While surfing in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka, a surfer we met talked about the book “Boarderlines” and highly recommended it. Back home I was eager to hear and read surf stories so I bought the book. In the book, German author Andreas Brendt, shares his experiences while traveling the world for ten years to look for the best waves in the world. I enjoyed every single page as it made me think of Sri Lanka’s tropical heat, its people and my first “real” surf experiences. On the other hand it made me think: “Why don’t you do the same, pack your stuff and explore!”. After finishing the book I expressed my compliments to the author. In the following blog post you will find a surf interview with him. (a celebrity on our blog – check it out!) ;)
You have been 10 years on the road and you have seen countless different places, you danced Salsa in Ecuador and surfed far more than a thousand waves. What made you decide that the surf holiday in Bali and Australia wasn’t enough but you wanted to explore the world?
That happened pretty quickly ;) Perhaps already after the first „washingmashine“ trying to jump on my board in Bali or perhaps even earlier at the crazy airport Den Pasar. The feeling of curiosity, naiveté, vitality and adventure, infected me somehow. Once I arrived back in Germany I knew that I wanted more. First that meant integrating traveling and surfing in my life as much as I could, but then I chose a different approach: I changed my life.
While traveling for several years you will face ups and also downs. What was the most negative experience / situation of your trip that comes to your mind?
The one or another near-death experience in bigger waves are pretty much on top of my list. Beyond that, obviously I was really annoyed when the next scheduled public transport got cancelled and I had to wait five more hours after already being on the road for 40 hours.. Or when it was incredibly hot and tropical fever trapped me in bed on the other side of the world. In retrospect I can say that, all in all, I have almost only positive experiences. And the best thing is: everything that wasn’t nice, transforms after a few days into to a great story :)
Is it possible for you to name your favorite country? If so, which and why?
Indonesia and Mexico. Both countries have great waves and super nice people. Every time I visit, I am always full of admiration for the way they treat strangers and grateful that I was lucky enough experience their country. The best thing about that is both countries have very different cultures so it feels somehow new once you travel there after coming home from the other.
You spent a lot of time looking for the perfect wave. What are your top 3 surf spots?
Desert Point, Rio Nexpa, Punta Mango. But that’s actually bullshit, there are even better waves coming to my mind. Ebay, Lakey Peak, Pavones, Frigates Passage, Chicama and just this year I found a spot that astonished me completely. The more I spend time thinking about this, the harder it gets to answer the question – not to mention my sudden desire to go surfing ;)
Traveling and surfing for 10 years is not the right choice for everybody. How can everybody find out for him / herself? Go with your gut or yourhead?
To listen to your gut can sometimes be smarter when it comes to happiness. Your head is full of social dependencies and values of the society you live in (surfing is fun, traveling is great, owning a house is amazing etc.). I find it very difficult to determine if my head or my gut is speaking to me. But I just say one thing: Fuck you happiness. There is no right or wrong. Life is an adventure of right and wrong decisions, of ups and downs. Life is a playground to experiment and learn. We are more independent than we think. We are allowed to live a totally boring or normal life. Or we just leave everything behind us and start a new life, living in a cave in the Himalaya. Or something in between. I do not think anymore that there is a right or a wrong way.
And now some last words to all cowards that stayed at home or readers with wanderlust…
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Invite a stranger to a cup of coffee. Sleep for two days while there is the greatest party going on. Paddle a wave that scares you. Play with your comfort zone, your fears, your weaknesses and perhaps with your made up dreams.
Also, there are restless people that always want to do too much, who want to experience too much. For these people some rest would be the best hint. I am somewhere between both extremes. Sometimes a bit too much and sometime a bit too laid back :) I think life is not a lemon from that you need to squeeze everything out. For me it is more like the ocean, that makes you float.
Thanks so much for your time, Andi :)