OJ’s journey to becoming a hero with PADI and the Gili IDC in the Gili Islands!
Tell us about yourself OJ how did you end up on the PADI IDC in The Gili Islands, Indonesia?
My name is Ondrej Gomola, I’m originally from Slovakia and I have recently completed my IDC here in the Gili Islands. Before coming to Gili Trawangan in the Gili Islands, Indonesia I was living in Ireland. I first came to Indonesia nearly three years ago on a short break to Bali, the Island of the gods. Although I really liked Bali, I did find it a little overcrowded and at the time Bali was experiencing some earthquakes.
Whist walking around in the Kuta area of Bali I saw many advertisements for the Gili Islands and I was getting a general vibe that the Gili Islands was a great place for nightlife and had some fantastic beaches. I booked a short trip to Gili Trawangan and set off.
How did you find the Gili Islands?
Actually I was very surprised, Gili Trawangan was great and the island has some really fantastic beaches. I actually stayed at Trawangan Dive resort but didn’t dive. Trawangan Dive is a PADI 5 Star IDC CDC Resort, but that meant nothing to me at the time. I guess I probably would have taken a dive course but it wasn’t in the budget as I hadn’t even planned to go to the Gili Islands. During the trip I explored the island more and began to fall in love with the place. Although Trawangan is a laid back island there are also some great party spots for those who enjoy the nightlife. As my trip grew to a close I began to realize how much I like the Gili Islands and started to think about how great it would be to live here.
When did you decide to become a PADI Instructor and what motivated you?
When I returned back to Ireland I couldn’t stop thinking about my trip to the Gili Islands. I do love living in Ireland but I guess I not only needed an adventure but also a challenge and of course a change of scenery is always refreshing. One thing I remembered from the Gili Islands is that nearly everyone that I met who lived there was at some point involved in the dive industry and most often they were PADI Dive Instructors. I started looking into becoming a PADI Instructor and because I hadn’t dived before it seemed that I would have a lot to do.
Why did you choose PADI, Trawangan Dive and the Zero to Hero Program?
I started to look into the different organizations that offer scuba diving training and eventually narrowed it down to PADI. I guess they just seemed more professional and have obviously been around a lot longer. I started E-mailing around to see what could be done in relation to the cost. One of the people I emailed was Sarah, the manager at Trawangan Dive and she gave me some details about their Zero to Hero Program.
The Program sounded great as it seemed to tick all the boxes in terms of price and training expectations and Trawangan Dive is already one of the busiest shops in Indonesia and is growing rapidly.
I had already been to Gili Trawangan, stayed at Trawangan Dive and met all of the Staff and I really liked the look of their Zero to Hero Package. So I paid a deposit, meaning I just had to save some more money and all I needed to do was look into was my flights.
I guess at this point I thought life couldn’t get any better, but little did I know it was going to get a lot better.
How did you find the training up to the Divemaster certification level?
When I arrived I had never been diving before so there was a great deal of anticipation about it. As I had booked onto the Zero to Hero program I was not sure what to expect. I can remember taking my first dive, I was blown away. After the dive the entire Trawangan Dive Staff were asking me what I thought of the dive and did I enjoy it. It was a great feeling, I felt confident about my future and it was also fantastic to have an enthusiastic group of experienced dive instructors supporting me.
I knew I had to do all the courses up to Divemaster and this wasn’t a problem because I had to wait 6 months before I could take the PADI Instructor Examination and of course I needed to get the 100 dives first. So I took every course very seriously.
I really enjoyed my courses at Trawangan Dive, there was always an experienced instructor around to help with any questions and I found them only too happy to do so. Eventually I found myself on the Divemaster Program. It was great; I got to work a lot more closely with the Instructors and got to see the inner working of a busy dive shop.
How did you find the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC)?
I was nervous about taking my IDC, but because I had already been at Trawangan dive for a while it helped a lot. The Course Director here at Trawangan Dive also works with all the day to day dive courses including the Divemaster Program so we had already formed a relationship which made me feel a lot more comfortable. In fact the Course Director here at Trawangan Dive can often be found teaching the Discover Scuba Diving Program or the PADI Open Water Course which is a great thing to see, as many PADI Course Directors I had previously spoken with don’t seem to really teach the entry level courses anymore.
Although I found the PADI IDC hard work, I also found it a challenge and of course it was the last stage of my Zero to Hero Program so I guess it allowed me look forward to my new career as a PADI professional whist also looking back at just how much I had achieved in the previous 8 months.
I would definitely recommend the Zero to Hero Program; it’s really changed my life. Not only do I now have a new career as a PADI Scuba Instructor; I have made some great friend along the way and received a first class training package, giving me both the knowledge and experience to confidently teach the world to dive. Another great thing in Trawangan Dive is the raw passion and enthusiasm of the staff; they love to see new divers progressing through the PADI system and seem to love being a part of your personal development, providing support every step of the way.
What’s going to be your next step?
I am actually quite lucky and have finished my IDC in the peak of high season so there are plenty of courses I can teach right here at Trawangan Dive and the good thing is I have the support of all of my Trawangan Dive Mentors, My PADI Course Director and a multitude of friends I have made along the way. I would like to stay here on Gili Trawangan, but I guess I will just see what happens in the future, that’s the beauty of being a PADI Instructor.
To find out more about our PADI IDC Program here in The Gili Islands, Indonesia download the Gili IDC Full Information Pack. To download the IDC Brochure simply click here.
If you would like to find out more about the course and see our previous students in action click here and check out the PADI IDC Gili Islands Facebook Fan Page.
More questions simply click here to contact the Gili IDC Team for more information.