Are you driven by the call of adventure, fueled by the thrill of spontaneity? Do you believe that the most remarkable experiences often emerge when least expected? If so, you’re in good company. Our love for adventure has taken us on a five-year overland journey across the globe, through more than 40 countries spanning five continents. But amidst the dusty trails, wild terrain, and vast landscapes, something was missing – my deep-seated connection to the ocean.

two divers sit on the side of a boat, getting ready for a scuba dive
Image courtesy of Expedition Rove

My affinity for the sea goes back to my childhood, rooted in some of my fondest memories of days spent sailing, snorkeling, and exploring the beauty and mysteries of the underwater world. So, in 2023, to rediscover this part of myself, my husband and I decided to get PADI Open Water Diver certified in Cape Town, South Africa as we set out on our Trans-African overland adventure. Immediately, I felt like I was “coming home” as the expanse of the ocean stirred that childlike wonder within me once again.

Now 9 months later, we were itching to get back in the water, craving our next dive adventure. After navigating over 20,000 miles through Africa, we landed in Tanzania with Zanzibar beckoning on the horizon. However, life on the road is often unpredictable, especially within the heart of Africa, and that has taught us to embrace uncertainty. This uncertainty, however, makes booking anything in advance a challenge, and knowing Zanzibar is one of the top dive locations in Africa, we weren’t convinced we’d be able to find dive availability with such short notice.

The PADI Adventures app
Image courtesy of Expedition Rove

Arriving at our campsite in Bagamoyo, a quaint coastal village, we turned to the PADI Adventures app in search of last-minute diving opportunities and popped in the dates we were looking for. To our surprise, a beautifully curated list of Dive Adventures, PADI Courses, and Dive Resorts appeared in front of us – the power of instant booking lay in our hands. With a few clicks, we had a four-day diving adventure secured, including our PADI Advanced Open Water Diving course and a day of fun diving with Dive Point Zanzibar at one of Zanzibar’s premiere diving resorts: Sunshine Marine Lodge.

Mary Hannah and her husband explore a coral reef in Tanzania while scuba diving
Image courtesy of Expedition Rove

The next day, we boarded a flight to Zanzibar and were soon greeted by Sunshine Marine Lodge and Dive Point Zanzibar’s warm hospitality at their seaside dive haven. Over the following days, we explored the vibrant waters of Mnemba Atoll whose reefs offered a kaleidoscope of sea life to feast our eyes upon; we learned new techniques to propel our diving journey forward; we basked in the Zanzibar sun poolside; and we indulged in world-class dining. After months in a Land Rover Defender in some of the dustiest most rugged terrain known to man, this was absolute paradise.

Mary Hannah and her husband give the hang loose signs from the water's surface after a scuba dive

We are convinced that diving is hands down one of the best activities for any adventure-travel enthusiast, especially those who live life on the road. But, diving has become more than just a hobby; it’s a gateway to unexpected adventures and unforgettable experiences. With the ability to book spontaneous dive trips from our phone wherever we are in the world, we can’t wait to uncover more of the wonders that lie beneath the surface.

Author Biography – Mary Hannah Hardcastle

This article was written by guest blogger Mary Hannah Hardcastle.

Mary Hannah is an around-the-world Adventurer and Content Creator who lives and breathes for the outdoors and has always been drawn to anything that keeps her living outside of her comfort zone. She and her husband Andy have spent the last 4 years navigating the globe in their Land Rover together. Before hitting the road, she worked in Media/Advertising for one of the largest publishing companies in the U.S., Bonnier Corporation, where her love of the outdoors permeated her career as she worked on magazine brands spanning the travel, scuba diving, boating, powersports, and outdoor industries. Since departing from the 9-5 world, she’s built a freelance photography/videography business as well as their social channel, “Expedition Rove,” where they share their journey as they travel the globe.

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