This has to be the most satisfying job I have ever done for many reasons, but it´s not all glamour and wild parties, honest, no matter what you might have heard.
A dive instructor is never going to get rich, but, teaching someone to enjoy what you are passionate about really cannot come under the umbrella of work. You can constantly travel the world, meet cool people, and live a lifestyle that most can only dream about.
There are always jobs to be found, as even in a recession, divers will always find the money necessary to fulfil the need to dive. Padi (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) had their most successful year during the recession in the early 2000´s, and it doesn´t seem to be any different now. Escaping the rigours of life by playing a round of golf, skiing down a black run or diving in the ocean can relax people as much as having a spa day, which would incidentally, wind me up immensely!
I had it fairly easy when I started off as a dive professional as I was offered a job teaching at the college I trained at. Little did I know it would involve working 6 and half days a week, and 16 hours days, but I sure did learn my trade. Through the experience I gained, I was offered a job in Borneo with a $200 bonus if I could get there within the week! What a bonus that was when the flights cost $1,200! This was a new company, so I had nothing to do when I arrived, therefore earned nothing for the first few months until a bit of marketing paid off and I became busy. Here again, I worked 6 days a week and dived 3 or 4 times a day, but this was fun as the diving was simply the best the world has to offer . Living on a tiny island for 2 years with a poor diet, no electricity, no running water and no alcohol made me crave civilisation though. I swear if I hear someone playing (not very well) another Beatles medley on a guitar again I will, well, swear! It was all helped by the fact that I managed to smuggle in some local rum to ease the guitar pain.
The decision to move to Puerto Vallarta has to be singly the smartest decision I have ever made. The need to own my own diving business made moving here the obvious choice. I had visited Vallarta on a number of occasions the first time I lived in Mexico, and I fell in love with something that I still struggle to define. Personally, having been a climber in my youth and a diver in my, well, when I got a bit older, the intimacy of the mountains and the ocean are very appealing to me. Pop this together with the fact that the atmosphere here is super relaxed, the locals are sweet and welcoming, the food is off the chart and it is as pretty a picture, making this the perfect place for anyone to visit or live.