Tag Archives: Surfing

Filter Change

David Mamet wrote it beautifully in the play The Duck Variations “Nothing that lives can live alone.”

It baffled me how much society tries to convince us otherwise. In order to find your way you have to go find your way alone! Sort out your shit alone. Be happy with yourself alone before you can be happy with someone else.

That is all good and I am sure to some extend true. I would never want to give back the time I was traveling alone and found out a great deal about myself. So many do that when they are in their thirties. They go on the self-discovery journey – alone.

I am back since three months now and all this time I was constantly asked where did you go, what did you see? I would talk about the magnificent places I have been and the wonderful beaches I surfed at. I would look at the pictures and was back there in my imagination, at the beach, feeling the breeze on my skin, smelling the salt of the sea through my nose, remembering how my heart was filled with peace…

When the grey rainy sky here in London seemed to put me back in to my old stress mode I would think of all these moments. I caught myself sitting on my bed and staring at my board wondering how could I bring this feeling back in to my life here?

And then it hit me! I realised that my journey wasn’t that extraordinary just because of these beautiful places but for the people I shared my journey with. It became clear to me that I wouldn’t even have seen these places, if it weren’t for these people. I would never have had ended up in Desert Point if it wasn’t for Jay and his friends who took me along on their ride. I wouldn’t have been able to hike the difficult route on top of the volcano if it wasn’t for ‘Made’, my lovely guide. And I would most certainly not have ended up in NSW if it weren’t for my new Australian friends!

To every deep memory of these six months there is a person connected to it.

As I was thinking about all of that I became aware how often we forget that it is only because of the others support we get so far in life and how often we forget to say thank you.

I dreamed since years of creating my own theatre company. I envisioned it and in my mind I had a clear picture of how I would want it to be. Even though the time might have been right, I started to see all the little yet big factors that led me to finally take the step. If it wasn’t for one special person who not only inspired me and made me think of a play I wanted to produce but who encouraged me and made me believe I could do this, I would never have gone home that evening after having had those beers outside on that cold patio in Shoreditch and I would never have started to write down the whole concept at once.
If it wasn’t for my founding member Mischa, this company would not be where it already is. And if it wasn’t for him I believe I would have never found Michael who helped us to create the writers-room.

The January blues did get to me, and the fact that the number on my bank account consistently seemed to get smaller and smaller, started to put me into a state of anxiety.
I didn’t do it on purpose it happened far more without being aware of it, but I started to focus on all the things I don’t have. I started to worry every day more and more. I would be disappointed in everything and everyone. Which led me to have my old problem of not being able to breathe. I could feel that my mind started to tell me again to walk. Something I would do in my past whenever I wouldn’t know how to handle a situation. I just left. But I couldn’t leave anymore because for the first time in my life I realised that I started to build my life here and that I didn’t wanted to walk away. Yet my ability to trust in my instinct and be patient with myself, others and life seemed not very encouraging.

Why is it that being able to be patient and trust in the natural flow of life is so much easier when you are traveling? Is it because you are far away from your known life?

I couldn’t figure it out what it was. All I knew was that in the mode I was in I felt like I have to actively fix everything. The lack of trust in myself and life, led to a lack of trust in the people in my life as well. Which then led to see things in a negative prospective.

Finally my friend Ikuyo came back from Japan. How long I have longed for that day to come. Since water always has calmed me down and here in London even though it is a bit dirty it is the only place for me to clear my head, I suggested to go for a walk along the river.

We talked about last year, her time in Japan and what has happened in our lives since we saw each other last. Ikuyo had the beautiful talent to see something positive in no matter what I told her. I was blown away by her perspective and she said: Sarah, you need to change the filter in front of your lens again!” “My filter?” I said. “Yes, like on a camera lens. You change the filter and suddenly a picture looks completely different. You have to put back the positive filter.” She said. I smiled and had to agree with her.

I loved her for these moments when she did make me realise how many good things were happening in my life. Without knowing I started to see all the good again.

I thought of my short visit to Switzerland at the end of the year to see my mother. The motherly love and the delicious home cooked meals she spoiled me with in these four days.

I thought of my new years eve and how I had for the first time in my life no urge to have a special night. I was actually really happy with my year with everything that came with it and I knew my next year was only going to be even better.

Ikuyo laughed and said she had a similar moment at her new years eve and I thanked her for reminding me to change back my filter.

In my opinion it is a luxury if you have people in your life who challenge you intellectually and emotionally. I couldn’t imagine anything more boring than to be in the company of someone by whom you feel not challenged in the slightest. I rather have once in a while a storm or thunder in my life than sail on a steady sea for the rest of my life with the sun shining bright on the blue sky.

Of course I must say that it is rarer than one thinks to have people like this in your life. Many feel like it gets exhausting with time or difficult. They tend to choose the simpler way in life. But for me it is the only way I can go about it to be able to grow. I want to feel that I am alive and I want to live life fully and not only scratch the surface of it. In order to do that, I realised I had to bring back patience in to my life and trust my instinct. No matter how uncomfortable a situation made me feel. No matter how much I would like to control it. I had to let go.

