When I started making my research about where to go for my divemaster training, like most of us I had to consider the many things that it involves from lifestyle to cost of living and the people I would be learning and working with.
It turns out it was the best decision I made, coming to spend 6 weeks in Khao Lak with the Wicked Thailand team, really professional and experienced people that were super keen to share knowledge and give constructive feedback, showing new ways to improve the way I dive and also become a real professional, which now I can also call my Thai family. At first, it all looked very serious and I know myself, I really wanted to focus on learning as much as I could during the trainee program and not get distracted by the other thousand things a holiday place like Thailand has to offer.
To my surprise, I discovered the balance between having fun and learning while working around here. I did not expect Khao Lak to have that many things to do besides diving, and I was so wrong! In between our liveabord trips, day trips in the long tail and diving theory classes, I also managed to find some spare time to explore the surroundings of the accommodation where we stay. Each DMT had a room at the second floor at Wicked shop. It was really convenient to wake up in the place I was supposed to be the next morning.
Well… where do I start?! Maybe with the delicious food and “60bht mojitos” from the market that runs every second day in the back street from the shop, perfect budget dinner while enjoying beautiful local food and having informal meetings with other DMTs to discuss our mapping project. And there were days when we were craving for western food, especially for those who were living in Thailand for a while, like the previous DMTs we meet, in this case nothing would be better than Rusty Pelican to have lovely Mexican food or Mars bar for delicious pies when it was ladies night. This is only to name a few, as the street where we stayed has loads of restaurants and bars to choose from… talking about bars, wanna meet more divers? So get a few beers at Gecko while playing jenga! ☺
At the end of the street, is where Bang Niang Beach is ☺ The perfect spot to watch the sunset, having pina coladas talking about the dive we had that day… but don’t get me wrong, divers live a health life and drinking and diving don’t go together. Most of us go to sleep early after a day diving (sleeping like a baby). Balance is the secret here, you want to be ready for the next day! We got a few days off, where we would rent a scooter across the street and ride to Memories Beach to surf or just chill having the best Thai massage.
Also had a chance to spend the day at Chong Fah waterfall not even 20 minutes from where we stay, so pretty. The best life! ☺ But most importantly about this experience was to meet people that share the same values and love for the ocean that I have. They were gurus, inspired me to live life outside the office. Divers are passionate people, that is for sure. We come from many different walks in life but we share a common love for nature and the water that covers 71% of this planet, making us wonder where is the next place we want to explore underwater and if any time is left maybe also take a look on what is outside, in land.
Big thank you to Alex for being an amazing instructor, to the DMT team and many other instructors and previous DMT’s that were super happy to show me how to be a better diver and a better person! ☺ Much love, Na