Splashpacker is focussed on sustainable tourism, scuba diving destinations and a healthy travel lifestyle, for the conscious traveller

Splashpacker is a dive travel website for the conscious traveller or scuba diver, created by a diving instructor.  It is focussed on sustainable and environmentally friendly companies with a heart for nature, the ocean and the local population. This I combine with a healthy travel lifestyle, for body, mind and spirit. I will write about, but am not limited to, the following categories. 


Whaleshark at the Philippines
Whale Shark, scuba dive & travel the Philippines


1. Conscious travel companies who stand for environmentally responsible & eco-friendly travelling

I try to book as much as possible from touristic companies (like accommodation, restaurants, dive centres, transport, etc) with a heart for nature and the local population, or which are under local management. If possible, I will choose an eco-accommodation and focus on responsible companies that are involved with environmentally friendly activities like, for example, recycling, plastic waste reduction and the use of green energies. In my opinion, sustainability also includes the support of the local population. Also, I try to use public transport as much as possible and prefer taking a boat above a flight if I am able to. 


Adang Sea Divers and Eco Lodge op Ko Lipe Island
Conscious Adang Sea Divers & Eco Lodge on Koh Lipe Island in Thailand

2. Responsible scuba diving centres involved with ocean conservation & environmentally conscious activities

As a scuba dive instructor myself I have seen many companies that are focussed on the numbers only but there also (many times, smaller) companies with a big heart for the marine life making a big difference. I try always to pick a dive centre which is actively involved with ocean conservation like marine life or fish projects, protecting the coral reefs or simply environmental friendly activities like clean-ups and waste reduction management. My preference for a diving centre will always go to the ones having green awards, involved with things like shark projects or just showing how they are involved with helping the environment. Also, I prefer scuba diving school stimulating local people to dive.

Dive team & my colleagues on Dominican Republic
Working as a scuba diving instructor with the local people on the Dominican Republic (I´m the one in the middle)

3. A healthy travel lifestyle for the conscious traveller

After losing both parents of cancer before the age of 30, I became motivated to study Ayurveda for a healthy lifestyle and sometimes I share knowledge gained in this course. One of the most important things I do to maintain my health is a healthy diet. Sometimes I write about good vegetarian places I found on the way.  In addition to nutrition,  I also find it very important to focus on my mind and soul. This I do in the way of an active lifestyle in which I follow my passions, use my creativity and keep my mind busy with many books and always learning new things. My spirit likes to be connected to nature and I keep my own heart open through meditation. I may also write about my personal experiences or these activities.

Different activities I do during travelling
Next to scuba diving, I always find nice sports & activities to stay active during my travels

My travel writing includes practical information, scuba diving centre reviews and personal travel blog posts

I write informative articles about travel destinations for travellers looking for practical travel information. But I also write my personal stories in the form of experiences with different dive centre around the world, some of them also got published on the Scuba News and experience about working around the world as a scuba diving instructor. Beside of that I keep track of diary-like personal travel blog posts and include information about a healthy lifestyle and environmental conscious accommodation or other companies.


Photo beach of Byron Bay in Australia
Byron Bay Beach, Australia 2012



Who is the person behind Splashpacker?

Introduction video about Splashpacker on YouTube:


About Ellis Derkx – experience & professional background

I think, if you did read the above, you have a pretty good idea of my background. But sometimes people like facts, so I will name some as well. I am a Dutch female, born in 1982, but left my home country in 2006 after I was already a few years graduated from ´Breda University of Applied Sciences´, with a Bachelor in Business Administration in Management Tourism. I became a diving instructor and worked as a PADI MSDT on the Canary Islands, Dominican Republic, Maldives, in Mexico and Australia. I also lived in New Zealand for a year and next to teaching diving, I did a lot of other jobs in between. Things like a barista, waitressing, front office work in holiday resorts and e-commerce marketing. I have completed a full-time course in Ayurveda (therapist) and I also completed a course in travel writing with the Australian Writers Centre. I speak 4 languages fluently: Dutch, English, German and Spanish. In my free time, I like reading, painting, running, water sports, cooking and much more, too much to name it all!


The person behind Splashpacker: Ellis Derkx
The person behind Splashpacker: Ellis Derkx.


Sealife & fish paintings on Splashpacker: inspired by the oceans

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 own place, wherever I may be living at that time! For this topic, there is simply no professional background or experience. I only do it because I like it and it brings me relaxation. I use my own dive pictures or photos from Google for inspiration. I usually use acrylic paint and sometimes oil paint, I paint on paper or canvas with the cheapest brushes I can find.

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

What about the book, Safety Stop?

Safety Stop is a book, a memoir or autobiography of more than 10 years in my life. I describe the loss of both my parents to cancer, the fulfilment of my dreams when I work as a diving instructor all over the world, but also the survival of my nightmares when I experience twice a psychosis both in the Philippines and Peru. It’s also my own quest for happiness in life and how I discover that there’s a possibility for a positive transformation in every drama. 

For more information about this book click here.

Manta Ray, Cleaning Station on the Maldives
Manta Cleaning Station, Rasdhoo Atoll, Maldives. Photo taken with Nikon Coolpix by Ellis Derkx 2018

About my travel fever – a traveller at heart…


I was born with travel fever

After a decade of travelling all over 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 again, trusting that every answer comes at the right time

Travelling is my only medicine.



Best food place on Koh Jum
Healthy veggie food at a local food stall on Koh Jum Island, Thailand