When I was a child, I was your stereotypical coastal Australian, a stoked-out grom with sun bleached hair and insatiable hunger for any wave I could ride on my tiny surfboard.
Early school hours were spent with hair still dripping from the sea, thinking about that morning session.
It's tough as a surfer living miles from the ocean - but don't let your inner child throw a tantrum
The idea of living in the suburbs - far from the ocean - seemed like a horrible punishment to me.
I can only imagine what that younger version of myself would think, now I've moved not only away from the water but to a landlocked country.
It's tough as a surfer living miles from the ocean. But don't let your inner child throw a tantrum. Here are a few ways I've found help me survive without being able to surf....
Embrace Your Situation
While constant longing for the sea is romantic, it is also unrealistic.
If you want to live a life that doesn’t involve you sobbing into a carton of ice-cream every evening, something is going to have to change.
You are currently unable to go surfing for the foreseeable future. Deal with it and don’t be a sour puss.
Don't Ignore Your Feelings
You know how those wise people always tend to say ‘don’t bottle your feelings, otherwise it will all explode at the most inappropriate time’? This also applies to surfing.
If you go cold turkey and straight up ignore surfing altogether, all the longing and desire will explode into a gigantic social mess which could be mistaken for a blatant mental breakdown.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
Instead, watch videos, listen to nostalgic music, continue to rip in Kelly Slater Pro Surfer, soak it all up.
Take a deep breath and never forget your cheat codes.
Have you seen the epic skate movie Lords of Dogtown?
Do what they do. Not only will you look as cool as Harrison Ford entering Comic Con, but it will mildly fulfil that physical need to shred that itches after a week or two.
Whether it’s just cruising around a skate bowl, throwing around some s-slides or going gung-ho, it’s always a good idea to give it a try.
Add a tarp into the equation and you might even be able to trick yourself for a fleeting moment that you are actually surfing...
(Don't know what tarp surfing is? Click here...)
Hit The Powder
Relocating to a country that is known for its mountains screams at me to make the obvious transition to snowboarding.
Similar to adopting a skateboard, snowboarding helps replicate that sweeping movement you feel in surfing, as well as the meeting of kindred spirits.
Which brings me to my next point...
Find Your Tribe
What’s better than being an absolute stoked on life individual, mourning surfing? Having a buddy to participate!
Surfers around the globe tend to spot each other in a crowd and instantly find common ground to form a friendship.
Whether you search them out online or simply meet one day when you are loitering around the only surf store (trust me, most countries tend to have surf stores regardless of location), find other surfers and help each other out.
Subscribe To Your Favourite Magazine
Making sure you get your favourite hometown surf magazine sent to your front door is a life save. It's a little pick-me-up as soon as you open your mailbox.
Surfing is your long distance lover and magazines, they are its love letters.
If you keep up with what's going on in surfing, you'll maintain a sense of being part of that community - and hopefully won't miss it as much.
Plan A Trip
If your bank account is looking pretty fine right now, then get planning a trip.
Follow the swell charts. Research spots in neighbouring countries. Stalk flight deals.
Stay on top of it and make sure you do fit a surf trip in at some point - because a week away is like charging your phone after a weekend unplugged, instant relief and connection.
If the stars align and a trip is approaching, nothing bums out the spirit quite like not living up to your known potential.
Not only will keeping a maintained level of fitness save face when you go abroad, but it also will keep the mind and body happy during the down periods.
Keep stretching. Work on that cardio, Keep those muscles tight and reflexes up.
Some may think this might not be for all but I think everyone has a little creative bone in their body.
If we’re getting all holistic about it, I believe the mind and body to very in tune with each other.
Happy mind means a happy body and respectively vice versa.
Whatever creative outlet you find works for you, whether it be drawing, writing, paper mache, scrapbooking, poetry, reciting Shakespeare, whatever.
Go with it because you might come to find that a lot of unrealised contempt can surface and be dealt with through it.
Don't Lose The Love
While these may seem like obvious tips, when all balanced and bound together, they form the bigger picture - which is: don’t lose the love.
Surfers are a distinct subculture, tied together by a love of the ocean and the amazing things that can be accomplished when immersed in it.
Never let go of that feeling and you will be fine. Trust me.