Tag: Kitesurfing

A little ramble..

Hello everyone,

Its been a while since I gave you an update about our travels. Mike and I are currently working for KiteWorldWide in Dakhla, in Morocco as kitesurf instructors/ guides. Dakhla lies in the midst of the Western Sahara which is particularly a kind of ‘no-mans-land’. We started working here since the end of March. We will stay here until the 31th of July and then we will travel through Morocco for a while and end up in Tarifa for holidays. The most asked question Mike and I get is if we do not get bored of living in the desert. The answer is no, the desert is beautiful more then I could ever imagine. The wind is blowing almost every day so if we get the change we will be on the water ourselves or teaching the whole day! Also the group we get in the camp is changing every week, meeting new people and talking to people is a thing we really like. These things keep our work interesting and diverse. In May we were home for one week for two weddings of our friends. Because we are home every 2/3 months we are not homesick as well. Of course we miss our friends & family but a few months pass by so fast every time!

The 31th of July Mike and I will start on our journey through Morocco, we will fly from Dakhla to Agadir. We will stay 8 nights in the Lunar Surfhouse where we will celebrate my 26th birthday (CRAZY EXCITED!). My 25th was so amazing, I had the chance to fulfill one of my dreams which I was dreaming of since I was 13! I cannot wait what my 26th year will bring me! After our surf/yoga experience at the Lunar Surfhouse we will arrive in Marrakech for a ‘thousand-and-one-night‘ experience. After our trip in Marrakech we have a few days for which we did not plan anything. Mike and I would love to ride a camel in the desert and hike the Atlas Mountains around Marrakech, so we probably will end up doing that! Then it is time for us to leave Morocco/Africa for a while. We decided that our next adventure will be out of Africa, it is time to explore other continents and cultures. We will travel via Tanger with the ferry to Tarifa and kite there for one week, and finally eat something else then tajine. Say yes to a lot of tapas and our favorite drink: SANGRIA. We will celebrate Mikes’ birthday there. So long for keeping up with our tradition to celebrate our birthdays on holiday :).

The 22th of August we will be in the Netherlands again, one of my good friends is marrying then. These are things you do not want to miss out on. Even not when travelling the world. Because it is summer as well in the Netherlands we decided to stay in the Netherlands for a few weeks to enjoy the love&happiness of our family & friends. We will travel from the end of September on again. The good thing is we have not planned any of it yet. Looking forward to where our future travel plans will take us. For now we are really enjoying our time in Dakhla teaching, talking with a lot of people & enjoying our time together. It is truly great to spent so much time together. Maybe it looks scary to you to work and live together with your partner, (we do it now for 6 months) and it is a really good experience. Anyone who can keep up with me for so long is a keeper.

If you are in to kitesurfing I would highly recommend going to Dakhla once in your life. It is a great lagoon to learn, but also a great spot to progress if you can kite already. The whole atmosphere is perfect, everyone comes to Dakhla to kite, there is not much to take your attention of kiting. Not to forget the spot has 11 months of wind a year.. The best period is from mid-May until the end of October. January is the off-season, for the rest of the months you have to be lucky the wind is there half of the time, which is still more than at other spots. In short Dakhla is great.

Kitesurfing in Dakhla

We will enjoy our lost 50 nights in Dakhla & our travels in Morocco & Tarifa. We will keep you updated about our travels and for our plans in the future.

If you have any questions about our travels put them in the comments down below.
We are so grateful for this trip and spending so much time in and on the water, it is one of the best experiences we ever had and we get to enjoy it together. <3

With love,

us.

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Karibu! Life on Zanzibar

Hello everyone,

Welcome, or as we say in Swahili : Karibu to Zanzibar.
As you know from my former blogpost Mike and I went to Zanzibar on the 25th of November 2016. This feels and is, a long time ago already.
Ever since we have been here I wanted to write a blogpost. Little did I know that you will find gold easier then you will find good WiFi.
So many times have past by that I was walking on the beach and was thinking, this or that I have to tell the people at home trough my blog. But as ideas and stories in your head may come up, they will go as well. Now it is low season I have found the chance to come and tell you all about our life for the past 4 months. Take a drink and a snack and enjoy our story.