Before I left for Indonesia my friend Nyima mentioned this passage from an unknown author to me and back then I had to let go of different things in my life. Now all these months later, much more in touch with myself and at a totally different place, I feel it is again apposite:

“To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn’t
leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t about
winning or losing. It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you
appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go
isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and it doesn’t leave
emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not about giving in or giving up.
Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat. To let go is
to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on. It is having
an open mind and confidence in the future. Letting go is learning
and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the
experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow.
It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will
soon gain. Letting go is having the courage to accept change,
and the strength to keep moving. Letting go is growing up. It is
realising that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy.
To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path and set yourself free.”

For the people in my life who make my life extraordinary! Who make me laugh, cry, reflect and grow. – Thank you

Made’s offering on top of Gunung Agung – He said thanks to his gods and his life on every step of the way!
Made's offering on top of Gunung Agung - He said thanks to his gods and his life on every step of the way!

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Fiction

As I was sitting in the bar that I used to work for, with a friend, listening to this handsome Argentinian musician playing his tunes, I couldn’t help but wonder:

How much of our reality is self-constructed fiction of our own minds?

My journey had its impact on me! Ever since I arrived back in London everything seemed to fall into its place! I couldn’t believe what was happening! Not only have I found the impossible in London, a lovely home including a lovely flatmate, but also a fabulous landlord who happened to hire me in his artsy venue on the weekend as a bartender. I reconnected with my friends I haven’t seen in a while, and I also finally came to the point to be courageous enough to do the one thing I dreamed of since years!!

I finally founded my own theatre company! With my founding member Mischa who carries the same creative views as I, we founded The Newspeak Theatre Company! My heart was racing from the moment on that letter came in the post. “You are now officially the owner of The Newspeak Theatre Company limited! Wow! What a milestone! I started to feel the pressure that my sudden new position was putting me in. Not only did I have many responsibilities I also had to deliver! Between the fear of loosing “the actress” and becoming more “the producer”, I found myself finally using all my potential that I was so long looking for! The share challenge of grasping my new role fulfilled me to an amount I wasn’t used to so far in my life. Days passed in a split second as I was working my “ass of” with Mischa to bring this company to life and set up its first production.

How was this possible? Six month ago I left with the insecurity that I wouldn’t have enough knowledge to make this happen. I left with being lost in my own translation of my so-called life. I came back as a new me who knows who she is and what she wants. Never have I seen the picture so clear! I couldn’t have been happier. My career was finally going in the direction I so long aspired for.

One could say: Task achieved! What else did you leave for so long to find your self and figure out what you want! Right?

I looked back at the handsome Argentinian singer. He was perfect. Tall – good hair – charming smile – wonderful voice and sang lyrics that made my heart melt. As he came of stage I was outside smoking my cigarette, when I told him that I really liked his set. He smiled at me and he couldn’t have been more charming. I had every good reason to be flattered and join the game that we so often play in that race with the hope of leaving the single zone! But for some reason I didn’t join the game. My thoughts were far more somewhere else. I went back in and had another sip of my red wine with my friend.

I glanced at my bag that was sitting next to me with my new purchased vintage dress in it that I couldn’t afford at all, when my friend asked me for what occasion I bought it. I said that l would be going out for some good jazz and hopefully some dancing with my “friend” tomorrow. He smiled and said: “Friend?” Of course he knew that I was talking about that one person in particular.

It was almost too perfect when I came back. It felt like all I longed for just came to me including that one special person. Strolling through London and its vintage and record stores, laughing, trying on original outfits and dancing between CD shelves, having wonderful conversations that seemed to last forever, I wished there was a “hold” button. I was happier than ever even though it was bloody cold. I didn’t want to think about what this is, where is this going, or what are we doing? Is this the right moment or do we have to bring everything in order in our separate lives before we can figure out what this is? I couldn’t be bothered with thinking about reality, but there it was that moment when reality suddenly kicks you in your butt and you realise it is all a bit too perfect to be true.

There you have two people with a lot of baggage from their past, clearly having a special connection, an attraction that is palpable but too afraid they would mess that up by getting closer.
And I wondered how much did I really learn on my journey? Sure, I found out so much about who I am and what I want, but did I actually learn to be honest to my self when it comes to my heart? Or is it far more easier, to stay in that world of fiction? It is so easy to create that perfect scenario in your imagination and then hide in reality in your work and everyday life. Have we all become too cynical to believe in love? My friend clearly gave up on it after his heart was ripped in to pieces and quite frankly said to me that fairy tales don’t exist! Now why does it automatically have to be a fairy tale? And what is a fairy tale in 2013? In a time where we are more concerned about our own success than relationships, how much space is there for fairy tales??

I left, jumped on the next bus home and quickly said hello to my friend Giulia. What a beautiful woman she is, strong and so fragile at the same time. When I listen to her story about her son and her husband and how difficult it all is, I couldn’t help but wonder:

How much are we willing to sacrifice?

