How It All Begun

My Mum used to tell me :”Don’t get stuck in one place. Go see the world, enjoy your life!”

I remember thinking about those words and wondering what I could find out there. Then I got it.

I am the second born of three girls, so being a middle child makes me naturally out of the ordinary.
Something was telling me from the early age that I didn’t quite fit in the crowd but it took me a little while to work out my true path.

I flew the nest in my early twenties to relocate to England.

I developed my professional experience and skills in various jobs in tourism as a travel consultant, reservation executive and assistant contract manager/marketing developer for some large travel companies.

My love for traveling was already there but it didn’t really come out until three years into my London life when I decided to spread my wings and bought an open return ticket to Mexico.

I was so excited! The first long haul travel of my life with me, myself and my backpack. No idea where I was going or how long I was going for.

That’s where my real travel bug started. I backpacked through Mexico for two months hopping from Mexico City to the Yucatan.

I had the time of my life, met some wonderful people and started to believe much more in myself and my own survival skills. I could do things, I could do everything I wanted. I wished people back home could see and experience what I was up to.

When I returned to London all I could think of was setting off traveling again.

A fire had started inside me. The hunger to explore was huge.

I found a job and started to save up for the next adventure.

Three years later I finally flew to Thailand where I spent five months teaching English for some of the time, exploring the country and meeting wonderful people for most of the time. Once again, more fun, more milestones reached, more about myself learned…and eventually my budget run out!

I returned to England where I spent time between London and Cornwall. I wasn’t happy, England didn’t feel like home anymore.

Memories of my travels constantly occupied my mind and made me happy.

Beautiful white sandy beaches, palm trees, turquoise waters, sunshine and happy people!

Yes, that was it! Traveling made me happy, discovering the world made me feel alive. Through traveling I could express myself and I could learn a lot from the people I came across with.

Traveling was what I wanted to do. I had to find a way that would allowe me to travel while working.

Two years later I left England for good. All I wanted was sunshine and hot weather.

My wishes came true when I was offered a PR (Public Relations) job for a dive center in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I couldn’t believe my luck. Playa Del Carmen was the very last place I visited when I explored Mexico seven years earlier.

It was a sign.

I had no clue about scuba diving at all, but all they asked for was outgoing friendly people and language skills.

I bought a one way plane ticket and one week later I landed in the land of the Mayas. Few days into my new job, I was introduced to the amazing underwater world of scuba diving.

From that moment, my life changed.

I was never a very aquatic person. I always loved the sea but somehow the depths of it scared me. I was terrified but to my surprise I fell in love with it from the first time!

What a fantastic world! I was fascinated and overwhelmed to be able to interact with the marine life. So many colourful fish and amazing corals, blue water all around and my body was weightless. I was overcome by a wonderful sense of freedom.

I felt like a mermaid in my natural habitat. I came up from that dive (and all the others that followed) grinning from ear to ear. The feeling I had from it was indescribable.

I found my path. I wanted to be a scuba diving instructor! But not just yet.

Mexico was my home for almost two years.  I felt so lucky! I was in one of the places with the best scuba diving in the world with Cozumel Island only a short ferry ride away (yep the very one place Jacques Cousteau, the father of scuba diving, in 1961 proclaimed one of the most spectacular scuba diving sites in the world).

During those months I was able to dive whenever I could. On my days off I would still get up early and get to my work place to be able to join the morning dive and experience that amazing feeling and buzz that I could get from scuba diving. I had the best time I could ever ask for and I was ready for the next step; to leave Mexico and to see the rest of the world.

I started in Central America. I dived The Blue Hole and some other reefs in Belize, followed by the Bay Islands in Honduras and Guatemala.

Next, I hopped to South East Asia.

First destination was the Malaysian Borneo, Mabul and Sipadan Islands where I completed my Dive Master training in five weeks. Once again I felt super lucky to be able to dive every day in another top scuba diving destination.

Then I hopped to the south-west of Thailand, Koh Lanta where I completed the Instructor training.

I was so happy! I was ready to get out there and start enjoying my new life. I was so excited by the all new opportunities.

I went back to Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands on the north-east coast to do my first working season. Perhentian Kecil (small island) was my dream place. Turquoise waters swimming pool style, white sands and palm trees and no need for shoes! I was in for a great time, I was on top of the world.

Few days into my new Island life and something unexpected arrived. Dom. Amazing eyes, cheeky captivating smile, funny, handsome and… Kiwi. How exotic was that?? Luckily enough he was also a diving instructor on the island.

Well, he definitely caught my attention and since then we’ve been hopskipdiving together through Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia working and diving in some of the most beautiful places in the world. He’s my companion, my partner and of course my dive buddy. I was surely having a great time on my own, but two is definitely more fun!

This is a tale about living life to the full, chasing dreams, finding passions and following them. It’s about the world above and below water, how I see it through my photos.

Diving fulfills me, it is amazing to have the privilege of going into a place where not many people have access to. I love to take photos of the amazing underwater creatures and bring them back to the surface.

I am very lucky to be able to combine my passions together: traveling, diving, photography and Dom (in no particular order).

We are currently living in New Zealand.

I hope you guys enjoy the photos and the stories!

Cheers!

Carlotta

Hi! I am Carlotta, a nomad at heart, passionate traveler and photographer and a food lover.
I enjoy sharing my experiences and tips with like minded people.
Please feel free to contact me through my blog or email me at carlotta@hopskipdive.com if you fancy a chat, want to share your experiences or if you like my writing style and would like me to do some writing for you.

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