When I originally started this blog my plan had been to write about training and professional courses. That was what I was aiming for. Over the years though, as well as that, it has become my personal voice. For those of you that know me, they know, that I am not the most open person. Just ask my husband, he will laugh if there is a suggestion that I will discuss anything really of importance. I bottle it up, work it out myself and plough forward. This can obviously be to my detriment sometimes. I try to keep a tough exterior, certainly working in the dive industry in my position and work hard at my goals.

I find, that many times, because I am not the biggest outpourer of feelings verbally,  writing is a great outlet for me. Not knowing why but writing my thoughts and feelings down on paper, or in this case, electronically makes things so much clearer. My tendency to deal with things emotionally internally is something that I got my father. It was one of the many traits that I got from him and that is why I write today.

I am currently in a very surreal cloud having lost my father to the “arsehole: that is cancer in the early hours of this morning. He hadn’t even reached his 70th birthday and was only diagnosed in January. It has been extremely painful and as I am writing this I am still expecting him to walk through the front door at any moment. It is heartbreaking as I imagined he would be with us for many more years. He was a strong, amazing man and encouraged me with everything I did.

I am lucky enough that I have an amazing bond with my family who have always supported me. We are all trying to get our heads around the giant hole in our hearts right now.

two of my favorite boys

I think every parents dream is to have their children happy, I know that since I have had my daughter that is very much what I think about. My dad travelled the world as a young man working on cruise ships and always encouraged me to travel and explore the world myself. It made him happy and he knew it would make us the same. I got the bug early on and as soon as I left school, I worked my butt off doing part time jobs and then I headed off to Africa with his blessing.

After that came University and then when the day came that I had a choice. My “grown up” job had fallen through and I was the other side of the world crying down the phone. I always remember the conversation so clearly. “What do you WANT to do?” was what he said to me. It wasn’t about being adult or the money it was basically “what was my dream”. My answer was that I wanted to get back on the bus to Hond

uras and work as a Divemaster and so my story began. His reply “we support the decision that you make and be safe”. 15 years later I am living happily in Costa Rica with an amazing family and group of friends here.

It is hard living so far away from your family but having your friends and family abroad certainly help that. Nowadays with Whatsapp, facetime and Skype it’s easier as you can video chat all of the time. When I first set out I know my father threatened to call interpol one time

Gramps' girlas they hadn’t heard from me for almost a month. Oops.

Over the past few years I have spent more time with them, spending at least a month in England every year, and my parents coming to Costa Rica to spend time with me every year.When my daughter popped into the picture I realized I was no longer his “little angel”. That  title had clearly passed onto her. He was besotted and wouldn’t let anyone come between him and the “Teags”. I know that somewhere he will be watching her grow up with a close eye.

With everything I have and do now I could never thank him enough. I have his stubbornness, sense of humor and hard exterior. But he taught me to be independent, work hard and embrace life. He was the life of the party and I think all of my friends in Costa Rica have had at least one hangover from his “top-up” drinks after hanging out. He walked me down the aisle only 4 months ago and I am thankful for that. I knew then that he was finally getting defeated.

The last couple of weeks I have seen him everyday and whispered in his ear how much I love him and tried to thank him for everything. I am happy, and that I feel is what he wanted. As I go forward now I know there is a lot of healing to be done, but I am strong knowing that he is watching somewhere, and he is proud as I work hard and live a full life. He was an inspiration to me to get out there and seize life and I will never forget that. I know I would not be where I am now without that.