For her it is so obvious what she is fighting for and I believe it shows great character to be a woman like she is. But what was I willing to sacrifice? Through my journey I learned to stay true to my self and not be someone I am not for someone else. I learned how to love, respect and believe in myself again. I believe that through that achievement I managed to come to the point of having the courage to finally have founded my theatre company and go after what I want. But why does it seem that when it comes to our hearts we often back off from what we want? Are the scares too deep? My scares from my surfing adventures were healing slowly, less obvious and red but they would always be there. They became a part of my body – of me – and I learned to accept that my skin on my legs would never look the same again no matter how many creams I would put on them. Now when I look down on my legs and I see them I feel almost proud that I have been able to go on this journey and make all these experiences that have thought me lessons for life. It reminds me of every single person that I met and spent my time with in that period of my life. With some more intense than with others, but I wont forget any and I am grateful to have met all of them!

May be we can bring back sort of a fairy tale possibility if we are able to look at our deepest scares in our hearts with a certain proudness that we were courageous enough to have made this experience in life. If we manage to look at them as a gift rather than we “fucked up”, then may be we can be open to the true connection that lies in front of us and that we are so scared of. And with a little less fear about doing it right this time we might not need all the control over our hearts that we so desperately try not to let go.

I decided to do some more work for the company and put my mind at rest for the time being. I realised that I already did have a fairy tale. I had a wonderful “friend” who believed in me and my work like no one else, someone I could talk to about everything, someone who once said: “I like the way your brain works!” What greater gift is there?! I looked down at my wrist and my new tattoo, smiled and said it out loud: Just go with the flow!

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Go for It vs. Patience

With a huge jet lag I made it to the wedding! What a beautiful occasion it was and how thankful I am that I was able to be part of it! The day was glorious and the sun was shining – just perfect! The panorama from the top of the mountain where they got married was incredible!

The next day I drove back down to Thun where my jet lag finally made its full attack on me. Lost in translation and delirious between being awake and asleep I looked at my surfboard in the corner. The longer I stared at it the more was my heart longing for the beach and the next wave. I thought about Stanwell Park and everybody I left behind. My eyes got heavy and I fell asleep again having the scent of the salt of the sea in my nose. I saw myself paddling through the water, strong and powerful. Finally I sat on my board and I stared out in the ocean! It was calm and peaceful. I put my right hand out flat in the water, like I always did to feel the sea and its movement. The next wave was on its way and … awake I was staring back at my board!!
I did want to go back to London but I would heave never thought to get so attached to another place in such a short time.

The funny thing is, that I thought that my journey – this trip – comes to an end once I’ll return to London, but as the days passed in Switzerland I more and more started to believe that I am not there yet – at the end of this journey.

My days passed in Switzerland and I was happy to be able to have spent it with my lovely mother. What a beautiful person she is, so inspiring and strong! I am so grateful to have a person in my life I can always turn to with the most ridiculous questions and not having to feel stupid about it. As we grow older we learn how to handle life by our self, we are no longer in need of the constant supervision of our parents, but I must say it is still amazing that you can be soon thirty years old and in some way you will always be that girl that runs crying in to her mothers arms when you fell on the playground. What a privilege I have!

On the day of my departure a big storm hit London and all the airports were closed. I literally started to pray that my plane was not cancelled! Was that a sign? But my plane left on time and I was on my way to London!

My heart was pounding the closer I got to London. There was no turning back anymore. I was about to face the one thing that was so much easier to handle in the distance. I knew that the moment will very soon be here, where I will have to face my feelings towards someone special in my life. No more running away or dwelling in memories or thoughts.

I landed – walked out of the airport – jumped on the tube – and dragged all my stuff including my surfboard through London. I needed about five minutes to figure out if my decision of coming home was the right one – And it was!!! And then something interesting happened. London does not have the reputation of that people talk to each other in the streets or are super help full. I can officially object to that reputation now. Suddenly all these random people started helping me carrying my luggage up and down those stairs. In the end two lovely young guys helped me outside and even called me a taxi. I had the proof that there must be something true about that ‘myth’ of the law of attraction. I was so happy the moment I landed that I must have sent out only these vibes. What better way of being welcomed be a city than have it’s people help you in such a nice way. And as if it wasn’t already a good start, it only got better once I reached my friends flat and Finn welcomed me with a glass of wine in the yard. We talked about my travels and what happened in London in the last six month.

The next day was almost overwhelming for me with all these inputs of the city! London is such a vivid active city – it is incredible – I love it!

Aside from being so happy to be back I couldn’t hide anymore from the one moment that I was scared of the most. We all know how to handle the coming back with friends, finding a flat, a job – doing all these things are manageable, but how is it possible to be so scared and nervous to come back to that one special person?
I was thinking of all these words we have written each other over the period of my travels, and realised that writing is far easier than standing suddenly again in front of this person. What if we would to realise that we had nothing to say to each other?!!
I experienced a new level of nervousness, but as soon as I saw those eyes I had the last proof that my decision of coming home was the right one, but I was confronted with a new conflict:

Go for It vs. Patience

Focusing on my self for all these month and finding my self, I achieved finally to be happy with who I am. I learned to stay true to my self. I have no more need of being someone for someone else that I am not.
There was no question – I knew what I wanted!
But I found my self in a place that I have never experienced before!! My brain seemed not to work anymore. If you find yourself in a situation where everything seems to be right, then why not go for it? Why even think about patience? Life is too short to wait – right?!
Is it because you’re scared? Or could it be that it feels so right that you feel inhibited to act on it? I am soon thirty years old and made my share bad experiences but as I was sitting in front of him I couldn’t think of one good reason why not to go for it.

