Rip Up The Rule Book

The young generation of Australian surfers are ruined before they start their life journey. The odds are stacked against success. Insurmountable obstacles to happiness are placed before them and they're staring down the barrel of destitution and homelessness. So the story goes…

I’m hearing relentless negative opinions of the world confronting young surfers and it’s really starting to wear thin. Being a healthy, young surfer should be a time of enthusiasm and optimism, not a period of mourning for missed opportunities. As someone reaching my half century next year, I think I may be able to offer a bit of counsel to the young Australian surfer who is contemplating how to tackle the big, wide world unfolding before them.

If you dream of a life with access to the waves and aren’t sure how to go about it, then here’s a starting point. Let’s get stuck into it:

1) Free Your Mind

You may have grown up near the beach. You might have a secure circle of friends and relatives around you, a spot in the local lineup, and feel confident in your home zone. Be prepared to walk away from all of this. Be ready to leave your comfortable little world. Accept that life may be different, more difficult, harder than it is now within the tiny bubble of your current existence. Your life has been easy, but in order to move forward you may have to learn new ways of living. You are not the first person in history to do this. Realise that your future may involve hard work, loneliness, deprivation, and doubt. Don’t let this deter you for a second. Who knows…you might even have the time of your life reinventing yourself into the person you have the potential to become?

2) Seed Money

The first step in creating the life you want is to give yourself the ability to create opportunity. This requires a sum of money which enables you the time and leverage to make decisions from a position of strength and relative security. You need money for a vehicle in order to travel, cash to pay for skills training, and reserves to fall back on when things don’t go to plan. You need money ASAP. 

The equation for accumulating cash is simple: Earn more than you spend. To do this you need to work hard and live cheap. Find a job which requires no skill and pays a decent amouny: brickies labourer, trades assistant. Failing that then just work harder for less money. Even solid hours flipping burgers can get you where you want to be.

Set a goal in your mind and pursue it with bloody-minded determination. This short term pain will pay dividends. You will only need a few grand to set yourself free. Work relentlessly for a few months and alter the course of your life from despondency and hopelessness into independence and possibility. 

3) Don't Forget To Surf

You are first and foremost a surfer. Your current sacrifice may impinge on water time but it’s imperative to make room for a soul soothing and physically reinvigorating shred. Be sure to fit in regular sessions in the water as breaking yourself mentally helps no-one. Don’t ever forget to stay relaxed throughout this process. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Make bank but make certain to remember the end goal of living a surfer’s life.

4) Live Like It Hurts To Part With Money

Plenty of people with lots of money will tell you that the happiest time of their life was when they were struggling for cash at the start of their journey. Saving coin and having fun are not exclusive themes. Just spend less than you earn…a lot less. Key to this is cost of living. 

Get to know every dollar you earn. Treasure it as a friend without getting weird about it. Get one surfboard and make it work in any condition. Save. Save. Save.

Cheap accommodation is good, free accommodation is better. Live with your parents if possible. Live out of a car. Bunk with friends. Caretake at a surf club. If you find work in construction then hit up your boss to live onsite - they may even throw in a bit of cash if you frame it as site security. Live in a tent in the bush. Mind houses. Do what it takes to hold onto your hard earned. That seed money is your ticket to freedom. 

5) Bold Steps

In only a few months you’ve changed trajectory. From broke and depressed, into financially self-empowered and confident. There’s no grander feeling than to be a young surfer with a few dollars in your kick and the world spread out before you. Austerity hasn't yet ended but freedom is only beginning.Your seed money should now be employed to take you to the next step.

Transport you can live in should be a priority. This enables you to spread your wings, chase waves (cheaply), and expose yourself to the opportunities which arise through travel. You do not need a decked out van or a monster truck 4WD. A simple shitbox station wagon will more than suffice.

You are a surfer and Australia is chock-full of amazing waves. Pick one and go reward your hard work with a few sessions for the memory bank. The further from your home town the better.  Part-time work may be necessary to avoid depleting the seed account. Make friends at your new location. Learn to become yourself without the history of your hometown defining who you are and who you should be. 

New horizons generate new opportunities. You never know what possibilities you’ll find available when you follow adventure.

Accomodation is everywhere if you are less conventional in your thinking. Plenty of run down farm sheds, which cash poor or absentee landowners may be willing to rent for a small stipend or in exchange for labour. Learn life skills by improving your environment yourself, get a few basic tools and build your own world with cast off materials. 

Gain a skill which will allow you to accelerate earning potential. There are skills attainable through short courses which grant you license to learn while you earn and really set fire to your seed money and turn it into investment capital for your life. Rigging, crane operation, plant operation etc. are simple and well paying occupations you can be qualified for within a very short amount of time.

Be confident in exploring any possible avenue to earn money. Just because you have no background as a deckhand doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be good at it. Push yourself without being pushy.  Every person you meet could potentially be that life-changing connection into a new world of experience. 

Look for work at the pub, look for work by knocking door to door. Act like a decent human by default, not just because it’s the right thing to do but because the person watching you from afar could play a big role in your destiny. 

Volunteer in exchange for education within industries which appeal. Transportable skills are the most useful. Take those skills and parlay them into greater independence. Avoid debt wherever possible. 

Never forget to earn more than you spend and to surf at every opportunity.

6) Find A Mentor

Here is a natural symbiotic relationship between older people and younger generations which has served humanity since time began; the mentor brings the experience to the table whilst the apprentice brings the youthful energy, and both gain from the exchange.

Mentoring doesn’t have to be formal, just find an older person you relate to and whom you think is a good operator. Ask them questions and let them know you appreciate their advice. Keep in touch and consider their counsel in times of doubt. Learning from the mistakes of others is preferable to making those mistakes yourself.

7) Go Regional

Cities have long been recognised as the focal point of opportunities. Consequently, they are hotbeds of competition for work, housing, and waves. Costs are high. COVID has put the regions increasingly in the spotlight. This new focus on smaller towns has brought jobs to places which may have been stagnating previously. Some of the more recognised spots, such as Byron Bay, are drowning under the weight of their new found popularity. Many other towns have managed to dodge the destructive influx of people whilst their fortunes have risen.

There are still patches of coastline where the waves are fun and the living is amenable. Opportunities exist for a motivated surfer who wants to forge a life.

8) Start Small

You’ve taken your seed money, travelled and found a place with potential for a new life. Somewhere out of the ordinary. Every large prosperous place started as a small town just like the one you’ve chosen and they too had their downsides in the early days. Surfers at Byron were persecuted by police, surfers at Margaret River were persecuted by farmers, Noosa was once considered a place of zero financial opportunity. Your task is to see a future that others cannot. Those small coastal towns which others overlook as too remote, too hard, and without potential for growth can be your place to create something incredible or just find some room for yourself.

There’s no end to change in this world. Use this to your advantage. Speculation is where the biggest returns are found. The East Coast transplants of the '70s amd '80s didn’t expect to wind up as crayfish millionaires when they chose to settle in Kalbarri. The hippies at Mullumbimby never thought their self-sustainable farms would be the drooling envy of the celebrity set and consequently be worth more than they could’ve earned working their entire lives in an office.

In the meantime, you’ll have years of empty waves and relaxed living to enjoy. 

