Shut Up and Go Diving: Why You Should Get SCUBA Certified and How To Do It

Australia

Oceania

Seventy percent of the world is covered in water. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Well then, why am I reiterating it? Because that is a WHOLE lot of world to explore.

When we traditionally think of travel, we think Paris, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, and New York maybe. But did you ever think about what the Paris and New York of the ~sea~ would be like? (how corny is that on a scale of 1-10?)

You have all four oceans, rivers, lakes, caves, quarries, and more. THE WORLD IS A BIG, CRAZY PLACE GUYS.

SCUBA (Self-Contained, Underwater, Breathing, Apparatus) diving is a life long sport. Once you get your first Open Water Diver Certification, you are good to go for life! Also, don’t be intimidated – it’s not like you need to have Michael-Phelps-level-swim-skills. You just have to be able to tread water for 10 minutes and swim for 300 meters with a mask, fins, and a snorkel.

 

Why You Should get SCUBA certified

Cutie in the Great Barrier Reef

1. Your beach vacation just got a whole lot more creative.

The first time I went diving, I was in Mexico on a lounge-in-the-sun kind of trip and had no intention of going. If you end up enjoying diving, you can’t just go near the ocean and NOT wonder what’s underneath its choppy surface. It will call your name like it calls Ariel’s daughter Melanie.

2. Any fear of the ocean will subside

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who went on a cruise with her mom and sisters. She got very excited to see the ocean, ran in, and then screamed bloody murder at the sight of a needle nose fish. Hint: that girl was me – we have taken a full 180 friends!

Yes, including your fear of sharks – sure they’re not fluffy PUPPIES, but you’ll learn that they are peaceful creatures and to roll your eyes at dramatic movies like “47 Meters Down.”

squad
3. College Credit

So I’m not gonna lie, diving can be an expensive hobby. PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors) courses cost as much as a college course. But guess what? YOU CAN GET CREDIT FOR IT WOO!

You’ll have to get approval from your university – but hey if my university in the landlocked state of Minnesota approved it, I’m SURE yours will too. 🙂

Find how many credits you can get here.

4. The travel sea bug

It’s a whole new travel bug. The underwater world is that – a whole new world.

Your bucket list will GROW. Mine is at this very moment bc I’m getting V distracted rn by diving videos. You can cave dive in Brazil, explore shipwrecks in the Great Lakes in the United States, night dive in Costa Rica, be mesmerized in a literal sea of colors in the Cayman Islands – agh so many options. And they don’t end!

The SCUBA world is literally your oyster. That’s how the saying goes right?

Wally the fish
5. Ocean appreciation

To quote my girl Demi Lovato, “I’m sorry, not sorry,” but I gotta say it – our oceans need help!!

Seeing how beautiful the ocean is will inevitably make you care more about it. There’s a general consensus in the diver community to protect everything in the water. Meeting new diver friends means you’ll become more aware of world-wide issues such as coral bleaching, ghost fishing, and shark finning (don’t even get me started on that one).

Luckily there is a very large community of divers that have come together to do ocean clean-ups. Notably, PADI’s Project Aware. Find a cleanup site here.

 

Now how do I get certified?

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    Find a SCUBA center near you

    A couple of different companies offer SCUBA certification.
    The most popular choices are:

    • PADI – Professional Association of Diving Instructors
    • SSI – SCUBA Schools International
    • NAUI – National Association of Underwater Instructors

     

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    Take a “Discover SCUBA” course

    I obviously wanna be encouraging, but it’s not for everyone. Some people get claustrophobic, and sometimes people can’t clear their ears. So this course will serve as a good test run.

    You can either do this in your local SCUBA center’s pool OR while you’re traveling. Basically, if you find a beach, you can find Discover SCUBA.

     

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    Sign up and take your Open Water Diver course

    You’ll have to study, learn how to calculate your dives, take tests, spend about 8 hours in a pool practicing a series of worst-case-scenarios, do two confined dives, and two exit dives, woo! It’s a long weekend!

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    Congrats you’re done!

    Get your certification card and your Dive Logbook. These combined is basically another passport. But for the ocean. Your passport of the sea, if you will.

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    Buy your own mask and snorkel

    It will be easier, cheaper, and *ahem* cleaner, in the long run.

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    Find a Buddy 

    The one problem with diving? It kinda goes against our whole SUAG solo traveling mantra. I haven’t been able to go too often because I don’t have a buddy. Which yes, I will say sucks, BUT I mean you’re diving deep underwater with your ~life~ supported by just a tank. This is obviously for safety reasons.

    In the market for a diving buddy or two hmu thank you.


Last but not least, before you go for the first time, make sure you get a doctor’s note to clear your asthma or other meds. We don’t want you to get all the way to the freakin’ Great Barrier Reef only to be turned away bc you wrote down that you had an asthma attack one time when you were 12-years-old.

^^Witnessed this. Poor dude.

Where’s your favorite place to go diving? What’s your favorite part about SCUBA?

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