About a week ago I arrived at Progress surfcamp. Time for change.
My last traveling days were spend in the company of a German lady; Anna and her 2 little sons. The first night, after my ill day in bed, we shared our stories as we were making little bowls out of clay. She is a potter and I happen to have brought some clay along in my van. The next day we climbed the Dune du Pilat together with the boys. Yes, it is an actual climb, as it is over 100 meters high. I didn’t know this, so when we came close and the dune appeared through the trees, I was pretty impressed. I’ve seen dunes, since we have loads of them in Holland, but this is something else… The view was amazing! And I was finally able to dip my toes into the ocean! We had some nice chats, ran off the dune together and had a lovely pasta dinner in the evening. The kids were fun, even though we didn’t always understand each other, but in the evening I was absolutely exhausted. Honestly, I have deep respect for single parents.
Then, our journeys went into different directions.
My energy levels were also pretty low because of foodpoisoning. I had figured out that eating raw elderberries was not a good idea. The poisonous bit is gone after cooking and removing the seeds, but I didn’t know and hadn’t done it. So, I needed more time to recover than I had hoped. After one more night by myself, it was time to go to the camp.
It was a short drive through Les Landes, which is quite nice to drive through. The camping is huge with about 10 surfcamps and families having their holidays, it’s a village by itself. My van got a place surrounded by trees at the edge of the camp, which for me is good. This way I’m not in the middle of the crowds. I arrived during a pretty busy weekend, with lots of parties planned. Fete de Bayonne is one of Europe’s biggest festivals and many were going there. And there are quite some parties in and around the camps as well. Not really my thing. Fortunately, everyone can pretty much do as they please here, which is nice. This way I also allowed myself to be more myself.
When I was younger, I would have made much more of an effort to be part everything. Ending up in places I didn’t want to be and joining in things I didn’t really enjoy, trying to fit in and be liked. Now, however, I’m much more comfortable being a bit of the outsider and taking more time to find my place (I’m also one of the oldest here and most people know each other already). Enjoying more peace and quiet, smaller groups and good conversations. Not always though. Sometimes there still is that insecure feeling from back then, needing to fit in, join in the partying and all that comes with it, but I don’t have to give in to that anymore. Very interesting and comforting to witness this ability to not-do and still being ok(-ish).
I finally got to go into the water again.
Though, my first surfsession really was a struggle. The waves here are not too brilliant (also because it’s summer), but it was good to be in the water again. After a few days and a little more practice, I and the surf got better and I had a really nice session. I also taught my first yogaclasses, which was really nice to be able to do again. Got some beautiful feedback from the people who joined, who told me that it really did something for them and that they had enjoyed it. That always makes me feel grateful, to be able to share something so simple, like breath and easy movement and the effect it has. There are some nice places to practice too. Next to the forest or alongside a river that leads to the sea or on the beach itself of course. After a few days, I also got a tent for massages, which haven’t happened yet, but at least the space is there. With everyone kind of going their own way and being in holiday mode, it is a bit tricky to get people motivated to join, but I’ll see how it goes.
So, for now, this is my home. The food is great, the people are kind, my body has almost recovered, everything is very relaxed with a bit of work to be done. It’s weird to be in a holiday setting but still having to do things. Good weird though, because it feels nice to have a bit of a purpose.