What is going on in the world that people what to burn cars, break store windows and destroy public property just because their hockey team lost. It’s absurd, embarrassing and wrong. How can people think that just because they are upset its ok to break huge store front windows that cost tones of money to replace or burn someone’s car. Yes people have insurance but this is wrong. It is not ok to wreck things that do not belong to you. Did you not learn this in kindergarten? I don’t understand where this got lost. Sport is not in our lives to make us act like idiots. It’s in our lives to enhance and bring joy to our lives. It’s to inspire children and help us to grow. It’s give us a sense of belonging and teamwork. When we destroy that sport is no longer enjoyable. It makes a family outing to watch a game scary or even dangerous, is that what we want. I doubt it, so people think about what you are doing and how you act because yes people are always watching.
We got up early and headed from Austin to Texas City to go kitesurfing. It’s a pretty long drive so thank god the wind was good there in the afternoon. When we arrived to the lagoon the wind was only 13 knots. Not quite enough for my 9m but it was all I had so I decided to give it a try because not kiting was not a possibility. I had to borrow someone’s board here because the airline would have charged me over $100 for luggage if I brought mine so I had this huge 139 Liquid Force board to ride. Low wind, big board…..oh well the challenge will just make me better in the long run. The riding area there is awesome. There is around 500 feet of thigh high water and it’s really warm. Perfect spot for teaching and fishing. While I was riding I kept running over fish and some of them were so big they would made a thud sound as they hit my fin. On one tact a fish jumped up, hit my thigh, bounced up and smacked me right in the mouth. For the next 20 min all I could smell was fish. What are the odds of this happening? I wish I had my GoPro on for that! We ended up riding for just under 3 hours until the wind was just too light for my kite. It was an awesome experience for me to ride flat water as it was my first time ever!!
This week end I got the opportunity to be in a kitesurfing film with Oxbow www.oxboworld.com. I was approached by the producer of the film to do the “lifestyle” part. They already have all the footage of their team riders but needed the rest of the footage. The scenery at Amayo Kite Beach is amazing with the wind turbines and the volcano’s creating an almost magical atmosphere. The entire process of making a film is interesting. It’s crazy how just a few minutes of film took over 11 hours to shoot. There is a lot that goes into it and the rider has to be good. In exchange for my time in doing the film, the producer shot a promotional video for me, which I can use to try and get sponsored. I spent more then a few hours taking jump after jump which is actually is hard to do on spot with changing conditions. When the wind kicks up so do the waves and Toma could only stand so deep in the water. Trying to get a good jump off between the white wash was brutal. Hopefully he got some good shots! Can’t wait to see the finished product.
Sometimes I feel like no one understands me. The amount of time and energy I spend thinking about kitesurfing. My friends all smile and nod when I tell them about a new trick I want to learn or a cool new film on youtube. In a sea of surfers, I stand alone. Constantly explaining to people how I would rather be 20 feet in the air then pinned to the bottom of the ocean or how I enjoy riding for hours at a time rather than sitting and waiting for a wave. I miss living in a place where at the end of a session we sit around and talk about what a great day we had. No matter how cool it is to be first person to make a kite surfing business in a country, it can be lonely. My only saving grace has been a couple kite obsessed junkies I’ve met in the last month and facebook. It’s given me an outlet to connect with other kiter’s and learn about other riding destinations. It’s funny to be feeling this way because 2 years ago when I lived in Jericoacoara, Brazil I felt like the whole world kite surfed and now here, most people haven’t even seen it before. Being in the situation has also really made me think about relationships. After many failed attempts at dating non-kiter’s, I think it’s impossible to really be happy with someone who doesn’t share this passion. I wonder if men feel the same way? If so, it must be hard for you considering it’s still such a male dominated sport. You’d think with that being said I should have not problem finding a match but in my experience with kiting the average age rider is 40 – 50. It’s a really strange point to be at in life, living abroad alone, trying to start a kite club with people who have never rode and being surrounded by surfers. I wonder is there anyone else going through this?
When you decide to make the move away from your friends and family to a far away land, do you really know what you are getting into? We all have fairytale ideas of what it’s going to be like and for the most part it is but there is this underlying loneliness we all struggle with. Whether it’s for a partner, your children or family; when you live more then a simple phone call away it’s hard. At first when you arrive to the town in your country of choice you go out partying a lot. It’s a great way to meet people and numb the shock of what you have just done. During this courting period with your new home many different things can happen. If you are a younger girl more then likely will find yourself lured in by the local hot surfer boy type. For many this is a good way to learn the language, area and culture. For some it’s a way to get used, robbed or linked with the wrong crowd. This is a very risky way to enter your new world but in some cases it works out.
