My diving journey started on my gap year around Thailand, Australia and Fiji where I completed my PADI Open Water and Advanced on Koh Tao. I remember my first experience well, from the brief panic that I was breathing underwater to the realisation that there was a whole new world to discover. On my travels, I completed a few fun dives in Australia diving the Whitsundays and the Barrier Reef. I still kick myself to this day that I didn't dive in Fiji… one day!
After my first year at university, my plans had already been made - dive. I joined a small group and headed to Egypt for 6 weeks spending the first two weeks touring around. I visited all the sites, including the Pyramids, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings and even slept under the stars whilst sailing down the Nile on a felucca. For the diving, I headed to the sleepy coastal town of Dahab for 4 weeks of diving every day. The highlight (and most terrifying part!) of the trip was strapping my tank and equipment to a camel and heading along the rocky coast line. It was an uncomfortable journey to say the least but well worth having the dive site to ourselves.
During the following summer, I headed back to Koh Tao to complete my PADI Rescue Course and Divemaster. Although we don't tend to recommend Koh Tao as a diving destination it will always be a special place to me. Even more special due to leading a dive and spotting a whale shark on a safety stop at Chumpon Pinnacle - truly spectacular!
Once I finished university I travelled around Indonesia for a few months. My first stop was Sumatra in search of Orang-utans in the wild and I wasn't disappointed as we spotted a mother carrying her baby. Whilst in the region I visited the remote Palau Weh which was totally off the beaten track meaning the coral was pristine. I stayed in a little hut up in the trees looking out over the most beautiful, most turquoise lagoon I've experienced for only a few pounds a night.
Bali itself has one of my favourite wrecks, which is the USAT Liberty, a World War II cargo ship on the north east coast of Bali. It's an interesting wreck, covered in coral and there are some great swim throughs too. Then came the highlight of my dive log book; the Komodo Islands. To this day I'm still finding it very hard to beat, the diving is adventurous (reef hooks are a must), dense in marine life and on land the dragons themselves fascinating.
Since my backpacking days, I've been working in Luxury Travel creating bespoke itineraries for nearly 5 years. I've been lucky enough to experience the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Maldives, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the USA and Oman. Now to plan my next adventure with Original Diving…