Life / Travel Lessons…

by Elaine Abonal October 07, 2013

LIFE / TRAVEL LESSONS I LEARNED LIVING THE ISLAND LIFE IN SIARGAO:

(and hopefully lessons the people I’ve brought to the island or have met in the island have learned too.)

– Being out of your comfort zone is uncomfortable. But that’s the only way you’ll discover new things about yourself and what is around you.

– Committing to something challenging is – well – a challenge. Stick to whatever it is you want to accomplish, COMMIT commit commit – do it every single day and (in my case – ) you’ll be riding that shortboard and loving it in no time.

– Letting go can be made an ART. You can go on top of rocks and jump into a pool but instead of being scared to do it, make it SIGNIFY something. Dedicate that jump to something / someone(?!) you need to let go of and it’ll feel soooo much better.

– BE WHERE YOU ARE. There’s no point in being in paradise if your mind is wandering somewhere else. Don’t miss out on what’s right in front of you. It’s a beautiful world out there.

– BE BRAVE. It’s okay – even normal – to be scared. But let your motivation of OVERCOMING your fear be greater than the fear itself.

– The challenge of TRAVEL is being able to IMMERSE yourself in the world or culture you’re in but at the same time not be too attached. Because we know that goodbyes are inevitable in an island where it’s an everyday occurrence that people come and go.

– BE KIND. Always HAVE FUN.

– Surfing is a push or be pushed sport. Surround yourself with people who surf better than you, push you to do your best and BELIEVE in you.

– Never underestimate yourself. When better surfers tell you that you CAN do it, you CAN surf a shorter board, and that you CAN ride that wave, it means that they see something that you probably don’t see yet. YOU yourself have to believe it first though.

– Know what you can do but also NEVER brag. Let others or your surfing speak for you.

– Don’t be too much on the defensive when you meet new confident people. Not everyone is as cocky as you think. Who knows? They might think you’re cocky too.

– Some people actually are though (cocky / arrogant / a pain.) Don’t waste your time on them.

– As STOKED as you are after an awesome surf session, drive slowly on a motorbike. Especially when you’re just in a bikini, driving without a helmet and on rough roads. A crash is a very painful reality check!

– Your beautiful human life is so much MORE important than your surfboard. Yes, surfer, seriously. Surfboards can be replaced. You can’t.

– There are some things in life and in business that you can quantify and some things you can’t and shouldn’t. You just can’t put a price on every single thing.

– No matter how many instagram shots and GoPro selfies you take, you will have memories that you won’t be able to capture and share to the world. Just take a picture with your heart and try to remember them as best as you can.

– Always wear sunglasses and sunscreen. Always.

– Silence can be disconcerting because even if travel or being in a new environment is a great escape for heartbreak or whatever, you’re forced to listen to the thoughts in your head. Things can get magnified. Make sure you don’t go crazy!

– Ask and you shall receive. Even if it’s for a rainbow in the middle of a tiny wave surf session. It can happen. IT HAPPENED! Everything IS POSSIBLE.

– You are an example of where you are from. Your city, your country, your gender. Yes, life is short and we should live it up but make sure you don’t leave a bad impression for those who will follow and visit the same place after you.

– Just because you’ve been living in the same island for more years than other people you’ve met doesn’t mean that you own the place and that you know better than everyone else. You deserve respect yes, but RESPECT really is earned – no matter where you are from.

– Shower every day. Saltwater is good for you but so are soap and shampoo.

– SMILE. A lot. That’s something everyone understands in every language.

– Learn the local language – even if you’re from the same country. Unlike you city people, Manila (or any other capital of the world) is not the center of everyone’s universe.

– To be able to appreciate the simple things in life every single day is one of the best gifts a person can have. Everyone has that gift, we just kinda forget.

– Surfers are athletes. You can’t sit on your bum for weeks then expect to surf your best on your next session. Make sure you’re fit for this sport.

– No matter how used you are to meeting different kinds of people because of your job or where you live, don’t – never – get jaded with the MAGIC of new connections. There’s still so MUCH to learn about different lives and about this big crazy beautiful world.

– Adventure doesn’t have to be on a motorbike and driving through dirt road. Life should be lived being EXCITED – not scared – for the next unknown thing. We have to be BRAVE & strong & know that the only way to LEARN anything is to experience the world 100%.

– You are the star of your own show called LIFE. Use it as your TIME TO SHINE. J

Elaine x

Elaine Abonal
Elaine Abonal



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