A year and a half ago I had never thought about diving, let alone becoming a diving instructor. I was afraid of the unknown, what lay beneath the surface and, when swimming, would flinch at the slightest touch. On a whim while travelling over the summer, I decided to do my Open Water with Davy Jones Locker and now, 17 months later, I am a fully qualified Master Scuba Diver Trainer.
The process took a bit longer for me as I was still living in London for the first year, but I didn’t let a little issue of a few thousand miles stand in the way. Being a primary school teacher I had a lot of school holidays and would fly out every holiday and complete the next step along the rest of my path; Advanced Open Water, EFR, Rescue and Master Scuba Diver before taking the big step to hand in my resignation, rent out my house, move to ‘Paradise’ and complete my Dive Master, IDC and IE, followed by Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT).
There is something special about Koh Tao, it offers a calm, care free, friendly existence, and even more so at DJL. From the moment I arrived in August last year I felt part of the community. Students, DMT’s, IDC candidates and Instructors all socialise with each other, go for dinners, chat in the bar, have mini golf nights, karaoke etc. You go there for a few days and suddenly you find that you don’t want to leave. There are those who came for 3 days and have stayed for 3 years. Christmas’ and birthdays away from home can sometimes seem daunting, but here, every occasion is special and celebrated by all (it’s amazing how many people you can get seated round one table at some of the restaurants).
If you have ever wanted to ‘live the dream’, do it. Swapping dark, rainy 6.30am commutes across London on a sweaty tube for a morning dive watching the sun rise in 30+degrees, has been one of the best decisions I ever made; and I honestly don’t think I would have done it if it hadn’t been for DJL. Yes I miss my friends and family, but they will always be there for me, and I have made amazing friends and have a new ‘family’ here.