One of the things I cherish the most about living on an island, is the profound communion that you often share with the nature and the culture surrounding you: whether you are taken by the ocean, the lush vegetation or the fascinating creatures inhabiting it… A beautiful connection that I have witnessed since moving to Bali, is the deep relationship surfers share with the ocean. To open up with the Stories on my blog, I want you to meet Flora, an Indonesian surfer girl living in Canggu. With her lithe silhouette, cinnamon coloured skin and long sun-kissed hair, Flora is quite a striking sight: a grace she’s extending to the water, in full communion with her longboard, dancing on the waves…
Flora, tell us more about you:
My name is Flora Christin, I’m a 26 years old Indonesian girl who was born in North Sumatra. I grew up in Jakarta and now I am living in Bali where I surf pretty much every day.
When did you start living this tropical lifestyle?
I quit my job in 2014 and started to travel around Indonesia, South East Asia and Sri Lanka. Before, I used to work in Jakarta for one of the biggest shipping company in the world, as a Human Resource Leader.
Living in a big, over-populated city was super hard for me: I loved my job but I wasn’t happy to hardly see the sun.
I needed to get up so early in the morning only to be stuck in the traffic for hours just to get to work, and then get stuck in the traffic again on the way back home. Surrounded by stressful people who didn’t smile and threw all their money to get smashed in the clubs every weekend was just sucking all my energy, I wasn’t happy there.
Besides working for this company on the weekdays, I was also running my own business most of the weekends, taking strangers on holiday to somewhere beautiful. It was amazing and it helped me to escaped the craziness of the city as well as making some money on top of it. My business was doing great at that time and I was able to make more money with it then with my office job.
I worked so hard in the past because I had to support my brother. But after he finished his studies, I made the biggest decision in my life to quit my job and go travelling.
And here I’m, living the life I’ve never imagined to have. I started to surf a longboard last year in 2016 and it all started here in Canggu. I fell in love with the longboard style.
How would you describe the culture here?
I’m one of the luckiest Indo girl I should say, because I’ve been travelling around my own country and abroad, while most of the girls here are struggling to even afford flights tickets for holidays or getting stuck in their boxes, because of their parents or because of the culture forced onto them.
Don’t get me wrong, this country and its culture are amazing, but the mindset or the way we grow up is still super old school kinda-thing, where travelling and spending money on it is not a normal thing to do.
My family calls me crazy for doing all these things, they keep asking me:”What are you looking for in life?”, “Why don’t you just save your money and settle down?”, “When are you gonna get married?”… And bla bla bla…
What inspires you/moves you every day?
What has inspired me to surf is a guy! It sounds lame but here is the story:
A few years ago, I used to date a guy who surfed really good. Back then I wasn’t surfing, only watching him on the beach. We were seeing each other for quite some time, until one day he asked me to move with him to Ireland. At first I thought it was a joke, as I’m an Indo passport holder and it’s hard to travel everywhere with it. We lost contact afterwards and I have this thing in my mind that one day he will hear my name as an Indo female surfer.
I fell in love with surfing, it’s something about the connection between me and the waves, I’m always feeling happy to be out there in the surf
For me to be surfing is the only time I have for myself, the time when it’s all only about me. About how to get myself a nice wave, how to protect myself when a huge set breaks on top of my head, how to be one with the ocean, how to enjoy my silent moment when I’m waiting for the waves to come.
The feeling of getting better at surfing, to get to spend time in the lineup and having a party wave with friends inspires me every day and those things are pretty much the reasons for me to wake up early to go for a surf.
All the time I put into surfing for the last year, all the injuries and cuts I got, gave me a chance to meet all these amazing strangers that came to me. They asked me for a photoshoot and filming of me surfing.
It feels great to see myself making so much progress, it feels great to get compliments from strangers who are watching me from the surf. My favorite compliment is “You look so graceful when you are dancing on your longboard”
Oh God, I’m telling you that the surfing life is such a dream life, my life changed into better ways after I got into surfing. I became more chill and super relax. Seeing pictures of me surfing before I go to sleep is always making me super happy.
What would be a typical day for you?
A typical day for me is pretty simple: sunny day, good surf and some high fives will make me smiling all day. A nice breakfast and coffee. Good party with friends once in a while.
Any travel plans coming up?
I’m going to Red island with a bunch of friends for Nyepi, the silence day. Then the Maldives in July for a friend’s birthday and an epic surf live on board trip for a week.
Where do you hang out and where can we find you?
I’m an Indonesian female longboard surfer, you will find me every day in Batu Bolong (Canggu), either chilling with my favorite local mama, who owns a small shop down on the beach or in the lineup trying to catch some waves and dancing on my log (longboard). I’m a happy surfer!
Thanks Flora! Before you leave, what’s your best island life tip?
To be out there, be happy, share your happiness with people you love, enjoy every moment in your life as you only live once. SPREAD THE LOVE AND THAT POSITIVE ENERGY!