Diving at the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns – Queensland

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One of the “must-dos” I had on the top of my bucket list was to dive at the Great Barrier Reef. So when my brother came down to Australia to go on a road trip up the east coast with me and my partner, we decided to take on the challenge and get our PADI open water diving licences. After a thorough research on the many diving companies we decided to go with Pro dive. We are still happy with our decision today and we have gathered unforgettable experiences that we share with our families and friends over and over again.

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None of us had dived before in our lives, the closest we had come was snorkeling. We chose to go on a 5 day diving course. The first two days were spent in a classroom where there was a lot to learn. Many new words and terms to cope with. We did several dives in the swimming pool where we were taught the vital rules. We followed several exercises removing our goggles under water, putting them back on, removing the air blowing out bubbles and so on. It felt very strange at first but repeating the exercises made you understand why we had to do it. We had to learn all this and be comfortable in deep waters in case of any emergencies and even to make sure we did not panic if something went wrong. The 2 day training was summarised with a final exam, which we all nailed!

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On the third day we jumped on a boat with approximately 15 other divers and settled out to sea. Our emotions were mixed, we were happy, excited, scared and nervous all at the same time. Once we arrived at the diving spot, we put on all our gear, jumped in to the warm pacific waters and entered a whole new world. I can still remember what an exhilarating and awesome feeling it was! From that moment on I realized my new passion was born!

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We did a total of 11 dives and got our diving licenses. My bravest moment was during our night dive with the sharks. It was like starring in one of the Jaw movies. Sharks everywhere, they were reef-sharks and our instructors ensured us that they were friendly sharks. I remember thinking a shark is a shark, and if its hungry nothing is gonna stop it. It was very scary, I barely opened my eyes under the water and barely used my underwater torch. I am not sure if I will have the guts to do a night dive again but I’m glad I did it! Now I really want to dive in every sea and ocean in the world. It is impossible describing the beauty of diving in words, you just gotta do it!

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step…

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Okay, so I’ve been willing to start this blog for a while now. I don’t know why I haven’t, there is actually no excuses. I guess I needed a little push.

Well so here it goes:

My journey down under began on the 16th February 2010, where I waved my family goodbye at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. I had my whole life packed in three bags and it all weighed about 32kg (12 kg of overweight). I was lucky, the lady at check-in did not complain or demand access luggage charges. I guess she saw how nervous I was and felt sorry for me or she was simply a friendly soul.

And so I boarded the airplane, and what now awaited me was a 40 hour journey until I’d reach my final destination. I was literally travelling to the end of the world. It was scary but exciting, I didn’t really know what to expect. The first flight was about 2 hours. I flew to Heathrow, England with British Airways. I had a 5 hour stopover which dragged on and almost felt like 10 hours. My next flight was about 12 hours, I boarded Cathay Pacific Airlines and flew to Hong Kong. I had a 6 hour wait and then boarded the airplane a third time and flew for another 12 hours and landed in Cairns. I had one last wait for about 3 hours and then I boarded the airplane for one last time. After about 3 hours flight I finally landed in Brisbane Airport.

My feet finally touched the ground as the heat brushed my face. It felt like stepping into a sauna and as if my face was gonna melt. My body must have had a temperature chock. Coming from -20 degrees to +30 degrees.

Today, it has been 3 years and 5 days since I arrived in Paradise. It was definitely not easy leaving my comfort zone, but so worth it.