My name is Alexa and until 4 weeks ago I’d spent 10 years working in an office. Some jobs were okay and some were mind numbing and I always thought people were incredibly lucky if they had a job they actually enjoyed.
I’m from grey London but I left in 2010 for Sydney. I’d had enough of the economic crises and depressing office jobs. Two things I wanted to achieve in Australia other than getting a job to finance my stay was learning to dive and surf. The less said about surfing the better, I quickly realised this is a skill that takes hours of practise and determination. Diving on the other hand is something you can learn in a weekend and after some research on dive schools I chose Abyss Scuba in Sydney. The main reason was the fact the ratio of student to instructor is 4:1 and with this I was delighted to achieve my Open Water certification. At this stage I had no friends in Sydney and I had no one to dive with so I decided the best way to change this was to became a club member.
Moving forward two years or so I had completed my Advanced, Rescue, Divemaster and Instructor and MSDT prep. During all the practical lessons with Abyss I had the pleasure of learning from all the Instructors and i have to say I’m yet to find anything but total professionalism, encouragement and patience from all of them. I spent almost every weekend at Abyss picking up friends along the way. I was determined to become an Instructor full time and to quit my office job in the CBD. My New Years resolution for 2013 was to achieve this and I did it. I was totally thrilled when I was offered a job in Port-Vila, Vanuatu as an Instructor and when it came to leaving Australia I was incredibly touched during my leaving BBQ when I realised over the 2 years I’d picked up more friends through diving with Abyss then I ever had in my whole life!
So to now, each morning I wake up on a tropical island, a view of palm trees and turquoise water. I make more friends everyday whether it’s staff or customers and most importantly everyone is happy to be here. I dive in water that’s 27 degr,ees on a bad day, I feel the freedom of diving in just a bikini with visibility up to 30 metres. I’m proud of myself every time I certify another diver. I dive on pristine reefs covered in the most beautiful tropical fish as well as experiencing a huge range of wrecks from ships to planes.
In the four weeks I’ve been here I’ve met several students that have completed their Open Water with Abyss in Sydney and we always compare happy stories of the team and to my surprise they always remember their instructors name.
Without the concrete foundation and support Abyss gave me I wonder where I’d be now, maybe still wishing my days away in a miserable office. Instead I’m excited about my next job in Crete, Greece and after that who now’s where I’ll be!
So this goes out to the whole team at Abyss, thank you! I’ll never forget what you did for me and I miss you all terribly.
By: Alexa Ballantine