I didn’t know what to do or think and so I threw my self in apartment hunting. My longing after my own home was getting bigger by the moment. I must have really tried to distract my self big time. Only after three days I have found my new home including my lovely new flat mate Lucy! The place has its Charm and I finally came home and was able to relax.

I decided to go with the words of Kat: “Go with the flow!” Or at least I kept saying it over and over to myself, but actually I was more in the zone! There was quite some work I had to do and I haven’t written a word for the pieces I have been asked to write. Instead I caught myself staring at the white page on my computer screen, – happy – thinking of something completely different. Unable to bring down one thought on paper that made sense I decided to go for a Sunday walk to the Chatsworth road market. All the different food markets smelled fabulous. I stopped at a vintage clothing stand, looked at a view books and a smile appeared on my face. I realised that my real journey has yet just started!

Now that I know who I am and what I want, I finally can go for it with patience!

Schönried Switzerland


Old Demons

Have you ever had these moments where you are simply overwhelmed with what you are feeling and what is happening in your life? Those moments you could jump in the air because you literally can feel in every part in your body that you are alive?
You are happy and at the same time almost sad because you feel all these different emotions that are too much for you? You wish you could cut your self in half so you could be in two places at the same time?

I have reached that moment in Australia. I am so happy and at the same time I have this urge to go home. Why wouldn’t I be happy? If you have ever been here you know what I am talking about and if not put that country on the top of your ‘countries to visit’ list. It has something magical. I for one have never seen such beautiful beaches and landscape. You tend to forget what you have to do during the day because it is simply tempting to just get up in the morning go for a surf then drive to the fruit-shop have a healthy fruit-shake, then you may be go to a different beach or the house have a rest and tan a little with your friend, read or write or do both and then go for another surf. And before you can blink, that day is over.

I was conflicted between two worlds. I love surfing and the beach. I have found such great friends here and the sister I never had, but I also love my work and miss London and my friends over there. I miss the fast pace of the multicultural city like London from what I get so much inspiration of. I could sense that I was close to go home but not yet, there was something I had to overcome first. I just wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but deep down I could feel it.

Not knowing but slightly having a suspicion of what I had to finally accept I went on a camping trip with my friend Kat. Even though my bank account resembled ground zero I went anyway because she wanted me to, and invited me for the whole trip. What a lucky girl I am! So we packed the car to the limit. It seemed to quill out of the windows but Kat wanted to be sure she had everything she possibly could need whilst camping. I jugged my backpack in the front seat my surfboard on top of the roof and I was ready. Kira and her friend were in the backseat and off we went. Two women and two teenage girls – that sure was a lot of oestrogen in one car!

As if men do not already have enough ‘wrong’ opinions about women and cars we made sure that we gave that stereo type picture fully it’s value ten minutes in to the drive. I really needed my coffee and so we stopped in Thirroul at the one coffee shop that you can sit out side. As we hopped back in the car and ready to go, the car would not start anymore! We turned the engine over and over, embarrassed about not being able to start the car we of course got more and more nervous that someone (a man) would come over and tell us what to do. Of course there was someone coming over – a man – and said: ‘Emm…I think your car is broken and you should probably call for help or at least stop doing what you are doing right now because you are gassing us all out here!!’ Four pares of eyes and stared at him, we nodded with our heads and then we just burst out in laughter. What a start, we thought! So I had the glorious idea of getting an ice cream while we give the car a rest. See, what that man didn’t know was that Kat’s car is a bit moody. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. After the ice cream we hopped back in the car and there you go, off we drove towards Jervis Bay – Green Patch, to the national park further down south next to the Ozzie pipe.

I loved it! Being in the nature putting up a tent and getting that camping feeling going. I saw my kangaroos and wallabies, birds I have never seen before and the whites sand beach ever! It was so beautiful I had to run in the clear water even though it was not so warm – Kira and I loved it!

In the evening Kat and I sat in front of the tent, had a beer and with our small oil lamp that gave the whole setting a nostalgic feeling, we started to talk about all sorts of things from our life’s. We started to do the angel cards and we were blown away how accurate they were. I kept getting the card ‘acceptance’ and tried to figure out what it was I had to accept?! I went through so much of my past that at first I couldn’t think of what it was. Then it dawned on me. There was something in my past and current life that always left a big grey cloud around my aura and I tended to make a big forgo around it. I convinced my self that if I do not talk about it and keep hoping it will eventually vanish or turn it to the good thing I was hoping for. But there comes a time in life that we all know certain things you cant change and it takes away all your energy and positivity if you keep trying to change them. It is a big step to come to the point where you accept this fact that it will not change and that the best thing might be to detach your self from it.
I knew I had this in front of me but at the same time I had no clue how!
So for the very first time I told someone, my friend, the whole story. I immediately saw patterns I never saw and I was able to be far more honest to my self about it all. Kat of course made her comments to the problem, and her outside opinion helped me see it clearer. May be it was the night that was clear and fresh or the oil lamp combined with the beer or may be it was everything, but I felt that this was the beginning of a big turning point in my life.

