Sometimes the universe will throw you an opportunity so golden, so perfect and so right that you have no other option except to follow it.
Welcome to the End of the World
This happened to me one night in April when I found my thumbs spontaneously typing a reply to a Facebook advert looking for marketing help in exchange for accommodation. Usually I would have hesitated. Or at least thought about it. Or registered some vague sense of concern and listed the risks associated with responding to anonymous messages on the internet. Yet an invitation to expand my skillset for a CoWorking/CoLiving space centred around surfing spoke to my subconscious so strongly that it overrode my conscious mind and had me saying “yes” before I even had chance to process how far out of my comfort zone this whole thing was.
Five weeks later I touched down in Portugal with a backpack of clothes and my computer. I was so stoked I forgot to be scared. The journey had been smooth and as I journeyed through Portugal’s lush yet arid landscape I began to think, quite logically, about what I wanted from this adventure.
I wanted to surf. This is my base state of being so nothing new there. I wanted to put some recent marketing experience that wasn’t freelance based back on my CV as I gear up for another life change (I’m good at those and have a habit of trustfalling my way into and out of jobs). I wanted to find more story sources for Seafox and #TalesfromtheSea.
The adventure began when I arrived in Sagres after my transport dropped me off in a complex of white villas trimmed in azure blue and terracotta roofs. My phone had no internet and my map reading skills left a lot to be desired. My location was close but with a sudden sense of travel induced vertigo and the heat of the Portuguese sun, I lost my bearings. The inevitable “what have you done” from my panicked inner critic began to ricochet around my head. Putting my backpack down by a car bonnet, I looked up, closed my eyes and tried to take five deep breaths.
“What are you doing by my car?”
I opened my eyes to two surfers looking partly concerned and wholly bemused at this very pale British girl sucking in air in front of them. I explained where I was headed and their brows puckered further. I dropped my contact’s name and was given a set of directions that resembled the instructions for solving a Rubix cube.
“Yeah that’s it man, you go left, left, right, right. Right?
“I don’t think that’s the way. I’d go left right, straight, right, left”
“Nah that’s not right. It’s left, left, right. Right. “
“Right” I said, taking none of this in and trying to look like I knew what I was doing. I fooled nobody and before I knew it, I had joined the surfboards in the car’s sandy backseat. A beer was placed into my hand and I drank greedily, once again choosing to ignore all previous life advice about getting into a stranger’s car.
Nomadic writer and designer