I commit my life to independent travel. I commit to follow my erratic desires to travel to far flung islands, to connect with local cultures, to eat different food, to hear different music, to pursue unridden waves, to witness sunsets, to love, to write, to experience what it is to be a human.
Along the way, I found that I have a thing for sunsets. Just like a first love, I can’t shake that feeling when I see them, I want nothing more than to revel in the beauty, to take it all in. What makes sunsets beautiful is that they are always changing. Every moment of a sunset is a gradual change, a constant reminder that life is fleeting, that what was once there will never BE again.
Aside from the hue of the sky, erratic clouds and landscapes, I find that people at dusk are the most beautiful. Whether at work or at play, the time of the day when the sun has gone to rest casts a specific light on everyone.
My grandmother used to say that everyone looks good by candlelight.
Why do you think you did all those group projects in school?
Because collaborating with people in life, work, love and creativity is how you thrive in this world. Our ability to engage and create with others is important.
At the beginning of this year my dear friend Daniela, of Yeah Vinyasa Yoga, showed up in Indonesia at my doorstep. We’ve somehow landed on the same side of the planet yet again. From Costa Rica, to Mexico, to the U.S. to a small island in Southeast Asia… we’ve daydreamed, played, and brainstormed together along the way, knowing that at some point we’d be working together.
Daniela began Yeah Vinyasa Yoga as a way to teach her craft around the world and meet others who shared similar passions. She interviews therapists, yogis and healers to hear what they have to say.
This January when we created a video series featuring a multi-talented physical therapist-massuese-yogi. The first of the series, Tie&Fly, is a look inside the strange and wonderful world of AcroYoga and therapeutic bondage (did I really just write that?).
I was first introduced to the technique at a wonderful festival at the Green School in Bali. From far away it looked like what I’ve seen so many times before, a human precariously balanced on another’s hands and feet, whipping around with incredible balance and strength. When I got closer I realized that the “flyer” was tied up. Tied the F up. I didn’t want to stare, but I did anyway. It’s not something you see everyday. Hands bound with red rope behind his back, shoulder blades drawn out, chest open, eyes closed.
One month later and I was lying in the grass next to a pool with my camera trained on a man, bound with the same red rope, eyes closed. Here’s what happened:
Mid February of 2014 brought a major change of scenery. I moved my home base from the West coast of Bali, Indonesia to the neighboring island to the East, Lombok. While it is relatively close geographically, the two islands are vastly different. I felt weary taking my camera out for the two months I lived here. An impoverished population just didn’t seem down with an expensive DSLR in their face, so here are some quick snaps I shot from my hip, back of my bike, and from underneath my sarong.
Moving from Bali to Lombok crosses the Wallace Line: an invisible division between Asia and Australasia/Oceania. The evidence is in the landscape, the fauna, flora and animals seen on Indonesian islands East of Bali. Hence the buffalo.
Lombok had an untouched quality about it. After all the development and Westernization of Bali, I was so pleased to see rolling hills and farmland.
Along the beaches of the Southern coast, this view is a popular one. Crystal blue waters, green hills and “hawkers” selling sarongs, bracelets and t-shirts. Buyers beware of the up-sell.
Downtown Kuta, Lombok began its tourist climb as a destination for adventurous surfers, hence the surf shops. More recent changes to infrastructure are bringing in more backpackers, possibly overcrowding the tiny town. In just ten years it went from a semi-dangerous desolate fishing village with little accommodation to the new hotspot for Aussie and European backpackers and villa goers. While you won’t get robbed at knife point at the ATM anymore, it is still wise to guard your money and belongings, as it is a bit more “Wild West” here.
Palm tree symmetry still baffles me.
I still think about this wave. It was generally unsurfable, too far, too big and too unknown, but a girl can dream.
I took this my first day from the backseat of our taxi. I was so excited to see greenery after all the concrete in Bali that I couldn’t contain myself from sticking my camera out the window.
Markets are BIG in Indonesia. Fish, squid and octopus fresh off the boat. This market was so close I could smell it from the bedroom… seriously.
This is the most popular and widely known South Lombok surf spot, so I don’t feel I’m ruining any secrecy by posting this. A perfect day of peeling rights.
The people, oh the people! I know the title says “Landscapes” but I cannot help myself.
