SCUBA Certification Unlocks the World Below

No pain, no gain was never truer than when learning to SCUBA at the stunning Makena Bay.


Scuba diving in Maui, Hawaii spotted yellow fish and a parot fish.

Hot Take: SCUBA is a major time/money commitment, but it will change your relationship with the sea (and yourself) forever (4.5 stars)

Pro Tip: Get certified with a buddy/partner…nothing makes success as enjoyable (or ‘the suck’ as endurable) as having someone to share it with

view of the Makena Bay in the early morning, calm waters and great visibility for SCUBA diving.

When we were moving from the idea of the round the world trip to the practicalities of its execution, we both realized that we needed to be SCUBA certified in order to get the most out of some of the far-flung places that we were visiting that we might never travel to again.

We’re not going to sugar coat it, getting SCUBA certified is an ORDEAL that is a meaningful commitment of time and money. We won’t bore you with the details, but the monetary and time commitment is similar to many other ‘fancy’ sports (like golf and skiing). However, we were so fortunate to have friends in the industry who were willing to help make the process as enjoyable as possible.

Our certification journey began in Albuquerque, NM (an hour south of where we were spending the holidays in Santa Fe). Stacy (a friend) at the New Mexico SCUBA Center was the best teacher that we could have hoped for. We won’t spoil the surprise for those of you seeking your own certification, but we alternatively enjoyed and endured our 20 hours of classroom and pool time.

However, it was once we got to Maui that we began to reap the rewards of all of our time and treasure. Another friend (who is a certified instructor) agreed to complete our open water training in Makena Bay on Maui’s famed Wailea shore. While we may sound redundant from other posts, the location was (once again) spectacular.

Scuba diving with sea turtles in Maui, Hawaii.

In total, we completed six dives and a snorkel over two days in some of the most ideal conditions to learn to SCUBA that we could imagine. Over those dives we saw the best that Maui’s shallow reefs have to offer including multitudes of fish, handfuls of sea turtles, and even a ‘baby’ manta ray. (Our friend Aviad said ‘baby’ but it already had an 8 ft wingspan!)

Each dive improved our skills and our appreciation of the new hobby we had adopted. We hope to have many diving adventures while we are abroad, but none of this would have happened without good friends like Stacy and Aviad (thanks from the bottom of our hearts!!).