Going deeper with your diving does not need to be measured in metres or feet of seawater. Whether you are staying at the top of the reef, or heading to the deepest wrecks, here are some options for adding depth to your dives.
Make it matter
Let’s start by asking some deep questions. What matters to you? In your heart, what do you want your life to be about? Curiosity, connection, adventure or learning? Independence and striving for achievement? Or merely existing in the awesomeness of the underwater world? Whatever you value: diving can be your way to access it. Select your activities, trips and courses based on what you believe is important and every dive can bring meaning to your life.
Research your options
There are worlds within worlds, and you may not have found yours yet! There are so many possibilities for how we dive and the communities we feel most at home with. Ask around, find out about different cultures and practices in diving. Research the types of diving you can do, it goes far beyond recreational, technical or professional. For example there are possibilities for citizen science projects, conservation organisations, and even underwater archeology! Read, listen to podcasts, talk to every diver you meet. Stay open and find your passion within the many worlds of diving.
Play with your perspective
One of the most fascinating things about diving under the surface is what it does to our perspective. Objects appear closer or larger than they are, but this is only the beginning. Scuba diving can really challenge the way we view ourselves. Trying out new ways of relating to the world and pushing ourselves through learning new skills has a way of helping us to encounter the parts of ourselves we have not met yet.
Earn your experience
Divers grow through experiences. We can create the best opportunities for learning through high quality training. But that does not mean all dives will be easy, and easy dives do not make a good diver. Certainly, you should look to dive safely, including sticking to the limits of your training and following the proper procedures. This is no argument for taking needless risks or being reckless. It is to say that: if you are trying new things then sometimes it will be uncomfortable – and that’s okay! For example, those times that you “just can’t get it” when learning new skills. Also, some dives will feel like a cold, wet and miserable rainy day -it a happens. But, if you want to be a diver, use these experiences to develop. It will add texture to your diving and help you to access and appreciate the best dives of your life.
Follow what is for you
Perhaps you know you want to dive to the deep, dark places and weave through the unexplored holes. Or maybe you are someone who loves the coral colours in the first 12 metres/39 feet of a sheltered reef. Either of these, and any shade in between, is perfectly fine! Try some different kinds of diving, work out when to say, “that’s just not for me” and find what is for you.
Whatever stage you are at on your diving journey right now, the ocean is calling and it’s time you left the shallows!