Bucket list #2; Scuba Diving

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2019, the year I became 30 years. In my opinion, It had to be a special year. After long nagging from Dirk & Maarten (see photo), they finally managed to persuaded me to take an initiation dive lesson. Scary thoughts for someone like me, knowing I'm struggling with claustrophobia.

But I promised them I would take a leasson one day, so I enrolled myself in a scuba class. When I arrived at the dive center Todi with my parents, I was already overwhelmed by the building.

Inside you could take a look at the diving area. Which was super nice for my parents because that way they could see me diving. As I see it, they could see me struggle learning this. Haha...

First we started with an initiation, theoretic lesson, were they explaining everything in detail. For example, I was explained how to breathe underwater, how to clear the ears and which signals are used to communicate with each other. The more they told me about my diving lesson, the more I got excited to start it. It was such amazing my friend could learn me this! Therefore, I felt myself 100% safe from start to the end. If you watch to the movie that was made by one of my friends, you could see me walking in the water instead of swimming. Or at least, that's what it looked like.


Let me first introduce you to Maarten, my diving instructor and a good friend.

What do my readers need to know about you as person and about you as diving instructor?

The people who know me, know that I like to laugh, being silly and acting crazy. As a diving instructor I try to guide my lessons as well as possible, especially for people who are going to have a first diving experience. This by making the lessons as amusing as possible, but still providing sufficient informative content. Once we start the exercises in the water, I explain everything step by step by clearly doing this. When I notice that they have some difficulty with certain exercises, I calmly repeat everything with them and follow their pace. They may also indicate this at any time. Finally, it is important that their experience remains fun. Diving is a passion for me and communicating this passion to others is the best thing there is. I always say "If you want to dive and it's medically justified, I'm here to make it a fun and unique experience." This year I followed a course myself, to assist people with disabilities (both physically and mentally). Diving with these people is not easy and requires a lot of patience and energy. But once you see the smile on their face after the dive or snorkeling you will know why you are doing this. Sharing my passion with people is the best thing I do and it gives me peace and it makes me happy.

Why did you started diving and how was your first diving experience like?

My diving adventure started in 2011. My cousin worked as an instructor in the Maldives for 3 years and when I saw his photos and videos I knew I had to try this too. The first time underwater and exhaling that regulator is a bit weird, but once you get it, you are completely sold. Since that moment, my initiation dive, I have not stopped diving. For me it was really enjoyable, despite some problems with clearing my ears.

Why do people have to do this?

Why do people have to dive ..? if you close your eyes and think about flying like a bird or floating through space like an astronaut. That's how I experience diving. The freedom you get underwater is truly magical to me. You will also get to know a new beautiful world and enjoy the silence. It has also been proven that diving has a very de-stressing effect. If I have a lot on my mind or I feel that I have a lesser day, I like to go diving. I will come back completely reborn. All concerns left underwater.

What makes diving and Todi so special?

Todi is a diving complex where you can dive to a depth of 10m with an average water temperature of 23-25 ​​degrees. So you can dive here at any time of the year. You can rent the diving equipment at a reasonable price, if you do not have your own equipment available. You can (free) dive or snorkel in the diving center Todi in optimal and safe conditions. What makes it so special are the more than 5000 Tropical fish (30 different species) that swim in it. For example, you have the Pacu (family of the piranha), the puffer fish, the pangasius, etc. ... This dive basin is also divided into different types of themes. You have tunnels that you can dive through, car wrecks where you can swim around and much more. On some days there are even mermaids to admire in the bath and special events are also organized such as our Diner Dansant, Mermaid Sunday, Snorkeling for Dummies, theme diving and feeding moments 4KIDS. For more info click here. For those who come along and do not want to dive, there is plenty of opportunity to see the divers busy through our windows overlooking the pool. For example, photos and videos can be taken. There is also plenty to do next to the Todi diving complex. So you can have fun on the adventure mountain or go mountain biking on a trail built nearby. This information can be obtained from the tourist office.

What was your most unique diving experience

My most unique diving experience was 2 years ago in the Maldives. I then had the opportunity to dive with a school of sharks (about 40). I could no longer contain the tears of happiness. It was a dream come true because ask my friends. They all know how much I love these critters.

If you now feel like diving, I promise you it will be worth it! I will definitely start again to resume my diving experience, because the peace I had to give myself under water is addictive. And then I hope my buddies Dirk & Maarten will help me again! I wouldn't want it with anyone else. Do you also want to book Maarten for an initiation diving lesson? You can do that by sending him an email at maarten.sonck@hotmail.com or via his facebook. And leave especially in the comments how your first experience went!

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