I think this picture of me expresses how most people feel when they’re contemplating the possibility of ditching their 9 to 5 in order to embark on their dream journey.
Back in 2003, I graduated college and decided to delay employment for fifteen months. Instead, I traveled the world. I surfed the best waves, started writing novels, and learned that I could take care of myself even when the proverbial shit hit the fan. In one instance, the shit was my surfboard fin and the fan was my head. But, I managed to paddle my bloody scalp out of sharky waters, hitch a ride to the island’s “medical center,” and even score a free room at the clinic and free meals with a Maori tribe. Read more
One of the worst experiences as a film-goer is to watch a character eat something delicious–take the Katz’s Deli scene in When Harry Met Sally, where everyone is enjoying their pastrami sandwiches in the background (and I don’t even like Katz’s)–and then you reach down for the soggy popcorn in your lap. But now there’s a solution for audiences that want to feast like the subjects on the screen. It’s an event called the Food Film Festival, which was cooked up when filmmaker George Motz paired his documentary Hamburger America with Harry Hawk’s hamburger joint. Forget watch what you eat, it’s eat what you watch.
On Sunday, when Hurricane Sandy was making its approach and most Long Islanders were preparing for what was being dubbed a Frankenstorm, I surfed Long Beach. When hurricanes reach New York with some strength, they usually produce incredible waves. The swells on Sunday, however, were not that impressive. (The currents, however, did send me one mile down the beach after about ninety minutes of surf and over the next twenty four hours, the waves jacked up.) But at the time, I wondered if I would’ve evacuated Long Beach if I had still lived in town, the way I had done the previous year when Hurricane Irene came through and turned out to be mostly hot air.
I’ve surfed fifteen countries. As a rule of nature, it is usually flat for a traveling surfer. Some of my best waves required days of waiting out flat spells just to experience one or two days of perfect swell. But Bali is a freakish little dot in the ocean that acts as a wave magnet. For consistency, surfing Bali is a must for surfers looking to stuff their board stocking this holiday season.
It was the end of Ramadan–August 2012–when I visited the site of the Samabe Bali Resort and Villas in Nusa Dua, Bali. The workers were off on holiday. The roads were unfinished, the hedges were overgrown, and the buildings were exposed concrete blocks crowned with Balinese thatched roofs. But photographs in the brochure’s glossy pages revealed a stunning luxury villa community set to open in February 2013. Despite the contrasts in the image before me and the one in my hands, the mundane colors of construction were decimated by the calm turquoise waters and silhouettes of reef anchored into the blues.