At first the Sasak people seem a bit colder than the friendly Balinese, but once you show respect and a general openness to trying to speak Bahasa, they will open up in ways you could not imagine. Lombok is an island of conservative Muslims, so covering up (women I’m looking at you), keeping PDA modest, and demonstrating a willingness to connect will bring you far.
This goes for every place on your itinerary:
Travel with respect, earn respect.
Lombok is a land of intense contradictions, much to the beat of Indonesia’s drum. Unparalleled beauty and unforgiving poverty, conservative Islam and backpacker bungalows, tourism and starvation. The disparity between the pros and cons of the island confused me, it upset me to see so much pain and desperation, yet at the same time I felt proud to know the people, to understand the necessity of their everyday actions. Everything in life balances delicately on a fulcrum of industry and presence.
Regardless of what happens to Lombok next, there will always be ways it will excite the adventurer, please the beach seeker and fulfill the surfer’s dreams.
The beginning of the week can be tough. Like really tough. Like yourbestfriendisgettingmarried-you’rebroke-noinspiration-stuckinarut-feelingsick-notimeoff tough. But sometimes all you really need to do is just flip your perspective. If things are all upside down, maybe you should be too.
So now, I’m going to go hang my body off the side of my bed and let all the blood rush back to my head.
We all love the internet for so many reasons. Cat videos, food blogs, online shopping, ebooks, streaming movies and personal blogs are all the rage. All the time.
Above all, it is a wealth of information available for free, at any time of the day, any time of the week, whenever, wherever. It used to be that you had to take class, buy a book or visit a library to learn a trade, to read up on someone’s experiences and lessons, to gain knowledge. Now all you need is a browser and some time.
As Global Frolic has grown, I’ve found a lot of you asking for certain information that I don’t have on hand and I end up referring you to another website. To make the acquisition of information faster for all of us, here’s a list of my favorite websites, blogs, inspiration and information stations.
Matt is the ultimate adventurer and captures it beautifully in his photographs and writing. A professional photographer turned professional vagabond. He also introduced me to Osprey via a hilarious story of Gringo’s Revenge.
The greatest resource. Seriously. David has his shit on lockdown. After an epic RTW (round the world trip) he started this website, it now has many authors as well. The destination list alone is encyclopedic.
Also owned by David (above) and Michael. It’s aim is to support and educate a community of newbie to expert bloggers on anything from web design to headlines to monetizing your site. This is HANDS DOWN the best tool I’ve ever used in cultivating my business.
Someone I’ve admired afar through social media, one day I hope to meet her and thank her for the insane inspiration. Her website is also drool-worthy. The photography is top-notch. She’s got style and beautiful surf shots. And beautifully insane surfing style. Top 5 girlcrushes.
An amazing cartoonist realized his dream of.. cartooning. He takes inspirational quotes and turns them into full-fledged cartoons. Not only entertaining but uplifting, challenging and interesting as well.
You’re one stop-shop for all things mindful. It’s an online magazine, so get ready for some serious variety… covering everything from see-through-yoga-pants, spirituality and the woes of drinking milk.
For a long time, that wasn’t what was happening for me.
Trying to teach yourself meditation techniques you read about is kind of like baking a souffle: you have all the ingredients and none of the technique. You follow instructions but still it all falls flat.
Whenever I sat down and closed my eyes: BOOM goes my crazy. I was buzzing, thinking, frantic, scattered, my thoughts were moving, moving, moving. I closed my eyes and tried to think about nothing. Or count my breaths. Or repeat a mantra. I usually came up short. Standing back up, wide-eyed and more frazzled than before. I always wondered about the people who seemed so calm and claimed it was from daily mediation… seriously? I was crazed after my attempts.
My mind always works. It just runs on and on. Sometimes in circles, sometimes linear, sometimes at a goal… but always running. It even jogs in place, just to keep me occupied, never resting nor faltering. I’ve had moments where the run slows to a jog, maybe a walk… only to pick up pace again.
I know this isn’t unique to me. There wouldn’t be so many self-help, advice, or how-to’s out there if it wasn’t an issue. Calming the mind, reaching a state of inner peace… it all sounds so lovely and so… fucking hard.
The truth is that it is hard.
Our minds are hardwired to entertain us all damn day. If you spoke out loud your stream of consciousness, you’d be incarcerated or institutionalized depending on your mood. The “monkey mind” is always grabbing at branches, swinging from tree to tree, looking for something.
