“The Secret of my Success” by Fiona Smith : PADI IDC Graduate at The Gili IDC Indonesia.

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013

“The Secret of my Success” by Fiona Smith : PADI IDC Graduate at The Gili IDC Indonesia.

My name is Fiona and I have recently finished my PADI IDC course here in The Gili Islands, Indonesia. Before the PADI Instructor Development Course I took all my courses from being a non-diver through to the PADI Divemaster program here at Trawangan Dive. The program I took is often referred to as the “Zero to Hero” Program. The program is amongst a number of career lifestyle programs offered here at Trawangan Dive in The Gili Islands, Indonesia.

There are many people who will never understand my decision to quit my job, pack my bags and set off to Indonesia and I’m guessing they never will until they get to experience something like this for themselves. I once heard somebody say the “world is like a closed book and those who don’t travel will never get past the front cover”. I now understand that phrase a little more, but I guess I have many interesting chapters left.

A couple of years ago I went travelling around South East Asia and ended up in Bali. Although Bali was an interesting place I did find it busy and rife with mass tourism, traffic and pollution problems. At the time Bali was experiencing some pretty strong earthquakes which apparently are quite common and I guess I was just looking to relax on the beach and unwind before I returned home.

I was told that the Gili Islands, off the north east coast of Lombok were three pristine palm swept islands consisting of white sand beaches surrounded by tropical blue water. I was sold and found myself on the boat to Gili Trawangan the following morning.

I checked in to Trawangan Dive Bungalows and started to explore the island. I really enjoyed myself, the beaches are fantastic and the general vibe was very relaxed. I even found the there was a variety of things to do in the evening comprising of great restaurants and a buzzing nightlife. I enjoyed it so much and felt really relaxed so ended up extending my stay.

I was asked if I wanted to dive, but as I had already extended my stay and I was at the end of my holiday so it was a luxury I just could not afford. I found all of the staff to be really friendly and seemed to really enjoy what they do for a living. For me personally I had found my piece of paradise and I really didn’t fancy the prospect of returning home and going back to my job at Dublin Airport. I guess everyone working at Trawangan Dive looked happy with their lifestyle and combined with thinking about my immediate future I was envious. So in the end I had no choice but to go home.

I am a true Irish girl from Dublin who loves travelling and meeting new people who have their own stories and who inspire me. Working the last 8 years doing shift work at Dublin airport had run its course for me! I left a part of my heart on Gili Trawangan, so the following July i made a life changing decision… To move to Indonesia and pursue a career in the scuba diving industry!

I started out by emailing Trawangan Dive and asked them for endless information. The dive center manager Sarah was amazing and provided personalized and friendly responses making it an easy decision to make. I eventually arrived on Gili Trawangan on 2nd December

I began my Open Water course a few days later and considering i had never dived before everybody thought I was crazy as I may not even like diving, but I knew I would! The dive team was amazing and I continued on to do my Advanced Open Water Diver Course, my Rescue Diver Course and my Divemaster course. I have learned so much and have gained a huge amount of experience from each and every instructor at Trawangan Dive! The restaurant, shop and local divemasters are also a great bunch of people and have really helped me during all my courses.

I owe a big thank you to all the instructors at Trawangan Dive particularly to Adam, Roxy, James and Jo. You guys ROCK! When I arrived I was told that I was a Zero to Hero which for me sounded pretty amazing. I have met some great people and Trawangan Dive is certainly a family away from home, you just feel welcome the minute you step foot inside the shop. At the dive center there’s a lot going on and it is an extremely fun atmosphere. The dive center has many functions including weekly quiz nights, divemaster snorkel tests and many more social gatherings.

I actually managed to get a slightly reduced price on my PADI IDC due to a very convenient twist of fate. We had a huge successful fundraiser on the island in aid of Project AWARE and Gili Eco Trust raising over $7500. The Event was held here at Trawangan Dive and there were several prizes on offer throughout the evening, one of which was an auction for the PADI IDC course. After a fun battle between myself and another guy i was the lucky winner of the course at a discounted price! All the money went to the charity which was amazing.

Of course Trawangan Dive management team and their PADI Course Director Holly donated the course to the auction, but PADI donated all the materials so it was great seeing the money go to such good causes.

I have just finished my IDC course with a super course director called Holly. She is amazing and made our course so enjoyable and stress free. I am now a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and looking forward to the future. I have been living here 7 months already and I have no regrets. It is the best decision I have ever made by a mile and I can see myself here in the Gili Islands, Indonesia for a long time to come if i am lucky.

If you are one of those people who will sit down and take the time to read this and wish you could do the same , then believe me if I can do it , anybody can !

Fiona Smith PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) 


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