Becoming a PADI Instructor is a dream career for many divers, so we spoke to AmbassaDiver, Manu Bustelo about the Instructor Development Course he took last year…
What was it that inspired you to become a PADI Instructor?
The ocean and all of its creatures. Really, the little that we know of the underwater world makes each dive a thrilling adventure. What’s better than to teach someone new skills to discover what lies beneath 70% of our planet surface? Honestly I can’t think of anything better, except perhaps teaching someone new skills to become an astronaut (which is actually a possible career path as a diving professional)!
How did you find the course?
I found the course pretty awesome. I was extremely lucky as I did my IDC in a beautiful Spanish town, Cabo de Palos, and my fellow IDC applicants were super friendly. It’s a wonderful experience to rewire yourself for a few weeks in order to transition from ‘experienced diver’ to ‘brand new scuba diver instructor’.
It’s one thing is to have acquired plenty of experience as a scuba diver, and a whole different story to learn how to teach and pass your experience on to new divers. I encourage all divers with a passion for teaching (and diving) to become Instructors.
Where did you take you Instructor course?
‘Islas Hormigas’ marine reserve is there. In my opinion this is one of the best dive areas of Europe, for sure the best of Spain. This spot has wrecks, deep drop offs, exciting underwater pinnacles and large quantities of fish and mammals including Mola Mola’s. Islas Hormigas marine park, or the Cabo de Palos / La Manga area in Murcia, has it all.
Do you have any advice for divers who are looking to become PADI Instructors in the future?
Yes, I do. I encourage any diver who is looking to become a PADI Diving Instructor to reflect on the best mentor you’ve come across in your life. The mentor who inspired you to do or learn something with passion. Now, try to visualize yourself being that mentor/instructor to people who have never taken a breath underwater, or seen a coral reef and all the creatures that live in it.
I believe that practicing scuba diving goes beyond a simple sport you do on a regular basis. It’s a lifestyle, and for me, it’s a lifestyle full of adventures and new discoveries.
Last but not least, we all know our oceans are in peril. If you teach someone how to dive, you are teaching someone how to become an ocean steward as well.
What’s your dream dive site?
I’ve got two and very opposite ones. One of them is Solomon Islands. A couple of years ago NatGeo featured several pristine and untamed dive spots in this large area. Fortunately, it has not yet become a commercialized area and I want to go do there before this happens. My other dream dive site is Antarctica. I follow some astonishing photographers such as Greg Lecoeur & Paul Nicklen, who have done amazing jobs in this area. Their photos make me dream every day. I want to scuba dive there.