The ocean …
… is an exciting place: safe and peaceful but dangerous and scary at the same time.
… makes me feel alive.
… washes away everything.
… fuels my creative juices.
… teaches and challenges me.
… forms communities and gift me with friends.
… is a source of life.
… needs to be protected.
A mountain girl who loves the ocean
My passion, curiosity and fascination for the ocean has sparked in me for as long as I can remember, although growing up in the Black Forest Highlands in South Germany surrounded by mountains and lakes.
“You were the little mermaid”, my parents keep telling me because I would spend more time in the water than on land. People would always find me somewhere near the water.
On vacation, our parents used to take me and my younger brother on many beautiful snorkeling trips around Europe and the Sinai. The most memorable experience I had was when snorkeling at the diving location “The Blue Whole” southeast of Dahab (Egypt). A submarine sinkhole with a maximum depth within the hole of just over 100 metres. I had never seen anything like that before. I swam right next to my dad circling the coral reef again and again. The underwater world was so beautiful that it felt unreal – all these marvelous corals, fishes and colours. I am still dreaming about this experience today. However, I can also remember that all these rising air bubbles from deep down (now I know that these were from scuba divers) scared me a lot. Instead of closing my eyes waiting to get eaten by a big fish *just kidding*, I kept staring into the dark blue to figure out where they came from. I was curious.
Fun fact: When growing up, I wanted to become either a horse trainer or marine biologist. Well, life has happened – in a good way. Today, I’m using my marketing skills to inspire people for the outdoor sports, nature and to act responsible in order to protect it.
When I moved to San Diego, California, for my studies, I experienced life at the sea for the very first time. And as you might have guessed, I absolutely loved it. I picked up surfing again, went on snorkeling trips and tried standup paddling. Since then I have done a million and one things related to water sports: I accomplished a PADI Open Water course, learned how to kitesurf and wakeboard and continued to surf (although not on a regular basis).
I know that I need to be somewhere near the water, ideally the ocean, which brought us (me and my partner) to Bali in 2018.
The trash experience in Bali
Before our trip, we had already been aware of the plastic problem and had started to consciously avoid single use plastic wherever possible. Back home in the Black Forest, however, we had lived more or less in a bubble, as we could not directly see the negative consequences of plastic pollution.
But Bali showed us the ugly truth. We spent two months on the island from October until December – just about when the monsoon season began. So even more plastic stranded on the beaches. On really bad days, we swam in plastic and the whole coastline was plastered with it. I could not just watch, I had to do something. So I went to beach clean-ups organized by the amazing people of Trash Hero Bali.
I have also become more outspoken on social media addressing the issue of plastic pollution. I knew I wanted to dedicate my work power to a greater cause that has a positive impact on our world.
Hell yeah Five Oceans, I’m in!
I am definitely not one of the complainers. I rather prefer to be proactive because I am a strong believer in taking actions that life happens for you rather than to you.
So here I am now. Super stoked and grateful to be a voice in Five Oceans’ mission. By repurposing the ocean composite in order to produce high quality products that make surfers and nature lovers alike happy, we also create a positive change for cleaner oceans. In my opinion, that is definitely a damn good reason worth getting up every morning.
I am also aware that we need to find a solution for the origin of the plastic problem by avoiding single use plastic and using alternative systems, technologies and materials. I cannot wait to dive deeper into that topic and grow along the way.
My goal with Five Oceans is to learn more, inspire more, do more and thrive more for a brighter future for all of us. I am very excited. Let’s get started!