Tom grew up on yachts sailing around New Zealand and racing dinghies in his hometown Wellington. After studying English literature at University he traveled through Europe, living in France for two years. Returning to New Zealand he worked for five years for the New Zealand government negotiating reparations for historical injustices against Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Tom and his wife moved to Colombia in 2018 to establish the New Zealand Embassy in Bogota, where he now lives. Tom holds various sailing qualifications including RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and has amassed over 20,000 nautical miles sailing through the Pacific, Southern Ocean and Caribbean.