Oh hello. I’m Justin Carmack, originally from Colorado, USA. In 2010 I quit university, and started traveling the world, with no goal in mind except to find what I really loved doing. Alone I backpacked though Southern and Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia, all of Central and South America, Australia and most of Europe, on very little money, stopping to work where ever I could.
Eventually I ended up in Egypt, and even though I had gotten PADI Open Water certified in Mozambique years before, Egypt and the famous Blue Hole and Thistlegorm would change my life forever. I started a personal blog about scuba travel, and for one year did nothing but dive daily in Dahab, and write about it. Over time I took Advanced, Rescue and EFR, Deep Speciality, and Divemaster, racking up hundreds of dives that year.
Eventually my blog, and social media platforms (such as Instagram) got popular enough that I started traveling the world again, but this time fully sponsored by tourism boards and PR companies, who wanted me to promote the dive industry in their areas to my large audience. I was also starting to pick up campaign deals, brand sponsorships, ambassadorships and more, and this kept me hopping around the globe to different locations each week for years.
As my readers and social media following grew, people started asking me more and more where the best scuba diving locations in the world were, and I was a little perplexed that I could only answer with things I’ve heard, not experienced. So with the help of many fans and avid divers, I came up with a list of the top 100 scuba diving locations in the world, and then made it my mission to explore, document and write about each and every one, to show the world. As I publicized my mission to the top 100, my blog exploded even more as tourism boards and dive resorts saw their locations on my lost, and wanted to fly me there to make videos about it. I’ve now been to 88 countries on 6 continents, and I feel like I’m just getting started.
Its been one year since I started this journey, and I’ve learned a lot. The first thing I learned is that these locations are far apart and this goal is going to be harder than i thought! But as I look back at my underwater photos and videos from the first locations I did, I am kinda glad I am going slow, so that my content quality can go up (hopefully)! I started my new YouTube Channel this year, and turned my Instagram into primarily dive videos, and I have now crossed off 33 locations (April 2017).
Here are some questions I’ve been asked lately:
Enter Art of Scuba Diving magazine!
In early 2017 I decided that I wanted to go big with this journey, and find more ways to show scuba to the world. I sold my blog, and started Art of Scuba Diving, and am putting all my time into this. The mission will go on, but this site will be a much bigger scale. I kept all of my social media platforms, as those were my own personal followers, and am hoping they continue to follow me on this next journey.
Whats different from the old blog and this?
My old blog was just that: My own person blog and stories. AOS on the other hand will be all about scuba diving and the underwater world, not just me. I won’t be the only face of the site, and I am sending great writers and underwater videographers around the world to create amazing content that my readers want to see. I will also be taking on other full time authors and sporadic contributors, form experts and divers form around the world.
For instance right now I am in Philippines creating a cool series about various dive sites (on or off my list), then I will go to Indonesia and beyond. During all this Aalia will be heading to Mexican cenotes, Belize, Honduras and more. We both have lots of other trips in mind for 2017, that our readers want to see, and have a lot of gear and postcard giveaways planned. We want to make this site very visual and video heavy, and have a ton of cool stuff planned, but we are always open to more ideas as well!
Will I still be writing about my personal stories?
I think so. That kind of writing is kind of relaxing when I’m not editing videos. This site is not about me, and I will not feature my articles about travel or my stories from the road, except the ones about diving (which will mostly just be videos), and people can still watch my progress on the top 100 mission, as well as read guides and information and watch videos from each one. I am also diving a lot of places not on the lost, and feature those too.
Since the blog and personal stories isn’t a priority, it will be slow going before I get many posted. Here is how to reach each page: