When you spend enough time at a kite spot, it starts to feel like home. It was hard to picture South Africa being that kind of place… it’s full of beauty and extremity and controversy, and it’s a place I can’t seem to stay away from.
How are the places you’ve never heard of always the most incredible places you’ve ever been?
Maybe it’s something to do with expectations… When you picture something in your mind before it happens, it’s nearly impossible for reality to live up to what you’ve already dreamed up.
You hear about that famed Southern hospitality… “Yes, ma’am” and “No, sir” and “Y’all come back now, you hear?”
You hear about it. Experiencing it is a whole ‘nother thing!
Our trip to Charleston wasn’t exactly planned. But the best trips rarely are! After spending a few weeks in Cape Hatteras, we were ready for a change of scenery. We’d met up with kiteboarding legend and Chucktown local Davey Blair who was in town for the Triple S Invitational.
And like a true Southern charmer, he promised to show us what Chucktown is all about!
This year has been a wild ride. From starting the year out in Cape Town, South Africa to writing this blog from Viana do Castelo, Portugal… it feels like I haven’t stopped moving.
It hasn’t all gone to plan. Being off the water for nearly 6 months meant a lot of canceled flights and kitesurfing events. I found myself sitting in Dubai lost, frustrated and wondering why I was there and where I was going next.
When all your plans break down, it’s like standing in front of an empty whiteboard with a marker in your hand.
And then Bowen Dwelle walked up and wrote Brazil on it.
“What if this is the last time I’m here?”
It’s a thought that hadn’t really struck me so hard before. But as I stood on the cliff overlooking the spectactular coastline of the Algarve region of Portugal, it became very clear to me that I would probably never stand in this spot again.
There’s a big, wide world out there with many miles to travel and many beaches to look upon, and this was very likely my only opportunity to look at this one.
So I savored it. And then I tweaked my travel plans so I could take the long road to Lisbon – a drive that would take two days instead of just a few hours. Snaking along the coastline, pulling into little villages, and absolutely enraptured by the history and charm of old Portugal.
The only thing we can’t buy more of is time.
There are a few places in the world that just kind of reel you in, and before you know it… you’ve been lapping up those tasty east coast beach vibes for weeks! It’s not hard to get lost in the layback lifestyle on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Sand dunes, warm wind, friendy folk, and miles and miles of pretty coastline are hard to resist. What’s not to love about Cape Hatteras?!
My time in Hatteras has been a lot of highs and lows, without a doubt. The first time I went was with kiteboarding progression in mind. Unfortunately, the wind was so hit and miss that I pushed it a bit too hard on one windy day and broke my foot. I left with new friendships and connections, but also with some fear.
I don’t think I’m an accident prone person, but I also happened to break my leg this year. This latest trip to Hatteras would be my first session back on the water in five months. On the first day of wind, I stood at the launch spot with my gear in hand and felt the panic building to an overwhelming level. I walked off the beach in tears. It took a while to compose myself, and I couldn’t get it together that day to kite. But this whole thing is a journey, and it’s a long one… with the support of friends and loved ones, I was able to get back on the water first thing the next morning!