Traveling across the world requires you to live outside your personal comfort zone. You submerge yourself in new people, languages, customs and food. It also gives you the opportunity to do things, you’ve never done before. One of the most awesome things I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing, abroad, was scuba diving. I was literally sitting in my apartment thinking that there was no way I was going to move abroad and just be a couch potato. I thought that I needed to step outside of my “norm” and do something I wouldn’t have done in the states. Try something out of the box. Daring. Adventurous.
Okay, so here’s a little bit of backstory as to why this is so remarkable for someone like me. I AM NOT A SWIMMER. Can I swim? Yes. However, I am not the quintessential lap taker that you see in the freestyle, roped off section of the pool. I’m more of the doggy paddle like your life depends on it type. In fact, my life heavily depended on it, in order to pass the preliminary stages of the PADI Open-Water dive course.
As I watched my classmates Michael Phelps past me, I remember thinking to myself, “you’re an idiot!” “Who picks an intermediate activity to try when they’re still near beginner?” I had to do a 200 meter (4 laps) swim without touching the bottom or sides of the pool and I looked like someone who had been lost at sea and flagging a plane down for help. How embarrassing?
Thank goodness, for me, I survived every bit of the certification process from the tests and book work to the hours of underwater study and physical activity. I wanted to prove, to myself, that I was going to finish no matter how tough it was. Not only did I receive the Open-Water certification, but I went back 3 months later and got an Advanced diving certification.
I know you’re probably thinking, “how was this awesome?” I’m sure it sounds more like a tragedy than a victory. But, isn’t that how everything in our lives work? Not every skill will come easily to us. It may take multiple tries for us to attain certain information and apply it, to the level we aspire. We may also look at others and believe they’re so far ahead of us, but once we push ourselves and truly believe in our own abilities, we can achieve amazing goals.
Here’s 5 reasons why you, too, should try scuba diving:
Discover a new skill
Scientifically speaking, learning a new skill boosts cognitive functions in the brain. As you learn, your brain becomes healthier because it is activating the neurons to keep your memory sharp. How cool is that?
Experience a New Habitat
Scuba diving requires us to enter a world that is foreign, much like traveling abroad. As you dive, you see how the world of the water has its own way of communicating, living and connecting with each other. You will be exposed to new plant and animal life. It’s a great way to really appreciate and respect nature.
Make New Friends
My experience allowed me to meet people from all over the world. Traveling abroad can have moments of feeling lonely, but getting involved in activities, such as this, can open doors to new friendships. You will meet like-minded people who have an excitement for life and adventure.
With the pressures of school, grades and tests, it’s always good to have a new outlet. Diving gives you a few moments of being saturated in another world. It allows you to forget about your individual stressors and focus on the beauty of the underwater world and its majesty.
I mean DUH! Scuba diving is one of the most exciting activities to involve yourself. Not many people can say they get an opportunity to travel in multiple worlds. TRY IT OUT!
Just like my story, you may find it challenging, but that’s what life is about. We are made to conquer our goals and excel in our wildest dreams. It may not always be easy, but it will certainly be worth it. Scuba diving taught me that it is important to never give up on yourself, even when you feel like a fish out of water!