My failed attempt at Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand.

To be honest I have never been interested in Scuba Diving… and the thought of doing it never crossed my mind. I love the beach and love it tons, but the thought of venturing far into the ocean scares me. The other reason why I have never been interested is because I’m blind without my glasses… like very blind. I can’t see for shit up close and much less far away so I know when I take off my glasses and put on my goggles I won’t be seeing much. I don’t even really enjoy snorkeling for the same reason. Yes I have snorkeled many times and enjoy it every time, but even then the the thought of seeing more of the amazing under water world has never interested me. I prefer exploring the world on land… even though that sometimes scares me too I love it and am pretty good at it.

So you must be wondering then why the fuck did you try it? Well the reason I tried it was because during my 15 days in Koh Tao I had been asked by many people to try it. I had been told it’s amazing and one of the best places in the world to dive. I still didn’t want to do it, but was leaning towards it a bit more. Then towards the end of my stay in Koh Tao I met up with Tran & Matt from Backpack Forever and a few of their friends. We were excited to finally meet & even more excited that all of us hanging out were all from HOUSTON!!! Well they are amazing at getting deals (yes even better than me) and well they managed to get us an amazing deal for the Discover Scuba Diving course that I would be fucking stupid to pass up. Yes really… so I took the bullet and said I’d do it. I mean really why not give it a chance. So here’s the story of my failed attempt at Scuba Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand:

It was my last day in Koh Tao… when the Houston crew woke up bright and early to make our way to do our Scuba Diving. The entire time I was scared, nervous and kept thinking what if I explode underneath the water or a shark attacks me or I run out of air… I mean it was as if I had never met anyone who did scuba diving or read about it on other blogs. I know I am a tad bit dramatic, but I can’t help it… it’s who I am. We finally arrived and I was a bit more calm when they assured me it was safe. We filled out the paper work basically making it impossible for us to blame them if anything went wrong. I laughed thinking about a few more dangerous things I’ve done around the world like when I went Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua and nearly died.

Koh Tao, Thailand

—Goofing around with the emergency regulator. —

Koh Tao, Thailand

—Being taught how everything works.—

We finally made our way to the beach where we were given instructions on how everything works and the signals we’d use underwater to signal things and communicate. I thought it’d be rocket science, but nope so far everything seemed great and easy . I was still nervous, but I thought okay I got this. We got fully dressed put everything on and practiced everything above ground a few times. The strangest feeling I thought was the regulator in my mouth. We then made our way to the shallow water to go over everything underwater with the instructor. We went over the drills we went above ground, but now underwater. We practice loosing our regulator I was able to bring it back with out having to go above for air… I was feeling great. Then I had to practice loosing my regulator and having to use my partners… I got it in time, but freaked out and couldn’t breath into the regulator and jumped up for air. The thought of using this foreign object to breath was still freaking me out a bit. The instructor let me know it was okay that it happens and to try it again so we did. I did it this time with out a problem. We came back up and all floating on the water were asked if we had any questions or problems. None so we were all ready to give it a go.

Koh Tao, Thailand

—Drifting out far into the sea.—

Koh Tao, Thailand

—Yup that is me 6 meters underwater before I panicked.—

We drifted out into the sea and it was moment of truth… time to deflate our life jackets and go under. I was fine going under I felt great, my ears felt the pressure fast, but I popped them and was fine… moments later I was touching the floor of the sea and knew I was 6 meters underwater… I couldn’t believe it I was 6 meters underwater and breathing it felt amazing. Then in a split second it all changed… I looked up and saw how far I was underwater and panicked. Within a few seconds a million thoughts crossed my mind:

I need to be up there to breath…

I don’t want to die yet…

I wanna see him again…

I wanna be home…

I can’t see clear…

I don’t wanna do this…

I need air…

I need air…

I need air…

I wanna cry… can you even cry underwater?

The instructor signalled to me if everything was okay… I signalled NO and kept pointing to the surface. I was breathing fine, but still I didn’t want to be underwater he signalled me to calm down that it would be okay. I started inflating my jacket to resurface. So he followed and once we were above water I was holding my tears back… he asked me what happened I let him know I didn’t want to do it. He let me know it’s okay this happens often and to go back under with him. I told him NO and kept apologizing he told me I didn’t need to apologize… he asked me two more times and I finally told him look I am sorry, but I’m about to fucking cry I can’t do it… it’s not for me. He said okay I understand, so now let me ask you if you would feel comfortable following us from above? I said yes I would be fine with that… so the remainder of the time I followed from above.

Scuba Diver from underneath.

