My first open water diving experience was tainted by cold weather, choppy water, and poor visibility. The only thing violet about that ocean was my lips. Suffice it to say, my mermaid days were cut short after that. I retired the fins, booties, mask, and snorkel I'd invested a small fortune into just for the training, occasionally taking them out for some silly swimming sessions in the pool.
Fast forward 11 years and I'm in Koh Tao, the diving center of the world. The ocean is clear and warm, the vibe is super chill and relaxed, everybody is there to get a taste of life underwater and at an affordable rate, no less. I decide it's time to dust off my scuba skills and get back in, BCD, cylinder, and all. Quickly, I realize what I hadn't missed about it - the weight of all the equipment, the vulnerability of having to rely on an apparatus to breathe, and let's not forget the sea sickness. It's quite miserable reviewing all the steps required just to get in the water and then all the steps to safely stay in and get out as well. Inflate, deflate. SPG, BCD. Nitrogen narcosis. Over-expanded lungs.
Not an ocean person by nature, it took a lot of self-convincing and determination to pursue the advanced certification course. Through it, I found that it is actually quite enjoyable if I remember to stop and view the aquatic life and how amazing it really is to be able to breathe underwater. Dare I envision a diving holiday in Borneo or Bali next?
Outside of doing un-humanly activities, I did a lot of lazing around, developing a deeper appreciation for island life - waking up late, walking aimlessly around town, catching iridescent sunsets, and, of course, crushing on fire ravers.