On 29 December 2016, in the final days of PADI’s golden anniversary year, a milestone was reached. Sarah Gleeson, a 22-year-old from Alberta, Canada, became a PADI® Open Water Diver, earning her PADI’s 25 millionth certification.
To celebrate the occasion, and 50 years as The Way the World Learns to Dive®, PADI gifted Gleeson and a buddy of her choosing with a dream trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Her proud instructor, Bobby Post of Davy Jones Locker Diving in Koh Tao, Thailand, wasn’t left out. The PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer was invited to make the trip as well.
It wasn’t until Gleeson and her boyfriend, Colin, stayed on Koh Tao, Thailand, and made friends with the divers there, that she was interested in getting scuba certified.
“Now that I can dive I have an excellent excuse to travel the world even more,” says Gleeson, who is currently six weeks into a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia with Colin. “Diving is a unique experience that allows you to see an entirely new world – an experience you will never regret.”
When asked about her plans when her backpacking excursion and the sure-to-be epic trip to Australia are over, Gleeson notes that she won’t be returning to the colder temps of her hometown in snowy northern Canada anytime soon.
“We are both so excited and love diving so much that we’ve even considered becoming dive instructors ourselves,” Gleeson laughs. “For now, we’ll start with getting our PADI Advanced Open Water certifications.”
But before any of that happens, Post, Gleeson, and her lucky boyfriend Colin will enjoy a three-night liveaboard dive adventure on the Great Barrier Reef aboard the Mike Ball Dive Expeditions vessel, Spoilsport. Also included are round-trip economy airfare to Cairns, Australia; four nights accommodation in Cairns, Australia; and a day trip to Daintree Rainforest, a World Heritage Site.