Continue to live as cheaply as possible. Buy land if it is inexpensive. There are still places where land within twenty minutes of the coast is relatively inexpensive if you are willing to live rough for the early years whilst you slowly build a home. There is no shame if your house doesn’t have a home theatre, in fact it doesn’t even have to have four walls as long as you can survive. 

Get to know the locals and create opportunities and new pathways into your future. If you have followed the steps above you should now find yourself with a piece of dirt and a well manageable cost of living. Now is the time to expand your thinking once more. Your home can be rented and it will pay for itself. This allows you to travel in search of more lifestyle options such as study or adventure. Now is time for consolidation of your fortunes and abilities before raising a family places happy limits on scope.

9) The Good Life

Now you’ve got a place to call your own in a spot with waves. A lifestyle not overburdened by debt and nothing to do but exist and enjoy your surfing. A part of a community and a chance to forge a niche for yourself as the town grows around you. You’ve basically lived the life of an economic migrant within your own country. People from other countries often pursue the same path but it finds them crossing borders and encountering different languages and cultures. You too could find a cheaper nation to live in after you’ve attained a bit of capital following the program I’ve described. At least you are doing it from a position of strength rather than desperation.

The trick is to enjoy the ride. Some of the moments along the way may seem onerous but will often provide the fondest memories or best tales when viewed in hindsight. Resilience and positivity is key. A healthy young Aussie surfer has as good a start to life as anyone in the world. 

Good luck and stay happy. Get tubed and live your best life. Take risks, back yourself, think outside the box and the rewards will be yours.

// JOHN DORY

Comments

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:55am

Epic guide there, John Dory.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 11:02am

yeah, nice counterpoint.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 11:11am

I have a good mate who started as a deckie and ended up owning a cray boat in Kalbarri and others who did well out of North Coast property and various other .... umm enterprises? But also know quite a few who fell through the cracks . Risk vs reward is always a tough calculation and you don't want to be betting big against the odds.....which was the downfall of many. Go your own way. There isn't a recipe but great to see such a positive view of the opportunities that are always out there for those looking and willing to take them.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 11:20am

It is a nice take. Worrying about houses and stock markets and 20 years into the future probably don’t serve many school leavers well if they want to live a ‘rich’ (not $$), meaningful and fulfilling life.

wallpaper's picture
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wallpaper Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 11:33am

vomit

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 1:02pm

??

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 1:16pm

It's hard to believe that surfers were ever considered to be a part of a "counter culture" movement.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 1:34pm

Depends if you think that tie dye T shirts and batik pants are the definition of counter culture.

You think that eschewing comfort and security to face the world on your own terms is boring convention? You think that minimalism in pursuit of quality of life is mainstream? You think that aiming for independence and freedom from the dictates of urban life isn’t counter cultural?

Tie dye is just another fashion trend, it’s not a lifestyle raged against the machine. Making a bespoke life for yourself instead of feeding yourself into the sausage maker of convention is counter culture.

Forging your own way, under your own power never goes out of style.

dandandan's picture
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dandandan Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 9:34am

I totally get what you're saying, but at the same time the actual advice given here isn't at all different from what the average finance bro selling a shitty book would say, or what Scott Morrison would cluelessly direct at someone in intergenerational poverty: obsess about money, work 3 or 4 jobs, have parents that can support you, live without four walls or running water, speculate on the upwards trajectory of house prices in regional areas, become a landlord and have someone else's labor - statistically more likely to be a poorer person, a disabled person, a chronically ill person, an indigenous person, someone from CALD backgrounds, - pay for your lifestyle.

I get how the minimalism and discomfort can be seen as counter cultural, but it all fits in pretty neatly alongside the obsession with housing investment and passive incomes that has become one of the dominant aspects of modern Australian culture. It's Scotty's "if you have a go you get a go" rhetoric. In that way, I don't really see how it's "ripping up the rules" any more than it's about becoming a housing investor who likes to go surfing. It's living firmly within the current structures and making them work as best you can for yourself. Absolutely no shade to anyone that does it, just pointing out that it's not all that revolutionary.

Csurf's picture
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Csurf Thursday, 4 Nov 2021 at 6:50am

Just because its Simple Advice does not mean it is Easy to do. Great article..... and remember .... Spend less than you Earn

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Thursday, 4 Nov 2021 at 8:02am

There’s no such thing as inter generational poverty in Australia . Being poor is not a genetically inherited trait.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Thursday, 4 Nov 2021 at 4:22pm

I get what you're saying, but being born into poverty and all the things that entails will follow you well into your adult life. It's not a simple thing to break out of, and most who are born into such conditions will remain in them for the rest of their lives (and so will their kids).

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 1:31pm

It was all a big hoax. The cross over between surfers and the counter culture was never more than minimal.......and ended once Phil Jarrett got hold of Tracks.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 2:03pm

Flower people were so beautiful
But straight and loud's the way
Good luck the beatnik spirit

Midnight Oil - Place without a postcard

In 1948, Kerouac introduced the phrase "Beat Generation", generalizing from his social circle to characterize the underground, anticonformist youth gathering in New York at that time. The name came up in conversation with John Clellon Holmes, who published an early Beat Generation novel titled Go (1952), along with the manifesto This Is the Beat Generation in The New York Times Magazine.[1] In 1954, Nolan Miller published his third novel Why I Am So Beat (Putnam), detailing the weekend parties of four students.

"Beat" came from underworld slang—the world of hustlers, drug addicts and petty thieves, where Allen Ginsberg and Kerouac sought inspiration. "Beat" was slang for "beaten down" or downtrodden, but to Kerouac and Ginsberg, it also had a spiritual connotation as in "beatitude". Other adjectives discussed by Holmes and Kerouac were "found" and "furtive". Kerouac felt he had identified (and was the embodiment of) a new trend analogous to the influential Lost Generation.[2][3]

In "Aftermath: The Philosophy of the Beat Generation," Kerouac criticized what he saw as a distortion of his visionary, spiritual ideas:

The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late Forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way—a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word "beat" spoken on street corners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America—beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction. We'd even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneer. It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn't gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization ...

blindboy's picture
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blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 2:24pm

The romantic vision of a life fighting the conformity of wider society is an old one but one that very few manage to sustain for long. Look at Kerouac himself who lapsed into alcoholic resentment at the fact that the hippies disagreed with his vision of America. Ginsberg was probably more successful in maintaining that spirit. Then there is the well trodden path by musicians from the romantic rejection of society's values to accepting them as a way to express their "artistic vision" which, with few exceptions, amounts to little more than poorly considered didactic rhetoric. If you actually want to change things, infiltrate and subvert is much more effective than romanticism. But each to their own comrade.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 2:33pm

Maybe it’s not about changing the world. Maybe it’s about living your life.

This statement is patently untrue:

“The romantic vision of a life fighting the conformity of wider society is an old one but one that very few manage to sustain for long“

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 2:40pm

I look forward to your long list of public figures who have done that. In terms of private individuals I've known many who styled themselves that way, but very few who lived up to it more than briefly. Your experience may be different.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 3:26pm

Henry David Thoreau, for starters.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 3:29pm

hard to argue with that one.

Although he only spent less than 2 years away from society during Walden Pond.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 3:47pm

I reckon Blowin is a modern day surfing Thoreau, and I say that as a massive compliment.

Maybe the real trick to doing it is to be completely camouflaged as a normie while you do so.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 3:53pm

Moreso being smart with your money as the article details.

