When I got back from the UK to get head start on first year of new career in Thailand, I was not that keen on diving, actually it was a big question of “why” we need to do all the tough training, put on heavy gears and jump into deep blue water where you could only expect the unexpected. I was not really that impressed after all.
More than 20 years that passed the underwater realm has delivered me; herds barracuda chasing prey through my safety stop, unexpected whale sharks cruising in the current, Manta Ray flirting with divers in pitch back dark, colorful nudis playing hide and seek in the reef like a field of flowers, finding a boat wreck with a friend during a fun dive, unbelievably, that was all what I’ve had some of the amazing encounters during my first live-aboard boat in the Similan Islands.
The writer on Lipe Islands
Then, of course, it was a time to do something less adventurous but more ambitious at work, growing more mature and focused with my working life. It was not that bad but even two decades are long, it in fact was not holding me back from doing what I thought I have forgotten. Life is about being and becoming. Before I knew it, I found myself diving again, not only in a new wet suit with set of new equipment, but also training new divers as an instructor! Everything happens exactly when I started.
For people close to an age of 50, some people might have thought it is a time to sit back relax and enjoy the privilege of being a success in life. However, I have never heard that people shouldn't dive after age 50. I guess I just need to refer to the first paragraph and remind myself that most amazing encounter happened during on one of your first years doing things, and I believe such happenstance will come about again. The skills and experience are as enjoyable as it was the first time in life and in the sea: all my friends are different but the fun is still the same, the diving is as unpredictably exciting and my life have become surprisingly pleasant.
Diving is revealing. It is an individual sport and the margin of error so slight if you learn and train well with disciplines, and I get this proper training with NAUI, PADI. A diver also get to learn to be courageous. There is no perfect dive so is there is no perfect life. Everybody, being successful in dive or in life, we all deserve a second chapter. Diving is always a powerful metaphor for life as it happens.
The diver-self in you just all need to be told, one way or another.