Looking at my last year it’s been interesting to say the least… Having lived in Cairo since last October (a pretty hectic place there were moments of peaceful reflection) I was growing tired of the nature of the work I was doing and the feeling of isolation (although probably self perpetuated)… Cairo certainly isn’t for the faint hearted and each time I returned I would question more and more seriously what I was doing in there. Not that I didn’t enjoy the work. After providing my expertise to provide insights to guide humanitarian assistance for the most acute crises of our time (the Syrian, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine) is certainly rewarding if you can abstract yourself from the exhaustion of repeatedly dealing with the diplomacy of improving the manner in which our offices deal with data… After multiple trips to Ukraine, Iraq, Amman (and a random trip to Albania), I figured it was time to take a break. The 4 months prior to this I’d been working out of Bangkok with two trips to Central African Republic and Cambodia… then a couple of months in Malawi… so you can imagine that having traveled, lived and worked in a total of 13 countries (passing through 2 others), I figured I should take a break of an indeterminate period of time.
Having said that, the final couple of weeks couldn’t have ended better… with a trip into the White Desert with friends (and a little photoshoot for them to make up for the fact that their wedding photographer didn’t turn up until late in the evening a few months prior), and a diving trip to Sharm el Sheikh to end it all…
As I’m not so great at relaxing (I just vegetate rather than do anything terribly constructive) I decided that diving was the way to go… why not?! After all I enjoy it and I can add underwater photography to my skill set. In my enthusiasm diving wasn’t enough, I decided that I should do some more courses… so on to becoming a PADI Dive Master with Wicked Diving in Khao Lak (Thailand)… seeing as I have plenty of time to spare, and Wicked Diving gives some discount (on account that I’m taking a course with them) on their liveaboard trips I’m also doing some diving from a boat in Komodo, Indonesia 🙂
Life is tough… of course there’s lots of studying to do for the courses and stuff to buy (some required some for pleasure)… more on that shortly… 🙂