I've lived the Thoreauan life, but was dumb with money.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 3:58pm

Luckily some of my time out remote was in a paid role with nowhere to spend the money.

FR would you hazard an article (or just a reply) on what it might be like to go Thoreau in today's surfing terms at middle age? Interested.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 5:47pm

So we have Thoreau and Blowin with freeride as an alternate......and that's it? I think you have made my point for me.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 6:36pm

There are many more, from Andrew Kidman's writing long ago there was Garth Dickenson, there's the fella I met living in the sand dunes 4 or 5 years ago for two more. There's Freeride's story of the people living in the Byron dunes over generations, there's the Old Man of the Sea back in Perth with his two ladies who used to walk between river and sea along Stirling Hwy in Claremont/Cott, some even do it in urban environments.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 6:44pm

I'll throw in George Greenough from the surfing tribe

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 7:06pm

Greenough is pretty alternate as long as you accept that being funded by inherited wealth is not a disqualification.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 7:31pm

Greenough's family was wealthy but he was not funded by inherited wealth.

He made his money lobster fishing after building his own custom fishing vessel.

Used that money to buy property in New South Wales and built his own pyramid to live in.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 7:17pm

I saw Garth the other day. He ran a vegetarian restaurant on the main road in Milton for a long time. I think his son runs it now. Is that really counter cultural? Does a capitalist enterprise rule you out or does it being vegetarian rule it in?
Then there is the MOTE legend who lived in a tree house at Angourie. Last time I ran into him he was selling Mercedes. No disrespect there, I have an enormous regard for him as a human being ..... who just happened to be a great surfer.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 7:29pm

Chris Brock was the surfer in the treehouse in MOTE.

he is NOT selling Mercedes.

still living a simple life shaping a few surfboards.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 7:46pm

Maybe Stephen just stayed now and then.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 8:15pm

I guess there's always the situation where ideological zealots take over your country and you isolate for 40 years:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270263/Lykov-family-Incredible...

clif's picture
clif's picture
clif Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 7:09pm

And relied on being serviced by various communities and cohorts. Was a hoax.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 9:00pm

There's also Bunker Spreckels but that was helped by inherited wealth and didn't last all that long, proving your point. But added nonetheless, for debauchery with style.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 7:29am

In Australia there is a powerful counter culture that is getting stronger and more influential all the time........ indigenous culture.

samerubi's picture
samerubi's picture
samerubi Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 12:28pm

good read. as someone who is also approaching the half century i can relate to much in the article - owning shitbox station wagons got a chuckle.
not sure about the overall context of avoiding debt. borrowing money can be good - so long as it is an appreciating asset.

spiggy topes's picture
spiggy topes's picture
spiggy topes Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 12:29pm

How about living where you want and trading crypto? New quiver every year, reliable motor, stable relationship. Downside is a lack of sleep!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 12:51pm

....and a huge carbon footprint.

Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 12:50pm

Stay off the piss

Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 12:57pm

***** rememember not to trust everyone. Guard all valuables &don't fuck up on the wrong side of the Law.

abc-od's picture
abc-od's picture
abc-od Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 1:03pm

All good except for the implication that an Escort is a shitbox. Loved my Esky.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 8:56pm

Ken oath. They used to eat sandy tracks for breakfast.

russell.brien's picture
russell.brien's picture
russell.brien Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 1:04pm

Like the uplifting feel of this article. I just feel it's not as possible as it was for this life style as when us 50 -60 years old where growing up, way more rules. Hard to find cash in hand jobs or jobs you don't need all bits of paper to get a show in, harder to get away with driving the old beach bomb cars, and really can't think of many sleepy small town /coast with surf on the east coast left. Sorry to bring the vibe down, not saying it can't be done just trying to put a 2021 - 2022 take on it.

carvin's picture
carvin's picture
carvin Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 3:59pm

Maybe go for cash in handjobs then instead??

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 1:10pm

Wrists would get very sore and you'll need those to pop up on the surfboard.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 1:06pm

Lots of good advice there.

As someone who for too long saw barriers instead opportunities, I can really appreciate it.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 1:49pm

Enjoy the ride!!!

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 2:22pm

God I wish he was around today. Hicks and Carlin are sorely missed in these times.

bonza's picture
bonza's picture
bonza Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 4:01pm

agreed

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:06pm

Yep! 100% agree.....

lilas's picture
lilas's picture
lilas Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 2:27pm

Perfect!
Bill Hicks the legend

Blingas's picture
Blingas's picture
Blingas Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 8:42am

Hicks is best ever

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 4:21pm

i saw that live in london - i think 1992 - was freaky - as it was his last live performance ever - hence the telecini quality of the recording - his momento to the world

lilas's picture
lilas's picture
lilas Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 2:40pm

Just glad I'm not growing up in this modern era as it's way too complicated. I feel sorry for the kids trying to navigate a world where all commercial interests try to suck up their data/money/life from every angle possible. The shit is relentless and only getting worse.
We must be about due for a generational change from this madness? It has to be the new generation as we all get a bit complacent as we get older [through no fault of our own though as it's human nature]

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 2:54pm

yep, and it''ll be a scramble now for the B grade spots.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 3:43pm

Lived in a tent for 18 months 40 meters from the beach where the shops are at lennox in the 70s when the tent rotted out i bought a caravan in the same spot and lived in that for 2 years ….parks gone now replaced by shops and its now millionaires row …if only they knew how good it was…make hay while the sun shines

dinnerdish's picture
dinnerdish's picture
dinnerdish Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 3:44pm

And if its not too late youngin's stay away from the jab.

dean maddison's picture
dean maddison's picture
dean maddison Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 6:19pm

If you really want to surf , you will sort it out . Hunt it down, there is no formula.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 6:48pm

Correct.

This story is just one person's spin on it.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 7:00pm

The difference is that lots of people want to keep surfing, yet they fuck it up. Keep surfing but go never grow up, or end up in massive debt, etc.

Here's an example of actually putting your thinking hat on and making something happen.

clif's picture
clif's picture
clif Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 7:17pm

Nice article. Makes you think. Although, couldn't help thinking protagonist faces no structural oppressive barriers that shape who and how many get to do this e.g. assumes health, ability to do physical labour, safety, no caring responsibilities, no community responsibilities, not recent migrant, etc. Dreamy stuff for a select few privileged individuals only, perhaps? Nevertheless, good read. Thanks.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 4:55am

Isn't it drawing a veeery long bow to bring 'White Privilege' into this conversation? Geez!

We're talking about young people that want to surf, so it'd be safe to assume that they can do physical labour, and have the ability to go out into the world and become men.

Taking responsibility and building a life, you then end up with community and caring obligation.

Stephen_mckay's picture
Stephen_mckay's picture
Stephen_mckay Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 11:16am

Will there be any female surfers in this new golden age?

Davesci's picture
Davesci's picture
Davesci Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 9:21pm

Was thinking the same thing. I guess they just turn up to kiss the independent young carefree men then disappear.

I don't mind the "don't let capitalism own you and minimalist living is pretty OK" vibe but gee I can't see a woman reading this and thinking "yeah sounds reasonable for me".

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 9:28pm

Why not?

