Hi. We are Galen & Nicole, authors of this site and our eBook snorkeling guides. It probably goes without saying, but we are really in love with snorkeling and thoroughly enjoy sharing all of our travel stories, pictures and snorkeling tips with you.
Traveling is our passion; feeling free, seeing new places, and exploring the beautiful outdoors. That is what turns us on. We try to take three big snorkel trips a year. And we like to explore for 17 days to a month at each location.
Before we started down this road we owned a small massage therapy and natural health store business in northwest Washington state. We were working our tails off, up to ninety hours a week. The business was doing well, paying us, and five employees. But it was destroying our health and happiness, but fortunately not our marriage, which is apparently made of sturdier stuff.
Why? Here was the hard to admit truth. We were doing something that we really did not want to do - slaving away in a building from 9am to 8pm every day - in order to get something in our life that we passionately wanted - travel and freedom of time.
In was a very hard lesson to swallow. It just about killed Galen. How can success be a failure? How can quitting be the right choice?
The lesson - you can't happily get what you want by doing what you don't want. That became very clear, and it changed our lives from then on.
And the result of that realization? To wrap up a torturous long decision and a bunch of work into a few words - we sold the business.
Hawaii here we come. After selling our business we needed some time to just relax and rethink our direction in life. Fortuitously one of our previous employees had a friend on the Big Island of Hawaii who needed house-sitters for a couple of months. Perfect!
And where were we house-sitting? Of all places, a favorite snorkel spot from our past - Kealakekua Bay. We snorkeled a bunch, ate lots of dark chocolate macadamia nuts (and drank lots of Kona beer!). Mostly we thought about what we wanted to do next.
This experience did not immediately give us the idea of making a website about snorkeling. But it did make super clear that we love snorkeling.
And in retrospect it is clear that we were starting down a path, based on our decision to have a better life.
At that point in our lives a couple of things were clear. We wanted to work less, and have a higher quality of life that allowed us to travel more. No longer were we willing to trade the quality of our life now for a "future" better life.
We decided to move to Tucson, Arizona. We love the desert for the sunny weather and harsh beauty, and Tucson offers lots of outdoor hiking and scenery. Plus the cost of living in Tucson is low, allowing us to work part time, with freedom to travel.
And what a great new direction in life that turned out to be. We were enjoying ourselves, bought our first house, and most importantly we were traveling, which led to making this website.
What do you hear most about choosing a new profession? Do what you love. We both love travel and snorkeling, and Galen actually has a degree in photography and writing, so it all came together naturally.
The main incentive for creating this site is because of a problem we encounter over and over on our snorkeling trips, a lack of quality information about where to snorkel. Nearly every website and and book is diving focused, with some pretty worthless and incorrect snorkeling information thrown in. We also ran across this lack of snorkeler specific information about equipment, photography, and safety.
So we decided to fix this problem and began making this website that is snorkeling-centric. We wanted to give the best information possible on snorkeling locations, equipment, photography, safety, and the fun related to snorkeling. We also enjoy to provide ongoing entertainment through our blog, newsletter, new web pages and our facebook page, for people who just want to dream about their next trip (but are currently just goofing off at work).
Along the way we have grown a community of like minded snorkeling nuts who also enjoy to share their stories, pictures and advice here.
The great news is that after working many years on this we now do it full time. Our business is called G&N Web Publishing, which encompasses this website, our eBooks, advertising sales and a couple of other websites. It took awhile to get here, and we continue to take our time growing the business, making sure that each step is lined up with the quality of life we desire.
We balance each other out very nicely doing this "work", in terms of the temperament and the skills required to create these resources and to operate our small web publishing business. Galen tends to do a bit more of the photography and graphic design, and although we both write Nicole is by far the better editor.
Do you really need to ask? Look at Galen's self portrait on the right, working on the website in Belize! We get to travel to some of the most stunning places on earth. Isn't that enough? Well no, not really.
As you can imagine, traveling costs a lot. But we are repaid in several different ways. The most obvious is through our eBook snorkeling guide sales. We also sell advertising on our website, and have affiliate relationships with some of our favorite vendors (we make a small percentage of each sale, at no increase in cost to you). Hopefully you will look at these as ways to support what we are doing. In addition we have a couple other websites as part of our business.
You Could Do This
If you crave some of the freedom we have created for ourselves, it is fully possible. The unique company that we use for our website provides an amazing blueprint and resources for creating an income website. We learned nearly everything we needed to know from them. They are called Site Build It!. Lots of folks make travel sites like ours, or on other topics they love, and make a great living doing it. Here you can see the great variety of sites people create.
Besides our love of traveling to snorkeling destinations, we do our best to enjoy all the rest of our hours as well. We both love hiking and the outdoors, where Galen explores his love of landscape photography. And both of us are really enjoying being homeowners, with all the chores and projects that come with that.
That is about it. We will add some updates here as our life moves along. We wish everyone the joy that we are experiencing.
Galen & Nicole