Monthly Archives: August 2014

IndiDive – Best Dive School In Perth, AU (IMO)

Scuba PerthI recently took a business trip to Perth Australia. I was only going to be in Perth for 12 days but I really wanted to get my scuba dive certification while there. I thought it would be a great memory to have, getting certified in Australia! I knew I’d have to book my course before leaving Toronto. I started doing research on the best dive school and looking at google every course seemed the same. The websites were basically the same, the course offerings were very similar, it was hard to decide which company to go with. So I decided to turn to Twitter. I tweeted out ‘can someone recommend a great dive centre in Perth Australia’ I had PADI retweet that tweet and IndiDive respond. Pete, the owner of IndiDive, started answering my questions on twitter and our conversation moved into email. His company immediately stood out to me because he became a real person and not just a webpage with information.

Pete was always quick to respond to my emails and made sure that I was able to do the course in the time frame I had available. He worked around my schedule, which as an insanely busy businesswoman, I appreciated!

On the day I arrived in Australia Pete picked me up from my hotel and had lunch packed and ready for me. We delayed the start of the course to later in the day so I could recover slightly from my 24-hour flight. It was 1pm on the Friday and off we went to the pool to being my lessons. Pete could not have been nicer! Conversation was easy and he made me completely comfortable in the water.

The hardest thing for me was clearing the water from my mask. I had difficulty wrapping my brain around the concept that I could clear a mask filled with water underwater by simply blowing air out my nose. It took me several attempts and all the while Pete laughed at me in a friendly way, making me calm down and less stressed about getting it. He had never ending patience with me. Like riding a bike, once I finally got the concept down I was able to do it with ease and we could move on to finishing our lesson in the pool.

The next day was Saturday and we should have done the second day of the course but I really wanted to run a 5k charity race so Pete postponed the lesson for me so I could run the race. Nothing was every a problem for him, he just made it work for me. The River day of the course was a bit overwhelming. I had to do all my skills that I learned in the pool but now in the ocean. We began with the dive and swam around the river until I was comfortable. Then Pete brought me in a little shallower so I could do the dreaded clearing of the mask. I wouldn’t get my certification if I couldn’t do that. I filled my mask with water and started to panic. You see, I decided to do my certification in the Fall and the water was freezing! The flood of arctic water filled my mask and I started going for the surface. Then all of a sudden I felt a gentle hand on me encouraging me to calm down and clear my mask. I am so grateful that Pete didn’t let me dart up to the surface because I would have to go back down and do it again if I didn’t clear it the first time. The reassuring connection from Pete made me calm down and allowed me to successfully clear my mask.

Pete and Laura IndiDive

Pete and Laura

Sharksheld Freedom

The open ocean portion of the course was exciting. I was going to be in the middle of the ocean where I had to jump off a boat into open water…. where there could be sharks! Gulp! Luckily Pete had a shark shield that kept sharks away (if there were any nearby – which we didn’t see any). A seasoned diver, Jon, joined us on this dive. I was grateful that he was with us as he had a camera and was able to capture my first dive. Pete also brought a camera to capture my first open water experience so I was nice and covered for photo memories. We went out twice during the day, we had a morning dive in one location then lunch (which was included and very yummy) and then an afternoon dive in a different location. The first jump off the boat was exhilarating. Pete jumped first so he would be in the water to help direct me to the guide rope. And Jon went last. It was nice that Jon was on the boat to give me encouragement to jump. Down we went to explore the underwater world that was a mind-blowing experience.

Laura and Jon IndiDive

Laura and Jon

I am so grateful that I found such an amazing dive instructor who became my instant friend. He was very accommodating and flexible that allowed me to get my certification during my short visit to the land down under.

If you are considering taking a scuba diving course I would highly recommend IndiDive. Pete is fantastic! I can’t wait to dive with him again on my next trip to Perth.

Visit IndiDive here – http://www.indidive.com
Join Pete on Twitter and FaceBook

 

Fish dive perth Diving PerthLaura and Jon scuba certification australia

You CAN Travel Alone!

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 2.05.55 PMAll moms know and appreciate a solo trip to the grocery store, the library or, on really bad days, just sneaking in a solo trip to the bathroom. These types of trips are important, immediate life-savers. But let’s face it their benefits are short-lived.

When I traveled to Australia recently it occurred to me, after a few trepidatious days, how much I needed to be there, traveling alone. When is the last time you traveled farther than across town on your own? If you are struggling to think about where, when and why you’ve traveled alone it’s been too long!

I do not have a life that is any harder than any other mom. Yet, for years, I always had a reason to get home as quickly as possible when I had to travel for work. I never took the time to enjoying being alone in fact I often felt guilty for not being at home. For me, Australia was a wake-up call. After such a long flight, so much planning and the sheer exhaustion of jet lag, I was not in my usual panic to get home. No matter what was going on at home, I was not able to get there quickly. It was a terrifying reality and also an odd relief.

