Surfing – somehow the idea of “being a surfer” is magical. Surfers are cool, relaxed, always happy and especially always at the most beautiful places of the world – without being lazy over there.
Surfboards on Bali by me
But I always thought I’d suck at it. And I always had this weird thing that I’d rather not make a fool of myself in front of people. It’s better now but when I first went to Australia in 2010, I traveled around with 3 people that really wanted to surf and I just felt like I would just look ridiculous if I even tried. Obviously, they still managed to convince me to do a class with them in Agnes Water. I wasn’t even that bad.
So when I did my Around the World trip in 2013/14, I went to Bali and because Bali seems to be THE surfer destination I knew I had to do a surf camp over there. So I booked into the Kima Surfcamp in Seminyak for a week and was convinced I’d be a pro afterwards. Well… No.
Kima Surfcamp 2014 by me
I guess everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong in the end.
Everyone has heard of the Bali belly probably. Bali (and most third world countries) is notorious because its water and food makes people’s bellies go crazy. I only got sick once but I felt awful all night. So, obviously, when we were supposed to go on our first surflesson of the day at 7am I didn’t join. Even later on I felt very weak because I barely ate all day, so I also skipped the second session of the day. So one full day at the surfcamp without surfing.
Then, on another day, I somehow jumped off my board at the end of a wave and twisted my ankle. I don’t know how I did it but I know that I am hugely clumsy so that’s probably explanation enough. Well, needless to say, that twisted ankle cost me three more surf sessions. The last time I decided to give it another try, I remember going out of the water at one point because I was exhausted and seeing my surfguide staring at my shin asking what the hell I did there. I looked down on my leg and it was full of blood and I had a little “notch” in it. Well, apparently the fin decided to hit my leg and since I was in salt water, I didn’t really feel it. Another surf session bit the dust.
My twisted ankle
Even though I thought about trying it countless times afterwards I just couldn’t get myself to do it anymore. I still love the lifestyle and I really admire all the people who love to do it and who plan their trips to follow the best waves but my clumsiness just decided for me that surfing isn’t the right sport. Thanks for that.
When I was in high school, it was very common in Germany, that you go abroad for 6 months or 1 year in your 11th year. (We used to have 13 years of school back then.)
Abroad meant wherever you wanted to go, but most people chose the US.
One year in the US was also my plan, but I chickened out at one point and when I decided to at least go for 5 months, it was too late to apply for the US, so I chose Canada. (Spoiler: I’m very glad I did!)
Tipping… It’s definitely an interesting topic when traveling. Where do you tip? How much do you tip? Is it rude not to tip?
In Germany, you normally tip around 10% (just for your information :)) but I remember that in Australia, waiters didn’t even really understand when I wanted to tip. So you never know.
Traveling is fun and exciting and wonderful. But even when you are traveling (or maybe especially then…) shit can happen. Let me tell you about one of those stories, maybe you can learn from it just like I did.
In March 2013, me and my friend Laura decided to go on a little roadtrip. We went to visit our friend in Bordeaux, because she did her Erasmus there, pick her (and all of her stuff) up to take her back to Munich with us and make a quick pit stop in Geneva to visit another friend. So far so good.
(I’m not gonna go into detail about how I hit a pole in Bordeaux, just minutes before we arrived after a 13 hour drive, and we had to go french garage without really knowing any french. Fun times.)
There are people out there who love Airbnbs and then there are people who think it is weird to stay in random people’s houses, maybe even with them being home, and prefer hotels or hostels. Some people say, they would only stay with other people, for example as a couple and never alone.
But no matter what your opinion on Airbnbs are, I’m sure this story would make you see and understand the positive side of it a bit more! Continue reading
Today’s Travelers’ Tales story is by Steph, the author of thepinkbackpack.com. If you want to find out more about the Canadian’s adventures, make sure to follow her on snapchat @thepinkbackpack.
There are times as a traveller when you just have to let go and trust in the universe; trust in the compassion and goodness of other human beings; and trust that everything will work out. Sometimes, you just have no other choice.
For seven years now, I am visiting the Southside Festival close to the German Lake Constance. And every year there were some extremes weather-wise – really hot, really rainy, really windy. But this year just beat everything.
The first day, Thursday, we arrived around 3pm and the entrance area was packed – with the temperature being as high as around 30 degrees. We started standing in line but somehow, after the long way from the parking spot with a huge backpack and standing there for a bit, I realised that I’m close to fainting and I just barely made it to the side of the area to sit down. Finally, around 7 pm, we made it inside with everything set up and ready to go.
This is a guest post by one of my closest friends for my section “Travelers’ Tales”, that once again supports my belief that great things never came from comfort zones and everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen.
By the end of 2015, I travelled to South America. I have been to some Latin American countries before, and this time it was going to be Chile and Bolivia.
I think, I don’t have to emphasize how excited I was to spend 5 weeks over there. Of course I had read some stuff before about these two countries so I had some expectations, mostly about how beautiful the landscape is going to be. So I flew over to Santiago in middle of December, excited to go on a new adventure, meet new people, learn new things and just enjoy the gift of travelling.
I guess, when you are traveling, you realize even more, how small the world actually is. And it amazes me every time, how everyone is somehow connected through one or more people.
But here’s a story I witnessed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia one day that tops all the “How small is the world”-stories by far.
One of my first big trip ever was Australia in 2010 right after high school. Me and my best friend went to Sydney, worked there for about 2.5 months and then traveled along the east coast (maybe also north coast. who knows.)
For the trip along the coast we decided to rent a campervan. It was one of those vans with a tent on top of it, since we were four people (two friends joined us for that). Unfortunately, at most camp sites you payed a certain amount for two people (which was always around 25-30$) but then you had to pay extra money for every additional person (which was mostly around 15$).. Well, obviously that would have brought us up to around 60$ every night and we definitely weren’t willing to spend that much. So every once in a while we pretended we were only two people in the van so we had to pay less. So far, so good.