There I was in the dive shop, one foot in a wetsuit and hopping around less than gracefully, trying not to lose my balance altogether. 

I don’t remember it being quite that difficult. But then it had been 20 years since the last time I tried.

When a friend suggested a trip up to Coral Bay I jumped at the chance. It’s where I Iearnt to scuba dive all that time ago. I was a British backpacker traveling Australia on my own, indulging in all the experiences on offer. 

Ningaloo Reef is spectacular. A gem tucked in against the coast of Western Australia. More remote than most people will ever venture. Imagine the Great Barrier Reef but on a smaller, more intimate scale and literally on the beach. In Coral Bay, you can stand ankle-deep in water and watch tropical fish weaving in and out of the coral. You barely need to even get wet!

But let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to get up close with all that stunning marine wildlife.

Learning to dive was an incredible experience.

I got the bug and went on to do an advanced course spending 3 days and nights on a boat diving the Great Barrier Reef. This was next-level including a deep dive, photography dive, and even one in the pitch black at night.

But these amazing memories seemed to fade as I moved on with life. 

Career, family, and all the grown-up things. 

As soon as my friend mentioned Coral Bay, all the memories came flooding back. I couldn’t wait to have another go at diving. I’m so glad I took the opportunity (after the wetsuit battle had been won).

It was beautiful. Rainbow parrot fish, turtles, reef sharks… shoals of silver fish sparkling like diamonds in the bright sun.

From this, I’ve learnt how important it is to hold on to those things you love. So often we focus on being open to new experiences (which is valuable of course), 

But often our past holds many of the clues to what we enjoy.

Whether we choose to bring them into our work life or not, is up to us. A personal decision. I’m not about to change career (again) and become a diving instructor, but this experience reminded me of the joy, tranquility, and the sense of freedom of gliding around underwater witnessing the amazing underwater world. It reminded me of something long-forgotten that makes me feel happy, relaxed, and inspired. 

And how valuable it is to tune into this every day.

For some, past passions can become their life’s goal, their purpose. Perhaps you’re one?

So I challenge you to ask yourself,

“what amazing experiences have you had in the past? what would you love to do more of?”
“do you have a hobby you’d love to make a career of?”

I’d love to hear your thoughts.