A view weeks ago, someone I feel very connected to, mentioned that it is easier to detach your self from your present ravages when you are in a different country away from your known environment.
I started to think about that. Is it true that it is easier when you are further away? Is it even possible to detach your self from your ravages totally in a different place or would they catch up with you as soon as you go back?

I would soon know the answer to this question.

It all started when I had one week left before I would make my way back to Europe. My childhood friend’s wedding was the main reason for my leaving Australia. And even though I wanted to go home since a while I kept waiting for the sign to let me know now when it is the right moment.

All the sudden in that one-week before I left I felt like old demons tried to make their way back in to my life. How is this possible after all I learned, overcame and made peace with? I started to fear that day of the departure due to not really knowing what is going to be on the other side. And since I have changed and grown in a different direction will the people back home accept and support that change or have their issues with it? I started to ask my self if I really do not have expectations from a certain someone and realised that there are going to be all sorts of new confrontations back home, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it.

As soon as I picked the date to leave I started to reminisce about everything in Australia. I was tempted to stay! And then the universe gave me my last test for this journey. That one thing I ran away from.
For the last time I did again something for my family and not for my self and when I received the answer you can literally say the ‘shit hit the fan’! I felt like a big wave crushed over me took me under and the weight of the water was crushing me down. Trying to get back up, this feeling of trying to swim towards the light while the air in your body gets smaller and smaller and you fear about to drown. I cried for hours not understanding what is happening, why is this keep happening, what did I do wrong? And then I reached the surface I made it back up towards the light and took a big breath. I finally got it. It is time to let go, to accept the fact of that certain things in life will not change and you can’t change them! Yes, it means probably that you will have to accept a loss of certain people in your life and that you have to accept that this picture you made in your mind, this picture of that family you so wanted to have will eventually fade. And you might wonder if your future path is going to be lonely since you know they wont be part of it anymore but then ask your self how much were they really there for you before?
When I finally came to terms with it and made the active decision to accept that it will not change and that I do not want this in my future anymore, I felt a tremendous relief. I knew right there that this was one of the last things on my journey I needed to learn and that now I am ready to start my new life.

Still nervous about going back and so sad to leave Australia and my friends I was looking forward to my friends wedding in the Swiss Alps!

Green Patch


Desert Point

The road was tricky to get through with the car and it seemed there was not going to be anything at the end. Here and there was a little hut with kids who played in front of it. I thought I saw the raw Indonesia when I was in Java but Lombok thought me different. There was absolutely nothing here and it was beautiful! The further we got, people started to recognize the guys since they have been here many times.

Hendra sat on the back of the bike of his dad on his way to school, when he recognized Ed who drove the car. He loves Eddy so much that a couple of years a go, Eddy would always find Hendra sleeping next to him in the morning when he was waking up. He is a remarkable boy. Five years ago his foot got stock in the motorbike and ripped almost the whole foot apart. He lost a view toes and a massive scar with a big pump has left a trade mark on his foot now. But today Hendra is walking and surfing as if nothing happened. When I saw his foot and looked around me I started to think where on earth they took him back then. There was no real doctor here and the nearest hospital must be hours away.

We finally made it and arrived in Desert Point. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life! There is nothing but may be five to six huts and the beach. Jay and Ed know them since years and are very good friends with the people who live here and host the huts. We were lucky and got one of the rooms right in the front.

I could feel how my lungs opened up and were able to breath deeply. After the hustling ferry-ride through the night and the last view weeks in Uluwatu it was such a big relieve to be out here in the nature surrounded by nothing but beauty. Bali has become such a hip place and has grown immensely through the last view years that it is no longer the peaceful place that it used to be. The locals started to smell the money and keep building hotel after hotel for more tourism without the thought of the future and what will be left for their children. Never the less, Bali is amazing and still beautiful. You just have to know where to go.

It was hide tide when we arrived and perfect for me to go surfing. The reef here in Desert Point is crazy. When it is low tide you can walk out all the way and the big waves break right in front of you. It is quite dangerous and you need a certain level to be able to surf it. For me the only chance to surf was when it is high tide.
I paddled out and still saw the reef below me it was so shallow. But I was taken in by the share beauty of the clear blue water, the sun and everything that surrounded me that I didn’t pay to much attention to the reef.
Jay came out and gave me some more instructions on my surfing and I started to improve on every wave I took. He pushed me harder and kept saying: “Come on hurry up get back on the board there is another wave. Paddle – paddle harder – NOW get up – look up not down!” I wouldn’t say it, but I really liked the fact that he cared and pushed me so much. I couldn’t believe my life, my heart was literally jumping up and down of happiness. Here I was in one of the most amazing places I have ever been with a man I meet out of the blue who seemed to love me for just the way I am. A man who couldn’t be more different to me than anyone I met so far and still it felt like to souls that have been looking for each other all this time have found one-another.
His face lit up in a way that I haven’t seen before once we were at Desert’s. He got so relaxed and excited at the same time knowing that soon he will be able to finally ride some big waves again. It was like a kid in a candy store, who just got told you ‘can eat whatever you would like’. When he asked me if I like it here and if I am happy his smile got even bigger after he heard my joyful yes!
The boys were surprised that I liked it so much and they also were scared that after a day or two I would be bored to death because there is nothing here but nature and no luxury at all. Apparently most women wouldn’t like it here and would never join them on a trip to Desert Point, which I couldn’t understand at all. From all my travels this is exactly what I have been waiting for!

