- DIVER: Ileana Argyris
- NATIVE COUNTRY: USA
- CATEGORY: Adventurer
- DIVE: Traveler (World)
- LEVEL: 1
- REQUIREMENTS: Level 1 (Has been to 1 foreign country)
When and why did you decide to pursue this dive?
I have always wanted to travel, but my first opportunity to travel out of the country arose in 2007 when I was 12 years old. I was part of my school’s robotics program and we were building an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for a regional competition. We had worked days and nights on the ROV and our hard work paid off! We won the competition, earning a spot at the international ROV competition in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. There was only one problem. We had one month to get our passports and fundraise enough money for six kids and five adults to attend the competition.
How long did it take for you to accomplish this dive from the day you decided to pursue it, and why did it take that long?
My team and I worked every day that month to raise the money to attend the competition. We had bake sales and sold other tasty treats. We participated in radio interviews. We asked for help from a local television station and got an ad made for us. We sent PR announcements and went to businesses with general letters asking for help. Our community stepped up to the challenge and helped us to make our dreams come true. Everyone wanted to give us a chance to represent Hawaii and make our community proud. Thanks to the community’s support, we booked the tickets to Canada, got our passports in order, and showed up at the competition.
What do you think was the hardest part about achieving this dive level?
The hardest part of this dive was getting the funds for the entire team to attend the competition. The competition was a month after our regional, so the plane ticket prices and hotel prices were high. We had to budget everything out and schedule flights with a day or so worth of layovers to bring costs down. Scheduling our flights this way allowed us to explore different places! It also allowed us to spend money on new experiences, like museums, candy shops, and a waterpark in one of our layover cities!
What do you think was the easiest part about this dive level?
The easiest part was that we were traveling to a country that is accessible to US citizens. If we were from a different country, I could only imagine how more stressful this process would have been. We would have had to rush getting visas and would have needed to have the funds before we applied for our visas. Because the US has an agreement with Canada, once we had the money, we were able to book the tickets and go. Another easy part was that it is a country that speaks English!
What is your advice for someone who is pursuing this dive and level?
For traveling in general, I would suggest that you book your tickets in advance. I also suggest separating your journey into shorter legs if you are able to. Spend a few days in a new place and book tickets for a flight a few days later if it’s cheaper and reasonable to do so. Make sure you aren’t spending more than the difference in the airfare if you are trying to keep costs down! If you want to see what it’s like to travel to another country, for starters, just go to a country that is nearby and speaks the same language as you do. You will get to connect with the people, learn about them, and not get lost in translation.
What are some of the best resources you recommend to those pursuing this dive at this level, and why do you recommend them? Please include relevant weblinks, if applicable.
I always look at Google Flights when I want to book airplane tickets. Their algorithm always shows me the best deals and days for trips that I want to take. My trip to Canada was before the creation of Google Flights, so our go-to sites were Orbitz and Expedia. Here is the link: https://www.google.com/flights
Another great resource is YouTube! You can search for places other travelers have been to and find unique experiences to try. YouTubers often give you tips about the places they visit, so travel vlogs are well worth the watch!
Tell us a story of one of your adventures pursuing this dive.
It was my school’s second time participating in the regional competition. My team had worked very hard on this ROV. The competition is not only about having a working robot. Teams also have to give a technical presentation, write a 20-page technical report, and create a poster board display. We spent hours going over our 20-page technical report and practicing our presentations. We went to the pool five times a week to practice and get our timing down for the missions before the regionals.
This continued after the regionals as well. The first part of summer had us fundraising in the morning and early afternoons and at the pool practicing in the evenings. We were the ONLY middle school team to compete at the international competition. Our competitors were high school and university students!
And… we surprised every person we met at the competition. During the judging for our technical presentation, one of the judges told us “Are you sure you aren’t first-year MIT students?” It was an amazing feeling.
Sure, we had some issues with the missions, especially because the environment we were competing in was a lot more challenging than the one we were competing in before. But we received an award for best electrical diagram explanation, our technical report received fifth place, and we received an award for innovation!
What was our innovation? We used velcro underwater!
The next year, guess what happened? Many of the mission props also used velcro! Inspired by us!
This memory is still one that I am very proud of. I will remember it my entire life! This experience is why I believe that anything is possible. A team of middle school students built an ROV, raised the money to go to the competition, and proved to the world that age is just a number!
If life presents you an opportunity, take it. You don’t know what wild adventure it will lead to!
How did you prove you met the requirements for this level?
Here are some photos of me and my team in competition in Canada.
And here is the proof that I won the competition! https://kohalacenter.org/pdf/june2007leaflet.pdf
Will you be pursuing the next level? If so, why? If not, why not?
I will pursue the next levels. I have been to quite a few countries and am very excited to share more about my adventures!
And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Ileana Argyris is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: ADVENTURER – TRAVELER (WORLD) – LEVEL 1. Congratulations Ileana! Thank you for being an inspiration to others!
The author above wrote this WYSEguidance post as one of the certification requirements to become certified by Break Diving, Inc. for a dive completed. Would you also like to find greater success, happiness, and friendship, and make genuine supportive connections with others around the world pursuing your same dreams? We will certify you in your life accomplishments, and help you find new dives to pursue! Come join us at www.breakdiving.io and soon your story will be the next one you read about on this site!