Davesci's picture
Davesci's picture
Davesci Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 9:46pm

Oh of course they COULD, but do you really reckon a 17 year old girl with no experience walking up to a building site saying she'll be a bricklayer for cash in hand and sleep on site as 'site security' would get taken seriously? And living in the back of a station wagon would be anywhere near as safe for her as it would be for a dude? I'm not taking a swipe at women, I'm taking a swipe at the article which paints a picture of life that's clearly stereotypically male. I'd love to see a similar article written by a woman, but I suspect it'd be pretty different.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 5:17am

My missus travelled in the back of a station wagon on her own around parts of Australia and she became a crane driver after hitting up a fella at a pub for a start in the remote construction industry. Nothing sexual she just backed herself and the fella gave her a chance just as it suggests in the article. Her first construction job was at a diamond mine in the Kimberlys in the 90’s. Still a hard world of nay sayers back then if you were governed by the opinions of others.

I think the article is specifically about what you can achieve if you step outside your comfort zone and have a go, not what you can achieve if you’ve got a dick.

I’ve met plenty of girls travelling solo and creating a place for themselves in the world out of nothing but inspiration and hard work. Artists, scientists, tradies, working on offshore fishing outfits, building businesses …..anything a man can do, so can a woman. There’s always an excuse to not try if you look for one.

Davesci's picture
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Davesci Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 1:23am

Yeah mate, I think we agree! Artists, scientists, tradies, entrepreneurs - all those could be compatible with stereotype-busting lifestyles for surfers of any gender. I've got a mate who sails around the world making educational media while she surfs. My gripe was that the article doesn't come off that way. Dunno if it was the editors or author but there's 15 men vs 2 women pictured and most of the jobs mentioned are in literally the most male-dominated industries we have in Australia (9/10 construction workers are men).

You could write the same article with examples like the ones you give, that are way more gender balanced/neutral and you'd make the point about 'opening your mind' far better, in my view. "Get a job in construction and buy rural land" is hardly throwing out the rule book.

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Blowin Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 9:29pm

You don’t think a girl could live exactly like this?

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Tooold2bakook Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 7:27pm

I agree with Clif - if you are in a position to follow this "path" then you probably have a lot going for you in the first place. I dunno if I would call it white privilege, but just understanding you have benefitted from a lot that has nothing to do with your ability

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Spuddups Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 8:07pm

If you get to 50, have good relations with family and friends, a roof over your head, a half decent job, and you can get out for a surf once a week, then I'd say that's a pretty successful life. How you get there is up to you. I know some people who have had some pretty unusual journeys aye.

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bbbird Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 8:24pm

We all can take a voyage somewhere or nowhere.
Great waves and women are as good a goal as digging $.
A decision to move in one direction, even if flawed, maybe better life lesson than indecision.
An epic surf trip through indo & our neighboring islands woke me up to the basic needs of 4Billion people in the real world.
I recommend an amazing surf trip through the 3rd world; via public bus if your game & currently stuck in suburban effluence. Reference below
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2aexyi

PS, Im not a robot but want one when I retire.

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bbbird Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 9:20pm

I can recommend reading the Lonely planet guides, google earth, weather maps.. .. a few solid boards, 1st Aid kit & fair trading goodies for the locals.

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bbbird Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 9:45pm

If you have been spoon feed; here is a sample / taste of the sweet, savory & sour....
Indo 17,000 islands, 8000 inhabited ...
Reference: https://media.lonelyplanet.com/shop/pdfs/indonesia-9-getting-started.pdf
New Zealand
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/new-zealand
New Guinea
https://media.lonelyplanet.com/shop/pdfs/papua-new-guinea-solomon-island...

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Remigogo Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 8:45pm

'A decision to move in one direction, even if flawed....'

Procrastination sucks....

To live to move, to move to live.. that the go go.

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bbbird Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 9:08pm

I met a guy from Sydney who gets up at 5am on the weekend and travels 2hrs; his reward ....a satisfied soulo surf with the dolphins & sunrise .

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tubeshooter Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 9:16pm

Whatever curve balls life throws ,,,, may the road rise with you.
There is no path except the one you make.

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edd_finn Saturday, 6 Nov 2021 at 10:50am

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat

Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 9:42pm

If your mentors life revolves around beer, best find a new mentor, sooner rather than later.

Think... dolphins and sunrises.

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tubeshooter Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 9:58pm

haha , I'd agree with that.
I drink beer in moderation ,
and as a commercial fisho I have probably seen more sunrises and dolphins than most.. cheers ;)

Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:14pm

You commercial fishos' are a unique breed. Respect.

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tubeshooter Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:39pm

Not working this week , but still spent the morning watching the sun come up with 2 rods in the water on a beach with 4wd access. Bugger all swell or wind. Scored 3 nice bream on the top of the tide on pipis and jack shit after that. Still digesting one of them.
Drove up to a headland after that to have a paddle but the waves were shit , 2 mal riders 'took it on' . I pulled the curtains in the old 4WD and decided to take a nap on the bunk and give it an hour or so. As the sun got higher I was awoken by the smell of some mullet fillets that were a bit on the ordinary side.
Made a coffee from the tailgate cafe and waited desperately for someone to talk me into paddling out.. Didn't happen .

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Island Bay Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 4:58am

*****

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vladalotovodka Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:03pm

Remind of Russian proverb.

When ice fish with hole in pants and is when balls stick to ice, time not friend.

Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:18pm

Confusius say:
When man run front of car he get tired.
When man run behind car he get exhausted.

Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:24pm

Confusius may have procrastinated.

Should have stepped a little to the left, or right. Either which way.

bbbird's picture
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bbbird Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:33pm

Fading cutback into nostalgia: .... "We use to dream about living in a corridor...."

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icandig Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 7:42am

Oh Aye. Four legends of comedy there. There's nowt finer than chelpin and larkin' wi' the lads bout the ol days. Dad was a proud Yorkshire man. Gone now. Good counter to a previous story this one. Those with anti boomer / poor me / life's too hard sentiments - get out there and have a crack. Some of us have worked damn hard to maintain a surfing life all the while making compromises to earn a quid / support a family...and build some wealth (nothing wrong with that). Eventually some have come full circle back to the place we love. Stop moaning. You're living in this moment. Make your choices and move on.

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Clive Rodell Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 8:22am

Great sketch!

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Weatherman Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:35pm

Enjoyed reading that. Generally good advice. I would like to think I have ticked a few of those boxes. Still drive a shitbox station wagon, one of many on my journey. Escaped the city, worked
hard and saved money at various times and managed to buy a place down the coast in a small town. Bit of time on Bob Hawke's surf team back in the day too. At 60+ still have to work to pay the bills, but fortunately I don't miss too many of the good days of surf I am happy to say. I consider myself lucky in many respects. I don't know if young people see this as extremely difficult to achieve these days or not. I hope it isn't.

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bluediamond Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:46pm

I'm just here for the home and away photos. :-P

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Remigogo Friday, 29 Oct 2021 at 10:53pm

If it wasn't for the Escort I wouldn't have read any further than the headline.

Troppo's picture
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Troppo Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 8:47pm

Agree, I thought this was an advert.
How much for the escort panelvan?

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san Guine Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 7:17am

Nice article JD,
Focus on the positives.
My late maternal Grandmother gave me similar advice about work/surf/lifestyle balance. In her succinct manner, calling it "deferred gratification".