Sidi is one of the women who lives here at the huts we stayed at and she is also one of the best cooks I have encountered so far. Her and Ratni, which is her sister in law cooked for us everyday and made us feel home form the first second we arrived. Ratni who speaks more or less no English at all seemed to like me for some reason. She would always say Saraaaahhh whit a big smile when I walked by or asked her for something. I wished I could speak her language then I wanted to know so much more about her life here in Deserts. For us having the luxury to come and surf, enjoy life and go again when ever it pleases us is something else but for them to be born here and life here all their life must be a totally different story. And I was determined to find out more about it!

I was sitting on the bench, relaxing and happy after my surf which was fantastic –looking out in the ocean and when little Hendra crused by on his bike. The pure joy of life that Hendra carries in his eyes showed me again what I was looking for, ever since I left London. Gratitude for being alive and what you have! That little boy is ten years old now, survived a massif accident in the desert where you get boils so easily due to the fact that you are in the tropics. He has two books that he keeps reading over and over and it made me think of all the kids I know back home and the amount of toys and cloth they have and still need more. He learned surfing on have of a surfboard and now has one Karne, the son of Eddy gave to him. Karne who is eleven and Hendra surfed every day together. Karne who is already a top-notch surfer, finally became a kid again once he had some other kids around him. Since he is often just with the boys he forgets sometimes that he is only eleven years old.

I was so thankful to be able to experience all of this, especially after last week when my old life seemed to creep back in to my present. I was frustrated that I left so far and yet still I felt haunted by the things I left on purpose behind me. I had good reasons for leaving even though there might be people who don’t understand my point of view or my actions. I didn’t come so far to be back in the same boat. I wanted to find my own way regardless of how I was brought up or what I was used to. Regardless of what may be my family members think I should be doing in my life. It is harder than one thinks to go out in the world and find your own way that makes you happy. Often we are marked by what we know since we were little and the people that surround us that we think we have to continue life exactly the same way. We don’t take a second thought or better the risk of finding out what sort of life would fit perfectly for one self.
Hendra reminded me with his smile on my luck.
It is like in Gregory David Roberts wrote in his book ‘Shantaram’:” …try to relax completely, and go with the experience. Just … let yourself go. Sometimes, in India, you need to surrender before you win.” I believe this sentence is not only true for India but for your whole life. At first it was hard to let go of my old habits and known circumstances. And it is funny how long one tries to hold on to them. Almost feeling guilty of liking the new life you catch yourself bringing back up the past, which evidentially will bring back those thoughts and fears in to the present. But if you let go you will change too and you will never be the same person that you used to be. Which can be scary and liberating at the same time.
I had it the other night when I took a walk at night at the beach. Millions of stars were shining bright and with the milky-way the universe created a marvellous painting in the sky. I sat down and looked at it for a while. I could feel that my feelings were all over the place. I didn’t yet surrender, forcefully I tried the last couple of days to control my feelings again. I caught my self how I started to relive habits from my past relationship and of course I wasn’t happy with it. I didn’t want to do it but for some reason my body and mind were acting on its own. While looking at the stars I realised that ever since my father passed away I fear I could get too attached to someone, and so I looked for things that could cause a problem or I manipulated the current situation unaware of that I was doing it. I decided to walk back to the huts and find Jay. I had the sudden urge to tell him what was going on with me. As I came back, he just got massaged by Amad, who is a medical healer in his own way. His treatment is not pleasant, but he finds the cause of your pain and relieves it. Underneath the pain from Amad’s massage, Jay asked me if I no longer show him the cold shoulder. I was quite surprised that he noticed it so quickly. He pulled me down next to the floor and asked me how my walk was. My words seemed stuck in my mouth they didn’t want to come out even though my heart wanted nothing more than to tell him all of what I just realised. All I could say was a whispering ‘yes’. When Amad was done with his work he jumped up with his fit body of his and lit up a cigarette. There is not one gram of fat on him. We call him the Bruce Lee of Lombok. Jay and I went outside with him and Jay pulled me to the side and asked me what was going on. My words were still tangled in my mouth and I couldn’t find a way to put them in order. He lifted up my head with his hand and said: “Look me in the eyes.” I could feel that he was looking right through me in to the deepest corner of my heart that I have been trying to hide and before I could say it he said: “Are you afraid you could get too attached to me?” “Yes” I said with a crack in my voice. And I told him all about my fears, about my Dad and how I didn’t want to have the same relationship like my last one. And he said. “ You gotta let go of the past. It is no longer here I am your present and future now.” It was in that moment that I let go and I just gave in. I opened up my heart even more to myself to him and to the present.
The next day I woke up more at peace with my self than I can put in words. I realised that I took a huge step and that I was ready to go further. Ready to live my life my way and stop forcing a life that others want me to live.

