My PADI Interview: Pia Venegas

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To me, “My PADI” is my passport to explore and travel the world. My PADI allows me to discover new opportunities and live life to the maximum, with limitless experiences.

Describe your inspiration to become a PADI Diver.

I became a PADI Diver because I have an adventurous spirit, and all my life I was looking for ways to do what I love — every day. Once I got to know the underwater world my eyes were opened. I just knew that diving was an open door to a whole new world. Diving provides so many things to discover and is full of opportunities.

How has PADI changed your life or career?

PADI has changed my life completely. I did five years of journalism, but in my career I never felt complete. I needed more action and I was seeking something else. Once I became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, I realized I could go anywhere in the world, and that I could work in any remote location I wanted. Now I feel free to put my finger on the map and decide where I want to go. PADI gave me the freedom to become a citizen of the world. Also, I discovered my real passion — underwater  photography. This  is my current job and I have a successful career.

What does PADI mean to you?

PADI is the door that has opened worldwide opportunities for my life. It’s the institution that has taught me the best way to dive and be confident about my skills.

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In one sentence, how would you describe scuba diving to a non-diver?

Scuba diving is a trip to another world.

What is your dream dive?

Diving with whales, and, of course, having my camera with me to take pictures and video. I love the magnificence of these animals and I love to dive and take pictures of them.

Describe what it’s like to dive with sharks.

Diving with sharks is a fun and really life changing experience. I have to confess that when I was a child I was so scared of sharks. On vacation, I couldn’t even relax knowing they are in the ocean! Now I dive with them every day, and I love them. They are really smart and amazing creatures.  On the dive we do here at Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, people can interact with them, and see how incredible they really are. I personally don’t know anyone that has made this dive and said they still don’t like sharks!

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What was it like to participate in PADI’s first Women’s Dive Day last year? 

The first PADI Women’s Dive Day was truly amazing. I loved the day and the spirit of all the woman who participated. It was a perfect chance to get together and celebrate female divers and just enjoy the ocean and the company. All the girls had fun, we went diving and chatted for hours. We were supposed to come back at six o’clock, but we didn’t get back until eight! The spirit was so high that we even organized a couple more dive days just to get the same group together.

What are your plans for Women’s Dive Day this year?

This year PADI Course Director, Hayley-Jo Carr, is organizing a women’s day with an emphasis on marine conservation. Hayley-Jo will be teaching the Sea Turtle Awareness Specialty and ending the day with our famous shark dive at Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas — raising awareness for both turtles and sharks. The event is complimentary thanks to Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas. All we are asking for is a donation to Project AWARE for the AWARE certification card.  The day will also include lunch, a treasure hunt with prizes and, of course, some chilled wine to end the day. We are all very much looking forward to it!

The article was originally published by PADI.com