#15: A starting entrepreneur in surf — Scared? Find out: What is essential? And, the butterfly-effect.
Sitting in a very nice house on a wineyard (domaine) close to Lagos (POR), rented by a Swiss family for the Christmas Holidays, I find a moment of stillness to write. Vanlife is great, but you’re on the move a lot. And I have some decision making to do. The screen and the words always help so here it goes.
My sister offered me to fly to the Netherlands for New Years. And I think I’ll decide not to do that. For the best reason that I do not want to leave the place and state of mind which I think I can only continue to keep when I’m physically in that place. The place is everywhere I am, Portugal is the country I’m currently residing, but my van is a constant that helps a lot in staying centred. It’s my mini apartment. On wheels.
What do I like to do in the next months? For SACKED to mature it’s important to have a date in the calendar for an actual retreat. It’s getting close. For £13 a month, Wix (my website builder) allows me to receive bank transfers from the website. It will also remove the Wix advertisement at the bottom of the page, and yeah, it’s via Stripe — which is already connected to my account — where I can safely and easily recieve booking payments. Which is great news. A first Event first though (!!). Money in, money out. Wix also allows me to open up Events, which are easily managed on the web page. I just need to f#/%€®¢¿ do it. Or am I too scared (yet)? And what does that tell me?
I just read some notes, and even though it seems like everything is ready for a first event, I’m not yet well-established here. I could get to know a couple more surf coaches/schools to work with. And so on..
Then my own surf. I really like to be here and surf a lot, for next week’s swell forecast looks really good. That means, I need to be on point (new suit?), and happy with my setup. I’ll need to fix the 6'4 and maybe trade it for something slightly wider (20 1/4 or 1/8?) in a 5'10/6'0 length I reckon. Surf fitness needs to come back. I’m just a little bit unfit and it plays with my mind. Don’t like this state. Haven’t had many good surfs lately. So I need to get in much more. What about the Reforestation Project you’re going to do starting January 2. Yeah, well so this is called Awakeland close to Monchique. Meditation, tantra, yoga. Fifteen or so volunteers planting thousands of trees and exchanging skills, time and love. Lot of work. We get food. We get accommodation. I already have my van as backup. Is this really what I want to be doing? Will it deviate or bring me closer to my mission? Deviate right? So what’s the alternative? Living in my van, doing surf coaching jobs, helping a friend out with some handyman jobs and roll? Surf a lot. That is what I want, isn’t it?
What I learned at Vida Pura — an ‘Inspiration land’ where people can slow down, work with the land and animals, and exchange skills and knowledge — was that I am OK the way I am, and my enthusiasm should not be stopped or blocked by people because I shine. I also learned a lot about food, eating vegan for the most part. Gut health is so important. I enjoy cooking, but it gets stressfull when I don’t know what I’ll eat. Then, when I get hungry while I still need to figure out what to cook, I can somehow stress. And that wakes up ‘hangry Ivo’ and he’s not that great (..). I have made mistakes. I have been off. But I accept that it happened, and forgive myself for it. But yeah, preparing food is a matter of foresight. Preparing something in the morning for lunch. And preparing veggies, or beans, or lentils, or dough, in the afternoon for evening dinner. Lessons learned.
I was feeling so at home when I arrived in the area here. Vida Pura is a great place. And then there was that party in the woods (jungle — yes, there it is..) which was amazing. I drove with two other vans from a beach to this place we only had coordinates from. Sent privately, through an instant messaging app (which one doesn’t matter does it?). We arrived in a remote valley, where at some point we saw a row of cars and vans lined up. We heard music in the distance. Fully grown Eucalyuptus trees all over the place. This was hidden away. More vans appeared around corners and little fields. It felt like a festival. I met some local young people. In their early twenties. Cool guys and one girl. Shared a can of sugar free coke with one thursty young man from that group. The night was a techno-driven force of nature. Met so many kind spirits. Danced a lot. Hugged a lot. Slept good in my van and Sunday, it just kept going, at this little market in a valley up the road, with beautiful people everywhere, lovely products and food, a big fire, dance music until late in the evening. Bliss.
The night was a techno-driven force of nature. Met so many kind spirits. Danced a lot. Hugged a lot.
So yeah, I like it here. I like to stay here, or at least, keep going. What is holding me back at the moment? My sense of independence maybe. It’s high on my list of values. If I go volunteering I become dependent of others, cooking food, and the organisation for giving me shelter. Maybe there’s a lesson there for me. To learn more about giving and receiving. God knows what kind of weather we’ll be getting, it might be really nice to have a bed in a house (even though it’s a big room, sharing the space with at least ten others, which will be interesting to say the least..). Yeah, independence. Maybe I just need to stay with myself, get my surfing back to a level I am happy with for the coming weeks. With as little distractions as possible. And get a stream of income going. With SACKED Surf Tour Portugal Event #1 in the planning for either late March or early April maybe. How would that make you feel? If you’d really made a committed choice for the surf? To be on your own mostly, driving around everyday for a place to surf/and sleep for the night?
Love. This mind can write, and plan, and think all it wants but it’s love that makes me do whatever I do. If I don’t love it, I can’t do it. And I know I love surf, but I need to take care of this fragile passion. Plan my ‘come back’ well.
And what if you did it all? You surf your heart out next week, staying around Vale do Bois with Rob.. Just use the old Ripcurl suit with your thermal.. Get that 6’4 fixed asap or do it yourself with Solaris.. You plant some trees (dependent on how you like it for two-three weeks) whilst working on your spring and summer plan. Being at a place like Awakeland, will be good for collecting feedback, increasing the network and polishing the idea.. You don’t HAVE to have an event in the calendar for Spring 2022 either. I repeat, you do not have to have an event in the calendar for Spring 2022. Let it mature with you.
All this planning. I just want to Be Here. Now. That is what simple work, hands-in-the-ground, with early morning calls, does to you. And perhaps it’s best for my mental health as well, to just do this. And yes, plan my ‘come back into surf’ well too. Keep working on my fitness (aerobic and an-aerobic), leg strength and upperbody strength, lower back too, abs… Abdominals! Get a wetsuit delivered to Rob. Make sure you got the right board — just get a good grovvler, or search one that gives you that ‘butterfly-effect’ you can have for a board. Trade a board. The Spider maybe. Maybe the true butterfly-effect* will only come when I get back to the UK, when I see Blacker and order a custom Lightning Bolt with him. Perhaps. Perhaps. He did tell me to just surf the Jordy board until next season and then decide upon a template for a custom.
Vibe. Your vibe. Don’t you worry. Just do things. Like your buddy Bas says; ‘Dare to take direction’.
That’s it for now. The inner workings of my mind on a screen. Mostly for me, perhaps entertaining or interesting for you as well.
Take it easy people. Take care.
Happy days, and a happy start of 2022!
*: When I wrote down ‘butterfly-effect’ I instantly had to think about real butterflies which suddenly turn up when I’m in the zone, or ‘just happy’ somewhere. Life does not stop to amaze me.