My partner and I are living in Bristol, UK. We will be travelling for 6 months-a year on a reasonably limited budget (In about a year’s time). Where would be the best place to start out? How long should we stay in the first place and at what qualification should/could we leave for another destination and to further our training? We are happy to just stay at a few destinations for the whole year – we would prefer to really get to grips with diving and the culture. We want to swim with sharks : )

Start at home. You live in the UK where BSAC training is available, which in my opinion is the best of the training agencies. Learning to dive there will prepare you for just about any conditions you are faced with on your trip, whilst learning in a warm water destination won’t. I’d at the very least, go as far as your BSAC advanced level at home before your trip. The sky is the limit after that and you’ll have a great foundation to continue your training to wards dive master and up to Instructor anywhere else on the planet with any other training agency, like Padi or Naui. Matter of fact, once you have your advanced, you can intern at a few shops, like some in Thailand offering this and earn your DM/ Instructor’s rate there.