I am living the dream. I love my life, but it hasn’t always been like that. I am 28 years old and before I decided to follow my heart and do what makes me the most happy, I was a soccer reporter back home, in Germany. And not just soccer, also basketball and ice hockey. Back then I thought this is what I want to be – a reporter on TV. And I worked my ass off to get there. I had four side jobs: 1 as a soccer reporter for the Bavarian football association. 1 as a freelance reporter for one of Germany´s most popular and at the same time most criticized boulevard newspapers in the country: BILD. 1 as a Videojournalist for a TV Channel covering the infamous FC Bayern and doing interviews with their million dollar players. And 1 as a bartender, so I could earn some extra money on tips to pay my oh so ‚elite‘ and s*** expensive private University fees.
Maaan, I was a proud student of sportsjournalism with some already pretty cool jobs lined up for my future. What I did not see that time was, that I had absolutely NO TIME for myself. No time to enjoy life, except for the semester break, where I would take off and go on a surftrip – secretly hoping I could just stay wherever I was, surf and never return to the life I was living back home. I was so focused on my career and wanted to do good, I didn´t realize, that surrounding myself with surfing, it´s culture and characters, including it´s search for waves and new places, was what I actually wanted. Sometimes I would bring my camera on surftrips to take photos or cover an event of the WSL, just for fun – because doing that I actually had fun. Maybe I just didn´t believe in myself and the idea of making a living with what I really wanted to do – experience Surfing, write and report about it. To be honest, I didn´t at all believe in it in the beginning. So little actually, that I hardly ever thought about it profoundly. And it took until I graduated for me to break out of the comfort zone of mainstream success and start believing in what I was maybe not born into but what I definitely had developed a strong passion for over the years. And with passion comes knowledge, comes experience, comes opportunities…
For starters: I haven´t always been a surf-traveling beach bum. Well, not physically. I have always been dreaming about it until I finally realized I would only really be happy and full-filled when I made that dream come true. So it had to be done at some point. Better sooner than later, that I know.
So now, I am living my dream. I managed to make a living, traveling and surfing, doing what I love. But it was a loooooooong looooooong way and nothing easy! I´ll tell you the whole story about how i actually got there some other time…
Now, I´d like to let you know more about the actual life I am living. Because even though I can quite say I love what do, I want you to know that there is always ups and downs in life. There is no such a thing as a perfect life with ‚no worries‘ at all. No matter what dream you are after, you will always and for everything in life have to make sacrifices. I did that too. I am still doing that every day. And it´s more than ok, because it allows me to live a life that to me is the one I want.
So I work online, which means I can work from anywhere in the world at pretty much any time. Sounds pretty perfect already huh? Still, there is some clichés I want to clear up with so here´s…
10 facts about my life, you probably did
1. I actually have to work
What you see on my Instagram and Blog, are usually photos of me Surfing and my beautiful surroundings and trips. But ‚backstage’ there is a whole lot of work behind it. So apart from Blogging and Gramming I am a freelance journalist, social media and PR Manager with clients. So I actually have work to do and deadlines to comply with. The good thing about freelancing and my job-field in particular is, you can choose when to work and how much. Since I work online I pretty much get to choose where from too. But that doesn´t mean I earn so much money, I can just surf all day every day. Just like everybody, I have to make sure, I have enough cash on my bank account to be able to pay for my bills. So that means sometimes even though the waves are perfect, the swell is pumping and the sun is shining, I HAVE WORK TO DO. Sometimes so much, I can not surf at all. Sometimes so much I can´t surf for a week or two, sometimes even a month or two. And be sure, it´s nothing easy sitting right in front of pumping waves, knowing you´re running out of time to turn in your papers if you go out there and surf. So even though I am most times somewhere surrounded by waves, it´s not guaranteed I get to surf them.
To be fair though, when it really is absolutely pumping, I go out there, surf and then work the night away. But hey, try staying focused and awake at night after a 5 hour exhausting surf in plain sun. Nothing easy, but most times 100 % worth it. 🙂
2. Time off
So since I can work from anywhere, I travel a lot. True that. Traveling a lot in my case doesn´t mean that I have a lot of holidays. I work every day. Monday to sunday, at least 2 hours until up to 14 hours a day some times. Weekends, I don´t know what that is. If I want a day without any work to do, I will have to get some work done in advance so I can have a day or two off. Sometimes this works out really well, sometimes not. If I don´t work, I don´t make money. That´s a self employees life. A trip with friends where we just surf and relax, I do not even remember the last time I did that. Work is always on my mind. Even in the water sometimes. Surfing inspires me, the people I meet inspire me, culture, places… just everything I experience constantly gets me new ideas, which is absolutely great on the one hand. On the other hand it´s an overload of information that sometimes results in me being all stressed out because a day just does not have enough hours to process and write down everything you experience.
3. The ever changing Office
You probably picture me working at the beach with my laptop, waves in front of me, surfboard next to me. Am I right? Well, if so, you are wrong. There are these trips, where I have my own work space in a private room. They are very very rare though. Most times, I share rooms, kitchens, living rooms, office spaces and so on with other people from other countries, cultures and backgrounds – which is cool, don´t get me wrong. But it also is hard to focus on your project if you have others talking about theirs around you constantly. I often have to work from Hostels I stay at, which is the worst. Because most people around you are on vacation and don´t have to work so they are all about socializing which makes it pretty difficult to find time and space to work at. This results in me, working from the passenger seat of my car, as long as my battery allows. Sometimes I work from cafes or restaurants, which can get pretty pricey if you continuously have to order stuff. You never know where you´ll be working from the next day so you constantly have to adapt to new locations and noises. You easily get distracted from unexpected happenings, people walking in and out, chatting next to you or even involve you in their conversations…
If something doesn’t work out as you want it, theres no colleague you could ask for help. No technicians you could call but also no boss that complains about you taking to long to figure it out 🙂
Working at the beach with a laptop is a pain in the arse. The sun reflects in your screen, you´ll get sand inside and onto your laptop and the humidity of the ocean breeze kills it in no time. Plus the waves would just be too distracting, honestly, I could not focus if I saw people surfing in front of me working.
Read about costs, trip organization and my daily routine on page 2!