I grew up and studied on the beautiful South Coast of England, featuring some of the most picturesque coastline in the country. In doing so I knew many keen divers who donned dry suits and ventured out to the cloudy cold ocean to discover ship wrecks in hope of feeding their lust for diving.
BUT if you are like me and your idea of diving is a little different, especially if it is your first time, then it probably involves some aquamarine crystal clear warm water and a shortie (short sleeved wetsuit) with some tropical fish thrown in for good measure. You will be pleased to know that I have found the perfect place for you.
The first time I travelled to Indonesia I ventured over to Gili Air, part of an archipelago of three islands that make up The Gili Islands off the North East coast of Lombok and can be described simply as PARADISE on earth. Being able to stroll off the white sand beach into the tropical clear waters of the Bali Sea and discover coral reef within meters, teeming with huge varieties of marine life that looks like it has just jumped off a Finding Nemo movie makes this a divers paradise.
Being my first dive trip, I studied the Padi Open Water Diver qualification and truly cherish the experience as being one of true beauty and still stand in awe at the magnificence of the ocean and the marine life that lives below the surface. The course offers you the ability to discover a marine world that could have been taken from a National Geographic magazine cover and leaves you with a sense of wonder at what mother nature is capable of. The locals are very protective of the environment and love to educate visitors on the importance of protecting the coral reefs habitat, something which I admire.
As a destination that offers value for money, accommodation here can set you back as little as $5-10 a night and a white sand beach at your fingertips offering restaurants with fresh fish, bamboo sun loungers, diving, snorkelling and an Island you can walk around within one day there really is something for everyone. The pace of life is slower here and it encourages you to relax making for the holiday of a lifetime.
So if you are looking for your next diving destination, this is just a sneak peek into what could be your next holiday of a lifetime. For more information on the wonderful Gili Islands I will be sharing a blog post on this in the very near future.