Once I’d accepted the extra time in Australia, I decided to get to know “me” again and just enjoy some alone time. I created my own version of the long lunch. I picked up a magazine simply because I liked the cover. I ordered exactly what I wanted and tacked on a glass of wine. That’s right! Wine!!!! In the middle of the day! Not quite a Mad Men lunch, but as close as I get! I took my time eating, sipping wine and flipping through the magazine. Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.32.24 PM

At first I felt a little guilty. Lunch normally is something I eat, when I eat, in the car on the way to my next appointment or at my computer. Or when kids are home it’s often standing up and going between getting them drinks or styling their sandwiches (Yes, I have done this. If a child will eat a sandwich cut into triangles but not squares and I have a meeting at two, I will cut the sandwich into triangles.) Wine? Ummm . . . nope. Fun magazines? Only if sorting mail counts.

But, in Australia, no one knew me. No one cared what I ate, how long it took me to eat, what I was reading as I ate or that I had wine (in the MIDDLE of the day!). Once I got used to the idea that I could just relax and be me, I started looking forward to my long lunches. Maybe it’s just me, but food tastes so much better when someone else makes it for you!

It was lovely just taking time for myself, just being alone and not having to respond to anyone calling my name. Being able to enjoy the decadence of a glass of wine and a trashy magazine. I realized I rarely did anything just for me and if I did I didn’t take the time to ENJOY it.
Take a chance. If you travel for work or must take a trip for other reasons, go ahead and go alone. Yes, it can be a hassle to arrange childcare, pre-make dinners and all the rest of the stuff your family thinks just magically happens. Still, it’s worth it. Traveling alone lets you remember who you were before you were the key cog in a family. You don’t have to go to Australia to achieve this. They have wine in Pittsburgh, Toronto and Phoenix. They also have tea, massages and nice empty hotel rooms if you simply want to skip lunch and nap!

The key to travel alone is taking the time to get to know yourself again. Not a mom, not a part of a couple – just you. Trust me, you will come home rejuvenated and ready to re-assume your role as mom and partner. All moms know and appreciate a solo trip to the grocery store, the library or, on really bad days, just sneaking in a solo trip to the bathroom. These types of trips are important, immediate life-savers. But let’s face it their benefits are short-lived.

When I traveled to Australia recently it occurred to me, after a few trepidatious days, how much I needed to be there, traveling alone. When is the last time you traveled farther than across town on your own? If you are struggling to think about where, when and why you’ve traveled alone it’s been too long!

I do not have a life that is any harder than any other mom. Yet, for years, I always had a reason to get home as quickly as possible when I had to travel for work. I never took the time to enjoying being alone in fact I often felt guilty for not being at home. For me, Australia was a wake-up call. After such a long flight, so much planning and the sheer exhaustion of jet lag, I was not in my usual panic to get home. No matter what was going on at home, I was not able to get there quickly. It was a terrifying reality and also an odd relief.

Once I’d accepted the extra time in Australia, I decided to get to know “me” again and just enjoy some alone time. I created my own version of the long lunch. I picked up a magazine simply because I liked the cover. I ordered exactly what I wanted and tacked on a glass of wine. That’s right! Wine!!!! In the middle of the day! Not quite a Mad Men lunch, but as close as I get! I took my time eating, sipping wine and flipping through the magazine.

At first I felt a little guilty. Lunch normally is something I eat, when I eat, in the car on the way to my next appointment or at my computer. Or when kids are home it’s often standing up and going between getting them drinks or styling their sandwiches (Yes, I have done this. If a child will eat a sandwich cut into triangles but not squares and I have a meeting at two, I will cut the sandwich into triangles.) Wine? Ummm . . . nope. Fun magazines? Only if sorting mail counts.

But, in Australia, no one knew me. No one cared what I ate, how long it took me to eat, what I was reading as I ate or that I had wine (in the MIDDLE of the day!). Once I got used to the idea that I could just relax and be me, I started looking forward to my long lunches. Maybe it’s just me, but food tastes so much better when someone else makes it for you!

It was lovely just taking time for myself, just being alone and not having to respond to anyone calling my name. Being able to enjoy the decadence of a glass of wine and a trashy magazine. I realized I rarely did anything just for me and if I did I didn’t take the time to ENJOY it.
Take a chance. If you travel for work or must take a trip for other reasons, go ahead and go alone. Yes, it can be a hassle to arrange childcare, pre-make dinners and all the rest of the stuff your family thinks just magically happens. Still, it’s worth it. Traveling alone lets you remember who you were before you were the key cog in a family. You don’t have to go to Australia to achieve this. They have wine in Pittsburgh, Toronto and Phoenix. They also have tea, massages and nice empty hotel rooms if you simply want to skip lunch and nap!

The key to travel alone is taking the time to get to know yourself again. Not a mom, not a part of a couple – just you. Trust me, you will come home rejuvenated and ready to re-assume your role as mom and partner.