What are the favourite items in your wardrobe? Shoes would top the list. I have always loved shoes since I was a kid, especially the day when I realized the magic of how a pair of shoes could complete or alter the whole mood of your outfit. Girls, you would know what I am talking about. Take the most classic item in your wardrobe aka the LBD, the choice to couple with a pair of funky sneakers or adorable wedges or Louboutin, makes one hell of a difference.
Remember SATC’s Carrie Bradshaw?
Tell me you ain’t jealous.
“Two roads diverged into the wood - I took the one less traveled.” That is the aptest quote ever to describe taking up scuba diving as a hobby, with both roads leading to an emptied bank account. And for those who might not understand our dilemma on which road to take, allow me to elaborate.
So we were just done with our certifications and planning to take it a step further with our newfound hobby. The experience ain’t complete with your equipment for sure. And a short look-around at a dive show ends up with the first haul of a mask, wetsuit, fins, SMB and et cetera et cetera. There goes that pair of Charlotte Olympia that you have been dreaming about since the new season’s debut.
After a while of diving around, it seems absolute that you need your own BCD. Tantalizing with its high-tech features and all those jargon that made it seem so desirable because you don’t know what it exactly means like Ultra Durable: Patented Injection Molded Monprene® Gel Harness, "BC-4-Life" Modular Design, 3D Ergonomic Design…. Oh god. Stop tempting us with those jargons that made us imagine how it would be like to take a dive with it! The ensemble is not complete with a BCD and a regulator, is it not? There goes that classic Balenciaga bag.
Scuba diving seeps into your life bit by bit. Instead of bags and shoes, you start going for places that would quench the explorer’s instinct.
After a while, the usual stuff will not satisfy anymore. And you literally go deeper, so you start playing with things like:
That’s enough for a Hermes Birkin/Kelly. If you don’t know, a Birkin bag is the most sought-after item despite the ridiculous price tag that comes with it. (This is one item that the value and price tag that I have not been able to wrap my head around.)
A handful of my personal friends are real-life Carrie Bradshaws. Since we met each other at 15 years old, I’ve seen them carry different designer bags and shoes every time we met, while throughout the years, all I have are $5 fabric totes and backpacks. I’m not saying you should ditch all these things and absolutely empty your pockets when you get serious about something but drawing a comparison between the tangibles and intangibles here.
Most people would spend on owning some of those without batting an eyelid. But when it comes to spending on a piece of equipment or a dive trip that only amount to a few hundred dollars, they are reluctant to part with the expenses. That sparks another question: why is the adoption rate of equipment so low as compared to a designer branded bag/shoe that offers a significantly lower value?
In order to use those equipment properly, you need to go through courses and training. Bags and shoes, just swipe your card and put them on. You need to spend time, energy and brainpower on it, as opposed to just owning something that has aesthetic value and possibly helps to elevate your aesthetic value.
Worse still, some expected to be treated like a royalty for the amount paid or bargaining for a few dollars with operators. (This part really pisses me off big time.) Scuba diving brings you across oceans and continents, to places that exceed all imaginations, from Mexico to Galapagos, all the way to South Africa; to wonders of the world that are probably worth much more than that stuff sitting in your closet and slinging on your shoulders.
I am not saying you should burn all your money in diving, don’t spend on stuff, but rather, burn it where it truly matters. It could be something else but definitely not branded stuff because I honestly doubt the amount of joy and happiness that branded shoes and bags can give you.
Can money buy happiness? It can. When you spend it on things and experiences that you seem to be worth the expenses.
When I only have t-shirts and tearing jeans but carry a few thousand dollars worth of equipment and watch the ocean pass by in front of my eyes, I really do not care if I don’t own a single piece of branded accessory.
P.S. For those who like to bargain with operators over a few dollars, who love a discount on the service or equipment or whatever it is, I really think you should give it a good thought before doing so. A pair of jet fins lasts more than a decade and helps you move in water like nothing else. Your rental equipment needs to be serviced more than a few times a year to ensure that they work well. Those dollars that you wanna save would cost you in other ways when dive operators have to cut costs, it will cut you eventually.