A bit of reflection here but a piece that may be useful to others. While in my youth(early 20s) a friend and coworker who new I was a avid snorkeler volenteered to take me diving in the Hamptons area of Long Island in the state of New York. I had doned scuba gear once before in a pool and my friend wanted to go diving but could not find a buddy available. So thinking nothing of it at the time I agreed to go after we finish our half day of work that day. So with a stop at a local dive shop my friend filled his tanks and rented gear for me to use. We then took a drive out to a spot that my friend knew well for our dive and I got a quick how to on how to use the BC and a warning to stay close and not use the inflator. So our dive starts and I basically don`t do anything but breath and swim. My friend controls my boyance and all goes well. The problem is not knowing what to expect or what to do make people nervous. I was no exception. The water was cold, murkey and I really didn`t enjoy the experience. Because of that I didn`t feel a need to try scuba again for 20 years. Flash forward 20 years. I`m on a cruise in Tahiti. A discovery dive is available in Bora Bora so for something to do I book the dive. I Arrive at the dock and the dive master starts by asking if I`ve ever done any diving. Then guides us through the equipment, where we will be diving, what we`ll see, how deep the water will be, some hand signals, getting in the water, and how to get back in the boat. So you may ask at this point what`s the real difference? We were given knowledge about what we would be doing and given so simple tools to do it. We were made at ease and confident that we would be able to complete what we set out to do safely. We were guided by a professional that had the experience to keep us safe. We were taken to a place that gave us an awesome, positive experience that we`ll never forget. The feeling of nervousness I felt on my first dive was still there but it was controlled by the other factors of the experience and when done I had a need to repeat the experience. That Bora Bora dive took place in May of 2006. Before This years vacation I received my certification as a Open Water diver from my Local PADI dive shop completing the open water dives at Lake Pleasant in Arizona. I then was able to dive in Aruba. In September I received Advanced Open Water Certification in San Lucas, Mexico. Most recently I attain my first specialty for Equipment Specialty. So what should you learn? Go for it in the correct way and you may not waste 20 years with a negative image of a truly wonderful sport.