Originally Posted by The Ghost of Tom Joad
advanced open water nitrox diver here. i would start budgeting or planning a dive trip now. it's no use in doing all that stuff and sitting on it like i did for the first 9 months or so after i got my open water. fly somewhere warm and dive! key west has some great domestic diving and pretty accessible from anywhere. costa rica and mexico can be had pretty cheaply and offers great diving this time of year.
+1. go ASAP! Just make sure that whatever equipment you get (if you don't have your own) is not sketchy or looks poorly maintained. That is my number 1 rule.
I dived in Thailand, Malaysia and The Bahamas... such a good feeling and so peaceful.