Leaving London 3 years ago to work as a traveling scuba diving instructor feels like living in a different world when I look back now. Following a redundancy and with the UK job market looking as depressingly uninspiring as any given episode of Britain’s got Talent, I decided this was the time to really change my life and follow my dreams and travel on a one way ticket with no fixed agenda. Within a few weeks I’d made arrangements to move back with my parents, find a job and save money. (How on Earth had I not saved anything on my London salary!)
Within 2 weeks of moving back in with mum and dad searching the local papers for any work, soul destroying or otherwise, a permanent state of ‘I wander what my friends are doing in London now’ engulfed my life and all the hot baths, home cooking, comfortable mould-free surroundings couldn’t replace the feeling that I had fallen a few steps down the ladder. I think it was also hard for the parents; 1) they were just about to renovate my room having waited 8 years just in case, 2) I was still prone to acting like a teenager most of the time 3) I still didn’t have my driver’s license for some months so they turned into a taxi service again as I tried to renew friendships visiting old friends.
After one whole year living at home the day finally came when I booked my ticket to Costa Rica: to the exotic unknown.
I have always loved diving. I’m never happier than when I’m descending into the deep, encased in varying thicknesses of neoprene with plastic paddles attached to my feet and a mask that makes the remaining space on my face look like I have a ducks mouth. It’s the weightlessness, the beauty, the unknown and the silence that hypnotizes many a person into this wonderful sport. Go on, try it, you’ll never look back. I decided to become a dive professional when I was 22, and it took me 7 years to get round to it. So I signed up to do a Dive Master Internship and following Instructor course with Rich Coast Diving (RCD) on the Pacific side of Costa Rica (CR). I had minor savings and wanted them to stretch as far as possible this time so being an intern and exchanging work for education is a great way to do it.
Many people ask how I knew where to go. I didn’t. I liked the sound of Central America and knew that I wanted to go to this region of the world. I Googled dive centres and RCD in Costa Rica looked the best. It was that simple.
After a long, pointless accumulation of excessive carbon footprints from London to San Jose via Chicago and Dallas I arrived in CR’s capital in the early evening. A rush of warm, humid air embalmed my tired body as I stepped off the plane and I could make out the silhouettes of the lush green mountains surrounding the small city against the starry sky as nighttime fell upon the small thin wiggly bit that connects North and South America. I felt contented excitement; this was the beginning of another adventure and this was the moment I had been dreaming of for years. I found the driver who would take me to my pre-booked hostel and I attempted to get into English side of the car. I would make the journey north west to the Guanacaste region first thing in the morning and start my first job in a dive centre with Rich Coast Diving!