REVIEW: From Bali to Barnstaple – Stephanie Conway
10:00 am on November 3, 2021
In surfing, the take-off moment is when the wave you’ve paddled towards lifts your board so that you feel like you can almost fly.
What you do next will decide your fate: pop up and get behind the wheel or miss and fall at the mercy of the ocean. Everyone wants to ride the barrel of life and go out like Kelly Slater. But the best times to learn come from falling off our board, diving into the unknown, and having our bodies dragged along the seabed as we stare death in the face.
In the chaos of being thrown like a missing sock in the wash, you might find a moment to make peace with your fate. But eventually, hopefully, the wave calms down and you emerge to the surface, breathless, thinking; “Wow, I’m alive! ”
You may have left behind your dignity, parts of your bathing suit and a string of snot on the bottom of the ocean, but you have experienced the sweet fragility of life and lived to tell the story. ‘story.
If you sit on the edge of the lineup, you will avoid the risk altogether. But you won’t make any progress either. Whatever type of surfer you choose to be, dictates the rest of your life. Take your chance and set off blindly in the swells, or stay away and miss the magic.
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Whether it’s confessing your love for the first time, trying some street food in Vietnam, or leaving your nine to five to start a new business, there is a certain degree of risk in everything. worth doing. But if you never try, you’ll never know what you’re made of.
I have stepped into the abyss enough to know that it is the events that we perceive as failures that teach us the greatest lessons.
In 2019, I was working from my laptop on a beach in Bali before the pandemic invaded my world. A force powerful enough to shut down my business, send me to British shores, and pin me down for the foreseeable future.
If I had known my time in Heaven would be cut short, I might have laughed a little louder, danced a little longer, and swam a little deeper. But as the borders began to close after a decade spent abroad, a job offer brought me to North Devon for the first time in my life. A new adventure.
Moving to a new place without knowing someone else can be intimidating. Add a global pandemic to the mix and you might find yourself staring at the four walls of your bedroom wondering “what’s next?” ”
Covid-19 has taken so much of us all, forcing us to face the depths of the unknown in one way or another. But by being freed from the rip current of blockages, we found our way to the surface – with a sense of hope for a brighter future.
Hi, I’m Stéphanie. A northern girl turned into a blast in North Devon, who landed in this beautiful location during the lockdown. “But why North Devon? I hear you ask. After learning to surf the crystal clear reefs of southern Lombok, from Tanjung Aan to Gerupuk Bay, I chose North Devon as a beautiful backdrop to continue my newfound love of surfing… and can I tell you a secret ? I’m awful at that!
Going from head-to-toe neoprene one-piece swimsuits, and predictable reefs to the wild waves of North Devon is such a humbling experience.
At first I felt like I was paying to freeze my pieces, while desperately trying not to drown. But as a new girl in town, surfing was the gift that helped me make new friends to jump (and get out of) the sea with.
So I’ll be using this weekly column to write about all things surfing in North Devon – from community groups that have welcomed me to the area, to places and events, to profiles of some of the most interesting people I have seen. I have met. encountered along the alignment. Meeting next week !