Clive Rodell's picture
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Clive Rodell Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 8:20am

Great article.
The Mentoring aspect was great advice. I officially Mentor for the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association. At my age it's nice to pass on information (which includes how I got it wrong!). I was also one of the first registered Surfing Australia Coaches. Mentoring is fundamental to a Coaches role. Of course there's also a group of people that have the attitude of 'what would he know, he's old' or 'how could he tell me how to train/surf, he doesn't look like Arnold or Mick'. It's turning around though, people are starting to understand the 'Glam' of the internet is not the best place to learn, if you don't understand who's actually giving the correct advice.
Because I teach/lecture/mentor doesn't make me 'right' either.
Everyone's favourite question should be 'WHY?' It's all very well for someone to dish out info, but if they cannot logically and pragmatically explain how they arrived at the info, find someone who can!
CliveRodell.com

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gsco Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 8:32am

Very interesting read for a flat Saturday spring morning, thanks JD.

But I can't help but be very troubled, and actually a little unsettled, by this article.

I believe the article should be taken with a solid grain of salt: Take a few of the good nuggets of advice from it, incorporate those into one's life, and then move on, never looking back, continually learning and evolving as a human, letting the world be your guide and teacher.

It's an interesting thing to ponder. What advice would you give a young person just starting out in the big wide world? What advice would you give yourself, what would you do differently, how would you live your life, if you were just starting out now in today's times?

It's not that I think the article gives bad advice. There is certainly some good advice, and some real nuggets, in it. And one should heed them. I took mental note of some of them.

But the problem I have with the article is it's one-dimensional. Some of the advice in the article may suit certain people, but not others.

Today's world is complicated and diverse. Every young person just starting out in it is different. We're all born into very different life circumstances. There's just so much variety, diversity and richness in the world. So many paths to take. No one path is right or wrong. No path is better or worse than another.

Does the advice suit a young fella born in a working class tradie family with limited means in a small Aussie coastal town? It may.

Does the advice suit a young person hooked on surfing but born to a very wealthy family living in a multi-million dollar mansion on one of Sydney's northern beaches? I don't think so, not a chance. They'll most likely be going to uni, and to them I'd also recommend backpacking around the world, for like > 2yrs, with their mind and eyes open instead of going from nightclub to nightclub.

Would the advice have suited me growing up? Certainly not! I have a natural ability in pure math and went on to do a Masters and PhD, with relative ease, and then made a career out of that ability. Living in a rundown farm shed in a small regional town while gaining a qualification as a crane operator may not have been very good for me.

Everyone's background, circumstances, talents, strengths, opportunities, and future paths are different. And they're ALL to be celebrated and revered.

The advice I would give someone is basically no advice. Just

Know Thyself.

Use the security, safety, energy and enthusiasm of youth while living at home and going to school to gain as diverse range of experiences as possible in order to learn about yourself, your talents and abilities, and what motivates you, gives you enthusiasm and makes you feel alive.

Then listen to your heart and find a way to make a life and career out of drawing upon what you're naturally good at and enthusiastic about.

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freeride76 Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 11:49am

You should tour high schools GSCO.
Seriously.

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dandob Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 4:04pm

As a High School teacher I respectfully say, they wouldn't listen to him :).

What's the old saying along the lines of " The older you get the more you know, the problem is nobody wants to listen".

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tubeshooter Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 5:12pm

Great comment gsco ,
Ironically ,I had a promising career waiting in a science field but sometimes lives get turned upside down by the strangest of untimely events. After many roads I ended becoming a fisho and a vessel operator, and often have wondered if I would have been happier in a lab coat. I doubt I would be somehow, but it's a hard call because different things change your perceptions on life as you move forward. And as it turns out maths and science knowledge is very handy in my chosen field ,who'd a thunk it.
Not everyone gets to do a job they really love , and for that , I'm grateful. And it's not exactly the lowest paid job on the planet either.

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Island Bay Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 6:17am

gsco, while you make some very good points, I do believe - with respect - that you misread or misunderstood some of the advice given.

This was obviously not a manual for how to become the crane operator we all want to be. I saw it as a positive example of how you can go out and forge a life while surfing, for it is by doing that we become.

Some are fortunate enough to very early in life have a keen sense of who we are, and know how to proceed and where to. Others get to that point by shrugging off the familiar and taking risks and engaging with the unknown. The article showed how one might go about that, and that there are opportunities. Opportunities which only show themselves once you start doing and being.

I am shit at pure math, but found out by accident that I have a talent for physics, and got to understand math through that - not the other way around. But the point is that I had no clue about that, and it was only by taking chances and going down a to me strange path that it emerged.

You were fortunate that your talent was obvious (and encouraged maybe?) at an early stage. Others have to go and actively search for it - ironically often by not looking but by doing stuff and growing up.

Hope this made some sense.

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gsco Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 8:57am

> "This was obviously not a manual for how to become the crane operator we all want to be."
Gold! I alway wanted to be a crane operator. I still want to be a crane operator. I think swellnet needs a like button.

tubeshooter yes life does have its twists and turns, and mine did too.

IB I know what you mean, better than you think.

I experienced the full crash and burn of life too, like many people do.

My interest in pure math wasn't acknowledged. At 8, 9, 10 yrs old I'd beg mum and dad to buy me all those math puzzle and problem solving exercise books in newsagents, and loving working through them along with a pile of high school and uni science books I started to accumulate. I have a primary school report card on the wall of my home office with the comment:

"... has an unusual ability at mathematics."

But it was ignored. It all went wrong in high school. I was badly ridiculed, even by teachers. I became the class clown and dropped out of school. No one noticed. No one cared. No one tried to intervene. The school system failed me. Life failed me.

Then I lived kind of as recommended in this article. Labouring in various trade jobs, travelling, working hard, getting some skills and life experience behind me, living frugal, trying to find a place to call home. I always surfed.

This kind of advice in the article about how to find an intelligent way in life is wise (for some people) and I fully get it.

But it just never suited me. In my mid-late 20s I found myself completely down-and-out, kind of broken by life: no job, no money, nowhere to live, seemingly no hope.

It seemed like a life or death situation! I had to did deep! Lucky I didn't have a family to take care of. I had no mentor. All my mates were tradies.

A single sentence in The Alchemist, that went something along the lines of "as a child we already know what we want" made me think back to my childhood days.

I decided to go to uni. I got Austudy and started a graduate certificate, in maths. I struggled to feed myself, and had to wage war on the uni to even let me enrol. It turned into a diploma and then a full masters. I got a scholarship to do a PhD in pure math.

The rest is history.

There's two things about Australia for which I'm very grateful and will never forget: Our safety net and accessibility of uni study. May those things never be threatened.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 9:47am

Good on you, and thanks for the reply.

Did you find a mentor at uni - someone to finally back you up? I was fortunate to, and I'm forever grateful.

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gsco Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 3:00pm

I never did find a mentor, even to this day. But (as it seems you'd know) one has an advisory team when doing a PhD, and mine knew what they were doing.

The maths community is a funny place and hesitates to spend time, effort and resources on someone starting out at a more mature age.

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Island Bay Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 3:15pm

I know what you mean. Started my MSc age 24, so already a lost cause :-) Was always going the soft route atmospheric physics, though.

My advisor on my thesis took me under his wing, and he was a giant - intellectually and physically. Very intelligent, overweight, and chain smoking during tutorials. The early 90s were different.

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Spuddups Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 1:50pm

That's an inspirational story Gsco. Your's too IB. I think the concept of doing what appealed to you as a child has sone merit. I did a teaching diploma, then a degree in Politics and Indonesian. (Not Indonesian politics unfortunately, that would have been an interesting subject!). Kinda drifted for a few years after that before I found myself working in a pub. Out of the blue a patron offered me a building apprenticeship and 25 years later I'm still doing it. (Building that is, I did manage to finish the apprenticeship haha!)

