Why I Decided to Learn Diving

Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India
Runaway Photo: Camel Ride in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan
September 13, 2013
Mangroves of Chiapas Mexico
Runaway Photo: At the Edge of the Pacific Ocean in Chiapas, Mexico
September 20, 2013

Why I Decided to Learn Diving

Mapalascua Philippines

I’m not the most adventurous person you’ll meet. It’s not so glamorous thing to say, but it’s the truth. I consider myself courageous, but my bar was very low as an ordinary Korean nerd who was brought up in a conservative family. Spending night in the mountains to photograph stars was considered a behavior of a rebel.

 

Against all odds, I’m doing the craziest adventure, traveling the world. How did I turn out like this? Beyond me (ask my parents, they seriously questioned themselves.)

But there are certain things I’m not so proud of. I’m not good with a bike (still traumatized by the big bike accident). Worms are my biggest enemies. I don’t drive (I can, but I’m inexperienced – I blame Seoul). I love swimming in the open water, but the thought of mysterious creature pulling my leg underwater is vividly alive (watched too many horror movies as a kid?) I hate horror movies, and darkness. Mosquitoes love me for some reason, and I have a bad reaction to it. And the lamest of all, I’m almost blind without my contact lens (this post from Buzzfeed is the reality). Secretly, I’m terrified with fast speed.

 

I’m up for trying most of everything. Weird food? Bring on the deep fried frogs! Hiking? As long as my legs work, I’m game. Lake swimming? Why not? Biking around the town? I’m terrified but I’ll try. But I always draw the line at diving. So many excuses: What if I hit my goggle and lost my contacts? And it hurts like hell! What if I lost my prescription goggle underwater? Prescription goggle is so expensive. What if I lost control of my oxygen level? What if I lost my oxygen tank? What if we meet sharks? A series of very logical questions, I’d say. No?

 

During my travels, I stumbled into some of the most amazing diving beaches. It was affordable, safe (they said), and well managed. Because of budget, and my natural laziness, I always let the opportunities slip by me. Reasons? Same as always.

After meeting so many professional and leisure divers, my list of excuses shrined little by little. It’s another way of seeing this world, and I won’t dive alone anyway, so most of my fears can be quiet now. I can’t fix my eyes, but there are alternatives.

 

Malapascua Exotic Dive Resort

Malapascua Exotic Dive Resort

 

So I decided to learn how to dive when I’m in the right place. It seems not so scary after all. But most of all, I’m done making excuses. I’m just going to be a bad-ass. I mean, what’s the worst thing could happen? Well, I could die, but highly unlikely (I’ve been told). Since I won’t be diving alone (I don’t think you are supposed to anyway), they won’t leave me underwater to die. I can invest a little more to get the prescription goggles (remember the scene from Notting Hill?). I have to commit to follow the diving schedule to get the certificate, but that’s an easy part. The reasons that made me say no seem quite silly now. It can be solved by one question: why not?

 

This little determination is connected to the attitude in general. As I mentioned in my life lessons I’ve learned from Tina Fey, it’s important to AGREE. Life is like improvisation comedy. When my beloved partner named life presents me a situation, I have to agree, and make the solution. Scuba diving is a simple example. Maybe I won’t look for a place to learn diving anytime soon, but I won’t say no to the opportunity in the future. I made a peace with my mind. It isn’t easy as a (almost) blind person to jump into the water, but it’s not the worst thing. I’m done making excuses. I’m agreeing. Maybe I want to jump from the bridge someday, who knows?

 

How about you? What’s your diving in life?

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for travel and storytelling. She traveled the world as an award-winning travel blogger and photographer, witnessing the everyday life of different cultures. Currently based in Anchorage, Alaska and exploring this amazing Last Frontier. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Instagram .

19 Comments

  1. Jules says:

    Awesome! Supporting you all the way – it opens a whole new world, literally! I’m about to do a PADI refresher course myself to get myself ready for some GBR diving in AUS when I make it down there in 2 months. 🙂

  2. nicole says:

    My “diving” would be finally getting over my fear of heights. One of these days, I’ll be able to conquer that.

  3. I am glad you did Juno! I fell in love with the underwater world it’s just so serene!

  4. I am terrified of open water, and sharks, and sea monsters pulling me under water. I would still like to try diving one day though. But only if it is not that deep, there are no sharks in the nearby waters and if the water is crystal clear. Does such a place exist?

  5. Fiqah Lee says:

    Well, Malaysia has lot of great diving place to offer. Check out Perhentian Islands,for instance. Actually me myself haven’t taken steps towards diving,but I’d loved to! There’s many things in live that I want to try out and experience, but that’s it….. I’m a coward. =_=’ I’m just like you in some aspects, maybe I watched too many weird movie when I was a kid,I’m terrified to many silly-sometimes-doesn’t even exist-things! For now I’d really love to learn swimming, because in Malaysia,it’s not likely parents HAVE TO/MUST teach their kids how to swim and so on..

  6. Giulia says:

    I always said “never” to diving because I am also scared of the “mysterious creature pulling my leg underwater”… there are so many things that scare me. But I also decided to try when I go to Roatan… and how awesome would it be if you could join me? 🙂

  7. Beth says:

    Any recommendations for prescription goggles? Been thinking about getting a pair for our next adventure!

  8. Veny says:

    Yay! You go girl! You know, I was scared of the ocean, but I went snorkeling once, and just like that I decided I will conquer my fear, as I really loved snorkelling and wished I could go deeper. You’ll love it. Not a ‘cheap’ hobby for me, but like travelling, I wouldn’t mind spending for more of it :))

    Just so you know, Indonesia has some of the best dive sites in the world 😉 Come and visit once you are certified, or you can even get certified while you are here!

  9. Pamela says:

    Hi Juno, a pat on your shoulder for mastering up the courage to go travel under water!
    I look forward to your first diving post. 🙂
    I always desire to go diving one day too, the only problem is, I cannot swim well nor can I tread water. I need to overcome the fear of not being able to touch the ground under water. :S
    It is actually ok to wear contact lens with the normal mask under water right?

  10. Joanna Kwong says:

    Diving is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. I often feel like giving up with I’m hauling air tanks and equipment around or just lazy. The courses are tedious but safety is very important! Once you get down there, all the hard work is worth it! Diving isn’t as extreme as skydiving which I would NEVER do! (maybe)

  11. I think it would be easy for you to decide that you are too scared to dive and just be done with it, but there is obviously a reason that you feel compelled to grabble with this fear! I think you are meant to dive! I am always a bit nervous before I go diving, especially if it’s been a while, but once I’m down there, it is so relaxing and freeing and wonderful.

  12. Sarah says:

    Diving is quite frightening indeed. But like has been said before in the comments, once you’re out there you sort of forget you fears as the awe for the underwater beauty takes over. For my it was driving. I finally took lessons, but I’m still a bit shaky when I hit the road. I always find a reason to walk or take the bicycle.. Well i guess it good for my general health 😉

  13. […] years ago, but I’ve decided it to make it as my New Year’s challenge. I was going to learn how to dive in the coming year, but I guess first-come first-served! Say yes to the opportunity, […]

  14. Suzanne Miller says:

    I’m glad that you took a big leap and conquered your fears. Yes, diving can be scary at times, but once you are underwater and you get to see the wonders of the deep, you’ll eventually forget that you’re scared and you’ll just be there, at awe at the sheer beauty of world under the sea.

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