I am very happy to announce I just finished the 3rd draft of my book! Just in time too, since today my bags are packed and I am moving back to Europe. Germany and Switzerland at first, then who knows…
September will be spent working very hard on the 4th draft. In October, the search for an agent/publisher will begin in earnest.
The last weeks and days have been fabulous in so many ways. My partner and I have said goodbye to our friends in Macau and Hong Kong. I am humbled by all the love and kindness given us. Thanks so much my friends. I am so lucky to have you in my life. We will meet again!
As of now, there is no way of knowing where we will find a home and work, and when. It could be anywhere and it could take a while. A hard blow was when we had to give away our beloved dogs. To make sure they will be safe and well taken care of, we found our boys a new family. Buzzy and Ricky have been with them for two weeks now and are very happy. For my partner and me it was a heartbreaking experience. We felt as if we had to give away our own children and missed our clumsy boys so much. During the first few days of our separation, our home felt horribly cold and lifeless. We couldn’t stop crying and were ready to storm into our boys’ new home to kidnap them right back. Now, seeing how content they are with their new pack, we still miss them painfully, always will, but we rest assured in the knowledge that they are happy and loved.
Today we are leaving. Writing and living on Lamma Island was amazing. It was an intense, hard, magnificently creative year, and most likely one of the happiest years of my life.
And off we go towards uncertainty!
Beginning of October 2013 I took a chance, left a very unsatisfying job in Hong Kong and decided to go after the dream of a lifetime: writing my memoirs.
It’s been a very tough year. Against all odds – no luck with jobs and no income – my partner and I decided to stick it out on Hong Kong’s idyllic Lamma Island. Underneath the jungle-like foliage, with no cars and only few noises of civilization to distract me, it was the perfect place to focus on a creative project of this magnitude. I spent a good thirty to forty hours each week writing.
Now I am nearing the end of my 3rd draft and will push on one more time to finish a 4th draft by the end of September. Currently I am looking at a good three hundred pages of inspiration, passion, humor, and suspense.
It was the gamble of a lifetime. Finally, after having invested it all, my partner and I have come to the end of the line here in Hong Kong. I am the luckiest man alive to have found a partner with a sense of adventure who also has boundless faith in my abilities. She has never given up supporting my dream of writing this book.
At the end of August, we will finally leave the Asian metropolis and head towards Central Europe for starters. We will try to find a new home, jobs for us both, and hopefully an agent and publisher who will believe in my book as much as I do.
As tough as it has been, it has been amazing to creatively work on a personal project I care about with all my heart. This time of facing all my memories, shortcomings and fears, without a doubt constituted eleven of the most intense and happiest months of my life.
I deeply believe my book has the potential to inspire and change the world just a microscopic little bit. Hopefully for the better.
Thank you so much for all your support so far my friends! Please keep spreading the word. I will, of course, keep you posted and hope you will be one of my readers. I promise you will not regret the wait.
Frogfish. They are amazing: camouflaging themselves as sponges, striking at lightning speed by extending their jaws with one of the fastest muscle reflexes in nature, and last but not least, they are breathing through gills in their legs.
We named this little man Pinocchio. He was a clumsy little fellow. Needing a base to hold on to and blend in with, he picked the one sponge on top of the reef that grew in the middle of the strongest current. He held on for dear life, getting whipped around for months, before he got the message and went in search for a less stressful home.
On one dive, I enjoyed the luxury of staying with little Pinocchio for an entire hour. I just hovered in front of him, enjoying his otherworldly handsomeness. He never moved, just blinked at me every now and then. One of the many magic moments in my big blue home that I will never forget!
My dear grandma Frida. In the picture, I am sixteen and Grandma is seventy-four. She was the steady rock of my childhood. Frida survived two world wars. The love of her life got run over by a train, shortly after they married each other and had a child. In the very conservative Germany of the 1930s, she raised the little girl all by herself, then found another man who was very kind to her, married her, and gave her another child – my father.
Her daughter was taken from her due to a surgeon’s error. He was supposed to simply take out the appendix of the young woman, but in the process cut her liver, causing her untimely death.
Frida’s then only son married a woman who, due to her many neuroses, made my Grandma’s life a living hell for many years to come.
No matter what happened, however, Grandma stayed strong, positive, supportive, with unshakeable good humor and compassion. She was my sanctuary. No matter how much trouble I had, getting accepted by my peers, Grandma let me know without a doubt, I was a good person and worthy of being loved.
In her eighties, Frida broke her hip bone and in a gradual decline lost her good health. One evening, we sat together and looked out the window at the full moon. Already only skin and bones, barely able to lift her fork, she gazed out the window with a smile on her face and said, “Isn’t it a beautiful world we live in?”
My amazing Grandma, her strong heart and soul, will always remain my greatest inspiration.
Very early on, I started writing short stories and poems. It seems, I have started writing my first book at precisely the right moment… and in the process am finding meaning. I love how writing makes me happy, while at the same time enabling me to give something back to the world. It’s for life. I don’t think I will ever stop writing now.
The ocean – vast, energetic, calming, countless shades of turquoise and blue, salty, invigorating, and simply enchanting. For many years, I had been less than beautiful whenever I immersed myself, looking much like a drowning poodle. When I finally became an Advanced Open Water diver, something clicked. In a matter of days, I went from wearing nine pounds of weight to zero. I will never forget the freedom of being truly weightless, silently gliding through the depths. In my room, I was greeted by a whale shark cake. One of my best friends in Switzerland had contacted the hotel in the Maldives and asked them to bake it for me. What a beautiful gesture of support from afar! I ran to the kitchen to organize plates and soon my fellow diving students, our instructor, and I celebrated our success in style.
Sometimes we meet people for only moments, and they inspire us our whole lives. In 2004, I met the gentleman in the red sweater at a birthday party. He was the retired dad of the birthday girl, and had just hit seventy years of age. Being a true Swiss mountain boy, he had never left his home country until he reached retirement. Not long after his last day at work, when he was sixty-five, he informed his family, he would go on a trip. The adventurous senior packed a small backpack and took a plane to Sydney. Not speaking a single word of English, he followed a group of teenage backpackers to a hostel. An idea formed in his mind, and a few days later he asked them, if they wanted to buy an old car together and drive through Australia for a few months. They could help him get around. He had been a mechanic his entire life. In exchange for their help, he would make sure their car survived the trip. They all ended up exploring Australia for many months, in a rusty old van, having the time of their life together. During our short conversation, my friend’s charming dad had us all in awe with his tale. Whenever I am scared to face the unknown, I remember this friendly, positive, old man in his bright red sweater, and off I go, happily plunging ahead towards new horizons.