Nina arrived on Gili Trawangan a few months ago and started diving with us here at Trawangan Dive. First she did a few fun dives, then her PADI Rescue Diver and Emergency First Response (EFR) course and then decided to go all the way and become a PADI Divemaster. She blew us all away with her infectious laugh, her enthusiasm and high level of professionalism.
Tell us about yourself, Nina.
I’m from London, I’m 28 years old and I studied Interior Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art. I finished my Masters degree in 2008 and had my sights set on becoming a Designer. Due to the financial crisis and ensuing recession, I ended up managing a bar in London!
In May 2010, I started travelling. I went to South and Central America for a year, then to Australia for a year and then back to Argentina for two months. Then I flew into Bali around May 2012 where I spent a couple of weeks and travelled to Lombok with some friends. I celebrated my two year anniversary since my departure from the UK on the Gili islands.
Were you already a diver before you arrived here?
Yes. I did my PADI Open Water Diver course in Koh Tao, Thailand in 2004. Quite a while later, I completed my PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course in Utila, Honduras in 2011. Then I did my PADI Rescue Diver and EFR courses here at Trawangan Dive.
What made you want to become a PADI Divemaster?
It was a pipedream from many years ago when I first became a diver but the real world got in the way. However, after a few fun dives on the Gili islands and after my PADI Rescue Diver course, I really didn’t want to leave. The perfect solution was therefore to start my PADI Divemaster course.
What made you choose Trawangan Dive as the place to do your PADI Divemaster course?
I made friends with all of the Divemaster Trainees when I was doing my fun dives and PADI Rescue Diver course and really liked the atmosphere at the dive resort. The island itself was also a big part of the decision. It’s a beautiful place. Although I’ve dived in some amazing places, I’ve never felt as comfortable or relaxed as I feel here. The island is so chilled and surprisingly, given its size, it doesn’t get boring. There’s always something to do, another party to go to and another celebration to be had.
What was the most challenging part of the course?
At the beginning, I was daunted at the prospect of having to guide divers around the dive sites here. Which is ironic considering that this is now my job! Also, I hadn’t really dived in strong currents before so that was an added challenge. Especially since it doesn’t depend on your own technique so much as the technique and ability of the divers you’re guiding.
What was the most enjoyable part of the course?
After so long travelling it was so nice to be learning something new. At the end of every day, I felt as though I’d achieved something. And every morning, I looked forward to new challenges.
What are your plans for the future?
No idea! We’ll see what happens! I’m going to go home in September but I’ve realized I could have a career in diving if I wanted. What’s fantastic about diving is that it’s not just about becoming a PADI Instructor – ultimately, there are so many other options such as conservation work, research, videography, etc.
Are you considering becoming a PADI Instructor?
At this point no, because I don’t want to teach at the moment. I’m too selfish and don’t have enough patience! However the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification can open a lot of doors and it’s often required for other areas such as research, so for this reason, I might complete the PADI IDC at a later date.