Another life experiment traveling has guided me to is taking place right now. Sumbawa Surf Soul Society – a Lakeys mission is busy happening in my life.
In three years of traveling I’ve tasted real freedom outside of society, learned how to surf, broke my nose and collected scars, felt the support of the universe and chased dreams.
All this led me to the place I am finding myself in now – Lakey Peak, Sumbawa, Indonesia. It sure is beautiful but due to my cash status I am not on a holiday. This is life, this is survivor.
Facing the urgent need to make money in a foreign country but also wanting to surf and enjoy this place I took the jump together with a man who truly is qualified in the art of living and surviving. This guy who not only plays his guitar in barrels as a side job but also teaches surfing, surviving as a freelance spirit in Indonesia for almost four years, had the idea to get into water photography to earn money while traveling. Being able to support your own surf trip financially while actually being on it sounds like a dream.
As anything that sounds like a dream surviving in Sumbawa takes a lot of effort, both mentally and physically. The physical part consists of surfing and shooting no matter how our bodies feel. When the waves are pumping we got to be on it. Constant waves checks and up and ready mentality anytime is precondition. Sounds not too bad but if your living quality is based on nature’s mood life can get quite tiring.
The mental part is more important however. You have to make sure that you are playing the right program in your head. “I am safe, I’ll be taken care of.” Constant choices for happiness rather than freak-outs are possibly the ultimate requirement for a life like this. You got to go with the flow, trust and feel supported even if the cash runs low. You got to be grateful for what you have even though there is only a 100 thou ($10) in your pocket. Eating noodles for 2000 (20 cents) doesn’t really do you the favor of making you feel better or your struggle worthwhile. Doubts whether I am doing the right thing have been a daily issue for me to face since I still have just enough money in my bank account to fly back to Germany. But do I want to bail on this once in a lifetime experiment? What’s waiting for me in German society? It's the comfort that keeps attracting me. My comfort zone calling my name.
Day dreaming about dressing up, going out for a nice dinner or just snuggling on the couch watching TV I get to the point in my head and heart where I would bail in a heartbeat leaving this life of rice, waves and money struggles behind. Waves and nature in exchange for money and luxury. Sounds dramatic and it is.
Unlike nature money makes it possible to disguise what we don’t want to know about us. You feel sad, you buy. You don’t face your sadness, you replace a feeling that occurs within yourself with something that exists in the world without yourself. How’s that going to fix the real issue? The drama keeps continuing even though unconsciously. Since I am thinking about going back to Germany to be more comfortable I believe that there is some kind of issue within myself I'd like to escape from. In this kind of place however this is impossible and I believe if I'll stick around a little longer I will learn a lesson for life.
Being surrounded as well as having the ocean as our office to make cash in we spend countless hours in nature. Spending a lot of time in nature not having a shopping mall or night club or really any kind of material distraction around (except the Internet) you have to face yourself and deal with your issues right away. It’s hard but it’s also what gets the creative blood going.
“Happiness is a choice.” and that gets pretty raw and real when there is nothing around that can make you feel better in an instant. It becomes your responsibility to get active towards your own happiness rather than turning to your favorite TV show to put you in a better mood. Overcoming your boredom and bad mood by yourself is I believe the source of pure potentiality and creativity.
So well here we are trying to survive in paradise doing water photography as a living dealing with nature’s mood and our own, trying to remain calm when the money runs low, getting to know ourselves better every day and creating something from that that will remain when this experiment comes to an end. Who knows when, who knows what follows.
Stay tuned for daily insights on this mission.