It’s been said that diving can be addictive, yet I was unsure about it when my three friends and I began to plan our trip to learn scuba diving. What if I tried it and hated it?
But the doubt was gone after we got back from our one-week trip to Moalboal, Philippines, at the end of June.
It wasn’t a typical trip by the sea, with bikinis and afternoons at the beach. Instead, we spent our first morning sitting in a room watching tutorial videos. The rest of the days we would practice what we’d learned from the video with our instructor, first in the pool and then in the sea. Every day, we had to dress ourselves up in a tightdiving suit and a jacket with a heavy steel tank on the back.
This wasn’t how most people would imagine spending their vacation, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Not only did we get to enjoy beautiful views under the ocean, but we also felt less like tourists and more like professional divers as we learned more skills each day.
Of course, we’d been in the sea before, but this was more than just snorkeling in life jackets – we were able to get away and explore underwater, swimming with turtles and other beautiful sea creatures. As US journalist James Nestor wrote in his book Deep (《深海》，2015), “There are no mobile phones down there, no emails … no car keys to lose, no terrorist threats, no birthdays to forget … All the stress, noise, and distractions of life are left at the surface. The ocean is the last truly quiet place on Earth.”
The experience also allowed us to get to know ourselves better. When we had to fully concentrate on our breathing – even a little bit of difference in the amount of air we breathed in or out could have changed our buoyancy– we started to realize how we’d been taking it for granted and had never truly “felt” ourselves breathe.
Now that I’ve been back for over two months, I no longer have any doubt about the attraction of diving. In fact, my friends and I are already planning another diving trip during Spring Festival, probably to the Red Sea in Egypt. This hobby truly is addictive.