First Things First…

first photo me
Lalo and I diving in Isla Mujeres

First things first! Hello and welcome to my new blog!

Before I begin this blog and all of the posts, I felt like I should share my story and why I am here on this beautiful island!

My name is Shyla, and I am a PADI IDC Staff Instructor (aka diving instructor). I decided to start this blog mainly because when I travel I always have so many questions regarding the new places I visit! So I thought that because I live in Isla Mujeres full time, I could provide accurate information! So, here is a little more about why I am here and who I am!

I first came to Isla Mujeres in September of 2012. Not too long ago really. I came just for a week long vacation, and after the first day I was hooked! I already had a PADI Open Water certification and while on vacation I did several dives with Scuba Garrido. I enjoyed myself so much that I decided to come back the next month. During my second trip I met an awesome dive instructor by the name of Daniel Gonzales. He was my instructor for my PADI Advanced Open Water course, and during this course he mentioned that he felt I would make a good instructor and that I should move to Isla Mujeres. I thought he was crazy! I had a degree in elementary education and about 20 or so dives. Plus, it is another country and a small island! How would I even accomplish this? What visas did I need? How much money would it cost? Where would I live, etc…. the list goes on and on!

After a lot of online research and soul searching, I decided to take my third trip back to Isla that December. This was my planning trip. I found there was not much I could figure out online, so I decided the best way to answer all of my questions was another vacation! Tough life decisions, I know! During this trip I met some really cool expats who also lived on Isla Mujeres. They all had various reasons for moving, and I found I had a lot in common with them! After spending time picking their brains about all of the basic “how to’s” of Isla Mujeres, I decided to go back to Texas, put my belongings in storage, and save some money!

Three months later I moved to Isla! One of my friends helped me find an apartment, and I started my dive training! Daniel was an awesome instructor, and I got to dive almost every day in some of the coolest locations around Isla Mujeres. I completed my PADI Rescue Diver training and my Divemaster training with Daniel. (Side note: he is now a TDI Course Director and Full Cave diving instructor, so if you are interested in cave diving he is your guy! Check out his page!)

Throughout my training in Isla Mujeres, I dove with a small shop here named Scuba Garrido. This shop is owned by four brothers. They are islenos (from Isla Mujeres), and their father was a fisherman. They know this island and its waters like the back of their hand! I had so much fun during this training, and I also learned to guide many of the undisclosed Isla Mujeres dive sites!

After completing my PADI Divemaster training, I enrolled in a PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course). I completed my IDC with Dive Life in Playa del Carmen and had an amazing Course Director, Francisco J. Davids. He seriously is Mr. Diver. I am pretty sure he has every dive certification known to man! I was so lucky to have him as my instructor!

The day I passed the PADI Instructor Exam was one of the most exciting days of my life! I actually think I was more excited than when I graduated from college! Passing this course meant that I would be able to stay in Mexico and find work as a PADI Instructor!

It’s been almost three years since I moved to Isla Mujeres, and I have been working as a PADI Instructor ever since! This move was the best decision for me, and I absolutely love my life here! I have an amazing boyfriend, named Lalo, who is also a Divemaster and Photographer. If you see any cool photos or videos on my site, then they more than likely came from him. He is my best friend, my favorite comedian, and my shoulder to lean on. I honestly do not know what I would do without him! I also have an awesome island dog named Gringo! Lalo and I rescued him a little over two and a half years ago, but really I think he rescued us. He chose to live with us and since the very first day he has been loyal by our sides! You will see him in many of my photos as well because he goes everywhere with me, including work!

I really hope that with this blog I can provide you with good quality Isla Mujeres information, and that you enjoy it!

Thank you for visiting!