About Splashpacker – conscious scuba dive travel

Splashpacker is focused on eco-friendly & conscious scuba dive travel, sustainable tourism, and solo female travel. Here you can read more about my background, my journey as a scuba diving instructor, and how Splashpacker was born.


“I feel it is the duty of one who goes his own way to inform society of what he finds on his voyage of discovery.'”– Carl Jung


Eco-friendly activities during conscious traveling.
Some of the activities I do during traveling to stay active & fit

Born with travel fever

When I was 18 years old, I wanted to get a waitress job to save money to go backpacking in Australia. However, my mother told me that I must go to college, but that I could choose to study whatever I wanted. So I decided to study tourism and graduated four years later with a BBA in Management Tourism at BUas, or NHTV at the time, in the Netherlands.

Scuba dive travel to Egypt made me fall in love with the oceans

After graduating, I worked in the office of a scuba dive travel tour operator in the Netherlands. I went scuba diving in Egypt for a week all by myself and loved it so much. I totally fell in love with the ocean and the marine life of the Red Sea, but also loved traveling alone.


Snorkeling with the whale shark during dive travel in the Philippines
I snorkeled with the whale shark in the Philippines.

I decided to become a scuba diving instructor and travel the world

So two years after graduating, and after having worked double jobs for a year, I left the Netherlands to do my Divemaster internship. I worked as a divemaster on Gran Canaria for one year, at the same time waitressing in the evenings to save up for my dive gear and for doing the Instructor Development Course.

Worldwide scuba dive travel as a diving instructor

Finally, I did my dive instructor course in the Dominican Republic where I worked as an OSWI (Open Water Scuba Instructor) for 6 months before starting a dive instructor job in Mexico. There I became an MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) and later I also worked in the Maldives, Australia, and did a bit of freelance work and scuba dive travel in South East Asia. You can read more about the journey to becoming a diving instructor here.


Pro Marine Watersports in the Dominican Republic
Working as a scuba diving instructor with the local people in the Dominican Republic (I´m the one in the middle)
Veligandu Island Resort in the Maldives is a great place to scuba dive travel.
I worked as a sucba diving instructor in the Maldives (Veligandu Island Resort)


I did many other jobs whilst working abroad too

I also worked in New Zealand for a year. Besides working as a diving instructor, I also did many other kinds of jobs. I’ve been working as a receptionist in the front office of resorts in Spain, worked as front of the house manager in a breakfast & lunch place in New Zealand, waitressed, cleaned hostels, and worked in an office doing e-commerce in Australia so I could stay longer in the country on visa sponsorship.

I did a lot of scuba dive travel in between working as a diving instructor in different countries

I’ve always traveled as much as possible in between changing jobs and locations. From Mexico, I went on a little trip to Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. I visited Sri Lanka after working in the Maldives (and returned to Sri Lanka three more times, years later). I went to Peru by myself and I’ve done quite a lot of traveling in Europe too. I also solo traveled in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia (Bali), and Singapore, and also did some scuba dive travel in those countries.


Buddha statue in Kandi in Sri Lanka
Over the years, I’ve visited and traveled in Sri Lanka four times


SUP at night with the fireflies, over the Loboc river in the philippines
Stand up paddle over the river at night with the fireflies in Loboc in the Philippines

How Splashpacker was born: sustainable tourism & environmentally conscious scuba dive travel

I saw so many destructive and mass tourism destinations whilst working & traveling around the world, that I became motivated to focus on sustainable tourism & eco-conscious scuba dive travel. Sometimes there are those companies that make a big difference for the environment and local population. I try to stay in eco-friendly accommodations and to scuba dive with responsible diving centers during my scuba dive travels as much as I can.

Sustainable tourism is more than eco-conscious travel

Sustainable tourism is more than environmentally conscious traveling by staying in eco-lodges and minimizing your carbon footprint, like taking a boat or bus instead of a plane (if you can do so timewise). Sustainable traveling also means supporting the local communities or companies that are involved with ocean conservation or eco-friendly activities like recycling projects for example. I always try to maintain a conscious travel lifestyle, Splashpacker stands for conscious scuba dive travel.


