Our post this week comes from blogger, technical diver and PADI Instructor Daria Boruta from Poland. Daria shares her passion for diving all around the world, and tips for marketing yourself as a scuba instructor. Her blog is Zanurzona w błękicie which means “submerged in blue” in Polish.
I really love diving. I loved it from my first breath taken from a regulator in swimming pool few years ago. I’m a wandering spirit, tossed from one activity to another, but from that first moment [in the pool] I knew diving was everything I was looking for in my life.
Real enlightenment came with my first wreck diving experience. It was cold, dark evening in November, and it was also my first boat, night and wreck dive at the same time. I was scared when we went underwater in perfect darkness, but all the fear suddenly disappeared when I saw my first wreck. I was consumed by its mystical beauty and completely forgot why was I so scared at the beginning. It was this moment, when I decided I wanted to teach others. Fate, “kismet.” or whatever you call it, water was always close to my heart.
Also from this passion, my diving blog was born. I entitled it Zanurzona w Błękicie which means in English “Submerged in Blue”. It became very popular among Polish divers, even if diving is not the most popular activity around here… I write about everything connected with diving – travels (Dahab, Marsa el Alam, Philippines, Lanzarote, Greece, Polish dive sites), diving techniques, courses and I also wrote some hilarious articles entitled “Diving Fails”.
I strongly believe there is nothing more wonderful in this world then diving, so when I became good enough to share my passion, it was also natural for me to start to teach others. I wanted to show them this amazing underwater realm, so different (and so much better in my opinion) from our surface.
During my IDC I already had few job offers – I consider them to be fruits of my blog`s popularity. In the end, I received a surprise offer from the same diving shop where I did my IDC. I was so happy they wanted to work with me, so I accepted it right away.
Marketing yourself as an instructor
You can either choose “blue ocean strategy” or more popular “red ocean strategy” meaning: either you create a market for yourself or compete with others for customers. I have always been a terrible competitor. I felt guilty winning and bad when failing, so I have chosen the first strategy – I created my own brand by writing a blog. It may be hard to believe, but it worked. People who wouldn’t even consider diving, read it and they started to email me, asking about courses and trips. I like to think they choose diving, not parachuting for example, because of what they read and how it inspired theirs imagination. And I don`t have to fight and feel guilty.
If you consider changing your life and becoming PADI Pro start making some arrangement earlier – write a blog, vlog, learn underwater photography – do something!
My happy hour is under water!
When it comes to fun diving I like everything. Water can be warm or cold, with good or bad visibility, dark or light. As long as I`m underwater, I`m perfectly happy. Of course I have my favourite types of diving:
- I absolutely love wrecks. For me, they are like flies in amber. When I wreck dive, I submerge in history. I can almost hear the voices of a crew and wind blowing in sails. I find all wrecks unique and magical, with their own history to tell, just waiting to be discovered.
- One of my favorite wrecks is Mogami Maru, a Japanese wreck lying on 50 meters near Malapascua Island, Philippines. I was charmed by its irresistible beauty and I would love to spent there more time and explore.
- I also enjoy old stone quarries (popular in my region – for example in Germany we have Sparmann, in Poland Zakrzówek and Svobodne Hermanice in Czech Republic) with its dark water and rapid stone walls.
- It would be a lie if didn’t say I also love warm water and colorful reefs. I love them too, especially strange creatures like frog fish, anger fish or puffer fish. I have special feelings for underwater weirdos, I guess. My other favourite creatures are sharks (legacy of watching “Jaws” in childhood – and I loved the shark!) and mantas, even if I haven`t seen any mantas yet. Let`s hope I’ll be more lucky in 2014…
For those considering diving for living…
If you love diving and cannot imagine your life without water – go for it! It won’t be easy, but it’s worth it. I never regret my decision. I traded a desk and a laptop (I used to work as a translator) for big blue, smiling faces and wonderful freedom. It may seem like a paradise, but on the other hand I also traded warm ?coach? and good salary for an ice cold water, high and low seasons, heavy tanks and uncertain salary. It’s a matter of choice, but I can’t imagine myself working in an office. As I wrote in the beginning, I’m a wandering spirit, so I was willing to take that risk.
The look on the faces of my students is enough to warm me up after a dive in a cold water. They are so proud of themselves, because they’ve managed to take off their masks in 6C/43F temperature water, hover perfectly and explore a sunken bus. They learned a lot during our sessions and it’s really hard to tell who is happier at that moment – me or them. Although I left this specific moment for them and it’s their time to shine. Inside I’m shouting and screaming. I’m so happy!
I always advise my students to continue their education. It’s not just marketing – it’s the truth. I’m still learning, taking technical diving classes and improving my skills on every level, so why should I deny same precious experiences and knowledge to others? They deserve the same chances and possibilities I have!
One day I will be also a technical diving instructor, that’s one of my biggest dreams. Definitely technical diving, rebreathers maybe (preferably sooner then later). I badly want to go to Mexico and dive in cenotes. Cave diving is one of my plans for nearest future, same goes for technical wreck diving. For me, diving adventures just started and it is a journey that never ends. That’s what I love most about diving. You can always be better, learn more, go further and see more.
Being a diving instructor is also a great responsibility. And I don`t mean obvious things, such as taking care of your students and teaching them how to dive safely, respecting NDL limits, do safety stops and air checks often. I also mean taking care of underwater environment.
When I dive I always take out all plastic bags and other garbage I can find. I hope that my students, friends and diving buddies will be inspired by this attitude – and usually they are. Spreading good deeds is not as hard as it seems, sometimes it`s enough to start with ourselves and the rest will follow. Try!