Your first glimpse of the ocean as you arrive at your dive trip location can be like a weight being lifted from your shoulders after what may have been a trying journey to get there. Even when travel goes smoothly, it still can be stressful with tight security ad even tighter connections. You may feel mentally and probably physically exhausted, but you made it. Your all checked in and now it’s time to relax and enjoy your dive vacation. For me, I like to start by slowing things down. I can be quite impatient. There is the need to check in with the dive shop, fill out paperwork and attend to other administrative tasks. You might be rushing around to get a dive locker or analyzing a Nitrox tank. There’s time for all that but for now give yourself a little time to slide into vacation mode.
You are in a beautiful location, usually on the ocean or very close to the water. So why not start where you want to end up. If you have a type A personality you might be prone to rushing around feeling like you need to be the first one to get everything in order. Why not take down a notch? Why not take a leisurely stroll down to the dock or beach? Meander through the resort. Take in all the ambiance. I like to soak in all the things the resort has to offer; the landscaping and plants, the pool area, the lounge chairs or hammocks strung about the place and of course what does the bar and restaurant look like. Take your time and feel the place.
As you take this stroll the ocean starts to unfold in front of you. Walking out on the dock you can embrace the start of the adventure. It is peaceful and calm. The frantic pace of the early morning dives is absent. There is a quietness that allows you to daydream about your first dive tomorrow morning. Take a few minutes to examine the boat as it gently rocks at the dock. You’re are getting in full vacation mode. When you take these few minutes to explore the resort you suddenly realize that you have a full week to enjoy this spectacular spot. It puts a smile on your face.
It doesn’t matter if this is my first time at this location or I am making a return visit. I still like to take some time to explore. If I’ve been here before, I love poking around to see what is new and different and what has stayed the same since I last visited. Sometimes it could be several years between visits. In these few minutes you can reminisce about your last visit, relive that adventure, think about the people you were with and all the fun you had. You’ve set the stage for a terrific dive vacation. Now you can get about the business of checking in with the dive shop and all the requisite things to get you ready for your first dive.
As scuba divers we are extremely fortunate to have so many fantastic places to enjoy. They can be breathless. So why not enjoy them. Take a little time at the start of your adventure to acclimate, unwind and relax by slowly exploring your vacation spot.