Three weeks ago: DPV class Last two weeks: Trimix class This week: Sidemount class Next week: Intro to Cave Week after: Guiding at the "certified to high heaven" level doing whatever they're in the mood for Week after that: Full Cave class And the week after that: Another Full Cave class
(Then there's a few days off and then a week in CDMX with the dog.)
Now here's the crazy thing...
All but two of those weeks are return guests, most of them returning for their third or fourth time.
I didn't know what to expect when we first came down here to launch this crazy goddamn idea that Nelly and I would be able to make a living creating vacations for people.
Neither one of us have any training remotely related to hospitality. Nelly is an historian with a specialisation in late 20th century energy policy. I'm an unemployable git who studied comparative religion and English literature for lack of a vision of ever getting a job doing anything useful ever.
And yet here we are, doing something that we wanted to do for no greater reason than we thought it would be awesome to do it, being visited time and again by a group of the most wonderful guests who, apparently, agree.
I get to teach and to coach. Nelly gets to cook and to host. We both get to enjoy the company and the stories of our visitors.
On a deeply personal note... we get to be around eachother, too.
Every once in a while, during a class (especially when I see people's eyes glazing over from having to endure listening to me drone on for hours), I'll say, "It's time for a break."
Know what I used to do for breaks way back when I was still working a "grown-up job?" I'd go smoke a cigarette. Or I'd go out to the parking lot and just zone out. I'd find some quiet, cool corner of the datacenter where I was working and take a power-nap.
Know what I do now?
I come inside and sit with my wife. We pet the dogs or cats and we talk about how the day is going. We share a cup of tea. Or we talk about what would be nice for dinner. Or we lay beside eachother and power-nap.
Every once in a while I think about going back to my old life. The one where I didn't get to spend the majority of my time with woman I love. The one where I had to endure coworkers who were... of questionably enjoyable company. When I didn't get to delight in watching joy fill people's eyes as they started to get more proficient and comfortable doing something that they take such enormous pleasure in.
Or doing the same thing day in and day out, versus every week being something a little different with people who are a little different. In that they are different people... and also that, as divers, they are a little "different."
I couldn't possibly go back. Not now, not tomorrow, not for you, not for anybody! You won't take me alive!