My mind scared me with how quickly can take a thought like “I should meditate this morning” and end up in a dark alley, behind the dumpster with thoughts surrounding the origin of the lizard poop on my floor.
Does the lizard poop from the ceiling and it drops and lands in that shape? Or does it slither along pooping while walking. Does it take any effort or is it like the pigeons back home, just dropping it when the urge arises? If pigeons were just a different color people would love them. Maybe purple? Exotic. Everyone loves exotic. Peacocks. Pigeoncocks. No. Why is there so much lizard poop? How did it get INSIDE my kindle? How many poops a day? The goat poop is weird too. Little tiny balls. Balls. BREAKFAST! I’m hungry.
I edited the above paragraph to fit on this page and give you a small snapshot. I would’ve gone on… but I don’t want to lose too many friends and readers. I’m reading American Psycho and an Anna Quindlen book about spousal abuse now, so it would’ve gotten weird up there.
My inner dialogue is a mix of schizoid tree-to-tree swinging, self talk, fantasies and a running essay for this website. None of which really achieves much throughout the day.
Anyways, my point is- what is my point? I’ve lost myself already.
The mind is always working
The point of meditation is not to stop it, not to simply observe but to focus it. Train it. Like going to the gym, lifting weights, focusing on one activity and one muscle group. The same thing, but your brain. And your brain controls IS your perception of the world.
Your mind is your world.
Finally, after a few years of mild internal insanity, I’ve started to make some progress with the help of a particular course and lineage of meditation. Want to start? Get working. I recently attended a course in Java at a Dhamma Vipassana Centre to learn the methods of Vipassana meditation. Stay tuned for full disclosure on how that went over with my monkey mind.
We would like to welcome back a series that died out over the last few months. In an effort to focus more energy on developing this website and other Global Frolic endeavors, Fotogenic Phriday was neglected.
Third-world internet connection stops us from publishing more at the moment, so for now, this is a picture of the opening day of fishing season in Lombok, Indonesia.
For Photogenic Friday fans, we will be featuring a new photograph once a month from now on.
If you haven’t heard of Holstee… hold onto your hats. The revolutionary movement of mindful thinking, passionate living and dream weaving curates a blog, created a manifesto to change the world and empowers people around the world to pursue a life of meaning. They’ve recently tackled the painful assumption that those who pursue their passions as careers are self-indulgent and naive.
I’ve read a few articles online in the past year or so that have struck me down so poignantly with the “Generation Y is a bunch of whiney spoiled brats who only want to do what is fun” theme. On the other hand, Holstee and other websites and movements have helped me realize that doing what I love is more than okay, it is what I NEED to do.
Challenging the status quo and leaving behind everything that I am “supposed” has allowed me to help others and contribute to my community in more ways than I could have imagined. My personal happiness is directly related to my productivity and ability to give freely to others around me.
Reject being a cog in a cubicle not because you are ungrateful for an opportunity to work, or because you only want to have fun, but because upholding the status quo is unacceptable.
-Tylea Richard, Head of Production at Holstee
To read more about being “awake”, find your way to the Holstee web page, check out the blog and peep their manifesto. It inspired thousands of folks to drop the meaningless shit and find what calls them. It can help you too.
This is for all my lovely readers. I’m engaging in a cease and desist of mental actions for a while. A Global Frolic holiday-from-life.
The Vipassana tradition is one of India’s most ancient forms of meditation, taught 2,500 years ago as a universal remedy for ills. It is a way of self transformation through self observation.
I will be taking part in a 10 day Vipassana beginning tomorrow May 7 in Jakarta, Java at one of the many Dhamma Vipassana Centres. Each participant vows to take a “noble silence” of body, soul and mind. Remaining silent enhances the meditations, which occur over about 10 hours each day.
I am taking this vow of silence and meditation to help clear myself. To learn how to deal with what arises within me. Many times in my travels I feel as though I want to help others, help their situations and feel a call to understand their plight. However, you cannot help anyone until you help yourself. I cannot aid anyone else on this planet until I learn how to observe and explore my mind and thoughts, to disperse discontentment and return with a balanced mind.
This, of course, will mean I am taking a break from my duties as contributor and founder of this website. I will not take photographs, write, read, move, frolic, surf, adventure or edit during the course. The only actions I will be performing are meditation and eating. This is to make sure that the change brought about is from the Vipassana techniques and not extraneous activities.
