Years ago, when the Scuba Guru was just a lowly apprentice, Master Instructor Guru used to admonish misbehavior and idle behavior with a stern saying, "Get your ducks in a row."
At the time, the little Apprentice Guru hadn't the slightest clue what she was talking about and, generally, continued to daydream. But with full maturity, the Guru sees it pretty clearly now - all she meant is that if you have a plan it's much easier to accomplish what you want to do. While in some areas, such as accounting, tax law or engineering, planning might be necessary, but not necessarily enjoyable. As it turns out, when it comes to diving - planning is fun. Lots of fun.
The Guru can't think of a better time to get the diving ducks lined up than the coming of each New Year. Many people make resolutions. The Guru likes to turn resolutions into plans - in this case, a plan to travel and dive in 2011.
Planning dive travel isn't really that different from any other planning:
1. Decide what you want to do.
2. Decide what it takes to get it done.
3. Divide it up into manageable steps.
4. Give yourself a deadline.
5. Write it all down and share it with your friends.
(That last one's a bit sneaky. That way if you slip, your friends can give you a hard time. Guru does not like to be made fun of. Nothing like accountability to help you achieve.)
That's all well and good, but how does that apply to your dive travel planning? Use the Guru's exercise as an example:
1. Decide where I want to go. This is much harder than it sounds. After much soul searching (believe it or not, this is hard for gurus too), I settled upon the US Virgin Islands. (Why? Guru has Guru type-reasons. Not for the mere mortal to fathom. Or something like that.)
2. Decide what it takes to get me there. It's not very well known, but Gurus like to take it easy. Rather than scouring the internet for cheap airfare, affordable accommodations and picking the "best" dive center or resort from the online reviews, I just got in touch with the dive travel specialists at my local PADI Dive Center or Resort. I told them my budget and travel preferences, then let them do the heavy lifting
3. Manageable steps. See step 2. Very manageable.
4. Give yourself a deadline. In my case I wanted to get some non-Guru friends on the trip. So I put out the notice six months ahead. That's enough time for most of them.
5. Share it with your friends. Isn't this what social networking is for? Share it on Facebook and get your Twitter on.
Can't get enough of the Guru? Read past installments here: