If you ask any college student what they are looking for in their future career, I think 99% of people will say they want a job that allows them to travel. Traveling is everyone’s dream after all. I definitely fell into that ‘99% of people’ cohort and was lucky enough to find a job that met that criteria with flying colors.
For more than two years now I have been traveling around the globe to work at surf contests in exotic locations such as Fiji, Costa Rica, and the Azores. Since that dream of traveling has become a reality, my perception on traveling for work has definitely changed, not necessarily for better or worse, but I just understand that it has its pros and cons.
For my latest work trip I got shipped off to France’s Basque Country to work at the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games in Biarritz, the heart of European surf culture.
I also took advantage of one of the major pros of working abroad and took a little vacation while I was in Europe, using this time to visit old friends that I hadn’t seen in years.
So off to France I went to drink espresso, live off croissants, and act like I know the difference between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
245 surfers from 47 countries inaugurating the ISA World Surfing Games.
Italy will always have a special place in my heart.
We have hosted exchange students from all over the world nearly my whole life growing up, but when I was 17 we hosted three Italian students that were roughly my age. I really connected with these Italians and next thing you know I was studying Italian at the local community college and headed off to Europe for my first time the following winter with my brother. My Italian is pretty mediocre these days (although not bad for not having practiced it for over five years), but this experience carved out the path and passion that I have for traveling, learning languages, and experiencing other cultures. It all started in Italy.
So seven years since my last time in Italy, I decided to take advantage of being in Europe to do a little homecoming of sorts and visit all those students that had left such a big impression on me. I spent a week hopping around cities and towns in Northern Italy, reminiscing and catching up with old friends.
Gay pride parade in Reggio Emilia.
It had been nearly a decade since my first trip to Europe, and it was great going back and exploring new nooks and crannies of the old world.
Another successful Surfing world championship put on and a successful trip to reconnect with old friends. I am sure that fate has another one of these trips in store for me somewhere down the line, so au revoir, hasta luego, and ci vediamo, Europe. See you soon.