A few months ago I had an email ping in from my friend Kylie. We'd only spoken online before and from what I knew of Kylie (and can confirm now) is that she is the ultimate cool girl (if ever there was a definition). Her Instagram feed is rows of shots of her surfing, exploring the coast in her camper van with varying hues of blue. Oh, and she's a DJ-cum-creative-director who used to be fashion editor at Vice- so I think that's a comfortable definition of cool.



So when she emailed me asking if I'd fancy joining her 'London Girls Surf Club' and embarking on a three day surf adventure to the North Devon coast I panicked. The last thought I'd had about surfing (or even attempting it) was during my 10 year old Avril Lavinge phase, where I yearned to wearing Billabong surf shorts as daywear and imagined that my fishnet sleeves and chained parachute trousers were my pinnacle of being a Roxy girl. Or even the time I thought I could win over James from Busted. But since then (and trust me, it's been a sweet while) it hadn't even crossed my mind. After asking if I was sure she'd emailed the right Olivia, I agreed. I stressed I was certain to be a liability, had a very limited swimming skill set but promised I'd give it a damn good go. Because sometimes in life that's the best you can do, isn't it?



The funny thing about all of this is when I told people about this trip the greatest reaction was probably total bewilderment. 'You? Surfing!?' I am not a water baby by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm the kind of outdoorsy person that you'd probably get a print like this for and think it was hil-arious. Anyway- before I knew it I was on a train to Tiverton Parkway, with three days of the unknown with a group of girls who I'd never met before. To say I felt nervous was an understatement (I quickly broke the ice by reminding everyone of my 'nervous Purvis' nickname) and a mere hour after arriving I was on a lake standing on a paddle board like Orlando bloody Bloom (with pants on, naturally).



After a morning paddle boarding- I had my first surf lesson on the same afternoon. We picked up our foam boards and headed to the sea, feeling pretty fortunate the tide was in synch and had some (small) waves for us (thankfully). After stepping into the sea I can hand on heart say I didn't come prepared for how scared I'd feel. I think I had a bit of an initial panic cry in front of Carlo (our amazing instructor) before I could even get waist deep into the sea. But, with a bit (or, a lot) of patience- I managed to not only stand up on my board, but ride along the coast without falling in. If we were closer to December I'd have called it a Christmas miracle- but finding the courage to push myself and ultimately challenge myself so far out of my comfort zone felt amazing. Being self employed I'm very rarely, and fortunately made to push myself into places of vulnerability- but challenging myself and proving that I could felt amazing. I DID IT!



Although over the following days we weren't quite so lucky with the tide, doing something different- that not only required physical strength, but mental strength too felt incredible and I also gained a little ability to feel more confident in myself. Not only did I prove I could not only stand up on a board and swim to depths that I didn't think possible, but I was surrounded by a group of the most vibrant, body confident, inspirational women who honestly made me feel like anything was possible. It sounds a bit soppy, but perhaps that's what inhaling large amounts of salt water does to you. Who knows. Either way I'm feeling ready for our next adventure, and can't wait to share more about this special journey with some amazing ladies.



*does shaka hands*

x

With many thanks to Vans, Aussie, Instax, Carl Wilson for the photos and the wonderful people at Croyde Surf Academy. If you're also interested in finding out how to donate to raise awareness to help combat mental health with extreme sports head here.



A few months ago I had an email ping in from my friend Kylie. We'd only spoken online before and from what I knew of Kylie (and can confirm now) is that she is the ultimate cool girl (if ever there was a definition). Her Instagram feed is rows of shots of her surfing, exploring the coast in her camper van with varying hues of blue. Oh, and she's a DJ-cum-creative-director who used to be fashion editor at Vice- so I think that's a comfortable definition of cool.



So when she emailed me asking if I'd fancy joining her 'London Girls Surf Club' and embarking on a three day surf adventure to the North Devon coast I panicked. The last thought I'd had about surfing (or even attempting it) was during my 10 year old Avril Lavinge phase, where I yearned to wearing Billabong surf shorts as daywear and imagined that my fishnet sleeves and chained parachute trousers were my pinnacle of being a Roxy girl. Or even the time I thought I could win over James from Busted. But since then (and trust me, it's been a sweet while) it hadn't even crossed my mind. After asking if I was sure she'd emailed the right Olivia, I agreed. I stressed I was certain to be a liability, had a very limited swimming skill set but promised I'd give it a damn good go. Because sometimes in life that's the best you can do, isn't it?



The funny thing about all of this is when I told people about this trip the greatest reaction was probably total bewilderment. 'You? Surfing!?' I am not a water baby by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm the kind of outdoorsy person that you'd probably get a print like this for and think it was hil-arious. Anyway- before I knew it I was on a train to Tiverton Parkway, with three days of the unknown with a group of girls who I'd never met before. To say I felt nervous was an understatement (I quickly broke the ice by reminding everyone of my 'nervous Purvis' nickname) and a mere hour after arriving I was on a lake standing on a paddle board like Orlando bloody Bloom (with pants on, naturally).



