The Solo Travel Series: Thailand (Diving in Koh Tao).

  
Wow, what a week I have had. It’s been busy, tiring and absolutely amazing. I spent my week getting my Open Water and Advance diver qualifications in one of the best places in the world to do it; Koh Tao, Thailand. I’ve always been interested in diving, and harbouring a deep love for the sea, I’ve dreamed of going diving for a while. At the same time, the prospect of diving also scared me a bit. Hypothetical scenarios would spin around my head: what if I run out of oxygen and drown, what if I encounter a blood-thirsty shark, what if my lungs collapse on the way back up. You get the picture. But I decided to face my fear and simultaneously  follow my dream, and I’m so glad I did.

I did my diving courses at Big Blue, a place I thoroughly recommend, and I was lucky enough the be paired with a great instructor and buddy. The first day was filled with theory and practicing in the pool, which really helped me feel comfortable with all the equipment. There was a lot of theory to study in a short amount of time, but I passed the test the next day with ease. Leaving the boring stuff behind, it was time for my first ever dive! 

I was very nervous putting on my equipment on the boat, preparing for that first dive. I’m pretty sure I made sure everything was working ten times over before feeling ready to jump into the ocean. All my nerves quickly disappeared though as soon as I deflated my BC and descended into the beautiful underwater world. It’s a hard sensation to describe; the feeling of weightlessness, feeling so close to nature. I left all my worries on the surface and completely enjoyed the beauty with no interruptions.

With such a great first experience, you can imagine I greatly enjoyed my other eight dives even more. The more practice I got, the easier diving became. As part of my Advance course, I dove to 30m and also went on a night dive. The night dive was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We turned off our flashlights for a full 5 minutes and our movements lit up the plankton in the water bright blue, lighting the way for us. I was like a little kid waving my arms around in the water, the lit-up plankton was like fairy dust underwater. 

Besides the diving itself, I also really enjoyed being in the company of people for the whole week. I love solo travel, but it was a nice change to be around the same people for a week, to get to know them, to share experiences. It’s also made me feel more ready to conquer these last three weeks in Thailand alone. 

I’m currently still in Koh Tao; I decided to treat myself to a private room for 6 days while enjoying the island. I have no issues with shared budget accommodation, but allowing yourself some true privacy on your travels once is a while is needed, I believe. I’m heading to Koh Samui at the end of this week for the last leg of my trip, but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying beautiful Koh Tao.

Hoije ❀

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