If I could go back in time 12 years to now. I wouldn’t recognize this Gemma today to the past Gemma. I am now 46, 47 in September 2020 and I still feel 20 something. I feel younger than I did 12 years ago which sounds crazy but it’s down to lifestyle I guess. I moved to the UK coast 12 years ago. I have always had a connection with the sea, even as a little person, we would come to where I live now on day trips. Even my Grandma and Granddad had their honeymoon in the village I live now, they were settled in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire so absolutely no roots in Suffolk, so I really know it’s that meant to be place. My family draw and roots are here.
I grew up inland, but only a 50-minute drive from the coast and loved the visits to the sea when younger, it just felt like home and peaceful. My ambition was to live by the sea and have a convertible car and I am happy to say that’s what I have now and I am the happiest girl living a pretty simple life.
Moving to the coast and only a couple of minutes walk from my beach changed me for the better; It gave me a space I had never known, endless changing views and a total connection with the beach and ocean. A feeling of freedom and relaxation. No matter how tough life has been in these years, just a walk on the beach allows me to feel free and have the uninterrupted space to think and focus.
As soon as I moved to the coast I got my sailing qualifications and competed most weekends in races in a dingy; then I started paddle boarding and kayaking, I added horse riding, lots of gym, running and Crossfit. I am an active soul.
You can call me a beach bum, it’s the best place I can be and want to be. I love where I live and always will live.
It’s only been since February 2019 that I started to learn about scuba diving. I met Ian, at the gym, chatted and got to know this most amazingly positive soul and the most lovely person inside and out. We just spent hours at the gym, in classes and in the pool and sauna and somehow Ian’s love of scuba headed my way and I did a try dive and then another. At this point in writing, I am about to head to my Open Water qualification with Padi! COVID Lockdown put a few month’s delays on this but am so looking forward to it now.
Ian and I evolved and started The BiG Scuba Podcast in late January 2020. We wanted to be a relaxed podcast talking about all things diving and ocean-related, no boundaries. We are now entering July and we are thankful for our journey and all the amazing connections we have made and that are now friends too.
As a non-diver, I have spoken to an amazing audience of people from new divers to the TV known divers. How cool is it that as a trainee diver I have spoken to all these amazing people in a few months? It has empowered me, grounded me, inspired me, and made me thankful I have the opportunity to learn to dive.
I do feel half my age; that feeling is about the great people I mix with but it’s about the state of mind and telling myself what I can do what I want to. It’s a great attitude we need to learn for ourselves and move forward into our dreams.
You only have yourself to answer to. Embrace what you have and seek, what you can and want to do, and you will achieve it! It’s not a race, I recommend you take your time and be comfortable in your journey.
On top of that being involved in the ocean world and rivers, you see more so the importance of conservation of what we have and why we need to be working to improve it. Our oceans on this planet are our life; we need to value and care for them. Any effort makes a difference, it doesn’t matter how small it may seem, it is essential and it will make a difference.
Anything is possible, you just have to give the opportunity a chance and try something a little out of your comfort zone. I ask the readers to try, to seize the situation. seize the day. We will never know where it may lead unless we try. The results and the difference we can create are better than if we do absolutely nothing.