My dad has a photo of me, age three, wearing a builder's apron that our retired chippy next door neighbour made for me. That was obviously the job for me! Unfortunately the school I went to was entirely academic in focus and the trades were not even mentioned. I was always told I had brains but was wasting my potential. Just needed the right thing to focus on really.

Anyway I'm turning 50 in January and I reckon 2022 will be my last year building. The body is starting to feel the strain. Not sure what I'll do next, might have to get a job behind the bar again to find out haha!

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Island Bay Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 3:38pm

I'll come and buy a beer or two. And one for you.

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gsco Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 3:51pm

Thanks, and interesting that your life took an about-face in the opposite direction to mine!

I reckon a lot of the contributors on swellnet would have some some amazing life stories to tell.

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 4:41pm

I think older surfers in general are fairly interesting people. Surfing takes you in such unusual directions. Not just with travel.

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stunet Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 11:54am

Great post, GSCO, and like the replies below, it kinda echoes my own path.

Somehow got railroaded into doing an engineering course straight out of school, which was possibly the worst fit for a person of my disposition. Just a waste of everyone's time.

Coasted for a few years until I enrolled in a philosophy degree, and it was only then that bits of the jigsaw started to lock into place. No point specifying which bits, it was a VERY BIG jigsaw after all.

Got taught that there was a place for my method of reasoning; that it had a purpose. Was also taught how to better it, and even how to shift into other modes of reasoning. Further, it made me realise my self-worth. The person who came out of uni was markedly different than the person who went in.

Unlike you, I then spent a few lost years after uni. Think I spent too long in the world of ideas and needed to don a blue singlet and get my hands dirty, however the impulse to write and express myself led toward Swellnet, and I occasionally reflect on the reasoning I employ for various articles and how uni helped me sharpen that skill.

Like you, I sometimes flash back to high school and how favoured topics - for me English and Geography - were dismissed out of hand, despite keenness and talent - which was reflected in my marks.

I never did a journalism degree, nor creative writing, and arts/philosophy degrees are heading the way of history degrees, there are very few job prospects at the end of it. I understand why, but at the same time lament it due to the role it played in turning my life around.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 12:03pm

Thanks for weighing in, Stu.

Had a feeling there'd be a not quite straight trajectory in your CV.

English and Geography were always my loves too.

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gsco Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 1:18pm

Really cool Stu, thanks for sharing.

Fascinating to read the twists and turns in your life. I'm not surprised that in school you also showed signs of talent and enthusiasm for something quite aligned to what you're doing now, and I'm glad you found your way back to it and to your self worth. And the Swellnet website provides a lot of benefit to the community.

Interesting that you studied philosophy. (Do you think philosophy has made any major advancements worth writing home about since Immanuel Kant?). Speaking of logic and reasoning, you might be interested to know that pure math is just the repeated application of (propositional and) predicate logic to sets whose elements satisfy certain other defining axioms.

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stunet Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 1:55pm

"Do you think philosophy has made any major advancements worth writing home about since Immanuel Kant?"

TBH I no longer spend much time reading and thinking about the classical philosophers, yet I've also never considered that statement. No doubt Kant is the big daddy of Enlightenment thinking; he roamed widely and his towers of thought provided the space for following thinkers to fill.

Maybe never considered the proposition cos I was always more interested in the real world application of philosophy, think Garrett Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons, Peter Singer's work on ethics, Jaron Lanier and the philosophy or VR, or even modern interpretations of Bentham's Panopticon, etc etc.

I know that answer comes up short to expectation, but what fascinated me - and still does - is how philosophical thought is rarely commented on in modern life, yet it lays just below the surface of human behaviour.

EDIT: I know of at least one other Swellnet commenter who could give you a comprehensive reply to your question. Got the time, Clif?

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blindboy Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 2:33pm

Never made it much beyond this in philosophy

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table

David Hume could out-consume
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as sloshed as Schlegel

There's nothing Nietzche couldn't teach ya
'Bout the raising of the wrist
Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill
Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram
And René Descartes was a drunken fart
"I drink, therefore I am"

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed
A lovely little thinker
But a bugger when he's pissed

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=the+philosophers+song+monty+python&t=osx&ia=vi...

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brandonrooney14 Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 7:24am

I also think there’s a lot of merit in working remotely/freelance. There are so many jobs that are being shifted out this way. This is the real opportunity, I reckon.

I did my time doing design in-house for other people to get an understanding of how it all works (the good and the bad). I could see that out in the office world that there were a lot of ‘stuck’ people trying to finance their vanity, some kinda party program relying far too much on contraband as an ‘identity’, sweating the few weeks of annual leave (that may not even actually get approved by a painful manager) or people who just had negative relationships with other people. Enough to drive me out. Makes you think after watching Squid Game…

So, I did a couple of years of working a part-time retail job which afforded a regular stream of income while starting to get projects rolling. Even delivered beer for a bit. Things I could use to get my head out of the design world for a few hours and earn. Earned absolutely shithouse wages in my late twenties getting the ball rolling. My peers were probably out earning far more than I was and ‘setting up’ - but had limited time to take for themselves. I quickly saw how taking time for yourself to do semi-localised (I say this because they’re low cost - travel etc is obviously higher) activities like surfing, fishing and even running as often when I feasibly could made my outputs as a person dramatically better. You almost remove yourself from the rat race. When you’ve got this kind of fulfilment, this shows in your work. Whatever it is you’re doing.

On the subject of earning ‘not heaps’, this teaches you to be really resourceful. There’s so much merit in learning how to be a resourceful (see also: frugal) home chef while benefitting your own physical/mental health and footprint. You’ll always win your girls heart if you can cook. Another life lesson, haha. Frugality extends to furnishing your place with second hand stuff, fixing broken things and staying clear of debt. Pretty simple stuff and like I said, substantially lowers your environmental impact. I always saw a correlation between a high-income, high damage (environmentally) way of living. I know I’m not going to be able to afford to buy where I live, possibly ever and I share this same sentiment with my 30-something year old mates too. Remote work just takes that stressor away of losing either home or job if you are uprooted.

But, now, it’s all falling into place and I can literally work anywhere, at an time and on my own clock (mostly). When work did dry up in certain areas of expertise, I’d use it as a period to educate myself and/or take on other design jobs I probably wouldn’t typically do. The biggest takeaway for me was as long as you’re pleasant to work with (easy to do when you’re surf-stoked), take pride in your work and deliver - these simple things will afford you a life that gives you the opportunity to get good waves. I can be more spontaneous when the weather is nice and I’ve got a relationship I probably wouldn’t otherwise have with a shift-working missus. I’m not earning crazy coin but I absolutely would not trade a properly balanced lifestyle for anything else. It certainly hasn’t been easy but it’s all worth the ride.

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vladalotovodka Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 9:17am

Old Russian proverb.

Boy join circus think much is of adventure. Old man still work in circus think much of problem of is when live with old bearded babushka and bear with fleas.

udo's picture
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udo Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 10:20am

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wurtulla Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 1:43pm

Mindfood

Sprout's picture
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Sprout Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 4:12pm

Invest half of what you earn in an index fund and be free by 40. Neither school nor parent taught me anything about money, preservation age for me.