As you may not know Zanzibar is a small Island, and its actual name is Unguja and it is located in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the two islands of Tanzania, Pemba is the Island close to Zanzibar but less touristic. Zanzibars’ name comes originally from the Persians’ Zang-bar which means: black coast. Zanzibar has a history of slavery, in 1873 the slavery ended on Zanzibar under force of the British Navy. On the mainland of Tanzania the slavery ended after the first World War.

When we arrived on Zanzibar it was quit a shock for me, I had seen more of Africa than Mike (South Africa, Cape Verde, Tunisia & Egypt) but Zanzibar was more like you imagine Africa then all the others countries I’ve been combined. That said, Mike had never been tot Africa and he was really calm. We drove from the airport at around 10 o’clock in the evening together with our friends Frank & Janneke to a guesthouse named Bellevue. Frank & Janneke joined us the first two weeks on our adventure which was amazing. After two nights in the beautiful guesthouse of the owner of the Kitecenter,  it was time to go to the ‘Orange house’. The Orange house is the house Mike & I and most of the instructors live in for the season. It is directly in the center of Paje. Let me say it was quit an experience, imagine one of your worst experienced student houses you have ever been in, and then that is it. But as it is the same with everything, it just needs time to get used to it. Now it even feels like home! First thing we did was get all the old furniture out because we were sure we did not want to sit on it. We put on some white bed sheets on our bed and it looked like a hotel room. Big shout out to our friends who helped cleaning the house on their holiday. Although in three months we’ve cooked maybe 5 times in the ‘kitchen’ (the rest of the time we went out for dinner) I am going to miss the house. It learned us to be happy with everything you have in the Netherlands. It was very nice to live together with people, the more the merrier I always say.

So this was where our adventure began, then it was time to explore the village and the beach (and our workplace) of Paje. The village is how you expect Africa to be. Houses of stone, with no or little furniture and little or no electricity or running water. People mostly live their lives outside of the house on the street, cooking, washing, socializing and working. As the main religion of Zanzibar is Muslim you will see the women’s dressed up in long dresses and head scarfs, sometimes you will see the man wearing a hat as well. The first thing you will notice is that there are children playing everywhere. From sunrise (6am) until sunset (between 6 and 7 pm) the village will be lively and children are playing outside. When it is dark outside the people live there lives inside their houses, notice that there are no street lanterns on Zanzibar. Dark is dark, do not forget to look up because you will see the most beautiful sky you have ever seen. The stars are so bright, it happened many times that I was falling face forward because I spent my time walking with my head up looking to the sky.

In Zanzibar you will not even walk with your head up to gaze at the stars at night, you will look up because of the many, I state many palm trees there are. You will look up to them to watch out if you don’t get a coconut on the top of your head. Falling coconuts are more dangerous than sharks you know.. We experienced a few coconuts and palm leaves falling down, you don’t want them on top of your head. On another note you really don’t have to be ”scared” of the people on Zanzibar, they are super friendly, always saying; ”Jambo”’or ”Karibu” which means hello and welcome. In our eyes the people are very poor, but they do not see themselves that way. Most of the times there is enough food to provide for the family and water out of a put or tank close by. The difference with us is that they do not care so much about how they look, and how their house looks like. You will find little furniture in their houses, just because they live their lives outside and they do not care so much as we do. People watch television in a local cafe so they do not have to have one at home. What is important in the lives of the Zanzibaris’ is dancing, like all African people they have an amazing feeling for rhythm.

