The End of a Long Education
After spending 14 years educating myself I decided to take a gap year. I felt that I deserved some time off! I spent some time in my final year of school deciding what I wanted to do. It wasn’t easy, so I ended up writing down a few criteria. It had to be remote, worthwhile, impress people when I told them where I went (hey, we're all guilty of it) and, most importantly, it had to include scuba diving!
With this criteria in mind, I stumbled across an amazing diving company which included scuba diving, teaching English and pirogue sailing, all in the exotic location of Madagascar.
Madagascar is a wonderful country and I was impressed by the scenery and the vibrancy of the capital almost as soon as I left the airport. I stayed near the coast just next to a small fishing village. The locals were incredibly friendly and loved having their pictures taken as well as beating us at football.
Into the deep blue sea
Once I had settled in and accustomed to the authentic Madagascan hut I was staying in, the scuba diving started almost immediately. One of the joys of diving out in the Indian Ocean is the remoteness. There is no pollutant source, little or no tourist diving, no commercial trawling vessels and the majority of fishermen fish traditionally - this means fantastic diving! I have dived in many places around the world, but the coral formations I saw out there were far better than any I have seen elsewhere. It is also an exceptionally diverse area in terms of fish species; there are few places in the world where you can see such a wide variety of fish in one dive.
If you want to go somewhere a little bit different on your travels, away from the busy pace of life and the tourist trail, I really recommend going to Madagascar. Just don't tell too many people!