—Yes this is me 6 meters ABOVE water following everyone.—

The entire time I was floating above I was pissed. I kept thinking “why did I panic… why did I get so scared… look at them they look so peaceful just floating around down there so free… ugh I’m so jealous.” I was fine though just following along and loved that every once in a while they would look up to check on me and signal if everything was okay I would signal back that everything was okay. I kept breathing above water and thought this is where I belong and would laugh at myself. I would also look at how far into the sea I was and realize that it’s not that scary out here. I can see all around me and see that no monster was going to get me or shark. I would also float on my back and think about life. It seemed like they were down there for ages, but it was really like 45 minutes before they resurfaced. They asked why I didn’t go under and I let them know I panicked. I apologized to them too, but they let me know I didn’t have too & that it was all good. We finally made it back to shore and I couldn’t have been more reliefed to take all the gear off.

Koh Tao, Thailand

—Merlyn and the Houston crew.—

So yup I panicked… and failed at Scuba Diving, but I don’t feel bad about it at all. I am happy I didn’t allow my fear of it stop me from ever trying it and that I at least gave it a shot. It’s okay don’t feel sorry for me… I have done a million things in life and succeeded. Okay maybe not a million… but I know what I am good at and what I’m not. I also know what I wanna do and don’t wanna do and well Scuba Diving isn’t one them. This opportunity was just too good to pass up. So yes I tried it, I failed and really didn’t like it. Everyone that I’ve told about this has told me “it’s okay, you’ll get better with time” or “you must try it again to really discover the magic” and well the truth is I have no desire to try it again and I don’t feel bad about it either. I know it’s a whole other world down there and millions of people love it, but I’m fine exploring the world above water that I am exploring now.

Tran, Mike, Robyn & Angelo… I’m so happy I was able to do this with y’all. It was an amazing experience even though I didn’t go under. It’s one I will never forget… kinda like our 1st night together drinking that good rum and then going skinny dipping. Jajaja I never fail at going skinny dipping…lol, I’m good at that. Oh so many good times in Koh Tao with y’all… oh like the fucking hikes we had to do to get to and from the main town. I miss y’all and hope our paths cross again even if it’s at home in Houston!!!

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  1. Sounds like you were still able to enjoy the experience even if you didn’t get to fully dive — you conquered some fears, even if not all. Some things just aren’t for everyone! My husband keeps trying to get me to dive. He knows I would love the experience of seeing the wildlife, and he’s right. But I’m terrified my brain will implode. So we did a lot of snorkeling this summer in Belize and quite frankly, that’s enough for me!
    The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) recently posted..The time we got a medical exam in China and there was a hole in my pee cup

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Yes Ellen that is so true. I did conquer some fears and even though I really didn’t dive I enjoyed the experience and well I tried it. I love that you have one of the fears I have… I think the same thing. I mean I know it’s amazing down there, but eh I’ll be find exploring the world on land. I enjoy snorkeling too… oh & in Belize it’s amazing.

      • how long did you do the scuba praticing? it cant be for one Day it has to be for 8 days and a test. That is a resort diving

    • oh your brain would implode what would is your lungs not your brain

  2. You’ll try it again when we find an even better deal on the Open Water Certificate. 🙂 Loved sharing so many great sunsets with you. Nuestro Jaimelito, hope we’ll get to see you again soon!!
    Tran recently posted..Get Hooked Up With Seriously Cheap Shisha

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Jajaja so true Tran… if it’s a deal I can’t pass up then I just my try it again. The experience was amazing & I so hope we see each other again soon too.

  3. “I need to be up there to breath” – I felt the same way when I went diving for the first time. I somehow just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I didn’t need to surface every few minutes for oxygen. I got over it eventually, but regardless, diving isn’t for everyone – I still don’t know if I’d be able to handle a deeper, longer dive than the short one I tried.
    Jessica recently posted..Sunday Snapshot

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Yes Jessica, that is the worst feeling in the world. I mean really I just couldn’t get past that… I looked up and freaked out so bad. I mean out entire lives we are above water breathing and then you are now doing it under water and it’s hard to understand… and think that it’s okay. At least you did it… so props to you… maybe with time you can do longer and deeper. Practice makes perfect.

    • yeah but once you got over your fear of breathing underwater wasnt it wonderful? well remember when you go deeper you need more tanks

  4. At least you tried it! I don’t think I would even do that. Well done!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Jo, yeah… I won’t do it again jaja!

      • dude you missing out on so much what you proably did was resort diving and that isnt enough time to show you all the ropes. You learn to buddy breath you learn to check your air supply and clear your ears. You need to go to a professional scuba orgainzation and try it again.

