Frequently Asked Questions

Dive travel is seeing the ocean as a travel destination.

Although the land and sea are wonderfully and inextricably interconnected, travelers tend to visit one or the other. Scuba divers seek out underwater realms, impatiently counting down surface intervals until their next dive. Land-lovers might venture out for a snorkel or sail, but they’re glimpsing only a pixel of the bigger picture. Exploring both underwater and on land is the most holistic way of experiencing a destination and the divine interconnectedness between the green and blue. The garden does not stop at the water’s edge.

If you haven’t tried scuba diving yet, there is a whole world waiting for you. We hope you dive in and give it a try—it is worth it.

We select locations based on two criteria. First, the place needs to have a mix of land and underwater activities. Second, the destination needs to be trying to do the right thing by the environment—think caretaker rather than profiteer—even if it’s not getting it exactly right yet.

Experience. We experience things first-hand, pair that with additional research, and review it through our own experiential lens as travelers / writers / divers before presenting it to you. If we are unable to experience something first-hand (due to illness, timing, or being weathered out, which happens), we conduct extensive research with sources we trust before including it, and we’re transparent about that.

We also want to be transparent about the fact that we do accept travel support. (Not always, but sometimes.) Once upon a time, travel budgets covered expenses and writers were able to travel independently and anonymously. As producing books and magazine articles became more cost-prohibitive, that changed. Writers were forced into a position where they either conducted “desk research” (remote research from their home-base) or found a way to fund their fieldwork (usually through tourism board support, partner support, or crowd-funding).

We believe experiential writing produces the best quality information, and we can promise you that we have always made independent decisions about where we go and what information we include, and we will always do so. If we do accept travel support, we are crystal clear with our supporting partners that we remain independent. It’s the only way this will work. 

As much as we’d love to help everyone who asks us, we simply don’t have the capacity to provide personal travel recommendations. We have information for 50 fantastic dive travel destinations in our book, A Diver’s Guide to the World, and keep checking our website for more free travel information and stories.

We also have several exciting projects in the works, so—watch this space for more!

What we do: Along with our books and website, we—

  • Have a newsletter you can subscribe to for monthly travel news, dispatches, and stories.
  • Do speaking engagements! We love to talk about travel, diving, dive travel, and stewardship. Please contact us if you are interested in having us speak. (We also do book signings and school presentations.) We update our website with any upcoming speaking engagements.
  • Teach people about storytelling. Carrie has been writing for National Geographic since 1998. She loves working with groups (schools, universities, dive clubs, book groups, young adventurers, Indigenous communities, and more) about improving their storytelling skills and navigating the industry. Contact her for more information.
  • Review dive travel destinations—for our website, and possibly for future publications. (Contact us if you are interested in having us come for a visit.)
  • Are determined to be better stewards of the planet (and share our learnings with you).
  • Travel and dive (and share those adventures and inspiration with you).
  • Want to hear from you! We are firm believers in self-exploration and love to hear experiences and recommendations from other travelers and divers—please engage with us on our Facebook and Instagram


What we don’t do:

  • We aren’t travel agents. We don’t provide individual travel advice or make travel arrangements / bookings.
  • We don’t do pay-for-play. We make recommendations based on our experiences and expertise.

In a word, yes, but it’s inelegant and certainly not straightforward.

We believe in the transformative power of travel, but there’s no getting around the fact that travel is a burden to the planet. Staying home isn’t the answer, so it’s important that we travelers take responsibility for our wanderings and pay our fair share of the environmental cost of travel.

Carbon offsetting (compensating for your carbon dioxide emissions) is both confusing and essential, and—like many people—we are working on finding a solution that lets us sleep at night. (Carbon capture? Investing in nonprofits that fight climate change? Directly investing in protecting essential habitats like mangroves?)

The long and the short of it is that we should all do something to offset our travel—anything is better than nothing—and we need to not get discouraged. Keep trying, and hopefully this process will become more simplified soon. In the meantime, we will continue to share our learnings and failures, and if we find a solution, you’ll be the first to hear it.

Sometimes. We like to joke that we’re National Geographic’s only amateur photographers. Compared to our talented colleagues, our travel snaps are delightfully average, with our underwater Paralenz camera doing most of the heavy-lifting for us. Wherever possible, we feature images from our more capable friends—keep an eye out for credits and check out their work!

We hear this a lot, and it’s wonderful to know there are so many passionate people out there who want to explore the world and try to leave it better than they found it. What we do is every bit as challenging and rewarding as you imagine. It involves a lot of hard work and a substantial amount of luck. If there were a tried-and-true map to follow, we would absolutely share that. However, what we’ve learned—from our own experience, as well as our colleagues’ paths—is that the three keys to making a dream come true are to follow your passion, keep mastering your craft, and keep trying. And although that sounds like it should be stitched on a pillow, it really is the truth.