Interested in diving? Need a good reason to get certified? Here are 10:
1. It's an activity for everyone
Grandparents, children, paraplegics, and even quadriplegics can dive (the latter two are a subject for a separate post). There's no excuse for anyone not to dive.
2. The reefs are dying
It's true. At this rate, 60% of the world's reef systems will be dead by 2030. Do everything you can to help at home, but don't hesitate to get out there and see what you've been missing!
3. It motivates travel
There is great diving to be had all over the world. Diving takes you to places you've never even heard of (who but divers have ever heard of Bonaire?), and in my experience, a passion for diving has given me a huge list of future vacations. No more meandering around Europe.
4. Sea life
Marine life is seriously diverse. While after a handful of dives you may think you've seen all the parrotfish and sergeant majors you can handle, as you gain experience you will also gain appreciation for the huge diversity of life, even within a single reef system.
Under the sea I feel I can observe animals much closer than I ever could any creatures on land. I've been face to face with giant sea turtles, sea lions, and stingrays. All without even trying or waiting hours for the creature to become acclimated to my presence.
5. Unlimited advancement opportunities
Just want to complete basic open water? Fine, but it doesn't have to stop there. You can quickly move on to an advanced course, followed by basic rescue diver training. If you feel the bug, continue to the professional level as a divemaster and then certified instructor, each level making you a better diver through knowledge and experience.
This is just the regular certification path, there are a myriad of additional specialties to complete. Do you have a fascination with history? Maybe wreck diving is for you. Are you into photography above the waves? Give underwater photography a go. Even if you run out of tangents to explore, PADI lets you design your own specialty courses.
Divers love their toys. Suits, regulators, BCDs, cameras, tanks, computers, and more will keep even the most enthusiastic (and richest!) gearhead busy for a long time.
7. It's social
Some may have the misconception that diving is a solitary activity. Nothing could be further from the truth. To start, no recreational diver should really be in the water without a dive buddy. This buddy is your friend, your partner in exploration as you experience all that each dive has to offer. This person is also your lifeline should anything go wrong. What could be less solitary than that?
And this is just in the water. On the boat, at docks, and in shops you'll meet a variety of people from all over the world. Rather than just running into someone randomly, you have a tie with these people, a common ground that these waters have brought you together from your disparate lives.
When you return from your trips don't be surprised if you often find yourself the most interesting person in the room, with tales of rays and whale sharks. You will soon see that far more people you know have dove than you probably expected.
8. You can do it with your loved ones
Get the spouse and kids involved and take them diving with you. What a great opportunity to create lasting memories on your next vacation!
9. It's meditation under the sea
Diving is quiet observation. You, the ocean, and the gurgle of your breath through the regulator. This isn't like meditation, this is meditation. Just like "real" meditation, the focus and clarity obtained from dives will often leak over into your daily life.
10. It's like nothing you've ever done or ever will do
Wreck diver Richie Kohler dreamed of being an astronaut as a child. Once he began diving this desire faded. Not because it was too hard or an impossible dream, but rather he found everything that attracted him about outer space could be found in the sea.
Most of the ocean remains unknown, and even the explored parts are constantly changing. This is your chance to be a part of something unique.
So what are you waiting for? Contact a local dive shop and get in the next class. Your life may never bethe same.