Who knew that a simple quote could drastically change somebody’s life in an instant? This one did exactly that for me. I needed to surf, paint, and live. I moved home base back to Portland, travelled to Mexico, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and spent the rest of the year painting, exhibiting, freelancing but getting a little too settled. It was nice to be my own boss again. But I started getting itchy feet. This was the big itch… I knew there were so many people, cultures, and waves I’d never met. So I decided to pack up a few boards, sketchbooks, and a backpack and buy a one-way ticket to New Zealand.
Taking off in that jet plane was the most liberating experience I’ve ever had. I felt alive and free. I was starting the adventure of my life. There was no return ticket, no end in sight. My only obligation was to follow my instincts and experience everything the universe brought my way. For the first 8 months, I lived out of a camper van, cruising around and surfing the rugged coastline of New Zealand, a place I’d felt pulled to for over a decade. I soaked in the rich Maori art and interesting culture. The landscape is so lush and green, with so much opportunity for solitude. One night, camping alone on the beach in my van, I was looking up at the stars, thinking that I was truly lost… and it felt great. Nobody in the world besides me knew where I was, and that doesn’t happen nearly enough. Sometimes you need to be lost to ultimately find where you’re supposed to be. In New Zealand I found my solitude and saw my reflection.