If you are a guy of any age you more then likely have the opportunity to score many of the local young beautiful girls. This to will provide similar positive or negative experiences but you have a way bigger thing to worry about…..babies. I have heard and seen these situations more often then not where men are blinded by opportunity to be with these exotic beauties and before they know it find themselves supporting a small tribe of people. I’m not saying this won’t make you happy but it’s best not to be naive. For the rest of the people a slow steady integration hopefully finds them well.
Once you begin to settle and make true friends you stop, look around and really get to know yourself. This process can lead to two different outcomes, either you find focus and understanding or your run away to drugs and alcohol. The latter is unfortunately an easy path because it’s usually cheap and fun but you will be spit out one day. The other is a hard long road. You are forced to really feel things. You learn to deeply value friendships and discover areas of yourself you didn’t know existed. Many times you may find yourself sitting alone second guessing your decisions but you need to plow through, wake up the next day and do the best you can. After all, you moved there to have freedom. So embrace it.
Chasing the dream, following our hearts. It’s not always the easy choice, in fact most people never do it. Then why do we crave it? Long for it? What drives us to give up everything in search for that thing that allows our heart to sing in the morning. To wake up, brush our teeth and thank god we are alive. What is it? It’s fear. Fear that nothing else will ever add up to anything. Fear that what we have at the moment is what we are and we are not ok with that. We feel lonely, empty and excited at the possibility that there is something more, something better lurking around the corner. But what happens when you turn so many corners there are none left. Then what? Where do you go. What do you do. You search. You long. You beg. You give up everything you have known and embark upon a great adventure. You see happiness, fame and fortune. You seek this out not knowing where you are going or how you are going to get there but all you do know is this. You want it. You need it. You will no longer stand in the way of yourself from getting it. This is your time. This is your chance. So you take it. You go. You start upon a journey that will forever change your life. You will no longer be the person you once were. You now are. You no longer were. You will be who you are and nothing less. You are free. Now what? No one ever taught us what to do when we are free. How do we act without rules and laws. How do we manage without debt and loss. How do we get through the days with no routine. Now what? What do we do? We look inside of ourselves. We watch. We wait. We wait for something to happen. For something to emerge like a dying day casting a marvelous set set which will set us free. Free to be who we really are. Free to make choices on our own. Free to be without fear. Free from loss. Free from love. Free from ourselves until one day we wake up and realize that we never had it in the first place. We were always free but chose to conform. We chose to be part of society and get stuck down that hole. We froze. We froze with fear. Fear that will never change us. Fear that stole from us the very people we were supposed to be.
I was in Central America recently on a surf trip when I stumbled upon Lake Nicaragua. As I was passing the southern tip of the lake in a taxi we came upon a windmill farm catching side on shore winds. I motioned for the taxi driver to stop so I could get out and check the conditions. It was all farm land with a small but workable beach. The water was choppy but the wind is strong and consistent. I continued on to the town of San Juan del Sur where I heard there was cheap hostels and a good nightlife. San Juan is known as “the surf town” of Nicaragua. It’s a really cool little place with plenty of ex-pats who have a healthy social life and passing through tourists who have a hard time leaving. I spent a week walking around meeting people and asking if anyone was kite surfing in the area. If the person even knew what I was talking about then I got the answer “there was a guy a few years ago who was doing it but is gone now”. So I went a did a whole bunch of Internet research and found there are good winds January through to May and 1 article was written in 2007 for Kite surf mag but other than that it’s pretty much unchartered territory. I went back to Canada, organized my life and moved to Nicaragua, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy but pay off in the end would be great.
It’s now been 2 1/2 months since I arrived here with my bags in hand ready to discover all that Nicaragua had to offer. It took me until 1 week ago to find who in town had kite surfing gear and who could ride. I ended up discovering the Good Times Surf Shop where David is running a successful retail/lessons/rental surf shop. We have partnered up and are putting together all things necessary to make the most of this fast approaching windy season. It is a going to be quite the adventure here for me and there will never be a dull moment!!