Since I was born my life has always been related and connected to the sea and the ocean.
Firstly, when I was two years old I and my family left our birth country, France, to Sri Lanka. We lived there for four years. Then my daily life was pretty much defined by going to school in the morning and going to the sea in the afternoon and practicing snorkeling for hours and hours. My mother could not stop me. Also, my grandmother always told me this story: she came to visit us in Sri Lanka for Christmas and she brought me to the swimming pool of the hotel. I was only 3 years old, yet I jumped in the water and swam under and in the water like I was used to. For a moment she was scared because it was the first time she saw her 3 years old little grandchild jumping in the water without any floaters and protection.
I came back to France when I was six years old, and I started swimming competitions. Still, in contact with the water. Then when I turned on seventeen I passed my Lifeguard diploma in order to work on the beach. Still, in contact with the sea. Since then, every summer, I am working on the beach and I have to admit that it is the best working place ever. Every day, every hour and sometimes every minute the weather and the sea change. It’s always a spectacular moment when I arrive on the beach early in the morning; I take my paddle board, go offshore and just admire the sea’s peaceful spirit. At this moment, it’s like she is waking up slowly with the morning breeze and by the morning warm lights.
Also, every year I go to the West Coast of France to surf. This sport teaches me to realize that nothing is more powerful than waves. It is one of the rare sports where it is the water element that drives and controls you. Of course when you surf a wave you can turn on yourself and do some acrobatics movements, but in each case you cannot be aware of if the wave is going to change while you surf it, or if it is going to crash on you. To summarize, these sports teach us how to read and respect the power of the ocean, because if you do not you can be hurt.
Regarding my studies, after high school I started studying political science in Montpellier. These studies allowed me to study abroad, in Greece, in Athens. I chose this destination because I wanted to pass my scuba diving diploma while continuing studying political science. Actually, in itself political science is not the study that passionate me the most but it makes me understand how government and politics and the decision making process works in different countries and institutions. After high school I wanted to study humanitarian cooperation this is why I chose this branch of studies. But my expectations changed after my first road trip alone.
I was eighteen, and after my first year of studies I took the decision to come back to Sri Lanka for one month alone. I wanted to reconnect myself with my childhood and see things with adult eyes. During my travels, I surfed and met wonderful people and friends. But I also saw the dark side of Sri Lanka: corruption, pollution, lack of awareness about plastic use and climate change, lake of education and massive precarity. Then, when I came back to France I decided to change my study plans and shift to focus on environmental protection, particularly, marine ecosystem preservation. I also became a volunteer in Surfrider Foundation Europe, an NGO which works for ocean protection. And now I am a founding member, along with others advocates for the ocean preservation cause, of the Youth4Ocean forum.
So if you, like us, have a special relationship and connection with the ocean or the sea, and want to join the fight to preserve it, join us.