We love the Ocean, and we love people that love the Ocean. As you know, the main purpose of Snorkel Around The World is to inspire people to discover the magical underwater world. Therefore we are always happy to get in touch with other like-minded people who have the same passion. Read a true inspirational story, meet Mona from UnderWaterLove!
UnderWaterLove – How the story began
Ever since I took the plunge and learned how to dive in 2006 in Mexico, my vacation hasn’t been complete if it’s not spent near or on the ocean. There’s simply nothing quite as relaxing as a diving holiday. This fascinating world beneath the waves that covers over 70% of our planet has me mesmerized, and I want as much of it as possible in my life. That’s why I go diving at least twice a year.
Once I became more confident and experienced underwater, I started taking a camera with me to document everything I see – and have done so ever since. The snapshots I take help keep me “afloat” during sometimes lengthy dry spells on land (depending on my next destination and my budget) spent working beneath the Frankfurt skyline.
At some point I discovered Instagram, where I initially posted some “holiday recollections”, used filters to touch up and enhance my underwater pictures, and linked them to the dive sites I’d visited. In my head I had the idea of one day having dived in every ocean and visited every famous reef.
Gradually, as my following grew larger Instagram accounts such as DiscoverOcean and PADI reposted some of my images and my popularity increased. I was and am still proud that people seem to like my pictures, even though I’m not a professional photographer, and that I give so many people access to this fascinating world.
The more traction my account gained, the more messages I received. I kept getting asked where I went on vacation, where I slept and whether dive bases and accommodation were good. That’s when I decided to set up my own website, where I could provide details about my destinations, using a lot of images and little text. Authentic, no-frills info for fellow divers and water enthusiasts like myself.
Due to Instagram’s excellent network, I received invitations from small, local dive operators around the world to try them out and post some pictures. Places serviced by major dive operators are often also home to hidden gems, small and authentic local operators, who go out of their way to please charge considerably less for accommodation and dive packages.
How my passion changed my life
What I love and try to share with the world in all its splendour is the same thing I want to protect: the oceans. During my brief spell as a blogger so far, I have been saddened and angered by what I’ve seen happening to some parts of our oceans. Every day, humans commit countless crimes against the inhabitants of the marine world. Whether conscious or not, environmental pollution, overfishing of the seas or the pointless slaughter of so many species.
Each of these issues has weighed heavily on my mind and on more than one occasion caused me physical pain and tears. I often wonder how I can make a change. For quite some time, any donations I make go to protecting the oceans. These concerns influence my decision-making when it comes to shopping for groceries or everyday items. I only shop locally and have consciously halved my own environmental footprint. I don’t throw food away, I pay attention to organic additives in cosmetics without micro-plastics. I try to be environmentally responsible in everything I do, with a focus on protecting marine life. If I find litter when diving I check to see if it endangers animal life and collect and dispose of it if it does. For the future I’ve decided to post this kind of image, too in order to share it with the world. If only a single person follows my example I’ve already succeeded.
Currently, I don’t know what my “UnderWaterLove” project can or will achieve, but I’m open to everything and constantly communicating with like-minded others. I’m grateful for what I’ve experienced so far and look forward to what lies ahead of me. Be it a happy diver who acted on a travel tip of mine, a clean reef or a plastic-free beach: My blogging adventures have just begun.
All photos taken by Ramona ‘Mona’ Wagner with Canon G7x Mark II Camera
Anett fell in love with the ocean immediately when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea back in 2010. Discovering megacities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. She has a big interest in exploring the world’s last hidden underwater paradises and marine conservation. She hopes to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!