Conscious scuba dive travel also involves supporting the local population (Koh Jum Island, Thailand)
I like to support the local population during my travels. This was my favorite place to eat on Koh Jum Island in Thailand

Ayurveda for a healthy diet & conscious travel lifestyle

After losing both of my parents to cancer, before I turned 30, I decided to study Ayurveda. I was always a big fan of healthy nutrition, conscious living, and meditation. I completed a one-year full-time study to become an Ayurvedic therapist with the European Institute of Vedic Studies. I sometimes write about Ayurveda or healthy nutrition too.

Safety Stop Book: a memoir of my years as a diving instructor & the loss of my parents

Safety Stop is a memoir about more than 10 years of my life. I describe the loss of both my parents to cancer, the fulfillment of my dreams when I worked as a diving instructor all over the world, the scuba dive travels I did, and also the spiritual search and inner journey I started. It’s also a quest for happiness in life and how I discovered that there’s a possibility for a positive transformation in every drama. Click here for more information about the Safety Stop Book.


Manta Ray during scuba dive travel in the Maldives
Manta Cleaning Station, Rasdhoo Atoll, Maldives. Photo taken with Nikon Coolpix as dive travel camera by Ellis Derkx.

Splashpacker YouTube channel in addition to the conscious scuba dive travel blog

Next to blogging, I also created a YouTube channel a few years ago. It’s focused on the same topics as the Splashpacker website. I share about environmentally conscious scuba dive travel, tips for solo female travel, scuba dive destinations, working as an instructor abroad, and sustainable tourism. And I occasionally publish underwater scuba dive videos there.

Sometimes I also do product reviews or packing lists that can be useful for travelers with a similar travel style like female travel, working abroad and scuba dive travel. I also write about all these topics on the Splashpacker website. Feel free to subscribe to my channel. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/@splashpacker

Splashpacker YouTube channel is also focused on conscious scuba dive travel
A screenshot of one of my YouTube videos of scuba diving with the sharks in Rasdhoo Atoll in the Maldives


Travel writing, The Scuba News guest writer & NameCheap sponsorship for female entrepreneurs

I’ve completed courses in travel writing & blogging with the Australian Writers Center in Sydney. Splashpacker is created from scratch and I’ve built the website myself in WordPress. I’ve been a guest blogger for the Scuba News and Splashpacker recently won a sponsorship by NameCheap for female entrepreneurs with a unique business idea. Back in the years, I kept a personal travel blog on waarbenjij.nu when I worked as a diving instructor.

Who is the person who founded Splashpacker, the conscious scuba dive travel website?


Ellis Derkx founder of Splashpacker conscious scuba dive travel blog
This is me, the face behind the Splashpacker 🙂

Please forgive me if I didn’t introduce myself at all. My name is Ellis Derkx and I think the above information gives you an idea about my background and why I became motivated to create a travel blog and website focused on eco-conscious scuba dive travel and sustainable tourism. There’s also a little introduction video about Splashpacker on YouTube.


Next to traveling, scuba diving, writing, and creating videos for the Splashpacker YouTube channel, I like reading, running, other watersports, meditation, hiking, Pilates & vegetarian cooking, I’m also fluent in 4 languages: Dutch, English, German, and Spanish. Oh yes, and I like to paint too!

Inspired by the ocean: marine life & fish paintings on Splashpacker

For relaxation, I like to paint sometimes, but I am only inspired by the oceans. I make them for friends and family, as a gift or just to decorate my place, wherever I find myself living at the time! I like it and I find painting to be very relaxing. I use my own scuba dive travel pictures or photos from Google for inspiration. I usually use acrylic paint and sometimes oil paint, and I paint on paper or canvas. For a collection of all my paintings, you can click on this link.

Painting of a sea turtle
One of the ´Splashpacker´ paintings: sea turtle

Feel free to sign up for my mailing list below, or to follow me on social media by scrolling a bit further down. Thank you for visiting Splashpacker! Happy bubbles & safe tavels to you <3


“I was born with travel fever.

After a decade of traveling all around the world, working abroad, and diving deep as a scuba diving instructor, I still didn’t find the answers I was looking for.

Then I started an inner journey, to find the truth we all own deep inside. I learned again to trust and follow that. It told me to go back on the road, trusting that every answer would come at the right time.

Traveling is my only medicine.”

– Ellis Derkx


Byron Bay in Australia is a great place to visit for scuba dive travel.
Byron Bay Beach, Australia 2012