When I was a little kid my grandparents had a pool at their house. My mom would take us there all the time in the summer and I love love loved it. I would stay in for hours and be called a fish. I loved to swim and was a good swimmer. I even took swimming lessons for a short time, but was quickly turned off of them by a horrible instructor who would comment on my weight and couldn’t remember my name. As I got older and more self-conscious in a bathing suit, my interest and confidence in all things swimming gradually became less and less. I got it back a little bit when I moved to San Diego, but quickly learned that the Pacific Ocean is no freaking joke and went right back to staying on dry land most of the time.

Fast forward to now and I’m in Thailand with some of the most beautiful beaches and waters I’ve even seen. It not only looks awesome, it feels awesome too. After a few adventures in snorkeling here, I decided that I wanted to take it to the next level and try scuba diving. Thailand is one of the top spots in the world to dive so…when in Rome, right? After I quit my job, it was near the top of my list of things to do during my time off. I went back and forth about it with my inner Scuba Steve first. Kinda like this:

Kate: Don’t be ridiculous, you aren’t a scuba diver
Scuba Steve: Hey 🙁  Sure I am maybe could be kinda
Kate: You can’t afford it! Plus there’s that whole sharks/dying underwater/drowning thing
Scuba Steve: Hmm…good point. Too bad I’m in f-ing Thailand and I don’t f-ing care!

So guess who won.

I spent the last five days on Koh Tao learning to dive and swimming with the fishies. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, even though it was absolutely terrifying at times and it was not without issues. I was in the worst accommodations I’ve had so far this entire trip, I had to switch instructors 3 times, got seriously sick after the first 2 dives causing a 1000 baht doctor bill I was not planning on, and was stuck on the island (the most expensive place I’ve been to in Thailand by far) for two extra days. Feeeck. 

But five class sessions, four quizzes, a pool dive, four open water dives, and a final exam later I’m a PADI Certified Open Water Diver – wooop!  It sounds so incredibly cheesy but I faced some real fears I had and I am so proud of myself. 100000% worth it. Now…who wants to go diving for some sharks?!

awww, shit – scuba squad!
my last sunset on Koh Tao