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juegasiempre Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 4:38pm

I've got 70% of my money in an index etf, the rest in individual stocks and I'm 35 and quitting my job in 2 weeks for a life full of surfing, but I still don't think it's possible in Australia, at least with a family. I also earned money since 17, saved 80%+ of my money and for the most part was on a 'high' income. I also bought a house and paid it off ASAP, it's only through the sale of it I have enough to put into the market and live off (hopefully).

I still don't think it's as easy as the article makes it sound, especially if I had to start today and I'm super frugal and good with money. Also when I was grinding, it was impossible to surf on the weekdays and could only go on the weekends.....if the weather played ball. I imagine it would be way worse if you were working FIFO.

tl;dr Sprout gives good advice.

P.S Also owned a shitty commodore station wagon and now an old suburu station wagon. Station wagons rule!

cd's picture
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cd Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 7:55pm

So 70 % in ETF. Do you have it in a single ETF, or spread over a few?

juegasiempre's picture
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juegasiempre Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 8:49pm

70% VAS. Pays 4% per annum in dividends historically + capital growth. Got BHP and FMG which pay dividends too, then the remainder is in small cap companies

cd's picture
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cd Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 9:14pm

Thanks mate, Was just interested. My main holding VDGR. I might be on a similar path to you. Own my own property, now investing into etf divy stocks, and other chosen individual stocks. Growth and some small cap speccies.

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Hot stuff Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 5:49pm

Wow, that's fuked up.

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nat.g Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 7:09pm

"There are still places where land within twenty minutes of the coast is relatively inexpensive" ???? WHERE???? If you mean relatively inexpensive compared to the high prices everywhere then it's probably still too expensive for most people that don't already own a place. It should be based on the relativity to what someone earns, and I doubt that's what your referring to as being relative. Do you own an investment property or two John Dory? I ask because usually when I hear someone older talking like this they own investment properties (you know, the ones who are greedily screwing over their fellow Australians with excessive rent increases) and give this sort of advice to make out that there is a nice sunny horizon for all the hundreds of thousands of young Aussies who for most of them will never be able to buy a place. As long as they work hard and sacrifice! I find all that talk is usually to make the person saying it feel good and pretend everything is really ok - when it's not. The fact is that Australia has been ruined by so many Australians becoming greedy, money hungry, uncaring, un-Australian scum who like to sit around in coffee shops and craft beer bars patting themselves and each other on the backs and skite how well they have done in property and how much their properties have gone up, and how much rent they are pulling in. And then it's like a competition to see who can charge the most rent. Always acting like nice, easy going, fair dinkum, 'Aussies'. But then go home and email the rea lestate and tell them to jack the rent up on their investment property and if the people (eg a family) can't pay it then "get them the fuck out of it and get someone in who we can screw over for more money". Probably there will be some of you reading this that are one of those people, yet always making out what a nice guy you are. It's these people who bought investment properties that forced the prices up (this was all happening before covid - that is just being used as an excuse to further jack everythin g up), and priced a lot of people out of buying a home, and then to rub the salt in now they jack up the rents so people can't save for a deposit on a property that gets further and further beyond their reach. And why? Because Australia has been fucked. By the well- off 60% who not only don't give a shit about the other 40% but put the boot into them jacking up the rents. There is no 'fair go' in Australia anymore, and some of you are those cunts doing this. So John Dory stop bullshitting to young Australians that if they work hard and save they will be able to buy a property one day. For most that is not going to happen no matter how hard they work and save. It's just more bullshit sprouted to make the 60% feel good so they don't have to face the truth of what they have become. And what they have become is greedy scum who are the cause of the homelessness.

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 8:34pm

Hey Nat, your words are thoughtful and thought provoking. May I be so bold as to suggest you consider using some paragraphs though? I don't mean to
bring you down in any way, it's just that a paragraph or two would make your writings more readable.

Leebo20's picture
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Leebo20 Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 9:38pm

They are places with good income to debt ratios for the price of a house.
Just don't expect 1970s prices when wages are a lot higher these days.

udo's picture
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udo Saturday, 30 Oct 2021 at 7:30pm

What coast are you on Nat ?

There's still land 900 sqm 5 mins walk from the beach for under 60K in the Sth States

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 10:49am

Hmmm, ok, and WOW ... it's a wind shitstorm outside, so I'm back here with a coffee. Having read Steve's article the other day, I was poised to comment, but other things got in the way. And, now this one, and here I am thinking ...

In no particular order;

- gsco, my life journey has taught me the same, "as a child we already know what we want", and well done for finding your path back. I just wonder how many kids have gone through the same, are going through the same. If only schools would listen!

- Sprout, juegasiempre, cd; remember the market falls, history repeats.

- To everyone: remember to be wary taking advice from random people on the internet.

Now, that said, I'm 'mentoring' my gidget into her life journey based upon what I've learnt from 50 laps. Maybe some of this broad plan can help others?

I am 100% of the belief that personality, aptitude and a persons enjoyment align. Sometime you need to explore paths to find what fits.

Starting out now, today, as a school leaver, or heck even say mid 20's, or mid 30's, 40's, 50's, whatever age ... my journey would be set on a few core fundamentals, first of which is working out what you enjoy, are good at, have an aptitude for ... doesn't matter what, it needs to resonate for YOU.

As for $$, spend less than you earn by at least 20%. Cut out all the material things, wasteful spending, and really focus on what you want to achieve. This will focus you on your own path, because the social media, marketing, 'keeping up with the cool kids' lifestyle can not be supported while achieving the 20% spend less goal.

With your 'savings', or as I call then, the "spend less fund" aka SLF, use them when the cycle is right. Everything goes in cycles, you know that as a surfer. Learn the property market and share market cycles, the boom and bust cycles. Be patient.

When the time is right, cycle ready, use your SLF. It could be used for:

- a deposit to buy a property ANYWHERE. Even go into one with other people. The goal is, its an investment, not somewhere to live. If you can do it where you live, great, otherwise, look elsewhere, and not boom bust towns (ie mining). You'll find them, and over time, as you pay off the debt, and property increases in value, you build equity.

- a deposit for property where you'll live and then rent out rooms.

- seeding funding for a business, idea, venture aligned with YOUR journey, career, aptitude. This is likely to give you the biggest ROI, and lead to achieving everything else. But. It MUST align with your journey and your skillset. Don't invest in others. Invest in YOU. But, remember too, this path does not suit everyone, so it's OK if it doesn't align for you.

While you're building up your SLF, you're working to build your career; doesn't matter what, just as long as it fits you, your personality, your aptitude. You will do well, learn more, find your income grows, and thus start putting more into your SLF. Stick to your path, get good, and the rewards will follow.

Now, while you're on your journey, remember to surf. It's the soul food to sustainable achievement. Eat to fuel your body to surf well, and keep life in balance. If you have to travel, drive to surf, do it, but use the drive time to learn new work skills, or learn about investing, aka podcast, or audio books. Invest in yourself.

Remember to stay connected with your tribe. Your mates, family, etc. Give ya mates a call every few weeks an say g'day, ask about THEIR life. Connect. If you can meet in person, great, do that, go for a surf, if not, TALK to each other ... call, skype, zoom, facetime; just make sure it's not text or messaging! BUT, cut out any toxic people. You know them. They'll be takers, and drain your energy. Even if its family. Talk to them, explain the issue, let them have a chance. If no improvement and toxic continues, reduce contact or cut them out. Stick to you principles. Surround yourself with like minded ... build your tribe and help each other.