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Chez Maddy’s

It has been pouring down rain like I have never seen before. I always thought it rains a lot in London, but this kind of rain is a whole other level.
The skin feels sticky because the humidity level is extremely high.
I have been sitting with my friend Luiza from Brazil and a bunch of other buddies on the porch at Maddy’s, staring out in the sea and wondering when the rain would stop. To pass the time we ended up playing “Bullshit” and drunk Indonesian rum that tastes a bit like cherry and is absolutely not delicious.

Maddy’s is a fantastic little homestay all the way down in Padang Padang. It is hidden from all the rest and not that easy to find. After a small path on the bike you have to go down quite a view steep steps that you hate every time you have to go back up. It is extremely basic but you can’t help your self but love it!
There is something about Maddy’s that makes everyone join together and you end up being almost like a little family. You feel home at Maddy’s and you don’t want to leave Mamma Maddy’s house anymore. A view steps down and you can jump straight in to the water and go surfing. I haven’t stayed anywhere so far so long as here. And even though I decided to go with Giacomo, whom I met at Maddy’s, to go hike the Rinjani Vulcano in Lombok I already feel a bit sad by the thought of leaving this place. Uluwatu and everything down here as grown close to my heart.

I have had time to come down here at Maddy’s, the constant moving can be tiring and you can’t really process what you have experienced. Once at one place for a bit longer you come to realise how much you have seen and explored. How many interesting people you meet along the way and how much the cultures and costumes change. It is a real privilege to be able to experience all that.
My travels have thought me to be more open as a person and be a lot less judgemental towards people and their background.

The other day when I was surfing in Uluwatu I was struggling to paddle back out. Tired from the night out before I still decided to go out in the water but my body kept telling me to rest. I wouldn’t listen and paid the price. I didn’t catch any waves because I was too slow. There are always so many people in the water in Ulu that you have to be quick or you wont get a wave at all. After I decided to paddle in, the current took me out all the way and I had a long paddle in front of me. Angry and frustrated, I paddled back out convinced I could take one last good wave so I would feel good and could be content with the surf of this day. Suddenly someone paddled up next to me, quick and very easy, I got already annoyed about that, because I was so tired and nothing seemed easy to me at this moment. “Hello?” Was all he said and I wanted to response in a feisty way: “What do you want?” But in stead I turned my head and all I said was: ”Hi.” He smiled at me and I recognized him from before in the water. He caught every wave and was doing all sorts of tricks. “Long paddle, ei?” I could feel how my ambitious personality wanted to fight back and make sure I wouldn’t look like a fool, but instead I gave in and admitted totally honest: “Yes, it is not my day at all. I am so tired and I am not catching any waves.” “That’s ok, there are days like that, we all have them.” He smiled and after inviting me to have a drink later he paddled off.
I was left behind, thinking: “Was that an invitation now or what, and where and when?” I continued paddling and watched how he already caught the next wave. I tried to figure out if I do want to have a drink with him or not. I decided o go out and headed for the reef. The reef cut in to my feet while walking over it and my tempo was slower than the one of a snail.
“There you are, I thought I lost ya!” Said a very strong Australian accent behind me. I turned and there he was again walking a lot smoother over the reef than me. He offered me to carry my board but of course I wouldn’t allow that. We walked together over the reef and I accepted his help of getting my balance by holding on to his shoulder. I could feel that I liked the fact that someone was looking out for me. I noticed a bunch of stickers on his board and it was obvious that he was sponsored, but I didn’t want to ask if he was a professional surfer. He must have caught my eyes checking out the stickers but he didn’t say it yet. Instead he asked me for how long I have been surfing and I honestly told him that I have only been surfing for one month. His eyebrows went up with a slight tilt back of his head, which indicated the surprise of me surfing at this spot. I wouldn’t admit it, but that little gesture made me feel a lot better about my shitty day.

On the little hill in Uluwatu, which you walk back up along surf shops and bars, he introduced me to his friends. Never in my life I met a group of people like them. They were all Free-riders and just came back from a two-week boat trip in the Mentawi’s. They have been on that boat in the jungle away from any sort of civilisation that at first they seemed a bit rough and I felt a bit lost in their world. But shortly after I felt so welcomed and comfortable that I accepted his invitation to dinner.
He told me he will pick me up later and I tried to insist to get there with my own bike. He made me laugh when he said, that he is old-fashioned and that he is the man and will drive. He seemed to be everything but old-fashioned! I can’t remember the last time I was being picked up for a dinner. I realised I am so used to be on my own and pay for my self, that all the feelings that crumbled up inside of me, were confusing me. I decided to just go with it and enjoy the moment. It was worth letting go, the evening with him and his friends was beautiful.

Back in London I only had friends who are in the same industry as me. Never in my life I would have thought that I open up to such a different lifestyle and would feel comfortable. As for now, for the first time I can just go with the flow and see where the wind is blowing me.

