by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.
I’m having a cup of coffee at the Earl of Sandwich, a great eatery at the Los Angeles Airport. We are on our way to the Solomon Islands via a plane change in Fiji. Fiji Airways was our airline of choice for this trip. Our flight leaves at 11:30 PM and the ticketing counter doesn’t open until 7:30 pm. It’s 4:45 now. People by the hundreds are walking by our vantage point from the cafe, some running, to catch their flights to destinations across the globe. There is excitement in the air as travelers attempt to quench their insatiable appetite for travel.
We just survived Hurricane Irma in Florida. Sunday and Monday were rough days for us on the east coast of central Florida. The power came back on Tuesday and we packed for our trip on Wednesday. Here it is Thursday and we are on our way ½ way across the globe to go diving. We’re tired, exhausted actually, but we’re excited about the adventure that lies ahead. We’ve never been to the Solomon Islands before. We heard the diving was spectaculure and we hope our photographs and video will come out better than average, but it’s the spark of adventure that sustains us. Adventure is why we dive. Remembering our adventures is why we take pictures and create videos. Getting to that adventure is why we spent thousands of dollars on the trip, more photographic equipment and new diving equipment. No one had to sell us more diving gear or photography equipment. We sold our selves on the adventure, and the gear helped us make the most out of it.
I remember introducing Jean Michel Cousteau at a speaking engagement at a Travel & Adventure Show in Long Beach. He proceeded to tell the audience that he had always attended diving and surfing shows in his career, but it was the thrill of The Adventure that brought him to the adventure show that day. And why do we admire Jean Michel so much? It’s because we are fascinated by the adventures he has experienced in his lifetime.
A dear friend of mine is Larry Boucha. I remember a certain conversation we had as if it were yesterday. Larry and Nancy Boucha were swapping dive stories with Dana and me over drinks at the Hotel Cozumel. We were each sharing our best dive stories when Larry changed gears and told us about his Dive Trip From Hell. The story took him a half hour to tell, as he unraveled his tale about a dive trip that started out great but went south very quickly. As the story goes, everything that could go wrong did. Larry drew us into his story as he gave us a detailed account of this terrible dive trip. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. When we thought the story couldn’t get any worse, Larry sat back, sipped his drink, and said, “That’s why they call it adventure travel!” With tears in our eyes, we laughed for hours.
So when you are standing in long lines at the airport, or waiting for late arrivals on the dive boat, dealing with broken or lost piece of diving equipment, or whatever the inconvenience of the moment is, remember Larry Boucha and say, That’s why they call it adventure travel.