Watch out if you’re a beginner scuba diver or considering passing your open water level. Scuba diving is a highly addictive activity. Before pursuing further, you may want to consider what scuba diving and travelling extensively did to my relationships and decide for yourself…
I’m sure most of you remember this video from PADI “Never fall in love with a scuba diver” which was actually inspired by an even more famous blog post “Don’t date a girl who travels“. Yes, scuba divers love sharks and marvel at things that most people would find ugly. Yes, scuba divers are the one you should never let away from water too long. These posts are more or less the story of my life.
Through my travels and my diving blog, I found an outlet for my curiosity, creativity and crave for adventures While all these exciting things are fulfilling my life more than I could ever expect, I must admit that loving relatives whether they are family, friends or partner, help to find a balance. Push too hard, too long, in only one direction, and the lack of another will prevent you to go any further. During my 2 years in Scotland, I dedicated a lot of my time to take my blog off the ground. Then I came to a point when I needed a new spark to reach the next level. Thanks to the wise advice from a friend in Edinburgh, I realised no extra time or money would ever do that.
Without a doubt, being a traveller makes it harder. Since I celebrated my 30th birthday, I heard the question “When will you settle?” much more often. Like if settling was the only path. After many relationships mistakes and failures, trying to fit in what society expects you to do, I realised my path was actually to do what I love the most in life and that, eventually, I will meet the right buddy on my journey.
My last week in Scotland before heading back to France, a good friend of mine visiting me declared, kind of joking, “You know what? I would be a perfect husband for you!”. I looked at him, puzzled for 2 seconds, and immediately replied: “Well, travel around the world, learn scuba diving and then maybe we can talk”. It made so much sense suddenly, my lifestyle cannot be for everyone, and… that’s ok! Do you know this quote that says “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans”? 15 days later, it did.
Lurking a life of underwater adventures all over the world? Welcome to my world but be ready to receive these 5 comments I hear more and more often as my scuba diving addiction goes “deeper”…
“You only talk about travel & scuba diving”
Unfair but at the same time…
Whatever your passion is, you can always be the bore of someone else. In the past, I pledge guilty for maybe having been a travel bore. Fair enough, not everyone wants to hear all the details of your adventures all over the world. But when you live so many exciting experiences you want to share them with as many people as possible so they might have the chance to do it too! Having a travel blog solved most of this need to share my adventures for whoever really cared about them. About scuba diving, it’s true I’m able to speak for hours about the detailed features of a BCD or the precise aperture and shutter speed settings of my underwater camera. It’s also true it’s better to do it with someone who shares a common interest in scuba diving, travel and underwater photography in my case.
The fact is, with my passion for scuba diving and my blog, these topics now take a huge place in my life. Can I speak about other subjects than scuba diving? Of course! Hopefully, I don’t determine my friendships based on this! I love art, cinema, cuisine, learning languages… even maybe too many things, but at least I never lack topics of conversation. So really, if people around you don’t want to hear about what makes you happy in life, it may be time to reconsider a few things…
“You compare the cost of everything with flight tickets or scuba gear”
Totally guilty, I know my priorities!
Like most of you, I don’t have an unlimited bank account, so whenever I’m making a significant purchase, I tend to compare it with a number of dives, flight tickets to South East Asia or a new toy to improve my underwater camera capabilities. The most recent example is this fancy fridge at a great discount that winked at me in a shop in my neighbourhood, making me think “mine is old, isn’t it?”. I waited for a day when the opportunity to buy the perfect wet wide-angle lens for my camera arrived in my mailbox for the exact same price than the fancy fridge. Guess what I did?
Life is a matter of priority and especially time and money-wise. So, to live my dreams, I made choices. If you don’t get that I have no interest in buying stuff all the time or spending all my money in bars at the weekend, then it’s ok to be on separate paths.
“You’re too independent.”
OK, I guess this one is directly thrown at the fact I’m a girl. Seriously, would you say that to a guy? On one side I want to laugh out loud and on another side, I want to shout. So what, I should be in the need and waiting for someone to do things for me? At the same time, while writing this, I know how privileged I am to be from a country where it’s actually possible, even if this kind of comment proves that there is still a long way to go.
Travelling solo for scuba diving took me out of my comfort zone and taught me how much I could count on myself. It doesn’t mean I cannot appreciate when someone wants to give me a hand. That’s the point; I don’t want to need it, I want to appreciate it. I don’t want to need someone, I want to be on a team where we both help each other because it makes us happy.
“You’re never here.”
Here, my travel blogging activities might be the main reason why my agenda is now booked until May. Nevertheless, if it wasn’t because of my eager to add another blue pin to my World Dive Map, I wouldn’t so easily accept new projects or plan my next 3 adventures at the same time. As a matter of fact, I used to be a bit more spontaneous with my trips, but I would travel only once per year. This wasn’t enough. My scuba diving trip crave was too strong. Year after year, I found out that with always a bit more organisation and a few tricks, I could travel every month and even now almost twice a month.
At the moment, I’m more into a strategy of shorter stays more often, whereas I used to be all about a very long trip once a year. The year I travelled to Mexico/Guatemala/Belize for 5 weeks was undoubtedly awesome but the entire year without travelling after wasn’t so fun. I guess anyway it always depends on your mood and circumstances. I’m sure it will change again, and I will opt for another travelling style sooner or later. However, it usually means my life is 80% planned in advance.
The only way I found to make some space for the people that matter in my life is to either plan thoroughly as well or to be ready for last-minute meetups even if it means spending the only 2 hours I have between 2 trains to tour in Paris with a friend from Singapore who’s in town for the day! I’m not saying it’s perfect, I’m still adjusting it, but it currently kind of works fine for me. Honestly speaking, it is complicated to share your life with someone who wouldn’t understand why you want every vacation and most of your weekends to be somewhere including diving.
“You take too much risk.”
Really, I’m not.
An alternative to this one is simply “You’re crazy”. Every single time someone addresses these words to me I actually feel proud and always answer with a “yeah” and a big smile. But am I a careless risk taker? Being a scuba diver taught everything but being an inconsiderate fool. It taught me to “plan the dive and dive the plan” but also to “think through the dive” from my open water course to my Divemaster training. As scuba divers, we spend most of our time training about safety and first aid procedures. And you know what? I may feel good with 40m of water above me, I’m actually scared of heights and would never skydive. I measure the risk, adjust the level of adrenaline and then plan thoroughly the logistic side of things. A crazy adventurer, me? Not really, but an organisation nerd, yes.
Fears are actually like money spending priorities, they are personal matters. Whether you can deal or not with the level of risk is to be taken seriously because something can happen anytime. Scuba diving, especially recreational diving, is really safe, but sometimes things can go wrong even if it’s not the most extreme sport of all. But even by staying on your couch or just crossing the street, something bad can happen to you. Is it a reason to stay at home?
I think I did pretty well in explaining why you shouldn’t date the worst of all: the scuba diving traveller!
Who would seriously be ready for all of that? But I guess life has always some good surprises.
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