2014 has been an exciting year for me – with many ups as well as downs. In January I was still living in Dahab, Egypt having a small house, my eternal brother Rox living with me and was diving almost every day. After almost 7 years a place in Africa had again become my home. Only one important part was missing – my girlfriend Gülsah. I think, if she would have been with me, we might still be living there.. I miss Dahab.
End of January I then returned to Germany and found a cold and grey life. I didn´t have a flat and didn´t really know what to do here. So I spent much time working and hanging out in Aachen, where Gülsah lives. We had a beautiful reunion with my dog Rox, that was brought to Germany after I had left Dahab. The days passed and I tried to find a purpose, tried to find out what I wanted to do in life and how to continue my path. I had my Bachelor of Science but how to combine my passions with my life and my further study plans? I decided to spend a few months in Krk, Croatia doing kind of an internship. I was supposed to teach little children about the biology of the Adria and gain some teaching skills. Unfortunately this trip was a complete disaster and after a little more than a week I flew home. The people I had to work for were only after money and didn´t care at all about environmental issues. After a few days we had a talk and both of us agreed that this wasn´t gonna work. One their side it was only about business and blinking dollar signs and on my side it was more about educating young (sometimes more, sometimes less) motivated children to become passionate ocean advocates.. I really have a different understanding of life and education and the price I had to pay was to leave again and go back to Germany. So be it then.
Anyway, if there is one thing that life has taught me, then that it goes on until we die. So back in Germany I made a different plan. Gülsah and I had planned a second reunion with Rox and spent almost two weeks in the beautiful northern Germany. Here, one can still find untouched nature and relax within the hundreds of lakes and forests. In the meantime I had applied for the ISATEC master in Bremen and finally was approved, which marked kind of a turning point for me. I couldn´t have been more happy about this. There wasn´t really an alternative to this master for me, either this or nothing. Why would I want to make trade-offs regarding my life? Once again, my Karma was good and my path was about to continue in the right direction.
Before I finally moved to Bremen, we had a wonderful sail trip around Mallorca – the first sail trip I´ve ever been on. It was beautiful and very inspiring. Moving only with the force of wind, completely in harmony with nature was an intense experience. We had lots of time to think, to sort the last months and to clear our heads. Besides that we spent our evenings talking and drinking some tasty wines and beers 😉
In November the master program then started and I had to get used to a complete different life – every day I had (and still have) to be at uni now and usually from the morning till the evening. Sometimes it really feels like a nine to five job. Nevertheless I couldn´t imagine anything better to study. All topics are really interesting and everything I had read already and been into is now lectured in detail and with scientific background. In November we went on a field trip to Helgoland, where we all got to know each other better and had a great time. Our group is great, students from all over the world, be it Africa, South America, Oceania or Europe.
What´s up for 2015?
This year starts for me with a little experiment and detoxification: At least a month without alcohol and tobacco and living 100% vegan. Until now it goes real smooth, and especially omitting the cigarettes really boosts my organism and overall well being. In six weeks time I´ll be flying to Brisbane, Australia, where Gülsah will be living for around six months. She´s gonna collect data at the Great Barrier Reef for her master thesis in ecotoxicolgy. Approximately in October this year I will be heading for the tropics as well to start my abroad semester and collecting data for my theses. Where I am going is not yet clear, but I am looking into the western central pacific, but we will see! The most important thing in life to have dreams and work for them. I have more dreams than I can sleep and I am sure many of them will be fulfilled in my lifetime, in´shallah!
Here are a couple of images taken during 2014 that belong to my personal favorite ones to to one reason or the other. I hope you enjoy them! Happy 2015 to all of you!
Tom is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker and Marine Biologist specializing in conservation imagery & film, photojournalism, and promotional tourism work. Tom has won several awards, his films have been screened on film festivals throughout the world, and his images and stories have been published in dozens of articles in international magazines.
Tom is based in Suva, Fiji Islands and shares his workload between environmental assignments and promotional tourism work throughout the Pacific. In 2020, Tom founded Pacific Media House, a company offering photography & film services all across the Pacific.
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