And, the final bit; help others. Give without expectation of reward or return in favour. It does not have to be $$$. Can be time helping someone else, advice, mentor, or even take someone surfing. Anything. Can be just you, or in a group, whatever. The most powerful thing is done right, this aspect will fuel your journey in ways you can not imagine. Do something regularly. If you feel down, flat, try to focus on giving and see what energy it brings. This last part is more important than people realise, and does not have to be mutually exclusive to your journey (i.e. think volunteering to align with your skills, or joining say disabled surfers, or giving away an old surfboard to a young kid who couldn't afford it, etc.)

Life is a journey. Success is not a destination.

gsco's picture
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gsco Sunday, 31 Oct 2021 at 3:01pm

Some great advice in there.

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juegasiempre Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 9:52am

- Sprout, juegasiempre, cd; remember the market falls, history repeats.

Agree, especially with interest rates seemingly going the other way for the first time in my life. But it's budgeted and planned for. Remember the market also goes up and more importantly, I'm not letting fear stand in the way of me and my ideal life. Especially at the expense of my time which is more valuable to me at the moment then any fears I might have about my finances. I'm lucky to have a partner that feels the same way.

Oh, also we should all be thankful for being born in the lucky country despite things getting worse than they were. Everyday I learn more and more about how lucky we all actually are, especially when planning for overseas trips right now, seeing everything is super cheap for us and then reminding myself that, oh yeah, there's actually been a pandemic that's fucked up countries beyond recognition and they're hanging on by their fingernails. Here, big tough people are whining about putting on a bit of fabric over their face for a few minutes a day and screaming about their 'freedumbs' and being forced to take a vaccine, the brand of which we can choose and that we get for free!

Craig's picture
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Craig Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 1:23pm

Great post and advice Wingnut and also GSCO and others above, a very enjoyable read.

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wingnut2443 Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 10:04am

Cheers Craig.

It's taken a few laps around the sun to learn it.

Harder to live it.

Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith, like, that steep take-off drop. The adrenaline rush somehow kicks us along, either because we made it, or the wipeout taught us something. Sitting there doing nothing, or pulling back, doesn't mean we've got it wrong though, because, we can only assess for ourselves, and if instinct says no, there's often a reason for that too.

A failure, a wipeout, can teach us. But, if the consequence is to high, injury, death, it's not the right path, and somehow, instinct tells us when we are pushing the limits. We've all felt it, know it. We just have to trust it, be alert to it. In the surf, in life. From career path, work, through to money, investments. Once we have the underlying skill, our instincts help guide us. Trust ya gut.

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goofyfoot Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 8:26pm

Thank you Wingnut

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wingnut2443 Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 10:06am

Cheers goofy ... hope it helps you, someone. See my comment further below re knowing you 'why'.

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flow Monday, 1 Nov 2021 at 5:02pm

Wingnut. Nice of you to give your time to give some great advice.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 8:28am

Cheers Flow, I hope it helps someone.

As I wrote, giving is key, so for me to take a bit of time to write that, no expectation of return or reward, aligns with the "helping others" concept.

The truth is, doing that, writing that, taking the time, I know, will help me somewhere, someday, somehow. Very philosophical I know, almost blind faith like, but, evertime in my life I stop helping, giving, I find roadblocks in other aspects of life. I've been burnt by people, got bitter, felt ripped off, but then remind myself of the principle of not expecting anything in return. And, go about removing the takers, toxic people, from my journey and reflect on what I've learnt. So, in some weird way it balances out.

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tubeshooter Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 6:01pm

Great to read some of the 'parts' of the journeys a few of the older crew have been through here.
In hindsight most of my greatest opportunities in life have come from seemingly random encounters. I always had the feeling that I wouldn't know what I was really looking for until it slapped me in the face.And ,luckily, it eventually did.
The bigger question for me is ..."How did I get here?"

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stunet Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 6:35pm

Love the refrain in that song about "water flowing underground". I'm not exactly sure of Byrne's meaning but it leaves me with the impression of unknown purpose.

We don't know the path, but it's flowing somewhere.

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 7:19pm

I like that .Not sure on that particular lyric but I reckon it could mean hiding a path we can't see that draws us in a certain direction, or it could also relate to the passing of time.
David Byrne says the song is about the unconscious,," We operate half awake or on auto pilot , and end up , whatever , with a house and family and job and everything else , and we haven't really stopped to ask ourselves 'how did I get here?'. "

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thermalben Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 7:17am

I'm sure Byrne was referencing Darcy's law.

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I focus Tuesday, 2 Nov 2021 at 11:24pm

Life is simple, think big, dream big, take action, see what comes and enjoy, laugh, make bad jokes then die.

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andy-mac Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 7:25am

https://m.

&t=69s

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icandig Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 7:46am

I've seen it before, but its a good message.
Classic quote: "All retch and no vomit."

andy-mac's picture
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andy-mac Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 9:25am

Alan Watts has many great full lectures on YouTube... :)

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 10:10am

Great share, great reminder andy-mac.

On that note, and how we can find our path, purpose ... sometimes we know, or like Alan Watts does in the clip, we need to be questioned.

This process, path, journey might help someone:

https://simonsinek.com/find-your-why/

It's a bit of a structured process to help find your purpose, or as they call it, your 'why'.

tango's picture
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tango Wednesday, 3 Nov 2021 at 11:00am

Notwithstanding the genuine comments made by many, I have to say that JD has nailed it.

That's right up there with the all-time surf piss-takes. Every cliche in the book dovetailed seamlessly with bagwahn-worthy bile.

Entitlement meets the lovechild of sandalwood and colonic irrigation and they collapse in a pool of post-coital juices.

Perfectly nauseating and targeted at the metro oh-so post-covo wanna-be shred set and influencers.

10 points.

DBEARINDARE's picture
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DBEARINDARE Thursday, 4 Nov 2021 at 8:02am

Okay, If you desire to be financially independent. Here are the two rules.
1. Opportunity is disguised as hard work, that's why most people don't see it.
2. The door to success has two signs. Push and Pull.

No secrets here. Work hard, save money and live simply.

My grandfather when asked "what is it you need pop?"
" I have a knife, fork, plate and a cup. What more do I want?" was his answer.

The man lived to be 100 year old. Fought in the 2nd WW. Raised a family with 7 kids and was always happy, generous and endearing.
Every time I saw him. He would ask if I was working, and that is the key. Keep working hard.
No secrets here.

Sprout's picture
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Sprout Thursday, 4 Nov 2021 at 8:37am

Absolutely, and put your money to work too.

upnorth's picture
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upnorth Thursday, 4 Nov 2021 at 8:36am

Some great advice, get stuck into life basically.
I would add international travel to the list of recommendations. It can be done on the cheap and is a sure fire way of finding out what you are all about, what makes you tick, while being exposed to opportunity. Not only that, while you are still young its good to look at everything you know and have taken for granted from a different angle, one that isn't possible to see while on home turf.
I have always enjoyed dropping myself in the deep end travel wise, seeing what happens when you turn up in another land with $200 in your pocket, and I'd recommend it to anyone. It can be stressful, nerve wracking, scary af at times but is always rewarding. Spend a bit of time away, don't just head for Indo. Try somewhere you know little about, somewhere without a safety net and read up on the plane. Learn the lingo, take your time, bed in and see what happens.