        Resort scuba diving is bullshit

  5. Animos Jaime, This happens to everyone, There are good dives and bad dives. We are both advanced divers. Miguel on his side paniked In Turkey due to shity leaking mask and Julia always semi paniked when she had to dive in the mediterranean. (u know full suit, 5-6mm thick. few visibility, the feeling isnt the same). It’s all psychological. I’m sure if you dive again with a small group and 2 dive masters you will feel more secure! Discovery dive courses aren´t bad, but the OW course will really boost your confidence too. No pressure BTW!
    A darle candela jaime!
    Miguel & julia recently posted..MONTAÑITA ECUADOR. MUCHO MÁS QUE…

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Gracias Miguel that’s a good way of looking at it. I mean it can happen to anyone. Yeah I know it’s all psychological, everyone has told me that and now I understand it because it really is. I’m just not made for it… it’s not for me at all. I’m happy I tried it and well I’ll let that be that. IN the end though who knows what will happen in the future and well maybe one day I will try it again, but ah just don’t think it will.

      • because you got it from a shitty scuba resort place. you never truely relaxed and looked around you were too scared and thinking something is going to happen to me

        Well let me tell you your brain wont implode

        the stingrays dont have teeth

        the only real sharks you DO have to worry about is the White Shark Tigar Shark and thats it all the other sharks are not as agressive and will proably leave you alone

  6. Sorry to hear your scuba dive experience didn’t go like you wanted it to! I am a little worried about this myself as I used to have quite bad asthma but recently passed all of the medical tests to learn to dive at some point in the future. Still, I think what will save me/motivate me is that I absolutely LOVE the ocean and can’t wait to explore more.
    Who knows, maybe you’ll give diving another chance?
    Oceana | Barefoot Beach Blonde recently posted..Hostel Review: Cool Bananas Backpackers

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks, yeah I was a bit sad and yes jealous of the rest them, but I just couldn’t do it. That’s so good that you got the asthma taken care of, because had you not then you wouldn’t be able to dive. I hope you get the chance to dive soon and love it. As for trying it again… eh don’t think I will try it again, but then again who knows!

  7. I love this post.

    You are brave enough to say you have no desire to try it again. That’s knowing yourself and not buying into the notion that you have to be successful at everything. Good going!
    Kent @ No Vacation Required recently posted..Happiness is Being Heard

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thank you Kent so much, because that is true… we don’t have to be successful at everything. I know what I want and what I like and will continue to do what makes me happy.

    • How is that successful? Scuba diving at a resort and getting tested for one day does not teach you what scuba diving is all about

  8. I really thought I wanted to scuba dive a few years ago, signed up for the class, did the book stuff at home, went into the shop for the classroom part, and paid lots of money for all of it. Then when we had to get in the pool, I had a hard time just swimming around the pool with the snorkel and the flippers. Then we had to go underwater and practice breathing and clearing our ears, and it sucked. I felt way too out of control, and I couldn’t clear my ears. The next day I went back, sat through the morning classroom part, but then when it was pool time I panicked and refused to try again. The instructor even came back on his own time the next weekend to help me out, and I did get in the pool again and try, but I couldn’t clear my ears and the whole idea of scuba diving freaked me out. So now I stick to snorkeling (luckily I did get the hang of the snorkel and flippers) but I have no desire to ever try scuba again. I blame my bad sinuses for the ear clearing problem, but even aside from that, it just freaks me out too much. You don’t have to enjoy everything.
    Ali recently posted..Obtaining Visas as a US Citizen

    • well sometimes you need to take Hastimines thats what I had to take. IF I go more then once in the water. Well you need to relax and enjoy the view people forget you are in a different enivorment and panic. well dont be like that. Its fun just remember relax and breath and know your not going to die well you are but if you pratice safety you wont die in the pool. Since everyone does die.

      • Jaime Davila says:

        Hi Mik thanks for all the comments. Yes it was at a resort and their is nothing wrnog with that. It’s something I have never wanted to do, but am glad I tried it. I know it’s not for me and I can move on. I know I missing a whole world, but being honest it’s a world I don care to explore. So in the end it’s all good and my life will carry on just fine with out feeling like I am missing out on anything. If I ever try it again Iw ill take your advice and see how it goes then.

  9. Hi just wondering what time of year exactly you where in ko Tao and what the weather was like ? Any advice would be great am supposed to be heading there in December

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh wow Marcus, I do not remember when I went exactly. It’s been a few years. I think it is okay to go anytime of the year because even when its rainy season it rains for a bit and then the sun comes out. As for advice… omg just visit as many beaches as you can. They are all so amazing and beautiful. Also just walk the entire little sidewalk that runs along the island.

  10. Just tried scuba diving in Ibiza for my 21st birthday yesterday, I was lucky if I even made it half a meter under water I kept panicking everytime my head went under. Felt like such an idiot but at the same time i’d rather panic at surface level rather than being 7 metres deep and deciding i want out.

    Definitly not for everyone.

  11. in Sydney you can visit one of the oldest Opal Shop from Australia.

    located at Level 3, 295-301, Pitt Street, New South Wales, Sydney 2000

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