Suddenly felt motivated to write here - I don't know where this adrenaline came from. Bali-bound in 2 weeks, I can't wait! It's going to be my first real solo travel - something I waited too long to do. I did travel solo once to Perth, but it was for a wedding and to meet other diving pals, so I effectively only had one day to myself. But this time, I'm going to have a solid 5-day stretch to myself! Woohoo I can't wait for all the diving and yoga. Lembongan has a special place in my heart, and will always be special to me.
Come to think about it, this is only my third dive trip this year, and I only did two trips as a DM. It's sad to see how I've shelved my passion aside for the entire year. I can't say I'm too caught up with myself - I didn't go diving not solely because I didn't want to. I wish everyone can understand better what diving is about. All the misconceptions about the hook-up culture, drink drank drunk, and unforgiving marine life has to stop. To me, diving is all about my passion - to show people what's beneath the earth we live, to see the world from another perspective, a continual exchange of knowledge, a fierce defense of the marine ecosystem. I've been diving for slightly more than 6 years now (I think?), no matter how tired and beaten up I feel after diving, there is always a sense of fulfillment after each trip, whether it's a teaching trip or my own leisure trip. Through these trips, I learn about myself as a diver, as a person; I help new divers overcome their fears; I play a part in bringing them to this other side of the world; I contribute to shaping a new diver. They may not end up falling in love with the underwater world as much as I do, but I am honoured to have played a part, albeit a tiny one, in their journey.
I've never succumbed to hook-ups throughout my years of diving - this is a principle I hold myself to during and outside of diving. Relationships, not just romantic relationships but human relationships in general, should not be built on superficial basis for personal gains. There should be a sense of realness and sincerity. When I know of real relationships which blossom out of diving, it makes me happier than ever. This shows that diving is not just about hooking-up and one-night stands, but also about meeting like-minded people. Real friendships have also been built through diving, bridging continents and distance. Divers all around the world speak one common language, have one common vision. If our sportsmen can travel around the world and meet other sportsmen, engage in friendly sparring, and lawyers and doctors can put themselves on international platforms for exchange of expertise, why can't divers? I wish the non-diving world can see this beauty of diving, and not just look at the bad rep that diving has been wrongly given. This just has to stop. Oh, how persecuted I feel now.
Often times, people think of diving as a convenient excuse to attract girls (or guys for that matter), but truth be told, real divers know better than to do something, for want of a better word, stupid. The diving community is small, is tightly-knit. You do something, we all know it, locally or outside, we hear things.
I really hope to go out there to do more trips as a DM, and hopefully as an instructor in time to come. I waste too much time sitting behind the computer screen looking at how all the instructors and DMs out there are making divers. Diving has always been a great part of me - it calms me down, it allows me to really relax and put my mind at ease and clears my mind, it brings me to another dimension I can't put the sense of tranquility I derive into words. I don't want to have to lose a part of myself just because I'm in a new chapter of my life.
How do I get through this dilemma?