Move Inland and Get a Real Job
My most recent tack, and certainly the one requiring the most commitment. After a lot of thought and a giant fourteen foot long “option appraisal” laid out across the floor of my kitchen, I came to the conclusion that the best way to get consistently good waves for the rest of my surfable life was to go back to the books and get a profession. Those guys surfing the early morning shift at Margaret River were all professionals in one field or another, who’d worked hard to get to where they were now which was a position where they could surf good waves every morning before heading in to work with wet hair and earn enough for a good standard of living, i.e. multiple surf trips every year. When I worked at a friend’s surf camp in Costa Rica, all of the guests and almost all of the other surfers passing through were all professionals on vacation from their careers in the States. Almost every time I’ve paddled out at a good wave, particularly in an idyllic and exotic location, I’ve shared the line-up with a doctor or a lawyer, or more often than not, a teacher. Maybe there was something to it then; that prescriptive western doctrine that says you have to work hard and pay your taxes, settle down and get a “real job” that I’d been avoiding all this time. Maybe this was the key to surfing regularly, earning enough to get a few new boards and going on a trip or two every year, and maybe even migrate one day to one of those joints with all-time waves to finally end up like the doctors and teachers of Margaret River.

There are a lot of options to choose from here. Friends of mine have got themselves a trade spending years on an apprentice wage with the aim of becoming their own boss, downing tools when the waves are good and having a valuable skill that makes them desirable to certain wave-rich southern hemisphere nations. Others have hit the books hard and worked long hours away from the ocean to become Doctors, Lawyers or high-flying suits, professions that are pretty easily transferable internationally and have hefty enough paychecks to facilitate the sort of surf trips that make up for long hours in the office.

I still don’t think that I’ve figured it out, so I’ll gladly accept any suggestions and give them my full consideration. If you’re lucky enough to have got it dialed, let me know how you did so please – but perhaps don’t tell everybody in case they end up doing it too.

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