Meet Scott Shuman
Scott Shuman believes that you cannot live a positive life with a negative attitude. He strives to help others overcome their obstacles through both his business and personal endeavors. Scuba diving for Scott is no exception.
Scott moved to Thailand from California in 2012, and when not underwater, you will find this busy entrepreneur blogging on his website at workwithwoody.com, updating his Scuba Diving Lifestyle Facebook page, teaching conversational English to residents in Thailand, or working online to help his clients “improve their lifestyles and create residual income and freedom to live a life with purpose.”
Scott, how long have you been scuba diving?
Since 2008. I originally did a couple of discovery dives and immediately fell in love with it. After that, I went back to Monterey, California, to get my Open Water Certification.
How often do you currently dive?
Probably once a month. I dive more, of course, when I’m on vacation. We get extended holidays here, so my friends and I will go to a nearby island and scuba dive for four or five days as often as we can.
How did you come to reside in Thailand? What brought you here?
I re-connected with an old friend on Facebook and then on the phone, and we decided to plan a trip together. As we put together our top lists of places to visit, it came down to Brazil and Thailand. My friend, Morgan, had never been to Thailand, and neither had I, so we started to do research in August of 2008, and we traveled to Thailand, did our discovery dives, and absolutely fell in love with scuba diving.
My friend and I also traveled to Singapore and all over Thailand and then we came back to Thailand again the following year. We decided to come back out on New Year’s for an island party on an island with tens of thousands of people there, who were all foreigners.
I started working at a restaurant that was right next door to a Thai restaurant, and I ate at the Thai restaurant almost every single day and became really good friends with a lot of other Thai people, and especially with Nadia. They started teaching me words in Thai, and were so nice. So I came back to Thailand a few times and started connecting with people, and then when I went back home (to the USA) I was always thinking about when and how I could get back to Thailand.
So I started researching to learn how I could come back to Thailand, live legally and be able to contribute to society and dive more. So that’s when I started to look into the teaching program. Then I started selling my belongings, my vehicles, getting rid of junk in my apartment and made baby steps towards moving here. I took two or three months off and traveled to Indonesia, Vietnam, the Maldives and other places, and then I started putting out my CV (resume) to find a job in Thailand.
How long have you lived in Thailand altogether?
About 19 months.
What are your current scuba certifications?
Advanced Open Water.
Describe your most memorable dive.
Tulumben, Bali, in 2013, a Shipwreck Dive. My buddies Louis, Mark and I hired a guy to take us through the ship and so were able to see many beautiful, colorful forms of marine life. It was my first time catching a dive on video (beside a video I had paid for in a previous dive) because my buddy had just purchased a GoPro. We saw a turtle elevating itself on a ledge eating seaweed off the side of the boat, not disturbed by our presence.
Another would be in the Maldives. The Maldives’ crystal clear waters have some of my highest points when it comes to diving. The exotic islands were just so amazing. With it being only a four-hour flight, I hope to go in the very near future.
Where would you most like to dive (where you have not been yet)?
What is your favorite piece of dive gear or gadget?
This is strange, but I pack very light, so when I travel I rent everything at the shops I go to. However, I would like to buy a nice dive watch.
What is the latest dive gear you have purchased?
What do you enjoy doing while not diving?
My girlfriend and I spend a lot of time looking for new islands to visit. If we aren’t already at the beach, then I’m blogging about my travel experiences or off riding my CBR on some crooked roads.
What is something that people may find surprising about you?
I freak out sometimes a little bit when I first put the regulator in my mouth. I cannot just go down right away, and it is usually on my first dive. I put my face in the water, adjust my mask and look around and then I’m okay. By the second or third dive, I just jump right in.
Tell us about what you do for a living.
I teach conversational English part-time. It’s been a rewarding experience and I feel a sense of belonging because I’m helping out the community.
When I’m not doing that, I’m teaching people how to get paid scuba diving anywhere in the world. I teach people how to use a blogging system, talking about what they like, creating a bridge between people over the internet, creating content and sharing it, bringing people back to your blog or website. So people can take their laptop with them almost anywhere in the world and do whatever it is that they like to do and make money doing it.
How many languages do you speak?
I studied Spanish, and having lived in California and in New Mexico, you get plenty of opportunities to speak Spanish. So I know a little bit of Spanish and I’ve been studying a little bit of Thai out here. I mostly teach conversational English to 12 to 14-year olds, or to businesses that have a lot of foreign customers, wherever the demand is.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our dive community?
Just have fun, but be respectful. Unfortunately I see a lot of people litter here in Thailand and it is very distracting, especially people who just want to visit islands and they go off swimming and don’t throw away trash. This trash goes into the ocean. Trash is harmful to marine life. We need to protect our oceans.