Another beautifully lost dreamer with an incurable case of wanderlust.

PADI Open Water in Koh Tao


I’ve always wanted to dive. Ever since I was a child and used to watch geeky documentaries on shipwrecks and marine life! It’s been on my bucketlist for as long as I can remember, although the ocean totally freaks me out, and I rarely even go swimming in the sea when I’m abroad! I think the fear, like anything, is the unknown. There’s so much under there, that is completely invisible from the surface.

But, as Sebastian from ‘The Little Mermaid’ says, “Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter, take it from me…”


So I decided to suck it up, listen to that cute little talking crab… get my pimp’in wetsuit on and explore 18m deep!

I’d been recommended DJL on Koh Tao by a couple of people so headed there for my PADI Open Water course. The people seemed cool and the diving was professional, so I was happy and felt like I was in good hands.


The admin bit of the course is a little dull. Learning the theory of diving- which is obviously pretty important- but not really worth talking about! Although the four cheesy videos from the 1990’s were a treat!

When it got to the practical bit, that’s when I got worried. I was nervous about panicking underwater and making a complete tit of myself, choking and having to be rescued from a swimming pool. Or getting my buoyancy wrong and being like a drunk diver! Luckily it all came pretty naturally and I got the hang of it quicker than I thought.

The night before my first open water dive I literally didn’t sleep. At all. I had butterflies, a mixture of nerves and excitement. The mood on the boat was great though, and as soon as I did that giant stride into the Eastern Thai ocean, the nerves turned into pure calmness and awe.


Each dive was magical. Sinking onto the ocean floor, in a pool of blue. We could have been in space, the weightlessness and bubbles from the tanks made it so surreal. The silence of the ocean and the colours of the corals and marine life was overwhelming. The ocean is such a beautiful place, full of character. Swimming and exploring, I felt like a mermaid. Breathing underwater was so normal. Fish swimming with you, like you’re part of their world.


Scuba is one of those things that you will never know how fantastic it is until you experience it yourself. So much of the world is underwater, so it seems silly living your life without seeing what it has to offer. You will never be disappointed. Each dive is different. So peaceful, yet bustling with life. Getting my PADI OW is one of the best things I’ve ever done. it’s opened a door to a new universe that I can’t wait to continue exploring.


  1. Totally agree, until you try it you never know how wonderful it is. It looks like you had a great dive site with very clear water.

    I took my long awaited dive course in 2008 in Cairns. After the initial scare of nearly not getting in, I have a low lung capacity it was a great experience.

    Although towards the end of my training I had a panic attack (very unusual for me) about 10 feet down. I was adamant that I wouldn’t go back in yet my instructor convinced me. I then passed and he quickly signed me up for the advance course. That was even better as we went night swimming with sharks and entered the water James Bond style off an inflatable boat.

    • It was so beautiful. Absolutely loved it. Went on my first wreck dive on Sunday too. That was amazing. Viz wasn’t so good but it added to the creepiness of the ship!

      Oh wow, good on you for getting back in the water. Must had been scary. But glad you love it and got all James Bond! Sounds like you had fun 🙂

  2. Kayleigh /

    wow! i am like you, and scared to swim in the sea, when i was in Portugal I swear i aw something, but also my boyfriend said the same thing, i got out, he went to see what it was! I definitely need to save money to get out there!! (p.s how do you make money from travelling?! great life!!) xx

    • Hey Kayleigh,
      Aww it’s so much different when you’re diving and you can see what’s around you. It’s such a peaceful experience and so surreal. I’m sure you would love it! You need to save up and travel for sure if that’s what you want to do 🙂 I’m not making any money at the moment- just travelling Asia with the money I saved and working next month when I get to Australia. It’s super easy to do. Keep me posted on your plans and let me know if you need any advice! Sam x

  3. Symone /

    Lovely article Sam! Just passed my OWD in Scotland, can’t wait to do it abroad where it is warmer and better visibility! A few wobbles during the sea dives but again the instructors were awesome at getting me through it.
    Thailand is definitely on the list!


    • Thank you. Congratulations, it’s such a fantastic experience diving! Head to Thailand as soon as you can, such beautiful dive locations


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