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Diving for the first time

        My sister is one of those people who are so sweet and so nice, yet, she takes risks very slowly and doesn't cope with change easily. So, becoming a diver was such an audacious decision from her side, a reason for which i decided to share her story, as an inspiration for those who are still hesitant about "breathing under water": 

"My first ever knowledge of diving was through movies. I used to see people under water and just wonder how can they do it? 

Then I met my husband in 2000, who was my boyfriend back then, and he started telling me about his experience as a diver and what he used to see underwater and the thrill of it. I started to get really interested in the sport and think that maybe I can try it out and we would have a common sport to do together.

Ten years later, I finally got the money and the chance to do my open water course with PADI in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. I finished the course’s theoretical part in Cairo and was all excited about going under for the first time.

I put on my gear and went into the pool and as I started descending and taking my first few breaths out of the regulator I started to panic and feel like I am suffocating and went right up.

My very kind and patient instructor tried to calm me down and convince me to try to descend again, I just couldn’t.  But, for the sake of the effort I have put in the course and the money I spent I decided to push myself and keep at it. 

Needless to say, I literally struggled in every single skill under water. Every time I have to take the regulator out of my mouth I would shoot up and won’t finish the skill. My instructor was the most patient and calm person I met in my life, as he still believed I can still finish the course and be a certified diver. 

After 2 days of this agony, I called my husband and told him it looks like I won’t be certified and I don’t think diving is for me. 

Only on our last day, when we had to do 2 last dives in open sea, suddenly everything changed!  

I remember on that day I have put all my gear, feeling scared and panicky as ever, doubting myself and hating how incapable I am. I walked into the sea and as the instructor signaled us to deflate, I was thinking it is just a matter of minutes and I will panic again and shoot up as usual. 

Yet, the most marvelous thing happened. As soon as I went underwater, I saw the most beautiful world ever. I saw so many colors, so many types of fish and even a big Napoleon fish, I was mesmerized. I forgot about my breathing from the mouth, I forgot about the mask that can be filled with water, I forgot about the heavy equipment, I forgot my panic! My breathing was normal I started moving with the group and looking around as if I am in a totally different world. I felt the calmest ever in my life, I never was calmer or happier before. We started doing the set of skills again and I just aced all of them with no panic no worries but instead enjoyment!

Since then, diving became an integral part of my life, it is my happy place... my calm place. The sea became my second home.

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Diving with Whale Sharks in the Philippines - October 2018

So, for all the non-divers with doubts and new divers struggling, please do not surrender, believe in your capabilities and just keep practicing diving, believe me, you will be heavily rewarded! :) "

Dalia Saleh - Clients Relations Manager