Communication, Languages, Curiosity, Wanderlust

Languages and New Horizons

Growing up in a medium-sized town of central Germany, in a “normal”, middle- class family may have been the reason why an eagerness to know the world and curiosity for other cultures grew early in me.

As soon as I could I went away to explore the world and learn new languages which opened up new horizons for me. I went to England and France during school years and studies, spent a semester in the West of the USA, working in Native American reservations, and finally ended up in South East Asia which became my passion.

In search of new horizons but also of adventure, I travelled many countries in this part of the world, several of them like Vietnam, Cambodia or Birma at a time when not many tourists dared to go there. Hence, I met people and landscapes unspoilt by tourism, people I could study, talk with and portray with my camera. I enjoyed hospitality and tasted food I had never tried before.

Especially in South-East Asia but also in Central America I found people with a spirit for enjoying life that I had never seen before, and this often in spite of hardship and much work.

Languages and intercultural skills were the key to genuine contact with these people. Passion for the people, their culture and their way of life as well as the passion for scuba-diving the beautiful waters of the Andaman Sea made me go back to South East Asia every year for more than 25 years. I learnt the language of Thailand to communicate with the people around me and in nearly 1.001 dives I discovered the underwater world – a world I had never dreamt of before, full of colours, tranquility and majestic creatures.

At home, a bicycle takes me anywhere I want to go and allows contact to the landscape and fresh air around me.

My latest passion is the search for a new life in Southern Italy, life by the Adriatic sea, a house set in a huge garden of olive and fruit trees.