The surf, the sun, the nice smell of the incense from the offerings everywhere, the people, the fact that I can get up and read a book and write – all together is magical and I sometimes can’t believe my luck!

Maddy's


Seminyak and the villa Paris

The moment arrived that the swell was going to be so big, that it was not possible for me to surf at Balian beach and I needed to get my visa sorted out anyway. What a perfect moment to do that.

I met Paris in Balian and she not only offered me a ride a long but also to stay at her place while I had to fix my visa situation. We got along really well from the first moment we met. It almost felt like we knew each other since many years, so I gratefully accepted her invitation.

As we got to her house I couldn’t believe my eyes. I stayed rather in very basic places while traveling through Java and there I was standing in the entrance of a fantastic villa with pool. What a luxury!

The next day we went together towards Keramas where the Oakley Pro contest took place. The chance to see Kelly Slater surf with all the other best surfers was a must for me. Finally, I could realise another dream of mine. It was mind-blowing to see what they are capable of. It certainly was a whole different category. On the second day of the contest I finally fixed my visa and left for Kuta to find my own new board. What a hustle that was. I probably went in to every surf shop there is in Kuta, but finally I found it – my own board. Happy and so excited I couldn’t wait to try it out! I went to a beach in Seminyak, which was not the best decision since the surf is not the best there and the amount of rubbish that floated by me every other minute was absolutely shocking. It is sad how people here do not have a sense of what this does to the nature. They throw everything in the sea and on the ground as if it was their bin. If they are continuing this habit, this beautiful country will soon be destroyed!

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Paris showed me a bit around in Seminyak and I felt a bit overwhelmed with all the people who surrounded me. Back in civilisation, back in a city, it took me a while to accumulate and I made for the first time in my life the experience that I missed the small place where there where not many people, no clubs, no big hip bars just nature. Since I didn’t bring a big wardrobe along I felt totally under dressed between all these stylish girls. I am used to live in a big city and I know that kind of live like my backhand, that being in that situation was extremely new to me. I could tell that my travels have made an impact on my personality and me.

I didn’t feel like staying at this hip fancy place and wanted to walk along the beach at sunset. Already putting my feet back in the sea calmed me down. At another beach bar that was more relaxed and less hip, started Paris to tell me about her life and I couldn’t believe her life story. What an impressive life she had and the amount of suffering she went through moved me to tears. It is funny how you attract the right person for what you have to process for yourself if you travel alone.
Traveling alone is already very intense and you get to know yourself in a way that you couldn’t imagine before.
I believe I had to meet Paris to get to the next point of my self-discovery. I wasn’t aware of it at the moment but looking back now it all makes a lot of sense to me.

It was during that time with Paris that I hit that phase where you feel extremely alone and lost. I couldn’t understand why it was happening to me at this moment. I had a new friend in my life and wasn’t actually alone. I stayed at a beautiful place and was back in an environment that I should be more used to. The fact that I have changed and was surrounded by known circumstances may be provoked all this to happen in that particular moment.

I came to realise that I am no longer just an actress or the person I thought I was. I suddenly realised that there is so much more in me. I think I wasn’t aware of my own potential before, or may be I was scared of it . . .

Paris and I decided to go to Canggu beach, which is a 20 minutes drive on the motorbike from Seminyak up northwest. I wanted to go surfing and she wanted to have a relaxing day at the beach. It was early morning, when I suddenly had a breakdown. Tears started to roll down my cheeks and I could feel the ground underneath me opening up to this big black hole. I felt like I was going to fall and I didn’t know where. Paris took me in her arms and congratulated me. I looked totally startled at her. A bit embarrassed about the fact that I was crying over something that I couldn’t really explain I asked her: “Why are you congratulating me?”
She said: “Because you are making the biggest gift to your-self. You are freeing your-self from your old box and you opening up to an even more authentic person. I call it ‘peeling an onion’! The closer you get to the centre the stronger it gets. You are getting to know yourself on whole new level. This experience will teach you more than you ever can study for your whole life and it is a gift. It is scary because you can’t yet see what’s on the other side, but give it time and be patient and the reward will be tremendous.”
Blown away by her words and her empathy I thanked her from the bottom of my heart and we left for Canggu.

As soon as I was in the water surfing my mind calmed down and I forgot my sorrows once again. I felt so much better afterwards and sank absolutely tired in to bed. It all got even better after the next day when we made a day trip to Uluwatu in the south. What an impressive sight that is. You can stand on the cliff and have the perfect view of the surf. It was too big for me so we went to Padang Padang and I surfed there and as well as at Impossibles. I got totally smashed by a couple of waves but I kept going out and wouldn’t give up. Absolutely powered-out and feeling great we ended our day with a fresh red snapper right at the beach in Bingin.

I could feel that I reached the next phase and also that it was time for me to move on. It was the perfect ending to this very intense time with Paris. I loved it so much down in the south that I decided to leave for the next view days to Uluwatu.

Seminyak was great but I couldn’t wait to leave the city again.
The next morning I packed my bag, but my board on the surf rack of the bike and with some upbeat music in my ears and a really big smile, I couldn’t help but love the feeling that I was back on the road!

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