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German Windsurf Instructor in New Zealand
Aloha! Recently as I was lookin for a new job here in NZ and I stumbled upon your page, so I decided to tell my story a bit different - via text...
++PRELUDE++ Im originally from germany, grew up in the south and found my passion in a - for that area quite unusual sport: Windsurfing! After a long time in school (and many wagged days to challenge the latest storm on my local lake), it was quite clear for me that I couldnt live a life far away from water and trapped behind a desk.
So I hit the web and - straightforward as I am - put all my hope into ONE SINGLE application at the most decent looking advertisment for new windsurf instructors. A few weeks later I had practically a new life: From now on I lived on my own in a caravan, right in front of the sea (admittedly, it was behind the dunes). I taught people how to windsurf and could share the one thing I loved and still love the most. And after the season (it can get pretty cold in good ol germany) in summertime, I took up travelling and visited all sorts of places - Italy, Denmark, The Canaries, Cape Verde, Morocco, Hawaii and now New Zealand.
Things up there worked out pretty good and I made this great place my new home - check out the Surf + Kite Club Zingst (www.die-surfschule.de) for more if you want.
During my trips, I also took up surfing (without a sail) and I havent been sailing on flatwater or on lakes since I went up to north germany. I love waves and I dedicated my whole life to be as much as possible in the elemtents, I stopped drinking, smoking, eat healthy, do some workout on the land when there surfs flat and go to bed early. Im literally addicted to waves. Sometimes I drive a couple of hours to a surf spot, spend heaps of money, get up in the middle of the night to be at the spot at sunrise - just to catch a wave.
Although it sounds pretty much like that, but Im not a happy-go-lucky person. While I was still in school I often had quite major depressions and I still have them occassionally, coming with panic attacks and I got problems to deal with people. All the therapies I tried back in germany were more or less unsuccessfull. But I found a remedy and it is surfing and windsurfing and sharing this passion with others, even if its just for short (sometimes Im able to keep up my mood). You can say that almost every day is quite a big challenge for me. But itll never keep me off from travelling and chargin for waves.
I dont know where Id be now and what Id have become without windsurfing and surfing - but I might miss something. Life can be great.
++THE NZ STORY++ After three years of being a windsurf instructor in germany, I decided to take a break, so I went this year (2011) to New Zealand. After my last trip with the Surf + Kite Club Crew to Hawaii, I booked my tickets to Auckland Airport and with nothing more than some Euros, a few clothes and sure enough my gigantic board bag full of surf and windsurf gear, I arrived - no plans, no information, nothing. I always travel like that, cant explain why, propably because I just dont like to plan for the future, just to get dissappointed anyway. On the airport I asked for any hostel somewhere around and took a shuttle together with some other tourists right into the CBD. People always look funny when they see me carrying a 2,6m bag around.
After being awake for more than 40h in cars and airports, I took a quick nap of about a day length. Later on I checked out my new location, Auckland is a beautiful town with its seaside although you are in the middle of the sea you are sorrounded by land. Fascinated and refreshed, I went to an internet cafe and lucky enough I found a website of a surf school advertising for work as a windsurf instructor.
From my newly purchased NZ SIM card I gave the school owner a call, we met, had a quick chat in a starbucks cafe and a few days later I held my first lesson in English on the beautiful beach of Mission Bay. I was a bit nervous because of the unknown location and the new language to teach in - although my day-to-day english is quite experienced through all my travels (not from school by the way - I never listened). So people drifted through the whole beach because I forgot to tell them to stay close, but its a safe beach and in the end we all had a laugh about it.
In the meanwhile I did some calls to different campervan owners that wanted to sell their vans and after having seen the first one and not very keen to deal with another night in the crowded hostel in the CBD, I bought it. It is beautiful hand-painted, got some miles down already and later on I had to fix some (luckily not very major) issues with the engine, but I was happy to be out there, have my own home and to be mobile. Later on my quite friendly boss (hes actually a psychologist from the UK btw) invited me to stay at his house with his family quite often, so I have a second home as well if I want.
From then on I taught almost every weekend till the end of the season. And I love it, sometimes you get burned by the sun because you forgot to use suncream, sometimes you cant sleep because of all the sand in your van, sometimes you got cuts in your feet from the shells, but there wont be many jobs were you can hang out on the beach the whole day, get to know new people and be just busy with the thing you love the most! Altogether its not so different from germany, its a different language, another sea, another location, different people, but its still windsurfing. But I noticed one important thing - that Kiwis show their emotions while windsurfing way more than germans do. And its such a good feeling to bring someone else joy, all the money couldnt pay for that. Unfortunately though, as almost everywhere I travelled, people seem to love and enjoy windsurfing incredibly much from the first few moments, but seldomly you see someone spending much time for it. People should know that career, money and all the luxury is far not as important as being happy and fulfilling your dreams. Saying this, guys keep on doing what you love! Maybe see you next time on the beach! Ill be on Mission Bay Watersports next summer again. Check www.windsurfauckland.com for more.
Now its getting a bit chilly here - but still warm compared to the german winter, so Im holding out and check out the millions of different surf spots NZ got to offer. The swells hitting the coastline is determining where I go next and so live keeps on going. Occassionaly I make some money with some board repairs and what I didnt mention yet is that I feel quite confident in webdesign so I design and script homepages - mainly for surf schools including booking system, content managment systems and all sorts of stuff. I sometimes get invited to peoples home - its incredible how open-minded and friendly people are here without knowing you just a little bit.
All in all, Im quite happy with my current life style. Sometimes Im nearly or completly broke, but as long as Im close to the sea and have at least one surfboard left, everything is alright. For anyone else, whos impressed by that story...go, do a windsurf/surf/kite course, get infected by the virus and life the dream. Even if you dont have any experience, a surf school is always looking for helpers. Always make personal contact, show them that this is what you wanna do and you should be fine!
Hope thats not too much, but hey - you wanted more than just a few sentences - and this is the short version already :)
Ill attach some pictures from a special event - a school booking we did up in Thawaranui. We taught more than 70 people how to windsurf and went kayaking with them for three whole days. That was pretty cool!
Good luck to everyone else out there lookin for jobs. All the best, Dan.
Submitted by: Dan Date submitted: 17/07/2011 2:04:44 a.m.