The trav­eller: Ni­cole Eddy

South African pho­tog­ra­pher/ videog­ra­pher and ad­ven­turer Ni­cole Eddy re­jected the 9-5 in search of a sim­ple life

Surf Girl - - Snap Shot -

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

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