My amigo Raul, shredding some waves in France
The purpose of writing about my friend Raul’s venture is two-fold. First, I want to publicize the amazing journey he is on, and second, I want to actually figure out what that crazy surfing-all-around-the-world journey is about exactly.
I met Raul in Japan several years ago as we were both traveling on Peace Boat. He was an English teacher. I was a reporter. Originally from Ecuador, he had been studying in New Zealand for the last few years before moving to Japan. We became friends because we found out that we had lived in the same city (Dunedin), studied at the same university (Otago) and that one of my lecturers was his best friend. Small world indeed.
Among our Peace Boat family, Raul became known for his cheeky and mischievous charm. He also had a knack for picking up languages really easily and already spoke at least five. He was also the alpha-male daredevil who would run out of the ship at each port, surfboard under his ripped arms, ready to jump straight into colossal waves that were five times taller than him. As we learned more about him, we dubbed him the International Man of Mystery because of all the adventures he’d had around the world – remarkable for someone so young (mid-20s), and even more remarkable for someone from a developing country who didn’t come from money.
Over time, we lost touch, except that I see a lot of his posts on Facebook about his new life as a husband to a beautiful Danish woman and father of an incredibly cute baby who is the face of Denmark’s largest baby food company. I’m most curious, however, about his life as a member of Nomad-A, a small tribe of surfers who are traveling the world surfing, meeting like-minded people along the way, and making a documentary from it.
According to his statement on his Facebook page: “I am originally from Ecuador a small South American country. When you are a kid from a third world country (I know not PC) and you are exposed to western TV, movies and all the crazy media. You are made to believe that the world is your oyster and that all your dreams will eventually come true…. just like in an episode of Beverly Hills 90210!!! But that is far fetched from the truth. The reality is that, as you grow up in any developing nation you realize that life is no longer a soap opera and your dreams are nothing more than a VIRTUAL REALITY! This is one of the main reasons why I started working as a teacher. ….I want to inspire the youth. Every human being should know that no matter what the dream is, you can make it happen. All you have to do is….see it , visualize it, feel it and do it…..and foremost don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. I know this probably doesn’t make any sense to you cos if you are reading this, you are among the luckier 8% of the world’s population who can access the net. Also just by reading my statement, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all. SO BE GRATEFUL and keep inspiring people. You never know who the next Einstein might be.”
According to the group’s Website: “In Latin America as well as many other parts of the world, financial opportunities are scarce. Sometimes we are made to believe in conformity, and that our dreams are limited but this is a fallacy! If you really believe in what you do, you can achieve it. No matter how tough or difficult it might seem, with perseverance, willpower, dedication and determination you can make it happen.”
OK, so far we’ve gathered that what these self-described ‘Nomad-A’s’ are doing is traveling around the world surfing and meeting people who are making a living out of doing crazy, nomadic dare-devilish things – world class skaters, BMXers, skateboarders etc, most of whom had to overcome insurmountable hurdles to get where they are. Their core message is to follow your bliss and never give up. And I suppose that while not everybody can just up and take off, I do admire his courage and have to admit that after watching the video below, I was ready to quit my job, and get rid of my few worldly possession, except for a surfboard and a plane ticket. Buena suerte Raul!
See their awesome trailer below!