Have you ever been sitting in your office job dreaming of living life barefoot in the sand? You go there in your thoughts but you don’t actually believe it can be done. Leaving everything you’ve got at home; your apartment, job, the safety of it and the responsibilities you think you’ve got. I used to be that guy four months ago.
Today I’m enjoying life under the surface. Getting to know marine life and underwater environment more every day. Today, I’m a scuba diver and this is my story.
When I finished school at the age of 19 all I wanted was to build a career. I was ambitious, hungry and had my mind in one place; business. I started my career early and I got to experience the journey of a rapidly expanding company. I was happy and proud to be a part of it, proud to be good at what I did. I put in a lot of hours and late nights. About five years in I hit the wall, stress shut me down both mentally and physically. I ended up being on sick leave full time for around eight months. During this period more things happened, I went through a break up and my dad passed away. It changed everything, it changed my life, it changed me.
I struggled to get back on my feet trying to become the person I was before. I felt like I let a lot of people down, I felt a shame of myself and I didn’t really like the person I was anymore. The first mistake was trying to become who I used to be. When you go through stuff like that you will change, but it doesn’t necessarily mean in a bad way. I had to rebuild myself, start over from scratch.
I came to a point when I realised that the only way to change my life was to break the pattern. No one else could do it for me, I had to do it for myself. Excited and scared at the same time I decided to quit my job, rent out my apartment, sell my car and travel the world. I had to do something to get to know myself again. Quitting my job without having another was for me the hardest part. But once I did I felt so relieved. Like I could breathe again for the first time in a long time.
I ended up in Indonesia and decided to visit Gili Islands. Gili Trawangan was my first stop and I ended up doing my open water license at Gili Divers. That continued to advanced, rescue and today I’m proud to call myself a certified divemaster. I didn’t only find cool fishes, reefs and other stuff under the surface, I also found friends, an island family. In some way I also found myself in the crazy mix of people in all ages and from all cultures that’s swarming around in the dive shop. And that’s what I wanted to find, me.
So what do I want you to learn from this? That only you can change your life, you! Anything is possible if you just put your mind to it. Stop dreaming and make it your reality instead.
Gili Divers is now a part of me and I would follow them all into the deepest parts of the ocean.
Written by Robert Nilsson