Have you ever wished you could swim with dolphins? See a shark up close? If so get PADI certified and start Scuba Diving! Training courses are available throughout the world to certify you as an “Open Water Diver” (after completing a home study and practice dives in a pool or other body of water). Becoming “scuba certified” has been one of the most rewarding experiences to date and its provided my husband and I the ability to go on scuba adventures in many of the destinations we travel to each year.

Tips before becoming certified: If you don’t already own scuba gear get properly fitted before buying anything. It’s important your mask fits well so it doesn’t start leaking when you’re 60 feet under water. Be sure your fins also fit properly.  If they come off too easily they could accidentally get knocked off underwater which would make swimming quite challenging.  I have something called Raynaud’s phenomenon therefore I chose to buy a 5 ml suit instead of the standard 3 ml, along with a hood and gloves (approved by my MD), to prevent getting too cold halfway through the dive.

Give yourself enough time to read through the material before taking the course. I prepared several weeks ahead of time by reading all of the chapters and taking the pre-course work and found the course and the test to be extremely easy. Other people in my class who hadn’t prepared found the dive table calculations and other questions on the test very challenging (a couple of people failed) so be sure to be well-prepared. Scuba can be an incredibly rewarding experience, especially if you have the knowledge to be a “good diver”.

My husband and I have had the privilege of diving everywhere from the Mexico to the Red Sea but my favorite dive is still my first dive, Palancar Gardens, off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico.