Travel is good, especially dive travel, this we know. But why? Let’s discuss the reasons we all love to travel and scuba dive. As some of you may know, now is our slow season in Key Largo; (Always a shame really because our summer is going to last at least another couple months…but that’s another story for another time.)
This is the time that we, the staff at Sea Dwellers, take our vacations. And this year we certainly are doing just that, as everyone of us is either just coming off a trip or are currently on a trip. Most of you, scuba divers who dive with Sea Dwellers in Key Largo as well as other dive destinations, know about the joy of travel also.
So, why do we travel?
Having just returned from a trip, I’ve been thinking about how wonderful it was to get away. I feel rejuvenated from the experience, and the experiences last a lifetime.
As Sea Dweller customer Jon Smith tells us about travel….
” When I was 16 I hitch hiked across the lower 48 and Have been traveling ever since . I joined the navy and saw the world . I enjoy discovering new things . I also enjoy repeat visits to comfortable surroundings.”
Long-time Sea Dweller diver Mike Merrill tells us…
“To experience different cultures and cuisines. To validate my theory that almost everyone is seeking the same thing, happiness, but we define it differently and mainly to relax and leave work behind.”
For Jon and Mike, traveling has obviously affected their “life journey” if you will, to this day. Both of these guys have been around the world probably more than once, and I love their take on this, great stuff.
Some of the best memories in my life are the Dive trips with my family. I come from a family of divers…my Mom and Dad both big-time divers. Obviously, diving Key Largo was a constant, almost every weekend in the summer months and all summer vacation…and we didn’t have to travel far. I still remember driving down US1 over the first bridge into Key Largo; man I used to love that feeling, and still do. But we also organized group trips of friends and family to Cozumel and the Bahamas to go diving. After college my father and I went on dive trips to more exotic places like the Red Sea, Truk Lagoon, Bonaire and Roatan. Real father-son bonding, and some of the best memories of my life.
My father and I in Honduras
I’ve come to the conclusion that, at least for me, life is about experiences. When I’m on my death bed I don’t think I’ll be thinking about some shiny car I bought but about some of those amazing dives I was able to make with my father in a far-off exotic destination. That’s what life is really all about, isn’t it? (Thanks dad.)
You see, in my mind, experience is better than a tangible object like a car and is just as much of a “possession”. My folks don’t dive anymore, are retired and have moved up to the mountains. But we have these memories, they will always be there. Key Largo, Cozumel, the Red Sea. You can have the shiny car, I have something better, and you never have to trade it in.
As Sea Dweller customer Debbie Foley tells us…
” I travel to leave my everyday problems behind and truly enjoy my family.”
Well put Debbie. These days my wife and I travel every year. This year we went to Sardenia and Sicily, places we always wanted to go to. In Sardinia, we went snorkeling almost every day, enjoying the clear blue Mediterranean waters and exploring caves and swim-thrus, just the 2 of us. Sublime. Is there anything better for a relationship? We are lucky that our jobs allow us to take longer trips, and I find that it takes at least several days to clear my mind of all the clutter I have from the usual pace of life. Usually by day 5 or so of our getaway, I find myself in a different state of mind, totally relaxed and free from the stress and worries of our daily lives. A weekend getaway doesn’t do this for me, I need a little longer to get to that…place, that travel can take us to.
Sea Dweller friend and diver Craig Black sent us this quote by Mark Twain in response to our request for input on traveling, and I think this speaks volumes on the benefits of travel;
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it solely on these accounts.”
Craig has been a US Naval Attache living abroad for many years in several different countries
during his career. What fantastic insight from someone who knows travel!
Traveling opens our minds to other cultures and ways of living, and this can also help us to appreciate what we have
in the good ‘ol US of A. I’m not rich by American standards, but seeing how other people live in places like Honduras, Mexico, Egypt, and even Italy certainly has brought home to me how lucky we are living here in America. I realize that “plenty is enough”, and if I don’t have that new large-screen TV that my neighbor just bought that’s OK. We have our problems, but we still have it good. I wish all Americans would travel, I’m pretty sure it would be good for the health of our country.
No Place Like Home
We have return customers that have been diving with us for years. They return to Key Largo for the great diving, but
also they return to the same place each year because they feel comfortable here. Like a “second home”. Traveling to Key Largo still takes them away from their normal everyday existance, while still letting them…”escape”, for awhile. They have a sense of comfort returning to the same place. Some call it “deep travel”…getting to really know a place. To experience it “like a native”.
Interestingly enough, when I travel I find that returning home has it’s joys, also. I find that the old saying, “there’s no place like home”, certainly applies in my case. When I finally open the front door to my home after a long trip it’s a wonderful feeling.
Paying the price?
Sometimes there are discomforts involved in travel, I consider this the “Price We Pay” for the good times. As most of us know, flying now is not as easy as it used to be. Jet lag, the occasional upset stomach from that great meal we’re not used to eating and other little things can cause discomfort for some. The good news is, like surgery, we usually forget the uncomfortable parts afterwards. I know people who don’t travel just for these reasons, and that’s fine. But personally, I expect these little things and when they happen, consciously accept them and remember that “nothing good comes easy”. For me these wonderful experiences are well worth the minor inconveniences.
As you can tell, most of your staff here at Sea Dwellers Dive Center likes to travel…and it appears that most of our customers like to also. We get divers from many places around the globe; Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, France, Italy, the UK, Germany, Turkey, Greece, South Africa, Australia, India, Israel, Jordan, Egypt….most states in the USA…and many more I can’t think of now. These are some of the places off the top of my head I’ve seen on our releases when I check customers in. We feel lucky to have the customers we have, many of which we consider friends and that travel back to Key Largo year after year!
And we all have that one thing in common…or, should I say 2 things…Scuba Diving & Travel. So here’s to the next great travel experience for all of us!
Thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts and experiences!
Rob Haff – Sea Dwellers Dive Center of Key Largo