After a morning paddle boarding- I had my first surf lesson on the same afternoon. We picked up our foam boards and headed to the sea, feeling pretty fortunate the tide was in synch and had some (small) waves for us (thankfully). After stepping into the sea I can hand on heart say I didn't come prepared for how scared I'd feel. I think I had a bit of an initial panic cry in front of Carlo (our amazing instructor) before I could even get waist deep into the sea. But, with a bit (or, a lot) of patience- I managed to not only stand up on my board, but ride along the coast without falling in. If we were closer to December I'd have called it a Christmas miracle- but finding the courage to push myself and ultimately challenge myself so far out of my comfort zone felt amazing. Being self employed I'm very rarely, and fortunately made to push myself into places of vulnerability- but challenging myself and proving that I could felt amazing. I DID IT!



Although over the following days we weren't quite so lucky with the tide, doing something different- that not only required physical strength, but mental strength too felt incredible and I also gained a little ability to feel more confident in myself. Not only did I prove I could not only stand up on a board and swim to depths that I didn't think possible, but I was surrounded by a group of the most vibrant, body confident, inspirational women who honestly made me feel like anything was possible. It sounds a bit soppy, but perhaps that's what inhaling large amounts of salt water does to you. Who knows. Either way I'm feeling ready for our next adventure, and can't wait to share more about this special journey with some amazing ladies.



*does shaka hands*

x

With many thanks to Vans, Aussie, Instax, Carl Wilson for the photos and the wonderful people at Croyde Surf Academy. If you're also interested in finding out how to donate to raise awareness to help combat mental health with extreme sports head here.

20 comments:

  1. This looks like the coolest adventure! Nothing better than an empowering girls trip.

    LEXI LIKES

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've always wanted to try surfing but am so put off by the English cold sea hahaha. I always say to myself if I go to Australia or Hawaii I'd try it - but who knows if that'll ever happen! Well done for giving it a go, can't wait to hear what your next adventure will be!

    http://howlindycsit.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly- with a wetsuit you'd never even feel it! I was SO worried about this but it was totally fine! xx

      Delete
  3. This looks and sounds like an amazing experience Liv! Such a great idea - always good to push outside the comfort zone isn't it xx

    http://littlemissnottinghill.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well done girl!! I can't wait to get back in the water although the Irish waters are just sooo coooold!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Surfing looks so much fun, would love to learn it myself one day.

    XX

    Love, http://herrendezvous.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. I want to do this so bad! Maybe I will do this, this summer :) X
    http://www.thoughtsinstyle.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. This looks so cool and fun! I didn't even realise that surfing is done in the UK as well :D

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks like such a cool adventure! I've always wanted to give surfing a go but it looks so hard and scary (but also so so so so cool)! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post :)

    www.evdaily.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's so important to try out new things! It looks like you had a good time :) x

    chapter-fifty-nine.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ahh sounds like an awesome time! Surfing actually terrifies me, but I really enjoyed reading this and seeing your photos.
    (Are you titling your posts like Friends episodes on purpose? Haha 'cause I so love it.)
    Have a good weekend!

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

    ReplyDelete
  12. This trip sounds incredible! I'd love to be able to surf :D Definitely going to check out Kylie on instagram now too :)

    VioletDaffodils
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is the COOLEST post ever! I want to be able to surf!!

    Fatima x www.fatimawrites.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am very happy, soon to be holiday, see too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Liv

    New reader here, and I love this post! You have literally just inspired me to try surfing in the UK, hopefully this summer! I have always been intrigued to try surfing but I am so scared of ocean creatures (read sharks) LOL, poor things have such a bad rep...
    Anyway, I'll be keeping an eye out for your posts, after I spend the remainded of my bank hol creeping through your archive :)
    xx, Simone
    http://simplysimone.me/camping-in-the-uk-spontaneous-trip-to-sevensisters

    ReplyDelete
  16. Whenever anyone talks about surfing I think "I couldn't possibly" but this has given me such inspiration. I completely relate to you and you were able to get out there and at least give it a shot so I can too!

    http://littlewhytebook.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. This looks so so cool! Learning to surf is on my bucket list. xx


    https://harryssisters.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  18. Surfing is one of the coolest things I have ever done! I took the plunge last year and signed myself up to go on a surfing trip with my new school last Christmas. The water was beyond freezing but I did it (haha I can call that a Christmas miracle!) and it was lots of fun! Pushing ourselves is extremely healthy and I wish I had the courage to do it more often!

    Cat // https://fromgirlc.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ah Olivia this looks like ALL the fun. So good that you just took the plunge (literally and figuratively)! I would love to do something like this one day. These ladies look increds too. Immy x

    www.immymay.com

    ReplyDelete

MEET OLIVIA

MEET OLIVIA

Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 23 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.

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