Dive into Catherine's inspiring world in Dahab, Egypt
Imagine swimming in the crystal clear water of the Red Sea through dense reef fauna and where time ticks away at your whim… Focusing on your breathing as you snorkel through shallow gardens of colorful corals.
This is the daily routine of our Lifestyle Ambassador Catherine, who has been living in Egypt for almost 3 years. She's a scuba instructor and founder of Freediving Tribe, a diving school located in the heart of Dahab, in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. Dive into Catherine's inspiring world!
What made you decide to leave Quebec and move to Egypt?
It all started with a dream. I had everything that society would consider successful. I had a stable relationship, a permanent job, great friends and a wonderful family. Everything to be happy. For years, I used to do scuba diving trips with my boyfriend at the time. In 2017, we decided to explore the world on our own, by mutual agreement. In February 2018, I packed up my bags and flew off on a new adventure. My trip was only supposed to last a few weeks, maybe even 3 months… Here I am, 3 beautiful years have passed! Nothing was planned and I left everything behind to pursue the dream I was cherishing.
I love Egypt for many reasons. Obviously, there is the beauty of the Red Sea. The water quality is unmatched by anything I’ve seen before. The marine life is rich and there are countless places to dive. Sinai’s culture is completely different from the rest of Egypt. It’s a beautiful place where the mountains blend with the sea and the Bedouins offer a unique way to live. The simplicity of life is another reason that charms tourists at first sight.
Why did you decide to locate your diving school in Dahab?
The decision came naturally to me. Nothing was planned. I took the freediving instructor course in Dahab 2 years ago. One thing led to another, I had good success and a lot of references, which encouraged me to buy all the necessary equipment to open a small business. Then, I found a place and here we go! I love Dahab because I can walk to everything. It’s a small, safe and charming place. People from all over Egypt come to visit me.
Where are the best snorkel spots in Egypt?
Dahad, mainly for the easy access to the water from the shore. Actually, the whole Red Sea! There is also the famous Blue Hole. Personally, I prefer Sharm El Sheik for the safe organization and the possibility to dive from a platform. Snorkeling is really concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula, as there is little current and it's of unlimited depth. It is accessible all year round and close to the airport. In the south of Egypt, we find Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Hamata, which are known for Sea Safaris and scuba diving.
How would you explain your experience when you are underwater? How do you feel?
Freediving allows you to reflect on yourself. I also think that water is the mirror of your soul. When I get into the water, whether it’s for fun or to teach, it’s a feeling of freedom that overwhelms me. I forget everything about the outside world. I feel good, relaxed and completely connected to the water around me.
What is the best swimsuit to wear under your wetsuit for freediving? Tell us about your experience with your June Swimwear!
I love the brand! June offers very comfortable swimsuits and I like the fact that you don’t feel the seams, which is nice when you have a suit pressing against your skin. It’s also important to me that it is made at home (in Quebec) and from recycled materials. I observe a sad reality where every day, I take the time to collect about 2 to 10 kilos of plastic in the water. Pollution from consumption of plastic is very present. Fortunately, there are companies like June that encourage local production and keep an ecological conscience.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to build a business overseas?
GO! If I can do it, anyone can do it! I started out with very little savings (I only thought I would be in Egypt for a few weeks). I didn’t speak a word in English and I left everything to pursue a crazy dream. I found a passion that is close to my heart. If at the end of the day, you are not doing what makes you happy, change for the better. You owe it to yourself. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!