Thousand times and counting – By Roberto Pérez

    It’s Monday, 5:15 am, the alarm rings. It’s still dark outside, I wake up slowly, I don’t even turn on the light not to wake the rest of my family who are still asleep. I’m grabbing a quick snack for breakfast because I’m late for my work at the factory, again.

    My boss greets me with a disapproving frown while shouting at me the assignment of the day. This goes on every day, 8 hours a day, five days a week. While I’m at work I’m just waiting for the time to pass till my next day off, hoping that next week will be better.

    Nothing is farther from the truth. Weekend is over; this Monday starts with the afternoon shift from 2 pm till 10 pm. I’m thinking to myself: “Ok! At least I won’t have to wake up so early”. But the problem with this shift is that by the time I get off work everybody is sound asleep; well, goodbye to social life for this week. Once again, thinking to myself: “Ok, maybe next week will be better…”

    Well, the following week is going to be a real treat; I get to work the grave yard shift from 10 pm till 6 am. I wonder if the guy who thought of this concept didn’t have any family, friends or any sort of life; sure, he had, and I bet it was probably a good life.

    Sadly, this routine became repetitive, 1 time, 10 times, 100 times, 500 times, 1000 times. I couldn’t differentiate one day from another. The days have passed and each day went by exactly as the one before it. I knew there must be more to life than this.

    The following Monday was completely different from all the other ones before. I got a one-way ticket to India! This is where my adventure had started; Traveling became my new way of life. I visited Nepal, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Philippines and so many more wonderful countries.

    OK, rewind a bit to Cambodia…

    Cambodia introduced me to amazing places such as Phnom Penh the capital, the Mekong River which runs through the city of Kratie, and of course, the astonishing Angkor Wat’s temples. But most importantly this is the place that introduced me to diving. A small island called Koh Rong Sanloem, located at the south west of the country.

    Breathing through a regulator for the first time and experiencing the underwater world was so exciting. I felt like I had to do it again. I kept diving and filling my logbook with all my incredible dive experiences so none of them would slip my mind. Ever since then I remember each and every dive I ever made.

    I will never forget how fortunate I got on my 10th dive in Koh Tao(Thailand) when suddenly we came across with one of the most remarkable animals who lives on this planet, the whale shark. I felt so lucky.

    And what about dive #100 surrounded by turtles and thousands of tropical fish in Indonesia in an island called Gili Trawangan in the north of Lombok.

    My 500th dive was in the Atlantic Ocean, in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (Spain). One cannot forget the abundance of Angel sharks, rays, barracudas and many more beautiful underwater creatures.

    And finally, we reach to my dive #1000 in Zanzibar, wait! Hold on a second Ro! You still didn’t get to that dive, you still in 982. You Know what? It doesn’t matter, my dive 1000 will be unforgettable! all kinds of beautiful corals, sea horses, leaf fish, turtles, pipefish, dolphins, frogfish, nudibranchs, octopus, stonefish, scorpionfish, stingrays, moray eels, crocodile fish, and many other magnificent sea creatures that I wish I’ll be able to see 1, 10, 100, 500, 1000 more times.

    Change your life and learn to dive today!!

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