Hello all & Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a blast seeing in 2015 – Nothing spectacular actually happened on camp, it merely consisted of lots of drinking & party games until the midnight countdown which took place on the beach followed by some of the locals letting of fireworks and people dancing around being merry – was definitely my kind of evening! :)
Since my last post, quite a lot has changed this end, starting with me leaving surf camp! I’ll go into more detail about that because I’ve had decisions to make but I’ll start by saying that since I left, I’m actually starting to feel like I’m holiday and enjoying what Australia has to offer! It was sad to say goodbye to my surfing family because we all got so close spending so much time together and living together, I’m going to miss seeing their faces and hearing their voices everyday but I know I’ll see them back in Europe if not before – there’s a big Europe trip to be planned!
I had 3 days to kill before flying out to Thailand and what an AWESOME 3 days they’ve been! My fellow surfer friend Anne left camp the same day as me and conveniently flew to Thailand on the same day as me so we decided to take a few days to chill out in Byron Bay which is rapidly becoming my Australian home. Anne had never been before so it was the perfect excuse to go back, as soon as we arrived we instantly felt relaxed. Byron has that vibe about it where you can just breath it’s air and you feel chilled, with its barefoot hippies walking around everywhere and you can always here some sort of live music whatever time of day it is. We only spent one full day there but we spent it wisely, we started with our first documentation of our trip – a tattoo. We were both keen on getting one and knew what we wanted so we spontaneously decided to create a memory and get tattooed in Byron Bay.
We spent most of the day walking around enjoying the sunshine, before an old friend of mine from back home who is now living in Surfers Paradise decided to drive down for the day with his friends. I hadn’t realised how long it had actually been since we last saw each other until we spoke about it but 5 years have passed since we last met! – ooops!
After some drinking and ice cream eating, Barni & Co drove back to Surfers Paradise and we decided to just buy some food and ciders and enjoy the beach life as the sun went down. This turned into a few hours enjoying a free silent disco on the beach and being scooped up (literally!) into a van full of Australians heading to Cheeky Monkeys – a nightclub whose name says it all!
We spent the next day in Coolangatta which is slightly further up the East Coast and Barni picked us up and played tour guide in Spring Brook. It’s where I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is filmed and there’s just miles and miles of green jungle, it was stunning. He took us to some waterfalls and rock pools where you can literally water slide down into the rock pools and have a swim, it was so nice actually see beautiful Australia and its greenery for a change instead of the Big Blue.
Talking of the Big Blue – Some of you may know, my 3 month programme came to an end at the beginning of January. I can’t quite believe it myself that it past so quickly, along with Christmas and New Year, I feel like I’ve just fallen into 2015 out of nowhere! My 3 month course was also my Level 1 Surf Instructor Course which as you may have been reading in my previous posts, I was having ups and downs with because it was really challenging my mind, body and confidence. I had a trip to Thailand booked before I actually got to surf camp but booked it around the end of my course and it’s actually helped me get through the tough days that my mind and body endured, especially knowing that I’d get to see my Dad and his wife, Irma there too because I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like too. A lot of people see it as a holiday from a holiday which, yes I guess it is in a way because I’m living the life of an Australian surfer right now and jetting off to Thailand just adds to the awesome trip I’m having but the past 3 months have really pushed my body to its limits in some aspects, physically and mentally!
I’ve never been the most confident person in water but it’s an element that I love, and I’ve learnt to love and appreciate having in my life everyday. I actually feel slightly lost if I go a day without going in the water now, I crave it, even if it isn’t to surf in it’s to swim or just be paddling in so you can imagine the mind frame I was in when I fractured my foot not long ago and it’ll make more sense to you now when I say I was still body boarding and swimming with my injury! I wake up early to surf, I had surfing theory lessons 3 times a week, fitness sessions 3 times a week that related to surfing, read surfing magazines everyday, watched surfing movies, I went to bed dreaming of surfing and feeling like I was laying on my surfboard in the water. My brain has been crammed full of waves and how to ride them – I need a break from it all to appreciate it.
One of the main things I’ve learnt as a surfer is that you have such a rocky, love/hate relationship with the ocean when you’re in it all the time. You have good days, bad days, good weeks at a time surfing and then bad periods of time which can last weeks too which is the reason I think surfing is so addictive – you’re constantly learning and improving. Many, if not all of you know that “clumsy” should be my middle name and this trait and my love for surfing can result in many painful injuries – I’ve sustained MANY in the past 3 months. It started to become a rare occurrence if I DIDN’T leave the water with some sort of bruise, scrape or cut but there have been a fair few incidents where I left the water feeling quite shaken up and in a lot of pain (the latest one being smashed in the head with my surfboard whilst being caught in what we call a washing machine motion in the breaking wave, leaving me with an awful concussion which took a few days to get over properly) and this caused a big step backwards with my confidence in the water and my surfing ability. I won’t go into too much detail about the other incidents because I know my Mum will be reading this and she doesn’t want to know the details because it freaks her out, and probably my sister too so I’ll save them the worry :-) but it gave me a lot to think about in terms of me becoming a surfing instructor. After speaking to the right people that I knew could relate to me, understand me, understand my mind frame and my surfing I finally made the decision last week to leave Mojo as a surfer and not a surf instructor and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Since opening up about this and releasing the pressure and thoughts that were spinning around my head, surfing became fun for me again and I quickly started to fall back in love with it and have been surfing my new board the best I’ve ever surfed. There are other reasons and points towards me not wanting to take my assessments and tests but this is what pushed me to make my final decision and something that has been on my mind since October!
All confessions and heart-to-hearts aside, I have a new plan after Thailand which I am EXTREMELY excited about. Two fellow surfer chicks that I met at Mojo came to Australia in a similar situation to me, travelling solo with no particular plan in mind, built a love for surfing and just wanted to see what Australia could throw their way – coincidentally and conveniently we all crossed paths and have finished our surfing programmes around the same time with the same feelings about what we want to do next. Right now is the right time for us to move towards civilisation after staying in such a remote place with nothing and nobody around, and we’re ready to start living and earning like locals. None of us have touched Melbourne yet so we’ve decided to make that our home for a while and see what happens there, I’ll be able to update you more on the goings on and planning in the next few weeks but I know we’re all looking forward to feeling like we have a home for a while before we set of travelling again!
That’s my news, and it feels good to finally get it all off my chest and update all of you in detail with what’s been happening this end :-) I’m going to go and rest up and recuperate in Thailand and fill my mind and camera with wonderful stories and photos to share with you guys.
Start 2015 with a fresh head and big plans!