The traveller: Nicole Eddy
South African photographer/ videographer and adventurer Nicole Eddy rejected the 9-5 in search of a simple life
Growing up in Cape Town I was lucky to have both the ocean and the bush on my doorstep. Watching my brother and dad surfing from the beach as a small girl, I decided that I wanted to join them and thus began my love for surfing. Our family holidays consisted of road trips to either the coast or inland to the bush, which fed my passion for the outdoors and all that came with it. Not being able to let the travel bug go, I am now lucky enough to be able to pursue my passions and make a career from travelling around the globe and sharing my experiences through videos and photos on social media.
Nicole, do you think your love of surfing has helped mould the life you have now?
It has certainly influenced aspects of my life. As the enjoyment of it all relies on being immersed in a clean environment, it is a constant reminder to always respect and protect our playground and to take an interest in ocean-related environmental topics instead of turning a blind eye to them. I am also of the opinion that surfing plays a big role in humbling us, as it very quickly brings us back down to Earth when we often tend to put ourselves above nature. There’s nothing like a good flogging every now and then to remind us that we, as humans, are tiny little specks in a universe much larger than ourselves.
What does being a female surfer mean to you?
I know that many people, especially a lot of male surfers, don’t really see a difference between the way that female and male surfers are treated in the water. But after being the only female in the line-up for most of my surf sessions, I’ve had a lot of eye-opening interactions – from being constantly dropped in on, to actually having two older guys opening their mouths in surprise and stating ‘I was not expecting that from a girl’, when we duck-dived two set waves and I came up ahead of them.
That said, I think female surfers are almost always the underdogs in the water. With my competitive nature,
Our world is such a melting pot of unique people, cultures and lands, and it certainly teaches one t look at e world rough a different lens
that pushes me to surf a lot harder and it definitely creates somewhat of an instant bond when other girls are in the water. It’s also incredible to see what the ladies are doing on tour, constantly pushing the boundaries of female surfing to a higher level.
What’s been the toughest thing you’ve had to overcome?
Hmm… I guess for myself, choosing and pursuing this unknown lifestyle was a big risk. Coming from a traditional girls school in Cape Town, a lot of my friends were studying to become doctors, engineers, lawyers or teachers, and I constantly felt guilty that I was able to travel and explore the world while they were all working their butts off in Cape Town. I know that a lot of my friends couldn’t understand the career that I had chosen and I would always get teased for ‘working’ while travelling.
What has travelling the world taught you about yourself?
I think that it’s taught me to be open to differences. Our world is such a melting pot of unique people, cultures and lands, and it certainly teaches one to look at the world through a different lens. We so often tend to believe that the way of life that we have been taught by our parents or friends is correct, yet on the road I am constantly reminded how important it is for our own personal growth to change our viewpoints.
This trip in particular has opened my eyes to the beauty of the African continent and I have fallen in love with this place over and over again. We have driven through many small rural villages where tribes are still living in mud huts and measuring their wealth by the amount of cattle that they own. Yet they seem to possess a wealth of happiness. Despite our overloaded car full of camping gear and food, we still get offered gifts and handshakes and the biggest smiles. Despite the progression of the western world, with our skyscrapers and internet, the level of happiness that we constantly witness in these rural and completely self-sufficient villages makes me question whether we have gone wrong somewhere. I think that that in majority of these villages, the level of happiness is probably a whole lot more than the average man or woman sitting on the tube going to work every day in London. There is certainly a lot we can learn from the simplicity of life.
Name: Nicole Eddy Age: 25 Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa Occupation: Photographer/ Videographer Social Media: @nicoleeddy Web: www.nicoleeddy.com