Everything will resume on May 18th. See you then.
To learn more about Vipassana, check out their webpage and FAQ. Stay tuned for my inevitable return and reactions to the course and teachings.
dream weaver, leap-of-faith-taker and joyful inspiration.
In this edition of Travel Talks with Salt Gypsy, we cover the tough stuff: The future of Salt Gypsy and women’s surfing.
Now that we know how you landed your dream job in the Maldives, is it still your dream job? Or have things changed?
“Surf guiding is taking a backseat for now. Salt Gypsy is a my main focus. There will, however, be a Salt Gypsy Surf trip for women in May 2014. Power and harmony exists in the lineup when women are involved. The dynamic changes, the mood is softer and more playful, less egotistical and aggressive.
My overall business plan involves surf travel. It will be a surf trip for advanced level surfers, those who are confident surfing over reef, keen to chase swell, and keen to pull into barrels regardless of whether you make it out.”
So where can we surf with Salt Gypsy?
“It is easy for me to start with Maldives. I respect my former employer at Liquid Destination and love his business plan. He has 10 years of experience, he’s switched on and knows the best uncrowded surf spots. I know there are tons of surf chicks who want to explore, who don’t want the cookie cutter stereotype of female surfing.
I would love to do something that pushes my surfing, it’s the next market that’s opening up. I just want to go on cool surf missions with other women. ”
What can we expect from Salt Gypsy in the future?
“I definitely want to take it to the next level, to offer an alternative for women in surfing. There is a bit of interest now and customers are responding. I want to see how far I can take this, to push my boundaries and grow my business, while still be of service to women, like you, surfers out there.
Surf travel is becoming bigger and bigger. I just want to have fun, grow a cool brand and collaborate with other like-minded women in business. I have a few projects coming up soon. It’s important to align with other women in the surf industry. I want to raise the caliber for everyday female surfers.”
Any future surf travel plans in the works?
“Well, first I need to see more of Indonesia! I’ve only been to Bali, Rote and Nusa Lembongan. I need to see more, need to explore more. I will make it to the Maldives at least once or twice. If I can make enough cash I would like to travel to Europe, Central and South America… I want to see it all.”
So when you do jet off and hit up those destinations, what are your travel essentials?
sheet or travel wrap/sarong: incredibly important, whether hiding from the sun, needing a bit more covered in conservative areas, or when your hotel doesn’t give towels
change of undies in carry-on
“If you’re not living your dreams, you’re not living.
We’re all breathing humans. Have fun.”
Is there a piece of advice that has resonated with you, either in business or personal life?
“Be persistent. Be tenacious. If you are going to do something, do it properly. Always follow your passion, you have to take it as far as you can. Live your dreams. Life is far too short not to.
There is a CalvinCoolidge quote I live by:
‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Prior to this meetup, we watched a video of a potential Salt Gypsy sponsored rider. If there is someone reading this and looking for a sponsorship, what are you looking for? Who do you want wearing your gear in the lineup?
“I’d like someone who is confident, calm, and doesn’t fit in any particular mold. They’ve got to love surfing and be a good humble person.
My ideal team rider would have unique style (and not interested in butt shots), be passionate about surfing and really driven to make decisions to live outside the square. Oh, and someone who surfs better than me!”
So there you have it folks. What it takes to build a brand, land your dream job and take it to the next level. It isn’t about following someone else’s dream, it isn’t about following a dream at all, you’ve got to just live it.
Take a massive leap into the unknown and grab any and every opportunity you can. Look outside the norm, look to a problem, find the answer. For Danielle, it was style (and skin protection) in the lineup and a platform for real women who surf.
It was an immense pleasure meeting the dynamic individual behind Salt Gypsy, as she has inspired me to keep pursuing the life I dream of, given me faith that anything is possible, and triggered an onslaught of daily inspiration.
I look forward to seeing where Danielle goes, not only in travels and business, but as a baseline for indie female surfwear and women’s surfing.
“I’m just trying to curate the cool shit.”
If you wish to hear more about Danielle’s brand and her life, see the cool shit she curates, or would like to support her in her plight to save lineups all over the world from mainstream surf branding, check out her website and shop around.
Design your own surfwear or patiently await her incredible collaborations with designers like Rue Stiic and Kokoh bikinis. Don’t forget to find her on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with what the Salties are getting up to (or pulling into) next.