➡️ Tell us a little bit yourself:
Hi! My name is Aaron Puttawong, I’m 21 years old, I have a twin brother and an elder big sister, I’m half Thai, half Australian. I can speak both Thai and English, and manage to speak very little Chinese. I grew up in Thailand and when I was 13, I moved to Australia and stayed there till I finished high school. Now I’m a scuba diving instructor and travelling around the world to teach diving.
➡️ How old were you when you started diving?
I started diving when I was 6 years old. It was cool.
➡️ What was your diving journey like? Give us some highlights.
In my opinion, my journey has just begun as there is so much to see and learn, but one of my best things about my job is that I get to teach so many people how to become a scuba diver. I get an amazing opportunity every day, to open them up to a whole new world, and for some, new career opportunities as well. Or at the very least, make their holiday a memorable one.
➡️ How does it feel to be the son of the dive industry's legend? Was there always an unsaid pressure to become an instructor?
Hahahaha! I may not see him as a legend (the way others do) but to me, he has always been someone who really understands diving as a concept, what is diving all about, and what one must take home from a dive. (He has always said he is a God but I don’t see it.. haha!)
There may have been a slight pressure on how I do as an instructor/teacher, but the diving was never a pressure. I have grown up loving the underwater world and it only comes naturally to me to embrace being in the dive industry.
➡️ How is the experience of working with your father or assisting him during IDCs? How is your work rapport with him?
The experience of working with my dad is pretty amazing because I get to travel the world with him and see how he works and runs a corporate dive company. I love to absorb the first-hand knowledge that I receive. I have learned so much just by being in the same room as my dad.
➡️ What are 3 things you have picked up from Mark and would want to imbibe or learn?
Actually, there are many things that I have picked up from him over the years (drinking, for example). Just kidding! I think it is always great to learn new things from him - how to be a good teacher/instructor/mentor because to educate others on becoming a good diver, you always need to educate yourself first.
➡️ So, what next? What are your plans for working together like in the next 2 years?
My plan as of now is to keep working and for the next 2 years try and gain as much exposure and experience as I can before I take that big step of becoming a Course Director. Once I achieve those goals, eventually I would like to become a monk.
➡️ Tell us a little bit about how your dad has made an impact on your work and life generally!
I can’t really quantify the impact my dad has on myself and my work life, because I literally grew up diving with him. And I can’t imagine what it would be like not to dive or how my life would have been if it wasn’t what it is. I am very grateful towards my father to have introduced me to diving so very early on as that has really shaped my life in a beautiful direction and helped me find what I love to do most.