Back to the reason why we were in Zanzibar. We managed a kitesurfschool called Kitecentre Zanzibar from December until half of March. In the peak season (christmas and springbreak holidays) we where with a group of 13 instructors. For me managing a kiteschool was a whole new experience, Mike has been managing a kiteschool before in the Netherlands. It was a really good experience and I gained a lot of knowledge about how to run your own business. I also know that at this moment in my life it is not the responsibility I want to have. This is also the reason why we decided to not stay for another season (June until October) which was originally the plan. I decided that if I had a gap year I should not be working more than I did back at home. That is why we decided to go back as kitesurf instructors and make our money that way while travelling in between. Currently we are working in Morocco for KiteWorldWide.

We had a great time living on Zanzibar and learned lots of different things about life. We found it amazing that our friends Frank, Janneke, Hanneke, Robin and my parents came by to visit us on this beautiful Island. I will write up a next blogpost about the 10 best places to go and to do in Zanzibar. Keep an eye out for that!
Zanzibar is a beautiful Island which I can recommend to everyone!

With love,

Irina

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WHAT?! Yes we are moving abroad!

Hello everyone,

Today I have a totally different story for you because we are moving? WHAT?! Yes, we have lived in Scheveningen, (the Hague) for the last three years together and now we are off on a big adventure. I always wanted to travel the world, but I knew that it was important to finish my studies first. After I finished University in 2015 I had no money to go on my dream trip around the world. I decided to work for a year or longer (it turned out to be a year and one month) and when we had the money to go we would. And so we did.

You know the feeling of continious unrest deep inside of you? That you want to go out and explore the world? I had that feeling every damn day. It is not that I am not satisfied with the place and people surrounding me right now, but the unknown keeps calling me. For sure I am going to miss my family & friends!

In the beginning of this year we saw a vacancy to work in a guesthouse in Zanzibar. I told Mike and he said that we should react to it. Half an hour later we had send an email. Soon we got a reaction back that the owner liked our story but that we were not the right fit to run their guesthouse. On the other hand he told us that he had another vacancy that was just the right fit for us. The vacancy we then applied for was for managing a kitesurfschool in Zanzibar. And so it went, a few months later we were hired and our job starts the 1th of December 2016 in Zanzibar.

Our plan at first was a whole lot different then it is now. Origally we planned to go to the UK, then the USA, Hawaii and New Zealand. Unfortunately this trip is really expensive and we do not have the money to pay for this trip. Instead of that we chose to work on our trip and saw the amazing opportunity to work, travel and combine this with our passion which is kitesurfing.

I want to give you a few tips when you are planning to go away for a long period. In this case we are going to Africa. Africa is a whole lot different then Europe so you know you have to make some adjustments. The owner of the kitesurfschool provided a house for us. In the house there is only a bed and some kitchen stuff. That means, that we need to bring bedding, pillows, and all that sort of homestuff. Book some extra weight or an extra suitcase. We booked two suitcases for 25 kilogram.

Pack light, bring the important stuff like medicins (depending on your destination), and an adaptor which you can use in the specific country you are going to. Make sure you bring an emergency kit, take a scissors and some towels and desinfection ). It is more important to bring medical and handy stuff such as a small piece of rope and nails to hang your musquito net for example, instead of a bunch of clothes. Important is anti mosquito reppellent especially because we travel in a zone where you can get various diseases trough a mosquito bite. Make sure your passport is valid six months after you plan to come back. Make sure you get the vaccinations which are required. For more information check the website of your ministry of foreign affairs or contact your doctor.

Make sure you save enough money not only for the trip but also for before the trip. Mike and I needed vaccinations which already costs E1000 in the Netherlands. Some of it got covered by the insurance but most of it not because we needed 8 vaccinations per person. You also need another few honderds of euro’s for medicins, suncare, visa’s and for example some new clothes (wetsuits)  and footwear you need for your destination.

It is always fun too study the place your are going to before hand and learn some of the basic words of the language too! We are learning Swahili now to understand the locals and speak in their mother tongue. In Zanzibar almost all the people speak English too so that makes life very easy.

We arrived the 25th of November at Zanzibar (Unguja) Island and we will stay untill the 17th of March.
We will keep you up to date with all our adventures and how our daily life in Zanzibar (Paje) looks like.

With love, Irina

 

 

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