About 4 years ago I started working at Surfana Zandvoort, as a surf instructor. I just finished my Masters degree at the university but I wasn’t ready for a serious life. It was time to spend some more hours on the beach and in the water. And the Surfana family welcomed me with open arms.
I went to the festival, to Vlieland, I stayed at the surf camp in Bloemendaal and came along to France with the surf trips. I got the full Surfana experience in one season. After a summer of working I flew to Mexico to travel along the Central American coast. Soon I found out I wanted to come back to the surf school for another season. There is this thing about Surfana: the warm, positive vibe, everyone is stoked about surfing and life and when I think of the people, all I can think of is smiling faces.So the next summer I came back. I lived at the surf camp in Bloemendaal in a tent, went to Vlieland for a couple of weeks and after the season I was hosting all the Surfana Surftrips to both France and Portugal. After the season, I was given the opportunity to become the director and owner of Surfana Surftrips. Which meant: I was given the opportunity to set up the company, to organize surf trips, find new spots, meet new people and surf and learn a whole lot.
Honestly, some years ago I thought of a perfect way of living my life: traveling and surfing around the world, hosting holidays and being surrounded by amazing people. And here the opportunity was handed to me on a silver platter.
That same winter, Surfana Bali was starting up. And what would be a better place to work on the website, set up a business plan and get things started? Exactly, off to Bali Surfing, working, eating Nasi Campur and sleeping: I repeated that for 6 weeks long.
Working at Surfana Surftrips isn’t a full time job when you’re not at the surf trips. And it’s definitely not only surfing and hanging out with guests. I spend a lot of time behind my laptop. Doing finance and marketing, researching, working on the website, thinking about the future, etc. etc. All of this was new to me. And some things are certainly not my favorite. But you work yourself through it, making it fun for yourself (office abroad, good coffee, nice food and good company, surf in between) and also, when things work out, you appreciate your time spend in the water even more.
Because it’s not a full time job, I have to think of other ways to come around. I have helped organizing Surfana festival and I still work as a surf instructor at both Vlieland and Zandvoort during the summer season. But most of all I try not to have too many costs. Therefore I don’t have an apartment but I live in my van and sometimes with friends, I don’t buy too many new things and I don’t go out too much, though I do spend a lot of time outside my van and I always find an adventure. A little different than my life a couple of years ago, but to be honest, the way I live right now, I have never felt richer.
Being a part of the surf trips crew is incredibly intense. You are 24/7 with the crew for about 2,5 months and every week with new guests coming you never really have a moment to yourself. You get to know yourself and the crew pretty well, whether you want it or not. I am thankful for all moments I spend with everyone, both the crew and the guests. The road traveling towards France, Spain and Portugal together with the crew are one of my favorite times. Spending the night at some random spot, popping up a tent and eating in the van, those times at the side of the road when a car broke down. And also those moments we go surfing collectively (sunset sessions with a soft board), play Sardines in the garden (you just have to be there) and having endless conversations at the fireplace. When I think about Surfana Surftrips, it makes me smile and feel warm.
This is the first time I’m actually writing my story down. Looking back at the past years, I realize that innumerable beautiful things happened to me. I made a choice to follow my intuition, my heart, even though I had seriously no idea where I threw myself into. And still I have no clue where I am going. Which I love most of the times, and makes me feel lost at other times.
But one thing is for certain: in the last years I met the most amazing people all over the world, I spend a lot of time outside in nature, I provide leisure time activity for other people that make them smile by teaching them how to surf and by creating surf holidays, I have the freedom to travel to places where some people only dream off and I surf at spots where I thought I would never be able to surf at.
I am so incredibly grateful for the life I’m living. The more I follow my heart, the more I can open my heart and listen to it. I feel free, free to create my own life and sharing it with others. Free to dive into the world and open my arms to any experience and any person crossing my path. And of course, not every experience is a nice/good/beautiful experience in the first place, but there is always a reason for the things to happen, sometimes you only find out later and get to understand it.
I love surfing, but even more I love sharing a positive and free-minded life with others. And in whichever way, I will continue living my life this way, sharing it with all of you.
Peace, <3 and freedom