SCUBA Diving in Cancun

September 18, 2008 · Posted in news, personal 

Life Goal #5 is to learn to SCUBA dive. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do for as long as I can remember. It seems so amazing to me to swim around under water and still be able to breathe. Add tropical fish, exotic reefs and potential shark attacks and you have yourself an adventure.


Opportunity at First Sight

My friend László mentioned last Wednesday that he’s going on a trip to Cancun, Mexico in December and if any of us would like to join. He’s been talking about this trip for a while now. He submitted a research paper a few months ago to be accepted to this conference that’s being held there. Because his research is awesome (in the area of autonomous aerospace engineering), his paper got accepted and now he gets to go for 5 days on the department’s dime.

I told him I’d love to go, but I’m going to Europe that same month and money would be really tight. Then I started thinking: when is the next time I’ll be able to go to Mexico and SCUBA dive? Probably, quite literally, never. And being Life Goal #5, it was something I had to do. Luckily I have time to save up enough money to go and pay for it all in cash (rather than sticking it all on the credit card and wondering how I’m going to pay for it later). I’m going to be hurting financially for a while, but really, it’s just money and I’m not going into debt to achieve it, so I can in good conscience take this trip.

We’re planning to leave Sunday, the 7th of December. László’s conference is that week, but when he’s done we’re planning on a package deal of at least 3 days of SCUBA diving.


SCUBA School

So, before they let you go SCUBA diving, you have to get certified. Come to find out, Virginia Tech has a SCUBA diving club. Actually the school is so large they have a club for anything you can probably think of but I never thought to get certified here. So László looked into it for us last week and saw that there were three spots left, in the last class of the semester. He checked again on Tuesday and there were only two left. They were accepting applications between 5-6pm, but not on Wednesdays because they had a club meeting. Except we showed up at War Memorial Gym where they were accepting the applications and saw they were closed.

We had just gotten to the doors when a guy walked by in a hurry then stopped and asked us if we were looking for the SCUBA club. He said they’re not open because of the meeting but that he was heading there now. Crazy thing is, I guess he was the treasurer because he had a cashbox, took our checks, used a stamp to endorse them and took out a sheet with two empty slots on it to write our names down. Then he handed us our receipts. I don’t think we could have run into a better person. 30 seconds sooner or later and we would have missed him.

Then, to make it an even better story, his last name is Gyorgy, or György (which is actually a first name and if you’ve already guessed, yes it’s Hungarian). In Hungarian “first names” come last, and “last names” come first. For example: Szabó Péter means Tailor Peter. “Last names” are titles and titles come before the name, so that’s the explanation for that. And who’s surprised I linked SCUBA diving with something Hungarian?

Chichen Itzan Mayan Ruins

Apparently Mexico has ruins. It’s a $100 trip to see these ruins. If I wanted to see buildings in ruin, I’d go to Budapest (now I’ve linked the Mayan civilization with something Hungarian. I think I have a problem). In all seriousness, it’s going to be awesome. One of my favorite subjects in photography is architectural photography, so this is going to be an amazing trip for me.


Fun in the Sun

While László’s in the conference I get to head out and explore Cancun (only for 5 of the 9 days we’re there). I’ll perhaps meet some nice young ladies to hang out with and invite diving with us. I might just hang out at the beach, sipping margaritas and finish my tan for the summer. Of course I could sit in my hotel room with my laptop and watch YouTube videos all day. How awesome would that be?

Literally, the day after I return from tropical, beachy Cancun, I’ll be flying to Europe and freezing off the cojones (ah, see? I’m learning some useful Spanish words). It’ll be an extreme like I’ve never felt before. And it will be awesome.