Cultural Experience | Africa

5 Reasons You Should Get Scuba Dive Certified

If you’re up for a bit of adventure, want to challenge yourself physically and mentally, and see some incredible marine life while you’re at it, scuba diving sounds like it could be perfect for you. It may not be easy, but getting scuba dive certified is definitely worth it. Here’s why:

1. You get to experience another world

Some people look to outer space with the hopes of one day traveling to a completely different world. But I’ve learnt that you just have to dive under the waves to be transported to a magical world. As soon as you roll backwards off your dive boat or step in from the shore, everything changes. Whether you’re in a tropical coral reef where the crystal blue waters and colourful fish make you feel like you’re swimming in an aquarium, or you’re diving in a lake where visibility is less than a metre, it’s bound to be an experience you’ve never had before. Unlike what you might assume, scuba diving is actually incredibly peaceful. While you’re slowly drifting along, the only things you can hear are the bubbles coming from your regulator and maybe the crackling of a nearby reef. With nothing to stress about, a sensation of being weightless and the incredible things you’re bound to see, diving offers the easiest way to leave our world without hopping on a spaceship.

sea anemone mozambique summer africa underwater fish swim image

The underwater world is unlike one you’ve ever seen before

2. You’ll learn to respect the oceans more

It’s impossible to spend time under the water and not learn to love and respect the oceans. Once you’ve experienced the beauty of the marine ecosystem, you’re going to be more inclined to want to protect it. “Coral bleaching” won’t just be a phrase you hear about in Biology class or on the news, it’ll go from an abstract concept to a chilling reality that you understand after seeing damaged corals on your dive adventures. With this new found environmental mindset, you may even find yourself changing your habits on land, whether that be discontinuing to buy cosmetics with microbeads (which you should all do anyways, click here for more info) or switching to reusable bags instead of disposable plastic ones (which, to be honest, you should already be doing as well, click here for reasons why).

sea turtle mozambique underwater scuba diving image

Once you dive with a turtle, you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure a plastic bag doesn’t end up suffocating it

3. You’ll meet some awesome people along the way

The people who you meet while getting certified or on later scuba diving travels are usually pretty awesome people. We’re generally quite adventurous, care about the marine environment and just want to have a bit of fun.

scuba diving friends underwater gopro swim mozambique image

I’ve met so many fun, like-minded people while on diving trips

4. You get to travel to exotic places to fulfil your diving desires

Whether it’s a tropical coral reef off Australia or the freezing waters of Iceland, your desires to dive will take you to exotic locations all over the world. If you enjoy warm waters and tropical beaches, you may be drawn to dive sites in countries such as Indonesia, Mexico and Tanzania, whilst if you prefer the adventure of cold water diving, you may end up in beautiful countries such as Ireland, Norway or even New Zealand. When you’re not diving, you’ll get the chance to explore these exciting places, and you’ll probably be able to get some Instagram-worthy snaps too. While getting dive certified is certainly not cheap, once you’re certified there are ways to dive which aren’t too expensive. Volunteer programmes such as the one I did in Mozambique this summer (Love The Oceans, a marine conservation non-profit) offer students a more affordable way to do a lot of diving in some great locations.

paradise palm tree mozambique photography beautiful image

Relaxing on the gorgeous coasts of Mozambique after a day of diving was perfect

5. You may get to see some epic marine animals

Dolphins. Whale sharks. Manta rays. Need I say more? (Oh and sea anemones. I love sea anemones.)

whale shark scuba diving mozambique summer africa image

I was incredibly lucky to see a whale shark while diving this summer in Mozambique! What an incredible experience.

WARNING: It may really change your life
Experiencing something so different from everyday life could have a pretty big impact on your life. If you’re not careful, you might become a dive addict and never want to be away from the sea again (trust me, I’ve seen it happen to people I know). For me, diving in Mozambique has changed my life in that it’s helped me narrow down what I want to study over the next few years. Of all the amazing experiences I had while there, for some reason it was seeing comb jellies on the surface during my safety stop that made me realise how much I love the oceans and want to learn more about them. And leading from that revelation I actually switched modules for next year so I’m focusing more on oceanography. So don’t be surprised if learning to scuba dive changes your life. But I can safely bet you, it’ll be changing your life for the better.

Sound intriguing? Dive centres around the world offer ways to get certified, and you don’t even have to be on the coast – you can get certified in a lake or quarry inland! Consider doing your pool sessions at a dive centre near your home and then getting your Open Water Qualification while on holiday.

For more information on how to get dive certified, check out these links:

PADI Open Water Diver

SSI Open Water Diver

NAUI Scuba Diver


5 Reasons you should get scuba dive certified

Veronica White

University of East Anglia | 10 stories

Veronica White is a freshman at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, studying for a degree in Environmental Science. Born in North Carolina, USA, she moved to the Netherlands when she was eight, where she experienced many opportunities to travel around Europe and further afield. Her dream is to one day travel the world making documentaries to teach the public about the environmental problems her generation is facing. In addition to enjoying writing, Veronica is an avid photographer who never leaves the house without her camera bag hanging off one shoulder.

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