during the journey, then the dive industry is for you!
The money? There are many financially successful dive professionals out there, but if I never become a millionaire as a diver, it’ll be nice to know that I lived a million-dollar life. I believe it’s wrong using our health to make our wealth, then having to use that wealth to buy back our health later in life.
Bottom line – jump in with ‘two fins’. Decide that you’re worth the investment in becoming a PADI dive instructor and commit to changing your life today. Perhaps even consider making Ban’s Diving Resort and Koh Tao your new home. If you need more information how, please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org